Karen, would it be enough if I go to classes once a week and I practice at home for 30 to 45 mins every other day? I live in a apartment so how do I go about practicing? How did you go about the practicing on a weekly basis with (the VERY adorable) Kodi? I know I have LOTS of questions but I really want to make sure I know everything before I start!
The weaves are the hardest thing to learn, and you could certainly get a set of 2x2 weaves that you could set up even inside a reasonable sized apartment. Everything else you need to practice at home, you can do without any equipment (...lots and LOTS of basic obedience work) or at most, one or two jumps. (but I'm not even sure you'd need to do that. It's the ground work and the weaves that take the time!!!)
And I'm not saying you CAN'T do it just in once a week classes, but you need to be prepared for it to take a LOT longer. For a lot of people, that's fine. The classes are fun, and getting there is part of the whole experience. Some people take classes for years and NEVER compete.
Even if you can't practice every day, 45 minutes is too long in one sitting, and even 30 minutes is pushing it. If you can't do it every day, do 15-20 minutes as often as you can. Still limit the weave training to no more than 10 minutes or so at a time. Buy Susan Garrett's "Crate Games" and "Training with One Jump" DVD's. They both have tons of good bits that can be done in a small space. (especially Crate Games) They may not SEEM to be directly related to agility, but this kind of foundational work makes a HUGE difference later.
As far as Kodi and I are concerned, first you have to understand that Kodi is my "substitute horse".
After years of training and showing horses, I had to stop riding a couple of years ago because of advancing Rheumatoid Arthritis. I specifically chose a dog that I could do performance trials with.
I did at least 2 obedience classes a week with him for the first year I had him, and then switched to one obedience class and one agility class a week. (as well as Rally run-throughs) I work from home, so I can stop from time to time during the day to work with him. Usually no more than 10 minutes at a time, but several times a day.
We started our agility classes in the late spring, so we had all summer and fall to work outdoors. We have a very large (5+ acre) property, because of the horses, so I had plenty of space to set up my agility course so that I could train at home. So in nice weather, I can take him outside a couple of times a day to run the weaves, work on a few turns, etc. I try to set up my course at home to work on whatever specific problem our trainer has given in class.
Here's a picture of my course. I still want to add "real" contacts... at this point, I still only have a "puppy" A-frame. But those are the big and expensive pieces. I did buy a set of 6 top quality 2x2 weaves, which really are much better than my cheap-o PVC weaves, and I'm glad I did. They are SO much easier to work with. Next year, I'll replace the PVC ones so I have a full set of 12 weaves on steel bases. Everything else I made myself. (with the help of my son and husband for the power tools!