Thursday, May 3, 2012

Last Class for a While

Jonah and I are going to take a session off from group classes so we can have some private lessons to get more repetitions in on the dogwalk.  That meant it was our last group session for a while.  Sad.  I like our class.

The first course had some nice challenges.  Nothing too bad, but good areas to work on tightening lines, etc.  The first tough spot was pulling him through a gap between two jumps that were about 10' apart.  I called his name, and he was right with me.  No problem.  Then there was a discrimination, taking the tunnel, and then out of the tunnel a 180 turn back to the A-frame.  The discrimination was no problem, but I worry about those turns to the A-frame because I'm afraid he won't get enough momentum to do his contact correctly.  He didn't seem to have any trouble with it, though.  His turn from the tunnel to the A-frame was nice and he was at least 6" into the yellow on the down contact.  The next tricky spot was  a blind at the end of the weaves with a funny angle jump to tunnel.  The blind wasn't a problem, but he tapped the bar on the jump.  It didn't fall, but Grace said I was over handling it, emphasizing the turn to the tunnel when he would have seen the tunnel anyway without me turning my body so much.  I think she's right.  I wouldn't have noticed that myself.  The course's final jump line had some funny angles but he nailed them without any trouble.  It was a really nice run, fast and clean.

The second course was a bit trickier.  We got through it clean as well, but some spots weren't especially pretty.  Here's the first spot that I screwed up:

The jump at 2 was not something you could take for granted.  I either had to FC on landing side of 2 or BC the tunnel, picking him up on my left for 2-3.  I tried both ways at various points, but I preferred the BC.  Then I really wanted to push myself and see if I could get a blind or front in between 3 and 4.  I did.  They were both ugly.  Since I had to wait a second to support 2, I was then late for the cross between 3 and 4.  Sorry buddy.  I also tried it with a RC on the flat after 4.  That worked, but it definitely slowed him down.  I never had a handling of this line that I loved.  The rear was definitely the safe option.  I might set it up again some time and see if I can't get a good blind in.

Here was the second icky area (look familiar?  these obstacles just didn't like us):

We only got to run this segment once.  I ran it as a serp from 1 to 4, and then put a FC between 4 and 5.  1 to 2 worked nicely, but 2 to 3 was a little funny.  He jumped bigger over 2 than I would have liked, so I had to call pretty hard to avoid the backside of 3.  Then my FC between 4 and 5 was late.  I should have just reared 5.  I guess I could have tried to put a FC between 2 and 3 and then another on the landing side of 3, but I think the serp was a better option--I just wish we had executed it better.  I guess I really should set this up and practice.

At the end of class Grace had us run the sequence in the first map a few more times and she timed it for us.  We were always within .1 second, and since it was timed by hand I don't know that I figured out any handling method was really better than another, but it was good to at least know we're pretty consistent :).  I'd love to do more timing.  It's fun to compete with ourselves!

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