In the September 2012 issue of Clean Run, Nancy Gyes wrote the article “Power Paws Drills: International Trends” that featured the opening of a course by Dutch agility judge Kees Stoel, with variations for handlers to practice. The original 6 obstacle opening is shown below:
We tried several different handling options for this sequence in training, but my favorite was a 270-serpentine-rear cross from obstacles 3 to 5. However, not everyone could move into the proper position to execute the serpentine, because of the difficulty in setting up obstacles 1 to 3. One solution is to use a 270 at jump 4 and immediately rear cross, pulling your dog to jump 5, because the handler does not have to cover as much ground. The difference in time between these two maneuvers was 0.1 seconds (measured from the landing of jump 4 to the exit of the tunnel), favoring the 270-serpentine-rear cross. Both handlers in the video used a 270-serpentine to handle jumps 1 to 3.
Any time you are not able to execute a good front cross, consider using a rear cross, even on international-style courses.
…and who *was* that awesome second handler who put up the 0.1 sec faster time, hmmm?