Vote on what we focus on training next! BROADCAST: Monday, November 2. SERIES: Clicking with Mackenzie Story: DIVA Training
clicking with mackenzie
DIVA Training, Episode 43
by mackenzie cole
We asked you to decide what you wanted to the DIVAS do next and the votes are cast! Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to vote. We know this is the election you have all been waiting for, so we won't hold back any longer. Our next training focus will be.... drum roll please:
Parkour is a relatively new sport and completely new to the world of donkeys. I have a feeling that the DIVAS will fall in love with it. I imagine that wild burros, when giving the opportunity to spend their days as they chose, probably did a lot of parkour, though. There's a lot of overlap between donkey parkour and other things we have trained already, but what makes parkour different is the emphasis on more free-form tricks and behaviors.
For humans, Parkour started in the 80's in France. It was developed by the French military in order to train soldiers how to quickly move through urban environments. It became a more widespread sport in the last twenty years. Like other freestyle sports (skateboarding, snowboarding, buildering), the art is about interacting with urban and physical environments in ways they weren't designed for. I imagine the DIVAS will interpret this in their own ways, but Gertie has definitely long been a believer in interacting with her environment in her way. The fun really comes from seeing streets, concrete, rails, and benches as playgrounds. For the DIVAS, this means seeing benches, rails, and the ranch in this way!
Also, it's very dorky and makes it hard to take yourself seriously. Which is why I like it!
WHAT WILL WE WORK ON?
BALANCE - This is the art of walking along narrow beams and things like them!
TARGETING - We will use targeting principles throughout this training. We've already got the DIVAS doing hand targets, (cued with TOUCH), nose targets to boards (for counting), and individual foot targets. Now we will add in moving to a mat, or foot targets.
FOCUS - We will keep building handler attention and more of it at a distance!
AROUSAL - This training will help the DIVAS a lot with emotional regulation as they have to learn to think through their fun and excitement!
STAY - A classic behavior we will start with the DIVAS on!
UP - This is the art of getting onto things!
OFF - This is the pair to UP, or the art of getting off of things!
RECALL - This is coming when called. As we progress, we will hopefully add coming through obstacle courses!
JUMPS! - The name says it all!
AND CREATIVITY! - An often unthought-of portion of Parkour, creativity comes in to play with modifying the environment and thinking up fun and challenging new ways to navigate it. And also with tricks like:
Recap of Episode 43
We taught some new tricks! We worked on STAY for the first time, practiced UP and OFF, and introduced GO TO MAT!
Goals for Episode 44
For our next episode, we'll keep going with Donkey Parkour. What sort of amazing feats will the DIVAS get into? Probably some more STAY and GO TO MAT feats! But who knows!
Be sure to join us on the Livestream Next Sunday, November 8th, at 4:00 PM (MDT)! NOTE OUR BROADCAST TIME HAS MOVED TO EARLIER IN THE DAY!
And remember to check the calendar to catch the live broadcast and see how the DIVAS do in real-time or in the re-broadcast, and drop a line in our live chat if you have any questions! Thanks so much for all your support and enthusiasm!
Meanwhile, here's this week's BROADCAST RECORDING of Episode 43 from our Sunday, November 1st, 2020, training at 4:00 PM MDT (-6UTC).