Friday, May 28, 2010

Fun With Agility (Equipment)

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." — Albert Einstein

One of the ladies I'm in agility with has been figuring out how to make her own equipment. Buying it is VERY expensive, but when you have a dog who loves it like we do, it's something to do with her every day. Good exercise for her, good exercise for us. I've been wanting equipment since last summer, but couldn't justify the cost.

Then two things happened. One, my instructor mentioned that the AKC had amended their rules to allow non-purebred dogs to compete in AKC agility trials and two, my friend posted pictures on Facebook of the regular jumps and tire jump that she made. It looked so simple, I knew I had to give it a go.

I opted to make weave poles first, because Dakota is still learning how to do those efficiently. She can do them, but not quickly so we wanted to really work with her.

First, I looked into the AKC requirements for weave poles and found out that they're a little different than what we use in class (I suspect the class poles are USDAA sized ... a little smaller and closer together than AKC). I needed poles that were 40" high and 22 - 24" apart.

So, I did my math, then drew a picture of what the poles would look like and figured out what parts I needed. Then it was off to the store. When we came home we had this (notice that Dakota is curious, but not enough to get close to the scary PVC pipe):




I cut it up... and discovered that I can NOT cut straight with a hacksaw to save my life. Thankfully, it didn't REALLY matter if the pipes were just a tad slanted. And I filed them down a bit on the driveway.



Fit them together:




And VOILA! Weave poles!



I made two sets for just under $26. If I'd have bought them, the cheapest set runs about $45 (and it's the kind where you jam the poles into the ground).

I feel very smug. And very capable. Next up.... the tire and standard jumps. I figure I can make 4 - 5 jumps for the cost of buying one.

And, here is Dakota and DD practicing with the new poles (now that they look like something familiar, Dakota isn't afraid of them anymore!):

video

I found four AKC agility trials in New Hampshire this summer. I don't know that we'll compete, but I am going to do my best to attend, so I can see what they're like. OH, and check THIS out. I thought it was amazing that DD was such a good handler at eleven ... this girl is SIX YEARS OLD!



Truly amazing.

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You Are Peaceful and Content



You have reached a point in your life where you've accepted things and found bliss.

You cultivate a sense of gratitude, and you believe that each day you're given is special.

You have a low tolerance for drama, and you have been known to cut troublesome people out of your life completely.

You are a daydreamer, but there is nothing lofty about your dreams. You can be perfectly happy just watching the clouds.



The first half? Not so much...but the second? Pretty much right on.

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5 comments:

groovyoldlady said...

How cool to make your own equipment. I wish I could do that with mountain climbing gear! The little girl and dog in the youtube clip are amazing. Girly-Girl has decided she wants to show goats again this year at the fairs. Oddly, she has to wear all white. Good things white pants are in season this year!

MomJane said...

You Are Poetic
You see beauty, colors, and inspiration where other people see nothing.
You are a gentle and sensitive soul that craves love and understanding.

You take pride in your interesting ideas, and you feel wounded if others challenge you too fiercely.
You feel most comfortable in places where you know everyone. It's likely you are still in touch with your childhood friends.

Nope this isn't me.

Tori Lennox said...

Awesome job!!!!

Dru said...

that is so cool about you making the agility equipment. You got two for the price of one, how cool is that?

I picked the same pasture as you..it's about right.

I hope you had a great day.

Brandy said...

What a great idea to make your own Agility equipment!
So cute with your daughter and Dakota! Wow, six years old? Wow.

Quiz results: You Are Poetic
You see beauty, colors, and inspiration where other people see nothing.
You are a gentle and sensitive soul that craves love and understanding.
You take pride in your interesting ideas, and you feel wounded if others challenge you too fiercely.
You feel most comfortable in places where you know everyone. It's likely you are still in touch with your childhood friends.

Don't know if this is a good thing or not, but this is pretty close, except the part about keeping in touch with childhood friends.

Hope you had a good day, wishing an enjoyable Saturday for y'all!