We’ve been up at Eden again today for the School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) course. Now midway through the course! It was a really great session on raising finances. Yey.
But I have been feeling sick ever since mid afternoon. And we have to go again tomorrow. AND we have homework. Which I should be doing but always more fun to do something else isn’t it?
Tomorrow we are going over our mission and social aims/impacts.
My Mission is;
ChyPacas takes you through Penwith in a unique way. Walking the beautiful peninsula with alpacas you will discover new places inside of yourself by sharing your walk with Susie, Ida, Dolores, Leander, Aragorn, Marmite, Roger or William. Your trek leader will be specially trained in helping yo to get the most from the day. She will be a sibling of someone on the autism spectrum or on the spectrum herself. All people are capable of transforming themselves positively and ChyPacas offers a hand to those brave enough to seek change within themselves..
For my social aim comment I have written;
to promote learning from animals showing how we are related emotionally and spiritually to them for the benefit of ourselves and the animals we chose to work with.
But I’ve ended on a preposition. Does it even make sense? Or have I totally bombed out with this sickness thing?
It was another great learning session on Julie’s Camelidynamics course today. Nose loops, more clicker training, tag teaching, and agility. But can I do agility?
We did more tag teaching in the morning. To teach me some of the things I had missed on day one. So I got taught what Julie calls the snoot loop or the nose loop. This is a technique to get a halter shy alpaca prepared for having pressure over the bridge of it’s nose. After the tag teach session we went out and collected the boys so we could all have a practise.
During another yummy lunch Julie took a phone call about some 25 year old escaping guanacos. Their owner had had them for 17 years without any problems but when she brought in some kune kune pigs they freaked out (hmmm sounds familiar) and started escaping. The pigs have gone but the guanacos having discovered they can escape keep on escaping and their owner can’t afford to put in higher fencing. Unfortunately they will probably be euthanised rather than rehomed because they are already so old. Although as we discussed is it worse or better that their lives end in a field while they are happily eating? They wouldn’t even be aware they were about to go. I don’t know the end of this story. Maybe the legend of the guanacos of Bodmin moor has been born? We did all decide that camelid owners did need to be more aware of how badly their animals could react to pigs and in our experience it seemed that camelid owners mainly get kune kune pigs. No idea if there is a reason for that but three of us round the table had kunes. I am actually really grateful to our kunes for giving our alpacas the opportunity to learn they are not so scary. A great lesson for animals I would like to take out and about.
After lunch we went and herded the girls in. We practised leading on eachother althtough that was quite strange. It was useful though as getting the hang of starting and stopping is quite hard. Mainly stopping especially on a human as they are happy to start. Then we haltered the girls and took them out to practise for real.
I took Rosetta out. She is such a loveliest suri. And Chris and Rachel took out the two Llamas, Katia and Lucy. We practised leading them up and down the lane. The only issue I had with Rosetta, who seems to be beautifully capable at everything, was she would start to overtake me. It took me most of the afternoon to get the hang of this. I have to use the wand to slow her down or do a little circle turn with her.
Then we lead the girls up to the agility paddock. My years of dog training Misty and Rupert came back to me. I really love this. Rosetta was showing her alpaca side and missing leaving the herd behind us in the other paddock although she still managed to complete most of the course. There were only a few things that she shied at doing. The main one being the trailer which she did have a little moment about coming down the ramp. The whole experience was an amazing lesson for me in that while leading an alpaca along a lane and through a field or through trees is lovely the most powerful way to learn and build a relationship is leading the alpaca through a series of obstacles. I learnt different placing for my hand depending on what we were going through. Different body placements. How to use the wand. How to listen to Rosetta to give her time to look at an obstacle or slow her down so she is better prepared. I learnt so much and I still know very little. It has left me very keen to try this out with the ChyPacas herd.
Great to work with Julies alpacas at the training course at Carthvean farm today.
Great to learn some new techniques like tag teaching and realise for myself that this would work on my boys as Julie starts to tell me it already gets used for kids on the autism spectrum.
Lovely to work with Julie’s alpacas all afternoon despite the freezing temperatures. I now understand and can use the rachet both on the animals head and on the lead. I can halter properly. I can perform the mid line catch and even clip tricksy toe nails.
I thought there were too many alpacas in the boys field when I went out yesterday in the early morning gloom but didn’t really take it in or think to count. Or even notice the extra slim pretty brown one. It was gloomy. And I was busy with the usual routine of opening doors and feeding.
As the sky brighten I glanced over at the boys and suddenly all was clear. There was an extra alpaca. Milly. And Dolores too. I suspected they’d been spooked again and jumped the fence. And on closer inspection I found the fence and post had come away from the concrete wall and there was now a gaping hole in it.
I got their feed ready. I didn’t have the energy to be in panic mode. It was Sunday morning!
When I took them over the food found I wasn’t the only one to have seen the damage as the sun illuminated the world. Now all the girls were in the field. I could have sworn but because I was holding their food I formulated a new plan (another not panic plan). I stood at the open hole and tried to used the food to guide the girls only back into the other field. Only I hadn’t counted on William. Yes grumpy Wiliam loves his food and will always be first in line. So there he was in front of everyone else. Even Ida. Plus no one wanted to go back through the gap with me standing in it too.
Not panicking plan number 2 meant taking a risk. I took the food and put it down in the open field (where the girls were supposed to be). The girls and all the castrated boys came in for the food. I closed the gap by using a new fence post to weigh down the fence against the wall. Leander and Aragorn are too laid back to break in themselves. They got fed in their field and just mooned at the girls over the fence as usual.
Who knows what or whom spooked Milly and Dolores. Maybe a badger?
Only a tiny amount of adrenalin used up I went in to make coffee 🙂