The exercises I really liked consisted of timing various handling options for one sequence and seeing which one was faster. The results were sometimes counter-intuitive for me, which is why I liked it so much, because of all the information these exercises provided.
What was very eye-opening for me was Lesley's concept of lines on turns. I'd heard about it before, I think it's something I really should have known about, but well... somehow I never gave it as much thought as Lesley did at this seminar. In general, Lesley said (rightly so) that it is always faster for a dog to turn in the direction it is moving in and looking at.
In this exercise it would seem that the shorter and thus faster route would be to shape the turn between the 1-2 jumps, wrap the wing of number 2 to the left and give the dog a straight on entrance into the weaves. Like this:
BUT.... it turned out that for all the dogs (one exception, a smaller slower dog) it was significantly faster to turn right after number 2 and wrap the wing from the other direction. Mostly because the 1-2 line was clearly suggesting to the dog that it would be turning right. Thus, the left turn in the first handling option took longer to register and wasn't as tight as the right turn. Here's the faster handling:
Same thing in the exercise below. It would seem logical to wrap the right wing of number 2, have the dog move between jumps 2 and 3 onto the A-frame, also giving the dog a straight on approach onto the A-frame. Like this:
But it turned out that giving the dogs an angled approach to the aframe, by turning the dog to the left after jump number 3, was the faster solution for everyone.
I also noticed that Lesley is a fan of long offset leadouts, especially when they help you get a tighter turn. And what she suggested here was a leadout way to the right of number 2, with the left shoulder turned towards the dog, left arm leading the dog to number 2 and switching to the right arm as soon as the dog commits. Again, something I'll have to practice, because it was a good idea in terms of the tighter turn it created.
Here's the faster handling option:
This one wasn't as clear cut and obvious. The concept that the faster turn will be in the direction the dog is looking in would apply, but the distance the dog travels after turning left is so much longer that it sometimes outweighs the time gained on the turn. Here are the two options:
EDIT: Come to think of it there actually isn't any distance losst on turning to the left here. Which means I have absolutely no idea why turning to the right worked faster for me. But it did.
And nothing counterintuitive about the sequence below. The faster way was with a front cross after number two. BUT... it was damn hard to get it in. For me it required sending the dog into the tunnel running to number 2 ASAP and giving her my turn cue to number 3 as she was coming towards number 2.
I also tried the second handlig with a post turn after number 2 and with a wrap and then a back cross. My post turns/pivots suck, so it was faster with a wrap and a rear cross.