Thursday, March 22, 2012

Running A-Frame - Rear Cross

I was going to work on the third sequence from Kathy Keats' March series this morning, but since I wanted to rear cross the A-frame, I decided to work on that first.  I've never been able to successfully rear cross the A-frame with Belle.  I am extremely envious of those who can cut across the heels of their dog and the dog doesn't waiver in its path.  When I cross Belle's path, she stalls out at the top of the A-frame.

As I worked through it this morning with Belle, she not only stalled out at the apex, she began stopping at the bottom.  You can see me working through these issues in the video.  After watching this morning's video, I decided the best way to work on teaching Belle to run the A-frame while I do a rear cross is to start very close to the line I want to cross and work on increasing my lateral distance from that line.  Whether or not I want to put the time and effort into teaching it is another matter.

Ironically, when I was working on getting Belle to run the A-frame without sticking, I discovered that a blind cross between the jump and the A-frame was probably a better choice for the sequence I was planning to run.  It has the advantage of keeping me in motion and ahead of Belle.  However, I still think that being able to rear cross the contacts is something that has its place in the handler's bag of tricks, and it is a skill I would definitely want to make sure my next dog and I have.  On the other hand, this is a skill that Belle and I have managed to do without for five years, so obviously there are ways to run successfully without it.

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