With freezing temps overnight this week, I still find it too cold to train in water, despite Laddie being entered in a trial next weekend. But we went out with three assistants and ran two land triples.
Conditions: bright sunlight but cold and breezy. Terrain: rolling hills, large patches of high but sparse grass. Dirt road crossings on every mark, various angles, including suction to run on or along the road on two of the marks.
Series A. Land triple with center gun retired
First mark was on the left, LTR from the edge of the road into a large patch of high cover at 270y. Second mark was in the center, RTL on an angle back at 190y. Throw was along edge of a large patch of high cover, so that the gunner (retired) was inside the patch, and the fall was also well inside the patch. Third mark was on the right, thrown by a prominent gun LTR into a patch of high cover at 60y.
Some of the challenges:
- Line mechanics: Though go-bird thrown to right, had to run Laddie on my left so that I could block him from turning too far after the first throw and never seeing the center throw.
- Memory-birds were converging throws.
- Center gun was retired, while long gun stayed out, increasing risk of confusion and a pop, or a switch if dog needed to hunt the second mark.
- Easiest trip to long gun would have been to run along the road to the gunner, then cut right to the fall, rather than take a straight line on a sharp diagonal across the road and into high cover.
How Laddie did:
- Watched all the throws
- Nailed right mark
- Took good line to center mark well back in high cover, but then needed hunt. Though hunt took Laddie toward gunner on left at one point, he turned back to the center fall, never switching or popping (yay)
- Nailed left mark, including sharp diagonal road crossing and angle entry into cover
Series B. Indent land triple with center gun retired
First mark was on the left, thrown LTR behind high cover at 290y. Second mark was in the center, thrown RTL into high cover at 70y. Third mark was on the right, thrown RTL behind large patch of high cover at 240y.
- Nearly 180 degrees from first to third throw, with center mark halfway, unusually wide angles for us
- Line mechanics again: This time the risk would be that Laddie would keep his gaze on the second throw and never see the third throw, so although go-bird was thrown to left, I ran Laddie on my right so I could visually push him, if necessary, to the go-bird
- Another risk was that he would "lie", that is, take an initial line to the go-bird but then veer over to the center bird
- Easiest trip to go-bird would have been to run along road to gunner, then turn left to the fall, whereas desirable straight trip was on a sharp angle across road and into high cover. This was a mirror image of the long memory-bird in Series A.
- Converging memory-birds probably not too confusing because of wide angles, but center bird the shortest and retired, still a potentially confusing configuration
- View of long memory-bird was thru branches of a small tree 50y out, making gunner a bit difficult to find
- Trip to long memory-bird included run thru cleared area, then entry into patch of cover and small trees. Would have been easiest to cheat around that last patch of cover.
How Laddie did: Watched all the throws, nailed every mark, not succumbing to any of the challenges mentioned above.
A good day of work.