Thursday, April 16, 2015
Preparation for trial
Today Laddie and I trained at two properties, an hour apart and both an hour or more from home. The weather was variable between sunny and overcast, with temps in the 50s and 60s, and a light wind.
First, I ran Laddie on three tune-up blinds. On the first one, I used Walk Outs for slow sits. The rest of his sits were fine.
Next we trained with a group, running an easy land double and a land blind behind the short gun. Still training with the group, we then ran two tight land blinds described by the other trainers, including a pro, as Am blinds. They were apparently a bit more difficult than usual because of a headwind, but Laddie ran them well. The pro said he'd be called back if he ran those blinds in an Am. That was discounting one half Walk Out for a slow sit as we began the series. It was Laddie's last slow sit of the day, with scores of additional whistles.
He also had no vocalizing on land nor on easy water. We did run one difficult setup that included over one point and past another, a lot of noisy Canada geese, a long swim, and a final uphill land segment. Though we tried it five times, he could never get off the first point without vocalizing, and I finally let him finish the long swim, the run uphill, and the retrieve even though he vocalized as he took the cast into the water. We'll work on vocalizing again after the weekend.
That difficult water blind was mixed in with hours of other work, including other water blinds that involved going over a point without vocalizing, and several keyhole land blinds that in some cases first required Laddie to go over the slope of a mound. Combining a mound with a keyhole required tight sits with precision casting, a valuable combination of skills for both of us to work on.
Laddie did a lot of good work today. It was enjoyable and satisfying for me and I hope for him. Except for some planned tune-up land blinds tomorrow, I think we're done with our preparation for Saturday's qual.