Training updates and successes with apples.

I can’t believe we have been quiet here for so long as so much has been happening.

Training is going amazingly well. Alexis and I have taken Susie out around the field together and best of all we have discovered a secret weapon to use with Susie. Apples! She is very happy to have the halter put on and to be lead out when she is offered pieces of apple every 5 to 10 metres. It is so exciting and fulfilling to watch this transformation. Thank you to Alexis for working this out.

We have both been working with Leander in the walkway and will be taking him out into the field on our next training session. He is much more relaxed once he has been haltered but he is still hiding in the corner of the pen when I halter him. So I need to work on my own handling skills to improve the experience for him and reduce his anxiety.

With William, Roger and Marmite we have been focusing on clicker training. They absolutely love it. So much so, that we are using the halter as the target with amazing results in just a few sessions. William loves clicker training so much that mid way through a session he is reacting to the clicker (which produces dopamine and serotonin in the brain) and moving straight back to the halter instead of accepting his food reward. Unless, that is, I train with apples as we did in the last (freezing) session which sends him into a frenzy. Which begs the question;

Do apples contain something other than fructose which is a stimulant??

We have also found our dream piece of land and are looking at how we can finance it. Which means lots of time spent on the phone and typing business plans and finances. If we can pull it off it will be amazing so please wish us luck.

We also met with Stephen over Christmas to talk more about the film Tommy.com would like to make about the project. Filming has been pencilled in for early March….

Vet visit. Someone tell me it wasn’t worse than the last one?

We tried to treat Millies leg wound this weekend ourselves with lots of calendula tincture but she is so flighty and nervous we decided we needed a vet.

It really is true. If the vet is coming everything you can normally manage without blinking suddenly goes horribly wrong.

It must be that alpacas can mind read. I just can’t work out why they won’t accept the positive messages and images I send them. They sure get ‘the vet is coming’ before any sign of the vet.

So today went badly. OK it went pretty good at first except somehow as I got the girls into the shelter I turned to refasten the gate and Millie snuck out past me. SO now I had Millie in the field with the boys. Hiding amongst them no less.

It just got worse after this. I did manage to get Millie into the shelter just as the vet drove up the track. She was totally freaking out though. I got kicked, spat on (by guess who? yes Mrs Spitty pants herself Dolores, although I still love her) and Millie reared up and got me on the forehead. It hurts.

We did manage to get her an injection for the mites so I don’t need to try to treat her legs. Because I won’t be able to without a lot of work. And her wound got blue gunk sprayed on it. And she got some antibiotics to put in her feed for ten days. I have to accept the way to get her better is allopathic. I have tried but her nerves are stopping me from being able to treat her properly.

The injection for the mites works in 24 hours. The blue gunk is a spray and the antibiotics just go in her food.

I will go back to Calendula (maybe using a spray bottle!) soon. And I will treat all the others with the super duper herbals gel as early as the first mite signs appear as it works a treat as long as I put it on a couple of times within a week of each other.

To take something positive out of the experience, yesterday I haltered both Susie and Ida. They were both dreamy and goregous. Take a look at Idas expression. She loves Ttouch. Bless her.

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Susie looks a little annoyed but she was super easy. I think she will love going for walks… next week? 🙂

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Ida, check out her eyes 🙂

Haltering made easier

Second day trying to halter a couple of the boys and Leander is dreamy about it. Couldn’t do Aragorn still. He is massive though. I tried William too but the set up was still wrong and he panicked so I had to let him out. Chickens and dogs all jumping around the area don’t seem to calm alpacas. Funnily enough.

IMG_2398[1]The neon halter helper along side the mid line catch really does make a world of difference. Of course losing that tiny bit of nerves I realised I still had inside didn’t really make it easier.

Camelidynamics training: day one

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.

Rosetta haltered by me :)

Rosetta haltered by me 🙂