Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend Field Training

I finally tested my remote launchers yesterday and discovered that both of them work (hurray!). I confess they make me nervous... There's rather great potential for injury with them. In any case, once tested, I loaded them and the black dogs into the full-of-equipment van and headed over to the Ann Arbor Airport, which I found empty of anyone using the fields. Set up the launchers, and ran Gryff on each mark as a single, then ran a couple of blinds. Then I decided to run the marks from the opposite end of the field as a double. Bad idea :-(. Gryff really didn't have any memory of the memory bird. I think it was too close to the two blinds. Ended up handling him to it, badly. Phooey. A good session gone bad. >:-(

When I ran Ty, she made me nervous on the longer mark because she hunted a really, really big area (somewhat near the road), but she did come up with it. Then we went to run them from the other direction. She also had problems with the one Gryff did so poorly on. I taught her the two blinds Gryff had done, and she did pretty well with those. Went home rather discouraged about their marking but happy with their blind work.

Today (Sunday), I met friends at the fire station, where the grass is sadly getting thick. Ralph Chapman threw a series of marks for Ty up on the hill where she's had trouble twice. I moved back after each success, finishing with the 3rd one fairly long. I felt like I finally made a deposit in her confidence bank instead of the big withdrawals. She later ran all three marks in the set up very well. I wish I could understand why she marks well sometimes and is poor at other times. Someday, maybe I will...

I did 3 blinds with Gryffin. The first was ugly, but the 2nd and 3rd were decent. He had a big hunt on the middle mark, but did the long, uphill left mark well. All in all, it was a satisfying weekend of field work.

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