I felt a little badly that my last post was all about Encore while Feature had a great weekend at Canada Cup herself. So to alleviate some guilt, I had to post Feature’s run for you all as well. Just so you know this isn’t just some narcissistic indulgence, I decided to set up the video as a teaching module for everyone. I have added a slow motion view of both runs. Since I don’t have any fancy software that I can do an overlay you have to go back and forth watching each run. But if you do, I think you can pick out a couple of key differences.
Thanks to Susan Royakkers for sending me the course map so I could post it here and thanks to Roger Pierre Cote for an awesome course. For some reason I could only post it this size or super huge (which meant it over lapped everything on my blog).
For your own fun & educaton I would reccomend you watch the video first without reading the rest of my post, pick out what you see are the differences in the dogs or my handling and then read my comments.
Here are some of the things I noticed watching the slo-mo
* Feature in 26″ being a much younger dog (26 months vs 5 years of Encore) is just a hair late in reading and reacting to my handling cues. Thus she isn’t quite as fluid. Going from 3-4 she collects a bit late which means she turns a bit wider which means I have to travel further up 4 in order to cross her line and cue that rear cross.
* Feature having a much bigger body really has to work hard for that finesse work of the push through but she does it very well. Again though reading the serp cue a bit late therefore running into the wing of 9 (also I think she slipped a bit there).
* My front cross for Feature between 12-13 was a tad late as I really expect her (who loves to bounce everything) to bounce this since Encore had.
* Both dogs responded very well to my accel/deccel going from 15-16 and didn’t even look at the off course jump out there (which many handlers had to do a primal scream to keep their dogs away from).
*I really need to remind myself to drive hard across the finish line with both dogs but particularly Feature as she really put on the brakes with me behind her (and not driving as hard as I should).
The following are times that I have taken off my computer in slo-mo I really don’t know what units they are measuring since the total run was 1:04.9 but it gives you a relative comparison between the two dogs.
Interesting times Obstacle 1-7 Obstacle 7 -12 Obstacle 12-18 Obstacle 18 – 22
Encore at 22″ 17.7 17.1 23.5 6.5
Feature at 26″ 17.8 18.5 23.5 7.5
In the end I don’t think my handling was too different for the two dogs (other than that one slightly earlier FC with Feature). I think the difference between the two dogs is the teamwork Encore and I have that Feature is just growing into. Feature knocking that upright on jump 12 slowed down that sequence and me not driving the close as hard as I should also slowed her time down at the end of the course, other wise she would have been giving her big sister a run for her money!
Today I am grateful for both my red girls and the things that make them each uniquely who they are. Every time I lead out, particularly in a big event like Canada Cup, I remind myself of just that fact.