Saturday, November 9, 2013

They Call It a Dummy Jump for a Reason

I set up this modified Novice JWW course (the weaves were at #10) for Willie today.  I realized the distances between obstacles was pretty big just looking at the course map, but once the course was set, the distances looked really huge.

I didn't think Willie had enough distance skill for me to send him out to 3 and 4 while I moved into position for a FC between 5 and 6, so I tried a blind cross which Willie didn't understand.  Then I tried sending him out on his own so I could do a FC, and he did just fine!

Our next problem was the #11 jump.  When Willie exited the tunnel, he drifted toward me and missed the jump.  I would have preferred placing my FC between 13/14, but the only solution for this problem was for me to move in closer and do my FC between 12/13.

Our final problem was getting from 15 to 16.  (I added the red dummy jump to make a box when I set up the course.  Not one of my better ideas.)  Willie repeatedly hit the bar at #15, and just didn't understand he was to go straight through the box.  Later I had Belle try it, and much to my dismay I discovered that adding the dummy jump was a really poor idea since even she had trouble getting from 15 to 16.  I removed the dummy jump and found Belle could complete the course when I used either handler path shown at the left.  Willie still had trouble driving through in a straight line, so obviously we will have to work on this some more.

Well, at least I have some training ideas for this week:
  • Work on getting RC and blind cross at 5/6.
  • Work on increasing lateral distance so I can do a FC between 13/14.
  • Work on driving from 15 to 16 in a straight line.
  • It would be a good idea to not use bars when introducing Willie to a full course.  There's enough new stuff going on that we shouldn't have to stress over knocked bars.
  • Keep working on obstacle focus!!!

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