Steve Schwarz, the Agility Nerd, did a Chalk Talk on this course from last weekend's IFCS Championship of the Americas. I decided to set it up and work on it for a couple of days. The biggest physical challenge for me was getting from 7 to 11 in time to indicate which side of the jump Belle was to take. I tried a rear cross in my first efforts because I didn't think I could get in either a blind cross or a front cross between 8 and 9. However, with a little bit of hustle the blind is certainly doable. Much to my surprise though, Belle turned left after #10, both after a rear cross and the blind, despite the fact I was on her right side. I must have been pressuring her line ever so slightly to get her around the wing of 11. Note to self: Run at the wing or standard when I want Belle to take a jump from the backside. Don't run at the bar and don't run at a spot 6" from the wing.
After I watched our complete run, I also watched video from the actual trial. For our next session, I wanted to do the following:
1. Do a running LO and do a FC on the landing side of #3. Worked on this, but I wasn't able to consistently get far enough ahead to do a FC between 5/6 and get 6 from the backside.
2. Don't run so fast at the gap in the threadle so I can keep moving instead of having to wait for Belle to catch up so I can push her into the gap. This one I was able to remember and do.
3. Try a BC between 8 & 9. Worked better than a RC even when I was late.
4. Be a little quicker with my FC at #12 to tighten Belle's wrap. (I don't have to get to the wing, I only have to get to the line between 12 and 13.) Not so much. By this point on the course I'm starting to suck wind :(
5. Don't outrun Belle to #19 and head toward the left wing, not the bar. Yep. And I was even able to take off for the final jump before she cleared the bar.
We ran the complete course a second time, but unfortunately I forgot to turn the camera on. The most memorable thing for me was that I got too far ahead after the triple and added a heck of a lot of extra yardage to my path. To add insult to injury, the course is uphill at that point. So maybe another thing to try would be:
6. A FC after the triple. Yeah, right. Like I could even get there in time. A well-timed RC cut my yardage and made for a nice turn into the weaves for Belle.
The video shows our "first" and final attempts on this course, plus some bloopers. The final run is almost three seconds faster, and the only substantive change in my handling of the final attempt was using a BC instead of a RC between 8 and 9. Most of the difference was due to tightening up Belle's path at the back of the course (9-15). Interestingly, she still faded left after #10, but not nearly as much as the first time. I think the only way to avoid that fade would to run faster, which is easier said than done.