Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Lead Out Edge

There are some courses that I never could begin to tackle without a lead out.  Then there are times when having the ability to lead out isn't really necessary, but it does give me an edge.  This course is one of those.
I was really struck by how widely spaced the jumps in the 3,4,5 serpentine are, and the awkwardness of the approach to #6.  I tried running on the right side of the serpentine, but that made for some very clunky rear crosses.  Additionally, I discovered that for Dusty, I couldn't slow down and send him to #6 very easily.  He just has too much handler focus and it made for a very crummy approach to #6.  Additionally, if I showed the rear cross too soon, Dusty missed #6 entirely.

I finally decided to try handling the serpentine from the left.  On my first attempt, I only lead out to about (45,60) and when I turned to do my front cross, I discovered I was in the gap between 3 and 4 and Dusty went sailing by me.  The next time, I lead out to about (50,55) so that I could more easily get to my spot on the takeoff side of #4.  It worked like a charm.  Plus, without any conscious thought on my part, I kept moving with Dusty toward #6 and didn't do my rear cross until he was committed to the jump.

Belle and I spent most of our time working on the bonus line, which didn't go all that well for us.  Since I wanted to end on a successful note with her, I decided to run with her.  Since she was tired from all her running, I decided to more or less start with her, which meant I had to handle the serpentine from the right side.  In the video, you can see that Belle loses ground to Dusty in the serpentine and doesn't quite manage to make it up by the end of the course.  (Since she doesn't suffer from excessive handler focus, the rear cross at #6 was basically a non-factor for her.)

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