Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Don't Be Afraid to Ignore the Line

Finally, the snow has melted again, and I was able to set up a new Jumpers course for distance practice.  Here's the course I chose:

When I finished setting up the course, I decided it would be a long time before we could tackle a course like this in a trial setting--like probably never :-)  From the bonus line, it just looks like a sea of hoops, so I had to work extra hard to memorize the course from my vantage point behind the bonus line.  Then I had to look at the course from Belle's point of view.  I did a little bit of tweaking to make hoops 18/5 and 15 more visible to Belle.  I decided the hardest spot would be the turn from 7 to 8--I knew Belle would develop lot of speed before she got to 7 and the off-course hoop at 15 would be the next logical obstacle.

Because of the difficulty of the turn from 7 to 8, I decided to try handling the course from the 70-foot line first.  As I suspected, it took some thinking and some work to figure out how to best handle the turn.  What seemed to work best was a combination of Belle's name and "wrap" given as she approaches hoop 7 and my sharp movement toward my right.

I thought getting from 14 to 15 might also present a problem, since 15 really isn't in Belle's line of sight when I'm 40-50 feet away.  However, Belle had no problem finding that particular hoop.

This course lends itself beautifully to handling from a very small area in the vicinity of  (75,40) point.  I tried it with Dusty, and was very pleased with how well he did.  He even stopped head-checking when I started to urge him on with the "whishing" noise I use when Belle is weaving.

No comments:

Post a Comment