Monday, November 14, 2011

Jumpers Course Observations

This is the Jumpers course from Sunday's USDAA trial.
When I walked this course, I realized if I turned too soon toward #8, I would probably pull Belle off of #7.  I thought #10 was an attractive off-course, so I wanted to be sure I slowed up as I approached #8 to indicate the turn.  As I discovered when I was bar setting on this side of the ring, #10 was not a viable off-course.  The approach to #9 was shaped at 5 and 6 and the faster the dog was traveling the further it arced left over #8, placing #9 directly in his path.  That said, too much speed in the 8-10 sequence brought down many a bar (and in some instances the entire jump).

The most interesting part of this course was 11-15.  If you ran too hard at the tunnel, your dog might very well come around the right wing of #12 by the time he turned.  Also, there was the question of how to handle the turn from 13 to 14.  The most popular choice was a front cross between 12 and 13, wrap right around 13 and then pull the dog into the gap for 14.  Then run as fast as possible with your dog on your left for the close.

The most elegant solution was to call your dog out of the tunnel without changing sides, send him over #13 and rear cross.  It made for a very smooth line to #14.  The only danger was that if you began the rear cross before the dog was committed to jumping, you stood a good chance of pulling him off the jump.  

One person opted to take her dog over #13 on her right and do a Ketschker at #14.  It was quite cool, and alas, still beyond my abilities as a handler.

Almost everyone wrapped their dog around the right wing of #13, but a few chose to wrap left.  Wrapping either way got the dog to #14, but by and large wrapping left proved to be an unfortunate choice further down the line. 

 If the handler wrapped her dog left at #13, and chose to stay on her dog's right at 14 and 15, his path was shaped toward #6 and opened up the possibility of jumping #16 from the wrong direction.


Performing a front cross at the lower wing of #14 produced a better line to 15-17, but called for lead changes before 18 and 19.  The handler either had to keep up or or be able to accomplish the lead changes from behind.

Wrapping your dog right and pulling him in to take #14, sets him up on a good line to finish with no lead changes required.  The handler (X) remains on the dog's right.

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