Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Little Distance Goes a Long Way

After enjoying several weeks of below normal temps, Mother Nature turned on us and it is hot, hot, hot!  In case I've never mentioned it before, I don't particularly care for hot weather.  I set up a course last week and then I lost interest in moving the equipment around for a new course.  I finally found a course that motivated me to get up early to beat the heat.  Here's the course:

The course is from the Buenos Aires Regionals and was designed by Rodrigo P. Balsells.  I thought it presented enough challenges to make setting it up worthwhile, plus I can see other courses embedded in it so I can leave it up for a while.

I made a mistake in walking the course and planned for #5 in the wrong direction.  However, even taking it from the wrong side, you have to make sure your dog is committed to the correct end of the tunnel before you can take off for the backside at #8.  I assumed #13 was to be taken from the numbered side which produces two threadles. 

I anticipated that getting Belle to the backside of #8 and #20 would be my biggest challenges.  However,  I was totally blindsided by the difficulties we encountered turning from #14 to the long jump!  After muddling through that using a number of different commands, I decided to try running 12-16 using some distance.  It certainly couldn't be any worse.  Remaining somewhat removed from the obstacles would remove the acceleration cues I was inadvertently giving while trying to get to the obstacles.  It would also allow me to stand in a spot where Belle could see me as she exited the #14 tunnel, and it would enable me to be further downstream for the run to the backside of #20.

Tomorrow, we'll give this course another go with the following changes:
  • take #5 from the side indicated
  • run 12-14 as a serpentine
  • add an extra loop (14,18,14) to see if Belle is pattern trained in regard to the turn to the long jump
First Day:

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