I think I made a step forward as a handler in today's Qual. The water blind was quite long, I'll say 180y, and the line went past a point on the left, then an island on the right.
Per Alice's recent advice, even though Laddie would be the first dog to run it other than the test dog (#1 would run later and #2 scratched), I thought about what the judges might need you see, and decided they needed to see the dog challenge the point.
So when Laddie took a line toward the point, I let him roll till he got fairly close, then stopped him and cast him around the point. I didn't mess with the island, though. I felt the judges had what they needed and kept Laddie away from the island and its surrounding shallow water, which I knew could draw a dog onto the island and from there to the back of it, putting the dog out of sight, technically "out of control", and dq.
Laddie did pop as he approached the point -- a current flaw in his work -- but otherwise I thought he did a great job on a tough water blind.