Additionally, because the distance is so great, it hard to provide a deceleration cue to Belle as she entered the straight tunnel. She comes blasting out in full extension. My signals to turn over #4 were almost all late; a) because she was moving so quickly, and b) I didn't want her turning before she took #4. As you will see in the video, this means she is pretty much beyond the left upright of jump #5 before she completes her turn to it even on the best of our attempts.
Once I actually got Belle through the first six obstacles, I got the shock of my life. She didn't go into the tunnel under the dogwalk!!! I got all sorts of variations on the theme you see in the video. I never did figure out exactly what was going on with this. Maybe in a month or two, I'll realize what I was doing wrong. [10/26/11. By reviewing the video in slow motion several times, I was able to finally figure out that I was late in indicating the turn to the tunnel on our unsuccessful efforts. Body and motion cues for the tunnel must be given as Belle takes off over the #6 jump. Once she has landed, it is too late! The only way that I can see at this point to create some collection over #4 would be to use a quiet "easy over" as Belle exits the tunnel. This is something we'd have to work on.]
I was late a few times on the 8-10 sequence, but Belle was cranking. I was really surprised to see I used the on-side arm to indicate the push to the #10 tunnel. I would have thought I would have gone for the off-side arm. But when it came to doing it in real time, there just wasn't time enough for me to switch arms.
Lessons I learned from this one.
1. I really thought the shoulder pull would be the way to handle #4 to #5. However, for me it was better to face Belle and move backwards, doing an RFP if need be. This meant I had my eye on her at all times and I could move more quickly to where I had to be next.
2. Even without intervening layers of obstacles, distance changes the challenges.
3. If I find myself shrieking "Belle," it is because I am late, late, late.