Front Cross and the Handler’s Path

Last night provided an opportunity to work with a couple of my students on the sequences presented in my blog yesterday. It became an interesting discussion of the mechanics of movement. I guess working we me can be kind of predictable.

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Here’s the real question. The handler intends to do a Front Cross in the opening between jumps #2 and #3. What are the fine details of the handler’s conduct of the movement that would contribute to success?

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So here’s the handler’s Front Cross. Why did it fail? This handler immediately melts down (I’ve been working with her on that. Pick yourself up and go! I’ll tell her. Your dog doesn’t need to feel corrected every time you make a mistake)… and she asks me “Was I too slow?” No, I say, You were OOP. I love that “OOP” thing. It is Rally Obedience speak. It means “Out of Position”.

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I show my student the line that I refer to as “the first true lane”. It’s really simple actually. As I walk the course I’ll hunt down a smooth clear path alongside the two jumps I’m trying to line up. That line dictates my starting position for the Cross and my lane of movement.

This illustration shows a comparison of the handlers initial (failed) position and the new “site line” position. While we’re talking about only four feet of real estate on the floor; it is the difference between success and failure in the movement.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my latest publication the Just For Fun Agility Notebook #30 available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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