Today we focused on water blinds. There are several blinds available at the place we train, that are quite difficult (mainly, down the shore with an island off the shore, big angle entry). Every new set of judges they bring in for the tests here, sees them and goes, There's our water blind! The last master test I ran there, last year with Fisher, he one-whistled the one they picked out and everyone thought I was a genius. To Fisher it's basically a pattern blind, we've done them so many times. So anyways we worked on those same blinds (3 different ones) today with Slater & Millie, and they did GREAT!!! Really happy with everything.
A funny thing happened though...lining up for the first blind, which was down the shore to the left, down a channel formed by the shore and an island, instead of facing forward Slater is air-scenting to the right and clearly indicating he wants to go that way. Well, 100+ yards across the big pond (big open swim) is the OTHER blind with bumpers I had placed. The wind was blowing right at us. Great opportunity to do a big water swim, so I turned, lined him up and BACK. Out he went!
The last blind we set up I taught it like a pattern blind, with rather mixed results with Slater. I won't try to describe it other than to say it was huge, over two points and they ran it as the open water blind last year. Anyways Slater did a pretty good job as I built it, when I finally got it to full distance, he was being really weird lining up, bugging at me, I finally did a heel-burn-heel, and then he was off like a shot. Came back, repeated it, this time he lined up fine, no bugging and went 100 miles an hour off the line, as he's about 2/3 the way out there I'm blowing my whistle trying to get a cast and he's completely blowing through it. Now, that same strong wind was coming at me, and he knew the destination and trying very hard to get there quickly, but geeze!!! Once he was coming back I look at my transmitter, and my FREAKIN COLLAR WAS OFF. So he totally "faked" a correction for bugging and no wonder why he blew through the whistle. Hmmm...
Slater came back from that one like he had won the lottery, even though I felt it wasn't that great, he thought it was.
Fisher was up next, I ran the same blind from about halfway, took 2 casts to it, then backed up immediately to the full distance, and he one-whistled it. Fisher was on, and fast. Maybe if I run the qual again they'll pick that same blind
Lastly we went up to the hay field and again ran singles with white bumpers and really launched them. After a few corrections for breaking with the pinch collar the other day, Slater has been solid as a rock. These big singles have worked WONDERS for his focus and marking. WONDERS.