Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Variations on a Theme

Whenever I set up a complete course, I try to keep it up until it is time to mow the field again.  Since I quickly tire of doing the same thing over and over, I try to come up with variations.  Sometimes the variations are complete courses; sometimes they are just short sequences designed to work on specific skills.

The Bud Houston course that I posted Saturday lent itself very well to creating other full courses.  I also added a dogwalk and A-frame along the sides so I could practice speeding up Belle's contacts.  I put the weave poles along a third side so I'd have a logical way to get to the A-frame.

Here are some of the variations I created on Bud's course.

Here are a couple of examples of sequences for working on contact speed.  The weaves could easily be replaced with a long, straight tunnel and the #7 tunnel could be moved closer to the A-frame in order to come up with some sequences that emphasize A-frame performance.

Once I walked Variation One, I realized the only way I could turn Belle into the serpentine at jump #5 was by taking a big lead out in the area of (70,10).  That put me in an ideal spot to push her out to tunnel #2, call her to jump #3 and then get in position for the serpentine.

The second variation contains some technical sequences.  For example how best to handle the turn from #4 to #5 and be in a position to perform the threadle from #5 to #6.  On our first run, I did a front cross at the left side of #4 and ran on the take-off side of #5 & #6.  On the next run, I sent Belle to #4 and ran on landing side of #5 & #6.  On our third run, I had Belle take #4 from the back side and ran along the take-off side of #5 & #6.

I had to watch my handling carefully when wrapping Belle to the right around #9.  If I moved in toward the jump as she was turning, it resulted in a back jump.

The long runs from 9 to 10, 12 to 13, and 16 to 17 all call for the dog to by-pass a tempting off-course obstacle at full speed.

The third variation offers several opportunities for distance and speed.  It also features several turns that require more control.  Notice there are two different endings for this course.  Little wrinkles I encountered with Belle:  1 to 2 is not a given.  Keeping the turn to #3 reasonably tight.  Jumping 5 from the correct side.  Moving quickly enough to reach the landing side of 16 before Belle exits the tunnel.  (I've only run this one ending at the tire so far.)

No comments:

Post a Comment