Running Rush to win, not Q….

It’s a lesson I seem to learn over and over again. With Rush, I can’t handle conservatively; there is no “conservative” option. Trying to protect a Q by going with the easy option? Not a possibility–Rush wants to run fast and furious and I better be there to help him do that, or we’re doomed.

At the recent CAT CPE trial, I was kind of focused on Dancer, since I was hoping to get her CS-ATCH2 title (which we did), and so I walked courses thinking mostly about how to run Dancer, who is a “four-foot run-with dog.” Yes, she has four feet, but what I mean by that is that she wants to run along with me, about four feet away from me at all times. It’s pretty easy to set her path–just find a line that takes her over the obstacles, and then run parallel to that line at a pace that works for her.

Rush? Not so much. He might be a four-foot dog, if I could run a five-minute mile.

However, I’ve been doing what I can, and I can now sprint 100 yards in 30 seconds. That means that–if I can figure out how to run those 100 yards while directing him around a 150-yard course–I have a distant hope of not getting too far behind. Distance handling, a good leadout, and go-ons are my friends, and my enemies. Stopped contacts? Very useful as a place to catch up and even get a bit ahead.

But rear crosses? Well, under instructions from Daisy, I’m trying to avoid those. Video review has shown over-reliance on rear crosses to be a weakness.

I ran as aggressively as I could throughout the CPE trial. The run that was the most fun was a standard course where the finish was a full outside circle of the arena with Rush going full speed. I ran the inside line, repeating “go on, go on, go tunnel” as appropriate–and Rush was great; he never looked back.

Our worst run? The last run of the day was Jumpers. As I walked it, I knew Dancer needed just that one Q to get her CS-ATCH, and so I walked the course, over and over, planning how to get Dancer through it. I never stopped to think how to run Rush! The course had numerous 180 turns, with tunnels beckoning from the other side–and I ran Rush through the course, shrieking “Rush! HERE!” at every possible off-course. We got through it, he got his Q. ┬áBut it was very crunchy.

Total for the weekend? 8 Qs for Rush out of ten runs, with five out of five on Sunday. Yeeha!