Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Follow-Up to Yesterday's Post

I also ran Dusty on yesterday's course.  When we got to the threadles, it wasn't pretty.  I was unable to move fast enough to do it the way Steve did, and when I tried handling it as I did with Belle, it resulted in all kinds of ugliness.  Basically, it was as if Dusty thought I were trying to fake him out.

There are several reasons I handled the threadles the way I did with Belle:

1.  There's no way I could keep moving and get the sequence correct.  When I move fast, my brain disengages and becomes consumed with the need for speed.  Subtlety and precision are out the window.

2.  If I expend a lot of energy on this section, I very simply won't have it later in the course where I might need it.

3.  It is easier for me to push through for a threadle.  This is probably due to a hole in the training I have as a handler.

4.  Lastly, and most importantly, by staying within a very small area while doing this complex sequence, I communicate to Belle that we are doing something complex and we are doing it here.  There is no wasted movement on my part and hopefully none on hers.

I tried to get Belle to slice the jumps with just enough angle that she could get into the gap and take the next jump from the same side as the previous jump.  Actually, I treated the whole sequence like a serpentine where some of the jumps are imaginary.

As I discovered with Dusty though, this is definitely a matter of training.  Dusty first has to realize that even though I'm not moving very much, I'm drawing him a very clear path to follow through this sequence.  He has to realize that he is following my arm and when I hand off leadership to my other arm, he just has to go with the flow.  

Although my body movements are subtle (or at least rather minimal), they support what my arms are saying.  The purpose of this exercise is not to get Dusty to ignore body cues in favor of arm and hand cues.  I'm trying to show him that sometimes I can provide a lot of information with my hands and arms.  Because Dusty does not understand this, he spins, goes wide, stops, whatever, and then my body gets out of sync with what my hands are doing and it is game over.

Here is video from our second effort at the threadle section today.  A couple of times Dusty by-passed the second jump after the tunnel because I was unable to indicate he was to come in toward me by taking the jump.  Getting to the landing side of this jump in time to do a pull of some sort is the biggest timing issue for me as handler.

No comments:

Post a Comment