It really doesn’t matter to me which handling system or fancy moves people use in agility. Honestly, I truly don’t give a crap. Everyone has the right to make a choice but that choice should be an educated one.
A while back I wrote a blog titled “In the New Old Fashioned Way.” I outlined how I feel about all the “new” fancy moves in agility (that really aren’t new at all). I won’t go into that again here. What I will go into is the attitude by so many converts regarding the system they once touted as the “ONLY” way to handle, that they now say is completely wrong.
It is a mystery to me how those people who told me, and everyone else, over and over and over again how horrible blind crosses were as well as landing side front, rear crosses on the flat, off arm turns, etc., now do all those things and then some. How were those moves so horrible then but so “NEW” and relevant now? They claim they have “broadened their horizons” but all they have done is gone backwards to handling moves that were used fifteen, twenty or more years ago!
So the fact that they use these old moves and rename them and call them new isn’t the problem I am having. The problem I am having is how they make fun of the moves they once told me and others were so wonderful and how they are so convincing that the way they handle now is the RIGHT way!
Take, for instance, the lead out pivot. I was at a camp once a long time ago where we were given a long lead out. We were told to run it several different ways. There were timers. We did a lead out pivot (LOP), moving front cross, a rear cross and a blind cross. Guess which one was fastest back then? The lead out pivot! So I guess the LOP got slower because people are now being told that the LOP is a very slow way to do a lead out. Now, if the dog has not been trained to do a correct LOP, of course that is true. In the system we use, you do actually have to train the dogs! If my dog doesn’t pick up the LOP, adjust its stride and turn sharply, then I best be getting some training done. I am much too slow to stand at a jump with my hand in my dog’s face to turn them, then get to the other side of the ring to handle something else!
The same is true for front crosses. If you are slow and get in your dog’s way, turn slowly and force your dog wide to get around you, then of course a forced front cross will be slower than a well done blind cross. A forced front cross will also be slower than a well done rear cross! I work too dang hard to get and keep my connection with my dog to purposely break it doing a blind cross! I refuse to go backwards in my handling. I used and perfected blind crosses years ago and then felt the fallout from them and quit using them.
Some claim they use a “motion based” system that is intuitive and requires little or no training. Really? LOLOLOLOL Last I looked, that system we use also uses “motion” as well as other things like handler’s position, acceleration, deceleration, etc. Don’t they all? What a moronic argument! Who buys that crap?
How on earth do these people who are so convinced that what they are doing now is the right way, think we are all such morons that we have forgotten how they were so convinced a year or so ago that what they are now doing was all wrong? How on God’s earth is that possible? Were they lying to us then or are they lying to us now? Either way I feel betrayed by them and sad they think we are so gullible or they are.
They justify the switch by saying the courses have changed, or they run slower now, or faster, or older. I am surprised they don’t say they have gotten younger! As much BS as so many are swallowing about the “new” moves, I am sure there are some great marketers out there who could actually convince some that is true!
I remember being told many years ago when I was trying to decide whether or not I wanted to use the system we now use, that even though I can’t move, this system would allow me to walk around a course and be successful. At first I didn’t buy it. Then, as I learned more and more about the Greg Derrett system, it became obvious that was true. That was twelve years ago and Sir Cussalot and I still use the system today and use it very successfully.
As I wrote above, I don’t care what others do in their handling, I really don’t, but as the great Judge Judy says, “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!” I really am not that stupid! HONESTLY! I know my IQ!
I am seeing a lot of fallout from the “new” moves. I am seeing handling cues that mean several different things, biting handlers in the butt. I saw it twelve years ago (the main reason I changed what I was doing back then!) and I am seeing the same fallout now. I experienced the fallout firsthand many years ago and have no desire to go backwards.
If a handler is fast, they can pretty much use whatever system they choose, or no system, and get away with it. Those of us who are mere mortals, have to train our dogs to a higher level and use a system that allows us to get around without being ahead or in our dog’s face.
Recently, a friend told me that somebody, who was once a HUGE user of the system we use, went into great depth as to why all the things she used to say were great, now stink. Why is that? HOW is that? At first I laughed! Then I got angry. The reasons were ludicrous! They made zero sense, yet so many people are buying them hook, line and sinker! NO QUESTIONS ASKED! Many of those instructors used to call the people who used the “new” moves, morons. If that is the case, were those instructors morons then or are they morons now, ‘cause it can’t go both ways? So many are buying these reasons why the “new” way of doing things is so much better! If they just took some time to think it through and see the fallout, perhaps they would see that the Emperor is actually nekkid.