Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jump Chutes (Continued)

Lucky takes the 5th jump in the chute.
I first discovered and blogged about Jump Chutes last year, tried to measure my dogs to see what "body type" they are, and of course, mine don't remotely fit the 4 types described in The Clothier Natural Jumping Method, so all the charts Susan Clothier gives about calculating your dog's stride and how far apart to set the jumps to train proper jumping style were pretty much down the toilet. I played with it awhile then got discouraged.

Lately I've set up a few jump chutes for my students, including Lucky, and today I am revisiting the book, setting up my video camera and trying to determine how Lucky really jumps. She jumps so high, I would like to teach her to jump lower, which should improve her course time on competitive runs.

Stride is briefly defined as the distance between one takeoff point and the next takeoff point, and is ideally, according to Clothier, Body Length x 3.

Bounce is briefly defined as taking no strides between jumps, dog just lands between jumps and immediately bounces over the next jump, supposed to be Body Length x 2.

I took Lucky's measurements again: 22" long, 20" high, 11" ground to elbow.
If I take the closest ratios Susan gives for those dimensions, Lucky is:
a rectangular dog, elbow at 11" from ground, which is greater than 1/2 her height at withers.
Lucky's Stride is supposed to be, more or less, 22"x3, or 66", or 5.5 feet.
Lucky's Bounce is supposed to be, more or less, 22" x 2, or 44", or 3.6 feet.
(with different body styles, you might have to add + 1/3 to body length to get the right footage).

With this intel, I should set 5 jumps in a straight line, 2 strides apart, or 11' for Lucky.
Lucky bounces over 5 20" high jumps set at 8' apart, and has to work to slow down and collect between jumps. So did all my students' dogs. Same at 9' apart. At 11' apart, Lucky easily bounces over each jump but still holds power in reserve. Trying to determine when she would begin taking a stride between jumps, I moved them to 12' apart. She still clears them in a single bounce, but she jumps with much less clearance than the foot or so she usually clears her jumps, which I caught on video today. The first time, she knocked 2 bars, the rest of the runs she nailed them all perfectly, which indicates she learns as she goes, and has at least a 12' extended bounce stride, which is 6.5 x her body length. WOW! This video was her 3rd pass, with a little tugging reward at the end. In it, she shows just the right amount of clearance for efficiency and speed without knocking bars, and jumps very rhythmically. She covered 60 foot of ground in about 4 seconds/about 5 YPS.  In her 6 competition Jumpers runs to date, she is averaging about 3.4 YPS.

Aside: How stupid of me to be training in my wooden clogs. I can barely walk!  Could easily twist an ankle! Yet I was too lazy to go put on my tennies for just 10 minutes of training. Shame on me.

After a few weeks of this, I am to add "oxers" (double bar jumps), which is supposed to cause her to put a stride in between, improving her "impulsion".  I still don't know her capacity and probably, neither does she.  (NOTE: Susan recommends training jump chutes no more than 3 days a week, 3 reps, 2 times, with a 10 minute break in between, so this will take awhile to find out.

Upwards and onward,

No comments: