I know what the rules are for this field trial but what is a typical set up? Is it like a MH test or more like a SH? Or neither?
Don't count on that. You think they would be but it all depends on the judges and factors. I've seen a double retired inline triple in the 1st at an O/H hunt test Qualifying. Yes, the QAA is only a status but it says a lot about the dog plus it raises the price of pups I would say more so than a MH.Are the O/H quals generally easier than a regular Q?
This is pretty much what I've seen at the few quals I've watched. Also seem to often times see a first series where the 2 dead bird stations are retired so only the flyer station is out. They also don't seem to use holding blinds like a master would, the ones I've seen were naturally retired behind trees, brush, rocks etc... So those smart master dogs can't just look out for a holding blind for assistance on memory birds.Expect big (250 to 300 yard) retired memory bird triple as a starter.Sometimes inline..Land blind on the back side of a gun.Tight to the shore water blind,many times on and off the point in line.My perspective was it takes the same amount and time training for Qual as it does Master.However you'll need technical water.Big difference is the long punch birds.Got to be able to do em.As has been stated before train for the next level up and you won't have surprises.
You can go for both but it is tough to do them at the exact same time, IE run a QAA one week, then a Master, then another Q the following week. There are many common elements but there are some big differences. You will want to group them together and give yourself a few weeks between the two to prep. IE run 2-3 Masters then take a 3 weeks off and do just Q set ups. Or you could do something like run masters in the spring and Q in the Fall. Honestly I would shoot for one before the other if you have a younger dog.
Don't count it on being any easier or shorter. The ones I have seen are usually judged by seasoned FT judges and they are just as tough as the regular quals with usually only a few standing by the end-and few jams.You see a good number if Clubs putting on a O/H Q and a Master in the same weekend. A lot of guys do both. These Qs do tend to be a little shorter then the Qs you see as part of FT. However it is tough to do both well at the same time. This is more suited for the experienced Master dog that is now tring to get a QAA status or experienced derby/Q dogs that are now going after a MH title (FT washouts). If you have a younger dog that only has 1-2 Master passes and little Derby/Q experience I would not try to do a Q and a Master Test in the same weekend.