First, we worked on this way too long, even considering that 75% of the time was spent playing between attempts.
Second, I failed to make the challenges simple enough for Willie to succeed after he failed two times.
Third, there were too many challenges embedded into this sequence:
- The tunnel entrance at 2 calls for collection. I should have changed the location of 1.
- The 270 at 3/4 is a wee might strange, so I have to have Willie on my right. However, even having him on my right is no guarantee of success. I should have used winged jumps for 3 and 4 and reset them to maintain the 270.
- When we got as far as 5, more often than not, Willie ran by it on the left. Should have ended the sequence at 5 so I didn't have to worry about the turn to 6.
- I realized Willie was looking at me instead of the first jump when I lead out. I have to remember to wait until he looks at the first obstacle before releasing him to run.
This morning, I set up this simple sequence (white circles) to work on Willie's ability to remain committed to the tunnel entrance I indicate while I move into position for a FC between 3 and 4. I also made sure not to release him until he was looking at the first jump. Once Willie was comfortable with my lateral movement at the tunnel, we tried the original opening (black circles) which had given us so much trouble.
Yesterday, I had tried both a lead out pivot and and serpentine handling for the opening. After trying both with Belle, I decided serpentine handling was a better choice for us since it gave me a chance to cue some collection as Willie makes the turn into the tunnel.
When time allows, we will tackle the 270 problem. Also, we will be doing a lot more work with wingless jumps so that Willie can develop a better understanding of what his job is in relationship to a jump.