Simplify I spent some time simplifying the website. I've always been attracted to simple, "clean" design in websites. When done well the solution to the problem the web site solves is clear and engaging to the site's users. This quote from Steve Jobs captures the challenges and pay off of simplifying: Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. Steve Jobs There were two main thrusts of my latest changes: Reducing the number of colors so they each have consistent meaning "Guiding" DIY courses construction to create similar courses I'm using a theme with some built in colors

Courses Tagged With Skills!

Courses Tagged With Skills! I just added a cool new feature: every course you create is now "tagged" with the names of the skills used in that sequence. Whether you use the Skills Course Designer or the DIY Designer for Box, DoubleBox or Star Box courses I'll figure out what skills are required to run that sequence when you click the Create Course button. In the screen shot below you'll see the blue labels with the skill names below the course image. I've gone through the existing 14,000 courses and updated them with their skills too. Look forward to a future release where I let you search by skill and even have links to videos showing each skill! Update 2015-Feb-04 Added skills to each course's

One Design to Rule Them All

One Design to Rule Them All Long time users of will notice the site has changed completely! It is now uses a Responsive Web Design. The screen layout will rearrange itself for small screens on phones all the way up to large monitor desktop screens. The layout uses a framework called Bootcards to provide a card based design like you might see on sites like Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter. For the web developers among you here is a good article describing the card design trend. The nice thing about cards is how they can be re-arranged for different screen sizes and layouts. Consequently, there is no longer a separate site for mobile (; any saved links to there will now send

Now Similar Courses!

Now Similar Courses! In the past when you created a course using the automatic generation feature you'd get a button to "Create Another Course - Same Settings". Clicking that button would generate another course of the same length with the same skills. The idea was to let you create a group of courses with similar challenges. Well now I've gone one better! Now when you visit any course page you'll see a list of other courses that start the same way as you the course you are viewing. There is also a link "See More Similar Courses" that you can click to see all the similar courses. So now it is even easier to collect a group of courses that will challenge your team's

View DIY Created Courses

View DIY Created Courses This weekend I added basic functionality to let you see courses created through the DIY feature of the website. The automatically generated ("skills") sequences can be challenging and interesting but I think it is more interesting to see courses people created themselves. So now when you go to the Box, Double Box or Star Box pages you'll see a new tab Recent DIY Courses which lists the newest sequences of each type of course. I can see already that I'll need to implement a feature to allow me to flag/hide courses from those pages (and the RSS feed of new courses) that are obviously people just goofing around! So look forward to that in the near future - or

Being Sociable

Being Sociable I would like to become a place where people can design, analyze, and discuss training courses. As a first step I've just released a new version of the site with a bunch of Social internet features. Sharing When you create a course, or visit any course, there are now links to share your course to Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. I've also added a comment box where you can leave your comments on any course. Along with those additions I've updated the front page of the site to let you see course comments, the most shared courses, and the most recently DIY created course. Get the Latest in your Reader I've added the little RSS feed icon to the top right of every

Adjusting Dog Walk Height with Rotating Supports

Adjusting Dog Walk Height with Rotating Supports I love my dog walk (made by Iowan Mark Ries 10+ years ago) because it's easy to move on rough terrain, tunnels can be placed anywhere beneath it, and because the legs pivot and lock to set the height at 2 feet or 4 feet. My youngster, Snap!, is very happy racing over it at a 2 foot height. But, at full height, he is still racing full speed but isn't finding a comfortable stride pattern. So I was thinking about how I could set up this dog walk at intermediate heights (2.5 feet, 3 feet, and 3.5 feet) to help him. Of course, there are dog walks that have chains connecting two piece supports

Pull Across Jump and Push to Back Side – Video

Pull Across Jump and Push to Back Side - Video Dana Pike had an interesting sequence in her Masters handling class this past week that could put the handler behind their dog on an 80 foot jumping sequence prior to the Back Side [ThreadleBackSides, BackSide, BackSideOneJumpHandling, QuadBackSide] of a jump. There were a lot of handling options, and I wanted to share an unusual handling method that I setup to practice at home, that also didn't need as much space. Here is the general obstacle setup: Obstacle Legend When you set it up you want the wrong side of 3 to be what the dog sees when coming over jump 2. Play with the spacing and the angles - the closer

Six Advanced to Masters Challenge 40×40 Small Space Courses

Six Advanced to Masters Challenge 40x40 Small Space Courses I was inspired by a course from judge Gabi Steppan and I took part of her layout, added a jump, and came up with six training sequences that fit in a 40x40 foot (12mx12m) space. Here are the obstacle locations in English/Metric units. Please tweak the jump locations to fit your space, to increase/decrease the challenges, and to be safe in your space. Obstacle Legend Read more ... Go to Source Author: Steve Schwarz

Small Space Masters Handling Seminar Sequences

Small Space Masters Handling Seminar Sequences Here are my small space masters handling "Steeplechase-ish" courses from my fun weekend of seminars with Talcott Moutain Agility Club in Manchester, CT. The facility was 45' by 60' and I squeezed a lot of handling into this space! You could flip a couple numbers to the opposite side if you are looking for more "International" style challenges. When I teach this seminar I focus on the team's execution; I want clean, clear execution, with the handler using their cues and moving on as their dog is committed to the obstacle. I also have teams work on multiple handling options, especially ones they normally wouldn't try, so you should do