Choices in Turning Direction ~ 2 of 2

On Saturday in Boise it got up to about 80˚. It was a beautiful day in an absolutely gorgeous high desert haven. On Sunday it got down to about 60˚ and got overcast with a blustery wind. It rained all night on Sunday; and by Monday morning it was dreadful cold with mushy snow. Naturally I hadn’t packed any winter gear… it is May, after all.

But still Boise gives you that grand big sky feeling like you’re standing on the top of the world. I wonder if the folks up there feel the majesty of the amazingly beautiful place they live.

Back to the Riddle of Turning Direction

In the Sunday Masters Jumpers course the turning direction riddle comes mid-course. It begins with the serpentine #7-8-9, into the transition #10-11-12. Jump #9 is the decision jump.

Given the direction of approach a left turn is the natural turning direction.

In terms of risk turning to the right offers three wrong course options (remembering to include the back-jump potential). Turning to the left there’s nothing but blue skies.

The better consequential path is almost certainly a turn to the right. The dog, being turned neatly, can be released into a long straight line up to the pipe tunnel at #12. Turning to the left is a zig-zagging adventure fraught with peril.

Which direction is accommodated by the skills of the dog and handler team?  For the dog turning right: The handler probably should be able to draw the dog in a tight wrapping post to give a little right-leaning influence for the send to the tunnel. The handler could also put the dog on right with a serpentine Front Cross. Though he’ll have to be careful not to be too flat-footed as the dog draws past. Otherwise the dog might very well wrap back to the left going forward and spoil the send to the tunnel.

For the dog turning left: if the handler comes through this turn with dog on right, it’s going to be ugly and wobbly and unmanageable (most likely). With dog on left it will be a sweeter turn but might very well leave the handler OOP for downstream control and pressure.

I do apologize if the skills analysis seems cryptic. When speaking of dog and handler skills I’ve afraid I’ve got my own language these days.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

If 100 handlers and dogs ran the jumpers course above… which would be the more successful turning direction at jump #9?


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The Country Dream web store is up and running.


One Response to “Choices in Turning Direction ~ 2 of 2”

  1. Greg Says:

    I love these challenges, when given a choice as to which way to turn on course. Greg Derrett has a good discussion on this on one of his recent DVD’s, where he broke it down and did timings to show just how much of a difference a wrong decision can make. He even gives a point system to help you decide which way is best, which I have used on course to help make these decisions.
    Here, the right turn off #9 looks to be the obvious best line, but I dont like the position of the wing #10, so it appears that it would be challenging to manage the right turn off #9 and be in position for the next 2 obstacles. Also turning against the dogs natural line is going to be a little slower initially. For my dog, I am pretty sure I would have him turn left, and I would use my body to wrap him around me, thereby straightening that line and not going zig-zag. Might not be possible with a really fast dog, but my long legs let me get there, so that’s probably what I would do. I may have to set this up and try it both ways.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: