Sunday, August 14, 2011

On/off drill at Cheltenham

Today, Laddie & I drove to Cheltenham. Temps were mild, in the high 60s, but we were training in a driving rain.

I found a perfect spot for our On/off drill.  Rather than bothering with an LP, which would have involved a lot of driving to get to, I just tossed four white bumpers to the far shore. I then ran Laddie to each of them, alternating between an open line between two points (and between two decoys), and a line across the point on the right.

With respect to what side I was running Laddie from, during the last three sessions, I've also taken to running him on the inside if he's to cross the point, on the outside if he's to bypass it.  I recognize this is a temporary measure since it often won't provide enough information in advanced blinds with multiple points, but since our immediate goal is to develop a habit of running water blinds involving points with no nerves/yelping, it seems like a reasonable addition for now.

Laddie ran all four sight blinds perfectly, without any need for a whistle.  Yay!

Is he starting to understand some approximation of "go straight"? Well, here's an interesting data point:

On the fourth run of the blind, the second across the point, Laddie took a somewhat fat initial line, as though he were planning to bypass the point.  Under ordinary circumstances, I would have blown a WS and cast him on angle back to the point.  But I decided to watch for awhile and see what he would do.

The answer: As he got even with the point, he suddenly veered right.  Lightly prancing across the end of the point, he then swung left again and leapt into the water directly toward the final bumper.  Wow, I thought, what an interesting way to run that line.

I recognize that that wasn't necessarily a perfect approach.  If the requirement were a keyhole off the end of the point, I'd want him approaching the point from the inside, not the outside.

But in terms of Laddie running a confident, non-yelping water blind with a point, apparently figuring out some way to know whether or not to touch the point without needing to be handled, I felt this was excellent progress.

While we were there, we also ran a few fun, somewhat challenging poorman water marks, complete with pistol, to help keep up Laddie's motivation for the training game.

No comments:

[Note that entries are displayed from newest to oldest.]