Yep. Back on the jumping issue wagon, hurrah. Well, running DW was going so nicely that I needed to have something else to obsess over, right?
So, although I’ve seen a lot of improvement in Lu’s jumping over the last few months, we are certainly not out of the woods. One of the hardest scenarios? 3 jumps in a straight line. Yep, easy as that. The first jump is USUALLY ok, the 2nd is often quite a big leap, and the 3rd could go either way depending on what’s happening after it. Similarly, a jump out of a tunnel is usually pretty risky, too.
And yet… Today I had a nice little straight line jump-jump-tunnel, (BIG BLIND CROSS WITH DISTANCE) – jump- DW, and those jumps looked beautiful (well, in her Lumen way). So… why?
Anyway, my other thought is that even when she jumps ‘nicely’, she still isn’t jumping nicely.
The way she holds herself just isn’t efficient- although her head is low at first, she throws it up as she clears the bar, and flings her front feet into the air. Here, I’ve made a helpful comparison diagram of what I mean. Badger – note the posture as he clears the bar, particularly of head and front feet (Lu’s are tense and pulled upwards, Badger’s have a curl), and landing position- Badger with two front feet and a nice angle along the back, Lu with two front feet but back feet already coming in, back rounded. And look, I’d say Badger’s probably taking off from a bit further away in this photo than Lu but then surely that would mean her style would look easier…
So I’m thinking maybe I do some Susan Salo set point stuff… that’s meant to teach them how to jump properly isn’t it? Otherwise, I don’t know. How do you change something so fundamental as how a dog jumps? Are you meant to? Maybe not, but this sure doesn’t look easy or fluid for her, and those photos are from what I would consider a ‘nice looking’ jump for her- as in, not a big leap or taking off way too far from the jump.
I don’t know. it all seems so hard.
edit: We did some Susan Salo jump grids tonight. They’ve never ‘done much’ for me before but I thought I’d give them a try. I did set-point, distance and equal distance with 2 & 4 having a bit of height. I can actually see how they could benefit her especially in regards to keeping her head down and learning to adjust her stride longer (which isn’t necessarily what I want, and I also need to be careful that it doesn’t encourage her to leave out a stride more, but possibly there’s some more to do with 2-strides etc in the advanced version, not sure) which would certainly be useful. Jumps weren’t at full height except for set point but I could already see her head going up less. Yes, there’s less speed on approach etc, but maybe she’ll get into the habit and begin to find more of a fluid jumping motion by being able to practise using her body to jump like this.
I have a video but it’s pretty boring (jump grids often are) so I won’t bother posting it. Unless you’re really keen.