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Discussion Starter #1
We ran two courses in class last night. The first one was really fun- lots of difficult challenges. We were also the first team to run and as such I was busy trying to figure out my handling for the course; I forgot to ask someone to take video. Pimg ran the course quite fast, clean, and was just really reading my cues well. She's really come a long way!

I did get video of the much easier second course. It's funny because I walked the course and told my classmates, "Ah, this course is no fun; it's so straight!" They didn't let me down in heckling me when we messed up... :D The first time, I simply forgot the course, and the second time I didn't wait for commitment into the tunnel. Minor screw ups...

I'm also learning about controlling my speed through a course. I tend to just go flat out through the whole thing. I'm learning about "F1 Handling" though (that's what I'm calling it). Even F1 racers hit the brakes sometimes. I'm learning to control me decel and accel- that decel over one jump means acceleration to the next. When I'm running flat out, Pimg only has one speed, causing her to jump in extension more often. This is a learning curve for me. As she gets faster (in our last trial her best was 5.9yps, with a trial average of 5.3yps) I want to move faster. I'm learning that I don't have to move faster in order to get more speed out of her. In fact, when I'm conscience to decel in areas, it causes tighter jumps and our overall time is decreased.

Anyway- here's the video from class!
 

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Pimg looks like she is having so much fun doing agility. One sure way to mess up a course is to say it is easy :D.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pimg looks like she is having so much fun doing agility. One sure way to mess up a course is to say it is easy :D.
Learned that lesson quick! haha! It was an easy course though! :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The course I didn't get video of looked basically like this: (BTW- that's a post, making the #6 jump of the serp hidden to the dog until they get passed the weaves.)


Lots of fun handling options in there!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
My handling strategy here was to start with dog on right. I front crossed between 3 and 4 and sent Pimg to the weaves as dog on left. It's a hard entry for sure, but she nailed it and this allowed me to be getting out of there! Other classmates kept there dogs at dog on right for 1-4 and front crossed landing side of 4 to set a nicer entry to the weaves. It's a line I didn't really see at first and was happy to give Pimg a chance to attempt a harder entry.

Front crossed out of the weaves (now dog on right again) for the serp at 6 and 7. I actually allowed Pimg to drive towards the #9 off course since it was logical for her, and it gained a lot of speed. I was running towards the #8 entry and front crossed on the flat as she was about half way in between 7 and 9. This gave her a perfect entry to the #8 tunnel and again put me WAY ahead for the 9 - 10 - 11 pinwheel (causing Pimg to play catch up). I sent her to the a-frame as I took off to run between 12 and 14, trusting she'd get her running a-frame (which she did).

The first time through (we ran the course twice) I did a forward send to 13 which set me up for a blended blind + ketschker for 14 - 15 - 16. I really liked that! The second time through, I tried a front cross between 13 and 14 and still did the ketschker at 15. The hope was that the lack of motion (me not being in the dog's way with the blind cross) would allow me to show more decel for the ketschker. In the end, both myself and my trainer didn't think either way really provided more collection for Pimg. She's moving pretty fast either way to get to 15 and is collecting as best as she can right now. It's a little wide, but she's a lot big! :D

At any rate, this put me with dog on left for the teeter. I blind crossed the teeter (mostly for the fun of it) and finished 17 and 18 with dog on right.
 

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She looks real good!

I have been messing around a lot with blind crosses and ketchkers (sp?) with Odin. I would have loved to try a blind from the weave poles to 6. I am still having a hard time with doing a ketchker on post turns like 15 to 16, Odin is pretty consistently reading them as rear crosses. I think for him strong decel cues get much tighter turns anyways. I am certainly finding that it does create super nice lines in lots of other places though. I really liked the way you handled the last two jumps in the video, that is also a ketchker right? Sometimes I get confused lol, I need to be physically doing some of this stuff before it makes sense.

BTW super jealous of your training facility, I am so sick of training in disgusting barns!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hmm- blind from weaves to 6? That's not one I personally would try. There's no question that I've come around to embracing blind crosses. That said, I try to do them only when I feel they are "appropriate." For me, that means that the dog should have one and only one obstacle choice to make. In the case of the weaves, there is a very clear choice to go to the a-frame or tunnel, and a not-so-clear choice to turn into that #6 wing jump (especially with the post in the way!). So that is why I would not attempt a blind cross here.

That said- another option would definitely be to post turn (dog on left) from the weaves to the #6 jump, layering the actually building's post. You could then blind cross and pick them up for the #7. AgilityNerd has featured a few articles lately on using blinds for the second part of serps. In fact, MRL posted a link to that article not long ago. For me though, 1) Pimg simply doesn't read blinds well like this- she tries to squeeze between the me and the stantion. It just doesn't work for us. And 2) the off course #13 would be enough for me to not take this option as again- the blind would cause more than one obstacle to be considered. This breaks my rule of when to blind cross. You could argue that your motion and position (towards the landing side of #7) as well as your verbal (name call) cues could provided the needed clarity... That's for you to choose...

Notice in the video when we went from the chute, to the jump, to the tunnel. This is an "appropriate" place to blind in my opinion because after the jump there is one and only one choice- the tunnel. (Unless of course I pull her off early, which is an entirely different issue.) I would NOT blind cross between the chute and the jump because the tire would be considered an off course and provide Pimg a choice of obstacles (tire or jump). So generally I find that blind crossing "one obstacle ahead" usual provides a lot of clarification.

Yep- the last two obsticales in the video were handled with a ketschker turn. Though it could be argued that the first time I used a Jaakko turn since I sent her across my body with the hand closest to her (this was intentional). The second time we did it was without question a ketschker.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's what I'm talking about with crossing "one obstacle ahead" as well as my rule about not blind crossing when it would create obstacle choices.


On the left is an example of blind crossing between the chute and the jump (on the way to the tunnel). With this, the first thing the dog sees when exiting the chute is the tire, as well as your forward motion in that direction. So the dog's path is going to be wide (and the potential for the dog to take the tire).

On the right hand side, you can see the choice to cross "one jump ahead" both pulls the dog's line way tighter as well as eliminates any confusion about if the dog should take the tire or not.

To be clear, I don't believe this "one jump ahead" concept is mine at all. I definitely read it somewhere, but I can't place it. When I was really reading up on handling systems, I bought a bunch of CleanRun back issues. Maybe I saw it in there... Dunno.

Just saying- the concept has really worked well for us and tightens the line dramatically. When I'm at a trial and see people do things like the left side (or even just front crossing between the chute and jump) I just don't understand the choice, personally. I want to ensure the dog's line is as tight as possible, as wide turns eat up SO MUCH time!
 

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I certainly see what you mean, I think the idea of crossing after he chute comes from the derrett system(front cross obviously.) I'm finding that there are places that make sense for Odin and I to use a blind and then there are places that just don't make sense for us. I think a lot of it comes down to the individual team. I do like the blind on the landing side of 4 as long as I can get far enough ahead, Odin has a huge stride and tends to land very far from the jump so I always have to take that into consideration. When I do the blind on straightaways he doesn't collect at all, like he would if I front cross, this makes it harder for me to get far enough ahead.

As for the weave poles to 6 I think the blind would work for us, in person though that pole may make me change my mind. I did a similar blind cross to that in class on Monday, there weren't as many options as in this course. When I did it the trainer made a "shouldn't have done that" noise lol. But it worked great for us, I tried it with a front and didn't like it nearly as much. I definitley would not attemt a post turn/blind between 6 and 7, that would not work for me and odin. I just got back from working the dogs and I am having so much fun with all this fancy crap lol!
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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You are both doing so well. Love that facility and clearly great instructors. Lucky you!

:)
 
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