Saturday, May 16, 2015

Three pairs of marks and blinds

Continuing to introduce Laddie back to work after his injuries, but unfortunately in temps a bit hotter than ideal, today I picked up an assistant and we trained on the abandoned golf course I've found not far from home. Countless setups are available there, with lots of hills, trees, and other obstacles and factors, and the grounds have not been mowed in some time so the cover is more like a field training property than a golf course. The only problem is that I haven't found a place that's far enough from housing where I'd feel comfortable with us using a blank pistol, so I had my assistant call out hey-hey-hey instead of firing a shot when throwing.

All Laddie's retrieves were in the range of 100-200y. We ran them in three pairs, each pair in a different location and orientation on the field. Each pair consisted of a land blind and somewhat shorter thrown mark, with a tight angle between the two.

The first mark was thrown RTL from a position slightly left of the line to the blind, and I had Laddie run the blind after the mark was thrown, but before sending him to pick the mark up, so the mark functioned as a poison bird. I had the gunner retire while Laddie was returning with the blind.

The second mark was thrown RTL from a position on the right of the line to the blind, and again I had Laddie run the blind after the mark was thrown, so he had to run quite near the thrown bumper on his way to picking up the blind.

For the third series, I had Laddie run the blind first. Then the gunner, standing to the right of the line to the blind, threw the bumper RTL behind a section of shrubs that I first made sure were safe for Laddie to run thru. I then threw a bumper to the side and while Laddie was picking that up, I had the gunner retire. Then Laddie ran the mark. The line to the mark was a little to the right of the line to the blind.

In the heat, and with little work the last several weeks, Laddie's tongue was hanging out and I felt it was time to stop. His whistle sits had been good, none requiring a Walk Out, and he'd had no difficulty remembering the marks, whether the gunner was out or retired. In addition, he seemed to have no difficulty with being asked to run the blinds on a line close to the thrower (behind the thrower or in front of her) and while a mark was down nearby, and he took good casts without vocalizing. I felt it was a good session helping to prepare for our next trip, a three day seminar 400 miles from here beginning next Wednesday.

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