Here's the course set up with three sequences. The set up is not completely accurate, but it gives you a general idea. I downloaded a free trial of Course Designer 3 and have been having SO much fun with it. This set up was inspired by part of a CPE Level 1 sequence that I found somewhere on the net - for the life of me, I can't remember where!
And, of course, the accompanying video, with several explanations to follow.
This was the sequence originally inspired by the previously mentioned CPE course. I liked it because it was long and narrow, just like the space with which I have to work. The tunnel was purposely curved outwards - I wanted to work on "strange" directional stuff in to and out of the tunnels after last week's confusion at class. The green sequence was very short and straightforward.
At one point, I tried a three jump lead out and had some pretty cool results - a lot of speed from Marge! The front cross between 4 and 5 wasn't necessary for these 6 obstacles, but was something I would have needed to do if there was room for another jump after the tunnel. I considered it good practice.
What fun this course was! Again, the jump-tunnel opening was intentional, as the tunnel wasn't the obvious next obstacle for Marge and forced her to watch my handling and position. There was a front cross in between 5 and 6, I don't know how well the video shows it. Going from tunnel 7 to jump 8 was pretty cool, too. I tried to use my position, especially my shoulders, to tell Marge where to go. We ran it correctly every time we did it, so I think that's a good sign.
The 180 was pretty tricky since there was another jump so close to it.. but I managed by bringing up my other arm and keeping her focused on me. (I noticed that this isn't a popular handling style. It's how I was taught, but I very seldom see people use it. I wonder if I'm doing it correctly.)
I didn't necessarily have to front cross to get her from tunnel 11 to jump 12, but it made more sense for me to run up there and cross because of the way I had the jump angled. I think it worked and made it clearer for Marge.
This, I thought, was the hardest sequence that I thought up. I built on what I did in the blue sequence and had Marge take two jumps before having to change direction and go into the tunnel. It really wasn't as challenging as I thought it would be.
I'm still not sure WHAT I did in between jumps 4, 5 and 6. That was not how I originally intended to handle it, but it kind of just worked out that way. I feel like my arms were in all the wrong places! The back cross into the tunnel (though it was more like a push) was pretty cool, too. All those back crosses on the flat that I practiced after my very first night of agility class back in April seemed to have paid off.
All in all, it was another learning experience. I'm no good at setting up courses and the handling gets harder when the course is so tight, so I think the fact that I ran all three courses that I set up was an accomplishment in itself!
We did work on some other things, too. I'm trying to figure out how to handle threadles, but, for the life of me, can't learn to put it into motion. That'll have to be a topic for a future private lesson with my teacher.
Something really cool that we did was the beginnings of bounce jumping (for those who don't do agility, bounce jumping is when the dog doesn't take a full stride in between two jumps - supposed to help gain strength). These jumps proved to be too close together at first (I don't have any way to measure) and Marge was straining herself, so I spread them out a bit and we had some fun. I started off at 12", and, by the end of the session, was up to 16". Marge even took it upon herself to do a bounce when we were working a 270 - at full jump height! Pretty cool!
Marge invented her own course, too, jumping over the tunnel when I asked her to come. By sheer luck, Louie got a picture of it (too bad I'm in it). Silly dog!
While we were cleaning up and putting away equipment, she spotted my high-value treat stash of cold-cut turkey. When we came back, we found the entire bag empty!
Oh well, she earned it. We did a whole lot yesterday. Besides, how can I be mad when I've got a dog with such a happy, innocent smile?