Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Triples, Triples, Triples
Oaks Area 2
Today was a dreary, overcast day with temps in mid-50s and wind calm.
I hoped today to reap the rewards of yesterday's session. My objective today was to transition Laddie from easy, poorman triples and higher multiples to legitimate Hunt Test triples, and find out whether he still requires long hunts on the final memory-bird.
SERIES A. Poorman triple
These easy marks were 50-40-30 yards in an xmas-tree configuration.
SERIES B. Poorman triple
These easy marks were 70-55-40 yards in an xmas-tree configuration.
SERIES C. Poorman quintuple
These easy marks were 80-70-60-50-40 yards scattered over the field, with the middle mark the longest.
NOTES ON THE POORMAN SERIES
For all of Series A, B, and C, Laddie needed only one hunt, the #4 bird (second picked up) under the boughs of a tree and in line with a longer fall. That was a short hunt.
SERIES D, E, and F. Land triples
The next three series were similar to one another, each a triple run with two BBs and an RL.
Series D was 80-60-40 yards. Laddie nailed all three marks. This was a watershed, given Laddie's long string of similar triples before yesterday's session of poorman multiples in which he had needed a long hunt on the final memory-bird of one series after another for several days.
Series E was 110-70-50 yards. After picking up the marks, Laddie also ran a 120-yard keyhole blind to the left of the marks and a 540-yard blind, with a keyhole at 450 yards. On the marks, Laddie nailed the 50-yard mark, then overran the 70-yard mark. He had taken a good line, but I think he was trying to switch to the long mark before I handled him back (with one cast) to the mark I'd sent him to. Ordinarily, I wouldn't be happy with a switch, but in this case, I think it represented a good sign, that Laddie was keeping the final, first-thrown memory-bird in mind while running the later-thrown marks. After racing back (as always) with the second pick-up, Laddie flat nailed the final memory bird, which was on the same line as the go-bird, adding a small difficulty factor.
Series F was a wide triple at 90-70-30 yards. Laddie nailed every mark. I especially liked the way he came back from #2 and come to heel locked in on line to #1. Laddie automatically locking in on the next bird upon his return from a retrieve has always been a hallmark of his doubles, including interrupted doubles, and I hope to see that behavior now applied to triples, quads, and quints as well.
We had a little time in the afternoon so I drove Laddie over to the hilly fields at Rolling Ridge, as another incremental increase in criteria after this morning's work on the flat fields at Oaks Area 2. I was pleased to see that someone has mowed the Rolling Ridge fields. They still have rough, uneven footing, but the weeds are cut and Laddie didn't come back from his retrieves covered with sticky hitchhikers.
SERIES G. Land triple with two blinds
For Series G, I reverted to the kind of set-ups with which I had begun our Master-test preparation: an HT-scale triple and two difficult blinds.
SERIES H. Land triple
For Series H, I used a configuration that Laddie has had trouble with in the past, a long mark and a hip-pocket double.
NOTES ON TODAY'S HILLY SET-UPS
For Series G and H, Laddie pinned every mark, with great initial lines on every bird. A diagonal crossing of the large, dry ditch got Laddie off line on the long memory-bird of both series, but once he got level with the fall, he turned and ran directly to the fall without a hunt. I'd rather Laddie hadn't partially squared the ditch, but at more than 100 yards, I felt he still ran these marks well.