Today was mine and Gunner's first attempt at HRC Seasoned Hunt Tests. I was confident that I had trained and "rehearsed" for many combinations and potential pitfalls. However, I could not predict how crappy the weather in Kansas and Missouri became overnight. Unfortunately I cannot blame the weather because it was perfect waterfowl hunting weather (as was evidenced by several flocks of teal and geese on the hunt test grounds).
Anyways I was very excited because we started on the water series and the first test was the blind. The handling was what was making me nervous for my first Seasoned test but that was no problem. Gunner stepped on the bird without a single whistle. I was screaming inside with excitement. The next event was a simple double mark. Gunner has never had a problem with marks and so I was very confident. Until the first bird comes out of the blind and before i could think Gunner was half way to the bird. I was befuddled to the point that I couldn't think what to do. The most unlikely course of action just happened to me. Well he continued to pick up both birds and even the judges were disappointed for me after his great job on the blind to start it off.
I got to thinking that maybe I created this sequences of unfortunate events in my training somewhere. I have been running Gunner on double marks without problems out to 100-125 yards. I had been running blinds out to 100 yards pretty consistently. So what did I do in my training to cause what happened? I am not sure but my theory is that I focused so much on the long distances that I forgot to balance the short "in your face" distances. Due to the weather conditions today all marks were between 50-75 yards, much shorter than what I had been training. So now these "in your face" marks became too much suction to Gunner and he broke.
I would like some feedback to see if I am on the right track with my theory on these really short marks causing that much suction. Thanks in advance