The first time I ran this course we were clean except for the last jump, where the bastard - I mean naughty dog - ran around it for a toy I dropped on the ground. Many people have been telling me to play or throw a toy at the end of a course because he tends to jump really high, head up for it. But placing the toy is a bad idea, I think. From now on if I can't have someone throw it, I won't bother. I handled 2-3 as a threadle and rear crossed 4. Because of this I was pretty far behind as he came through the tire. and I got a wide turn to the tunnel (6). The 2nd time through I handled it as a push-through and that worked much better. The wrong end of the 6 tunnel was more of an off-course potential than it appears on the map. Both Icon and Quill took it once when we didn't work it enough. I pulled from 7-8 and Sandy front crossed. The front cross worked much better. I was worried about getting into the gap at 11-12, but it was not hard and I was able to get a rather nice turn to 12 and front cross again after the 15 tunnel.
The second course was a bit more challenging, except for the weave entry, which is what I thought would be hard. From the tunnel I just called Icon to me past the jump (and they were pretty close that 7 jump coming through and let him have the weaves. Their first time through, Sandy over handled a bit and Quill had a zig-zag towards the weaves, but she still go them. Front crossing after the weaves and pulling 11-12-13 worked very well. Sandy said I should have hugged jump 11 more during that part because the first time through he had a hard look at the poles. A chop from the broad jump into the correct tunnel entrance worked well. One time through I chopped too early and Icon came through the broad jump sideways. That is definitely a weak area for us. 16-17 should be a 180 (not a threadle as marked) but I had to chop after 16 to get Icon in. I probably should have been able to do that with a pull and lateral motion, but when I tried that I got a really wide turn since he went first towards the weaves and then the chute. 17-18-19 was handled as a push-through to a rear cross. It worked really nicely. 20-21 was a threadle and required a chop as well as 21-22. The first time through I tried pulling and he read them as 270's, which is what he was trained to do.
I was started to freak out a bit about WT tryouts prior to this practice, but I feel much better now. I have downgraded my WT Tryouts goals for this year and will post about that later.
Some things to remember from this practice:
- For tight areas I need to talk to Icon constantly.
- Don't turn to early when Icon is over a broadjump!
- Icon will default to a 270 behavior, so if in doubt about the line, chop!