This is part 3 of the "Equidays prep" series. If you are joining in late and would like to catch up, here's part 1.
So how's my plan progressing? Well, I've walked Hokey down the road to a friend's arena and taken him to the RDA indoor again by himself, and each time he's been calm and connected (more or less). He's getting the hang of all this and I think being off grass and on supplements is helping too.
I've got costume and props sorted for the night show - can't show you what it is but I think it's pretty cute. Also have the routine pretty much decided. He has really been struggling with his 'park' while in the new environments though, so I guess we'll have to see how that goes during rehearsal. I might have to minimise that particular part and let him stay close to me.
We've got our rehearsal times - we only get one 15 minute slot the night before the show to familiarise the horses with the big indoor arena. Not as much time as I'd hoped for, but it is what it is.
Since I don't have any relevant photos for this blog, here's some cute ones from the Multi-Species training clinic a couple of weeks ago. So much fun! These gorgeous faces belong to animals from Bullswool Farm Park.
Another interesting tangent (my favourite sort): I talked in the first of this blog series about training my nervous butterflies to fly in formation. I thought it was worth pointing out that while this has in fact been done in real life, with real butterflies!
Using careful shaping and positive reinforcement, Ken Ramirez trained 10,000 butterflies to fly in formation between two points. Here's the description of this amazing feat and how it was trained, it is well worth a read. So there's my reality check. Training like THAT is happening in the world right now. Incredible, and humbling.
Next week I'm teaching the RDA holiday program as usual (Mon-Wed), and then heading straight to Equidays. Not sure if I'll get a chance to do another blog from the event, but you never know.
I will leave you with this rather entertaining video in which Dan & Dan demonstrate exactly how one should handle the situation when carefully laid plans go awry - with humour and calm confidence. May I channel that attitude in the days to come!
So there you have it. Once this is over it'll be back to normal programming. I've got a ton of topics to write blogs about but don't hesitate to suggest a topic or ask a question and I'll add it to the list!