Thursday, April 22, 2010

Land and Water

Rolling Ridge

Rolling Ridge is a new development about ten minutes from home. We've trained there often before over the years, taking advantage of the rolling hills, large hillsides, an abandoned homestead with old trees, outbuildings, etc., and an irregular-shaped ditch that's usually dry. Today, I discovered another feature, a sediment pond that in the past did not seem suitable for training — too shallow, too muddy — but now seems to have normal pond water and swim depth in places. Its not a technical pond — no peninsulas — but the edges seem well suited to shoreline de-cheating.

Since Lumi has her SH now, and I'm only running her for her own entertainment, I decided not to swim her till her allergies start to calm down. I don't know that they have anything to do with the water, but I'd rather keep variables to a minimum.

SERIES A. Double land blind with poison bird (Laddie)

Series A started with a 130-yard blind (OD) to the left. Next, I used a Bumper Boy to "throw" a PB mark on the right, left to right at 60 yards. While the PB remained in place, I ran Laddie on a 290-yard blind (OD) down the middle. After Laddie returned with that blind, I sent him to pick up the PB.

The line to the 130-yard blind passed a hedgerow on the left, then an outbuilding on the right, and crossed a variety of low ridges and shallow depressions along the way. The blind ended on a mound. The line to the 60-yard mark was diagonally up a steep, grassy slope, then over the ridge and part way down the other side. The line to the 290-yard crossed many terrain changes, including a muddy section, and passed many trees, stakes, and other diversions. The greatest diversion turned out to be the fact that a swale veered off to the right and then uphill, creating suction for Laddie to try to follow that route rather than continuing diagonally down the slope he was on, heading into an area with several small trees and visually less open, when he reached that diversion.

SERIES B. Land blind with poison bird (Lumi)

Series B, for Lumi, was made up of the outer retrieves from Series A. First I launched the Bumper Boy. Then, while the training dummy remained fallen, I ran Lumi on the 130-yard blind. Finally, I sent her to pick up the dummy from the Bumper Boy.

SERIES C. Land blind (Laddie)

Series C was a 310-yard blind (OD) diagonally across a trench, diagonally over a steep, low rise, and amongst trees and yard debris. The blind was planted beside the wall of a small out-building.

SERIES D. Shoreline de-cheating (Laddie)

Series D was a series of about ten retrieves along various curved edges of the pond, requiring him to enter the water at a very sharp angle, swim straight along the edge as it curved slightly away from him and then toward him again, and arrive 40-50 yards later at an OD planted at water's edge on the other side of the swim.

Laddie had the most difficulty with one particular stretch where he had to swim thru a 5-yard keyhole formed by the shoreline on the right and a cylindrical metal pond-management device on the left. We practiced the most on this stretch, but Laddie never did get fluent at swimming thru the keyhole. I plan to return there and work with him on it more until he is fluent with it.

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