Saturday, February 16, 2008

Which way is faster?

Lately I've been thinking of which way to turn Icon on course. When all things are created equal, there is probably not much difference path-wise. So in the below sequence the distance turning both ways is about the same, however the speed at which dogs do it is probably different and dependant on the skills of the dog (and handler, of course)

The benefit of turning inside is that your dog dosen't have a lead change until after he lands, however the turn is a sharper one so he would have to slow down a bit more.

Turning on the outside the dog would have a lead change before the jump but wouldn't have to slow down as much.

I plan on setting this up and taping to see which was is faster for my dogs. For the inside turn I will just handle with a pull and a front cross at the stanchion. For the outside turn I'll try handling it two ways. With a front cross on the outside of the 270 and with a serp of the 270 to the last jump.

My theory is as follows: Icon will be faster turning outside with the front cross move. We've been working on that inside turn, but I still think that at this point he will like the other direction better. I think the tunnel will be too much of a draw for him for the serp to be nice and tight. This probably means we need to work on the lateral motion cue and serp arm cue. Apollo will be faster turning inside, he has always been a good turner :). Foster will be faster watching the other dogs work.

Once the jump moves a bit to one side, the benefit of turning one direction as opposed to the other becomes more clear. My paths are a bit overly tight on the following sequence, but I think it's still pretty obvious that the shorter distance is with the inside turn. But again, the dog will need to declerate more to get that tight inside turn. I will try handling both of these paths as well.

The last turn I've been considering is something that I saw on a gamblers course at the Turlock VAST. A friend and I handled the same opening course. We went from the a-frame to the jump and back to the a-frame (unlike in the course below where it's tunnel/jump/aframe) and I took Icon the longer distance around because I didn't like how her dog hit the aframe.

However, she beat me in that course because the buzzer rang as Icon was coming down the a-frame, while she made it off and got the points. I guess it's a trade-off of safety for speed in that case. For gamblers I would choose safety every time, but for a GP finals course? I might take the shorter route.

(I hate trying to format this blog with photos on it. What a pain!)

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