No, not a ‘Supersonic Transport’ jet, something even faster.  Can you guess?

Short.

Straight.

TUNNEL!!

No joke, right?

My little baby is growing up.  TastyKake is doing a lot of agility “things” now, earning her learner’s permit.  She told me she has her license plate picked out:

‘GOTHRU4U’

Oh yes, baby doll loves her tunnels!  Which of course gets me to thinking about the  nature of tunnels. I recently purchased a cute little 10′ tunnel and while TKake is a total fan, I have a serious love/hate relationship. I LOVE how fast pups can go through a straight 10′ tunnel!  I HATE how fast a pup can go through a straight 10′ tunnel!

It’s sorta like driving down a steep road, everything is hunky-dory wheeeeee fun until there is a turn. The presence or absence of a decent set of brakes and the ability to use them appropriately can be the difference between an awesome joy ride or ‘oh gawd, collide collide!’.

Hardly a news flash.

But what is new for me is a quirky image, thinking of these puppy cannons as jumps with the world’s fattest/widest jump bars, headed directly into the sun. Just like jumps, I want pup to assume execution in extension unless cued otherwise. If cued otherwise, so pup is executing in a more collected/turning stride, I convey that information just like I do with regular jumps, by the time pup is one stride from extended take off/entry into tunnel.  And because these ‘tumps’?  ‘junnels’? always head directly into the sun, I factor in that split second of visual disconnect. (Oh no, not the dreaded visual disconnect!  Noooooooo!)

Why is this worth writing about?  I find using this visual has greatly improved the timing of my cues. I use all the turn cues I have on regular jumps also with the ‘tump/junnel’.  I do fun, basic drills to make sure both my blinkers and brakes work how I want them to and when I want them to. Am finding all sorts of ways to incorporate the short straight tunnel into awkward sequences if pup doesn’t have some brakes to go along with the engine.  And am making sure the challenges are of the ‘nobody gets hurt’ variety. I like that kind best!

Starting to love SST’s a little more. A little. 🙂