Thursday, August 23, 2012

Biting Off More Than We Can Chew?

This is the same Jumpers course that I blogged about in my previous post, except now I want to talk about it from the bonus line.

As I already mentioned, the spacing between some of the jumps is huge.  It is particularly noticeable in the serpentine.  Additionally, Belle and I had a very difficult time coping with all the switches involved in getting from 3 to 6.  The serpentine became extremely loopy, and toward the end of this morning's session, poor Belle had no idea of which way to turn when I called out "switch."

I originally opted to try this from the 20-pt line so I would have more freedom of movement.  But realistically, I think that was just too far for Belle to feel comfortable shifting into the obstacle focus required in the wide open pinwheel after the handler-controlled serpentine.  By the time, I finally moved up to the 15-pt line, Belle's brain was frazzled.

Also, I caught myself repeating "switch" commands between jumps.  Logical from my point of view since I knew where the course was going.  But to a dog without the map, quite confusing.  As in "I already changed directions and she wants me to change again?  I must have made a mistake."

Eight Hours Later:   Belle and I had one last go at this course this evening.  I decided I would forget about the 20-pt bonus line and try it from the 15-pt line.  I usually rev Belle up and release her from behind the start line when we are attempting a bonus line.  However, from the 15-pt line on this course, it made more sense to take a slight lead out so I could be in position for the serpentine.  Much to my surprise, we made it through the entire course the first time, and I think I remained behind the 20-pt line for the whole thing.  Obviously our bonus line problems are mine and not Belle's.

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