19 November 2010

A closer look at the Serp, but wait, not just any old Serp but the super special tricky double Serp!

My non dog agility friends, I apologize. I was all about the Serp yesterday, and you have no idea what I was talking about. Let me use my friend, the military industrial complex, to show you what I meant.

So this was actually the middle of a course, but let's say you're running over the dogwalk and then you need to do the rest of those numbery bits. How about not just one serp, but two!

Of course you get out your magnifier, and double check for the double front crosses. That is a clue. Do a little ballerina twirl to check. Front crosses, so lovely. Flick your booty and go.

Also the lack of a straight line. It's for a turn. This bears repeating. Because it's always repeated to me. Over and over.

"Not on a straight line. Laura, that's a straight line. Laura, come over here and see the straight line I'm talking about. No. That's straight. Like a line. A straight one." *

* A quote from all of my beloved teachers of dog agility.

I love you all so much, my beloved teachers of dog agility. And I even have a Masters Degree in Fine Art. Where we learned to draw all squiggly lines and stuff. Actually, we learned about Baudrillard and the Other and I was more of a conceptual mural artist and Karl made the robots. We never really studied the straight lines in graduate school.

Assuming you can leave your dog on the dogwalk and still have a stunning, flawless contact, you are going to run over behind jump 2 and show your dog that serpentine arm (your right arm, in this case) and smile your glowing, beautiful smile.

Then here's your arm change. As you know, I am a full fledged, Kool-aid drinking Greg Derrett fan club member. This is how we do things, us Kool-aid drinkers. Your mileage may vary.

That was just one serp. For the split second your dog is in the tunnel, guess what? You have ANOTHER one coming! This is the rockstar part. This is a total rockstar serp. There goes your right arm serp cue AGAIN, over jump number 4.

And then, Kool-aid fans, arm change to redirect so your dog is on your left side while you are completely running your ass off, to the a-frame. Wait. You have a dog, right? Did I forget to mention that at the beginning? You need a dog for this exercise.

There you go. Did you do it? Really fast? There are other ways to handle this, but this way is just way more cool. That's right. I am a judgemental bitch, and I am telling you, flat out. Do it this way for extra cool points.

But I will still love you too, if you don't. Because everyone is beautiful, in their own way. The judgemental bitch part of me is just jealous. Of all you rockstars.

Isn't that what makes a judgemental bitch? A deep, underlying lack of confidence in one's self, that causes control issues to cover up this character detriment? But I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

Except when I'm being a bitch.

And, as my Dirt Nite pals can attest to, I had chickenness of leaving my dogs on that dogwalk contact and didn't even DO the tricky double serp. I've never been very cool. Even in a world of uncool, where people wear outfits decorated with pawprints and fanny packs.

Sorry. I'm being a bitch again. There are aesthetic problems I can't get over, even after all these years in dog agility.

In closing, keep calm and carry on. Follow your diagrams here, and you should be a rockstar in no time. Serp away!


Jen Lindsay said...

I would have done a decel at 2 and wrapped, but probably would have tried that second serp. Guess I'm not a badass.

Anonymous said...

Ok, i have a lot of years looking for two front crosses in a row, and doing them as a serp, but I have learned that if I CAN do the two front crosses, then I SHOULD do the two front crosses, because it will be faster and clearer and not contribute to motherflicking which seems to happen on the rfp arm return to normal arm... I can see how the jump after the dogwalk is a serp: dog on left through dogwalk, FC, dogon right over next jump, FC dog on left to tunnel... I like this serp with a running dogwalk if i am behind already and other wise hosed...but with 2on/2off, I like two FCs. However, I cannot see how the jump before the aframe is a good serp. where are the two FCs? out of tunnel, with dog on right, just do the jump and fc to the aframe. with dog on left out of tunnel, well, you can't FC to the jump before aframe... you have to rear cross that jump... am I misunderstanding?


team small dog said...

Out of the tunnel, jump, aframe-you could never have gotten 2fc in there, but it was just a nice serp arm over the jump after the tunnel to get the dog make a good line to the aframe.

So the handlers that did this (Mary and Rob) it worked good for. I usually really like to get the serp in because it seems to tighten up the dog's line IF my timing is good. But on this one I was afraid of the dogwalk.

A serp can be where there's a rear cross too, so you could have rc btwn tunnel and jump and rc between jump and aframe, thus a-ok place for serp.

I was afraid to leave G-man's running dogwalk to the fate/training gods and see if my fade to the serp position worked, so I did the front cross there. Hobbes I need to go to the bottom of the dog walk with just because. Same with him.

But I pulled both dogs to the tunnel instead of fc, then just ran the rest of the sequence with the dog on my right. After the aframe was a table (which curiously, both Gustavo and Hobbes did perfectly and beautifully) and that worked a-ok.

The double serp option though just looked really good. Was my favorite way of the evening how everyone else handled it.

jodi,eh? said...

Brilliant Post! Glad to see you're feeling better. I would have attempted the double serps but stopped contacts make that easier. I'm no snob but I'm with you on the fanny packs.

Steve said...

Hi Laura,
Dana Pike Chamberlain had a class course this week with two double serps in it: http://bit.ly/fUXzfI
so many handling possibilities... :^)