Gamblers Challenges

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post Gamblers is always a course that I have to worry about if it matters for something. Some of the joker challenges are definitely doable for us, but then there are some that are definitely a challenge. Over the next 2 months I really need to be working on these distance challenges so that we will be better prepared for what we face in The Netherlands in April.

Our biggest challenge in any joker is when Luna has to bypass an obstacle that is between her and I.  From day 1 of our training she has been taught to come into me if we’re running past an obstacle.  Back when we started our training I knew I wanted to do USDAA, but didn’t understand the challenges I would face in the gamblers class. However, even if I did, I don’t think it would have been beneficial to train any differently considering that’s one class out of many that we would see on a weekend.  So distance work was never a focus in our training.

When we started doing USDAA and the gamblers class it quickly became apparent that we were going to struggle.  By the time we made it to the masters level I was pretty good at knowing when a gamble was doable and when one wasn’t doable.  There were many of jokers that required us to run past an obstacle and it seemed no matter how far I got ahead she would instinctively take it.  If it wasn’t that giving us trouble it was a send away challenge which gave us trouble in the beginning.  She was able to send away to a “known” obstacle like a tunnel or a teeter, but sending away to a jump was a struggle.  Over time, though, that challenge has become easier to overcome with more experience.  Running past obstacles still remains, though.

In 2014 at the UKI US Open, we squeaked into the games finals which was a gamblers course.  The gamble in this course was a straight out sprint trying to take 4 straight tunnels in each corner of a HUGE course.  It was probably a 125-150 yard sprint.  However, to make it easier for me to beat Luna I had to run inside a bit which required me to put obstacles between her and I.  I completely forgot about limitations and coming out of the first tunnel, even though I was way ahead and had already passed the long jump, she came out of the tunnel and took the long jump. Argh!

Anyway, this is all a roundabout way to say that I really need to work on distance.  Below is the course map for the 2015 IFCS WAC gamblers class.  This is what I need to be prepared for.

2015 IFCS WAC Gamblers
2015 IFCS WAC Gamblers

Ack!  Go into the tunnel and when you come out bypass a jump and don’t take the weaves that I’m standing on the other side of.  That’s going to take some work to get those skills.  But we have a little over 2 months to get some of these skills.  Coach Rachel supplied a bunch of training gambles so I’ll be going through those when I have the time.