I am happy : ) We had the fun match at our club this morning, and I did get the improvement I was hoping to see. Not that we're ready to get back in the ring yet, but he did much better today than he did at the fun match and trial last month.
Signals - He paid attention today and I didn't see the 'avoidance' behavior I was seeing at the last match and trial. His heeling was pretty good, with just some lagging on the about turn. He got the first two signals fine, but he did lose focus (or maybe I did) on the come, so I had to give a second come signal.
Articles - I stayed with the plan and only put out five articles. He got the first article pretty quickly. On the next article he was taking longer (too long I thought) and almost seemed to be avoiding it, so I went out and led him to the article. We redid that one and he went out and immediately picked it up.
Gloves - His pivot was a little short so I helped him get straight, then he got the correct glove. Moving Stand - Good!
Directed Jumping - Go-outs were straight, but sits were really slow. Both jumps were good. I jumped a little lower than normal, even though he wasn't showing signs of lameness today. I didn't want to take any chances.
Overall, I really did see improvement. We seem to have the basics down - we just need some (a lot more) precision. And we need speed!
Training notes for next week -
We are going to start working on speed. I've gotten a lot of suggestions from a group list that I'm on regarding training briskness for the ring. I'm anxious to start trying some of those ideas to see if I can speed him up.