From:   shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Wed Oct 1, 2003  1:00 am
Subject:  Harness flying with Tink

It is time I came back here with some description of my current experience with Tink and her flying experiences wearing her harness.

Weekends find us regularly riding my scooter with wife at the back and Tink in front riding on a perch tied between the two rear view mirrors.

Evenings too, Tink often joins us to various restaurants after we took her to the parks. With the shortening of the day, rides to parks are being skipped now.

I have an arrangement of leash which ensure that she remain safely on that perch. In fact, she liked that so much that I cannot pop her into her carrier at myfoot without her giving a holler and her determinationto get onto her perch instead. But if the day is hot with a powerful sun, or if it is raining, or when it is very dark outside, she will let me know if she want to get off that perch and back into her carrier.

At all those outings, Tink will be given her recall cues to try to ingrain into her that she return to me.

Embarrasement compells me to gloss over some of the mistakes I have made, some so fundamental that I could have kicked myself hard if ever it is possible to physically do that.

One day I will talk more about that if I can get enough time to get and edit my backlog of jpgs fotos taken and post it up to my webshot for a show and tell.

The reason why I wrote this email is beause of the last training outing I had with Tink a few hours ago.There is a school nearby that I now take Tinkerbell to in her harness (details are in the web page in my signature) attached to a millimeter fishing line of100kg breaking strength.

From experience, I am glad I use this line as I notice a fair amount of abrasion from rocks and branches which may cut through thinner lines.

First recall was from 6 feet away as a warm up forTink. She came at cue to get her sunflower seeds and head rubs. I faded off the clicker some time back already.

Another recall was done at cue. She flew to me veering off to my left overshooting me to double back to land on my left shoulder.

Time out was taken to scratch her head and to talk to her while walking around with her on my shoulder.

Another place was chosen to recall her from 20 meters away. She came at cue and repeated again to lots of head rubs and seeds and shouts of 'good girl' from me.

Then I took her to 40+ meter away laying out the lineas I moved away from her.

She came at cue flying horizontally to me and in the last five meters, drop her body 45 degrees flaring outher tail and spreading wings to aerial brake herself and go into her landing manoveur.

After placing her back on a perch, I backed off to 45+meters.

Her recall at my cue was superb. Then when she veered off to my left. Instead of entering her landing approach, she rose up as well and headed off beyond me.

A disquiet came into me momentarily and my hand tensed at the line ready to haul in as fast as I can before she got to the trees and complicate the process.

She then continued her turn rising higher into a level about 10 meters high. Her long loop continued for one and a half turn before she dived at me to do her landing.

This landing was something I never seen her tried before and was untidy. Her claws blooded me.

Who cares!

After the original fright that she was goingto bloody spook and scoot, she showed her coming to me those earlier rounds were her choice. If she ignore my cue to flex her wings in areas much bigger than the apartment and want to go site seeing, as long as she return to me, I forgive her for anything.

In my heart, that was such a beautiful landing.We ended that exercise as I want to end on a goodnote.

From:   shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Fri Oct 10, 2003  8:43 amSubject: 
Re: Harness flying with Tink - untidy landing

--- In, "Bart VanHoyweghen" <Bart.Van.Hoyweghen@v...> wrote:
> Nice story,
> Why do you call the landing untidy? (except for theblood of course)
> Did you wear a T-shirt when Tinkerbell was landingon you?
> It happened already to me with Wacko when I wasoutside without T-shirt or a very thin one. I guessthey don't realize it can hurt us. But with me itonly happened when they are coming in low at a very high speed, last minute air break, and then grab to avoid the overshoot. I feel they do these type oflandings as a way to avoid predators, their flyingskills must be very good before they try this.
> Bart

Hello again!

My apologies again for getting back so late to all youfolks. Work load was so intense that I could not do more then a cursory lurk. Then at home, I was trying to compile another folder of jpgs as to the perch arrangement on my motor scooter and the leash holddowns with new and better harness fastenings and pics of the nearby school with Tink on her recalls.

Today is Oct 10 which is Taiwan 'double ten' day of transition from Manchu dynasty and last of the Imperial rule to modern day China. In other words, it is a holiday. Of which we intend to scoot off on my motor scooter with Tink riding shotgun at the front and my wife at my back heading up towards the mountains of Alishan and Jade mountain to the East of Chiayi for the next 3 days.

In the hour before I have to leave, I can only answer this email. Those who wrote please bear with me for awhile longer.

Melinda of Bird-click, I am so delighted to see yourbook on clicker training for birds finally out. Karen Pryor send me a complimentary copy the other day and Ifind your book to be incredibly well written. I cannot recommend it strongly enough to any folks. What I learned from Melinda and clicker training have been the corner stone of the love and bond withTinkerbell. If you got trouble with feather plucking or agression or noise from your fids, or you want to have a greater and more intense relationship with your fids, do go buy Melinda Johnson's 'Clicker Trainingfor birds'.

Back to the query from Bart.

Before I talk of untidy landing, let me talk about what I term as good landings.

There have been two basic kind of landings that I am used to from Tink.

The landing depends on the height of her approach tome.

Her low flights will be at height anywhere between my knee and stomach level. Flying at this level is slower. Then when she is about 4-5 feet away, she flare her wings and tail and change her glide angle to soar upwards towards my shoulder. She will lose speed and come to almost a pause in midair and touches down so gently on my shoulder still looking in the direction of her flight and towards my back. Notwithstanding her unclipped claws, I can easily receive her on my bare body.

Should she fly at higher level towards me at about shoulder level or a bit higher, she will fly to me at greater speed. Then at about 5-6 feet away, her tail will dip with her body at 45 degree with wings outspread and tail flared to do aerial braking. Herfavourite landing is on my left shoulder. She then veer off to my left and at this point, I wish I can see exactly what she does instead of hearing it from my wife and listening to her flaps.

She veer off and overshoot my shoulder and she must have turned 180 degree. I can hear her flapping away and then she will land so gently on my shoulder but now facing along my direction of sight. I got to try to get some video shots for myself as much as for you folks.

Now, I must have mentioned a few times before that I bleed and may have created an impression that I am stoic and macho.

If so, please remove those impressions. I do find getting bleeded is painful.

With that, the untidy landing can be better understood. I may have been partly responsible. Tink was circling high. When she broke off her circling,she came at me in a very fast dive.

That triggered memories in me of high sharp her claws are (I am psychologically incapable of clipping herclaw ever since I overcut her once and spend a few miserable hours watching her bleed).

I must have flinched at those thoughts and must have tugged my shoulder off at the last second. I was wearing a very thin T shirt.

She came and one foot was on my biceps and the other foot flaying about. She skidded down my biceps ,flapping away for balance before ending up with one leg clawing at my biceps at the end of long claw skidmarks and the other leg digging her claws into my forearm.

I can tell you folks that is lot worse thana high speed landing with sharp claws.

I have wanted to spare your folks those gory details but Bart had to ask.

Since then, we have been back to that school many times. That bad landing was not repeated even though she circled around and dived at me from height. She bleed off enough speed and enter into a more regular landing routine.

WIth this, I got to go. My wife finished her packinga nd I need to pop Tink into her harness and be off towards dem mountains.

Do have a nice weekend


With warmest regards

Joy - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG & surrogate daughter

earlier emails and photo links on Tink -
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