We are now in the "taper" as they call it in endurance sports. It's where you have done all the training you can do and you need to give your body a chance to rest and rejuvenate before the big day. The bigger the race the longer the taper. For Nosework I think two weeks works well. We have built up all the skills we could, we have practiced all the distractors and challenging hides we could think of. The foundation we have at two weeks out is what we will take into the trial with us. At this point it's time to stop thinking about skills and handling techniques, because what we have is what we have.
Now what I am concerned with is drive building. Short easy hides, just a couple each day, I may even skip a day or two. Very few back to back searches mostly just one and done. I have pulled clove out of the mix for this phase, I want to REALLY focus on Anise and Birch. It's time to let up and just have a blast, do a quick search and get rewarded with her entire dinner, or the kids left overs, or a ten minute romp in the yard.
I have to trust that I have done everything I can, and that we are prepared. I don't trim my dog's nails within four days of a trial or event because the quick would need time to heal if I hit it, and I don't throw out "brain drainer" hides (as my friend Lisa calls them) in the two weeks before a trial because I can't guarantee I would have time to fix anything that I accidentally broke!
I will be doing lots of easy thresholds, easy corners, maybe a couple VERY easy inaccessible ones. And rewarding, rewarding, rewarding! Over the top, super jackpot, awesome rewards!!!
Just for fun here is a snow search from today, I forgot about it so it sat out for almost 20 hrs. Also I am following Jacy Kelleys advice and not taking her ball away in between hides, it makes for a much smoother search.