August 14th, 2005

Some letters on harness

From: "shanlung9" <>
Date: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:34 am
Subject: Re: Hyacinth on the Lamb rescued through recall training

--- In,
<> wrote:
> Hi guys:

>This exercise and fun has importance that I did not fully realize
>until Abbey, who is also harness trained, was outside on her harness
>and leash when she was startled by a dust ball or other seemingly
>innocuous happenstance and she broke from my husband's grasp and flew

I have been warning repeatedly, and in capitalised words, the
following message.


I know the photos of me and Tink in the early days of harness showed
me holding on to the leash. But those were the early days, and very
rapidly, I found the capacity to spook , and the speed of the spook ,
will just jerk the leash away before you can even react or think
about reacting.

There is also another extremely important reason not to hold the
leash in the hand. I have said that the fid will not 'hit the brick
wall' when it flew to the end of the leash.


Of course, after that and with broken ribs on your bird, the owner
will never blame themselves for their stupidity. It is so much
easier to blame the harness and leash for that brickwall and all the
extreme danger against using harness.

Throwing away the baby and blaming the bath water.

Strange that 'experts' mentioned in this group to warn against
harness usage quite regularly do such things or worse.

Maybe I am just the village idiot who never could get it 'right' the
way the often mentioned 'experts' can!


From: "shanlung9" <>
Date: Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:01am
Subject: Harness -G..

--- In, <...@s...> wrote:
> I must miss things.
> Who gave you a hard time about harness use?
> Over the years, I only remember one comment about it, and that was
quite a
> long while ago.
> The only other time I've heard comments, was recently, where
someone said
> its better to clip than to use/rely on harnesses, but it couldn't
have been
> this person you reference, since last night you gave such glowing
> So who has given you such a hard time Shanlung? I thought everyone
> reading your adventures with Tink. And I certainly have never seen
> refer to you as anything close to an idiot
> Gay
> ----- Original Message -----


You know I never wore a rose-tinted glass when it comes to harness
and leash. Everything we do is dangerous, and we can only minimise
and never eliminate the dangers. Probably more than half of what I
wrote on harness dwelled more on the dangers than the harness itself.

You may have missed many of the letters here that are totally
negative about harness and full of failure stories without mentioning
the so far, successful usage of harness on Tinkerbell. Those letters
often mentioned of failures by 'experts' to double underline harness
usage is bad. I have posted here very regularly, even from the days
before I even thought about harness. I cannot imagine that what is
done with Tink is not known to those writers.

I do get the feeling that harness is frowned upon strongly here.

Joe did have strong aversion to harness based on first hand
experience to the injuries he seen caused by harnesses that he
explained to me. He never known of successful use of harness (so
far) as he never knew of me before. In private emails, he later
said to me that I wrote the harness issue well.

I cannot expect him to like the harness, but he never knew a guy like
me like to wander on steep mountain ledges with a CAG and to ride on
bike with one in front enjoying the wind. After he knew what I have
done, and what I like to do, he never made me feel bad about the
difference in our viewpoints and stated so in an open letter.

I was wondering about the injuries until recently I saw a photo of a
harness which I presumed to be sold commercially. The amount of
hardware on it was mind boggling. With steel rings and lots of spring
loaded thingy wingies actually used on the harness itself as well as
on the leash to the harness. In my recent reunion with Tinkerbell, I
was so delighted to modify my design by reducing by just one tiny
fishing clip on the leash line.

It made it much clearer to me how the injuries that Joe had seen
could have come about.

Harness usage is complex. The design of the harness, the training of
usage of harness, and many other things come into play. It is easier
to get it wrong than to get it right.

But to deny that it can be done right at all while harping on the
wrongs is to throw away the baby and blame the bath water.



From: "shanlung9" <>
Date: Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:27am
Subject: Harness - M...

No M...,

Do not get me wrong. There was some anger in me when I wrote.
But that was not anger with you, or Jean (who is my friend too) or
with that very important posting that you made. I am happy for her
the harness provided her the chance to take her Hy out with some

Perhaps it was anger at myself for not highlighting the importance of
clipping the leash to belt even though, lord knows, I often warned of
that in the past in simple emails. That issue of clipping leash
nagged me so much that 3-4 days ago, I went into Tinkerbell website
to specifically include that to make sure that will not be missed in
the future. You now see that in making of harness and usage of

I should have done that earlier when Jean was reading those articles
instead of just 3-4 days ago

Then when Joe told me of the injuries he saw caused by harness, I
immediately knew how that was caused. In the days when I hold the
harness in hand and Tink spook, I automatically relaxed my arm and
body while tightening the grip to let my arm served as shock
absorber. I can see how people may jerk back instead on the leash.

I could not conceived that people will jerk back on the leash. But
that was not until Joe told me of injuries he witnessed.

Then I realised how much more important it was to clip the leash to
yourself. No reflexes are required from you. And that will be the
safest so you do not bring that brick wall to the parrot.

Tink even flew off once, but never ever anymore as it got clipped on
my belt and later with the line holder (which is always clipped),
that issue no longer arise as the line lolder is deliberately too
heavy for her to lift.

There have been times when warnings against harnesses here tired me
out so much I drove back into lurkdowm. If I stayed on and talk, or
was asked by direct questions to talked, the problems with harness
flying and how to cope with that can be so well grounded that people
who want by circumstances to use harness will be so much more
knowledgable and their fids so much safer.



Then this was when this entity , who never have a clue what harness was, did not know what she was babbling about, never had a parrot in her life, claimed to be a rescuer of herons, came in and started to give totally unsolicited advice how how to use harness to me.

"oh - use foam rubber padding" - - "oh - use bugee cord" - "oh - did you not cosider using jessee?"

Maybe I should do a cut and paste, but that will show her in an even worse light.

One of those creatures who blabber the talk and never know where in the world was the walk and not even making any sense with her talk.

I asked her

"What experience do you have on harnesses on parrots?

Will the people here be given information by people
who never used harnesses on parrots?

How much have you known on what I have done?
Or should I remain quiet so an expert like you can once
more have the floor."

She then jumped in with all guns flaming but not knowing where to shoot in a reply I found too incredible to include here.

She also demanded if what was written was it 'peer reviewed' , what publications made in journals, and thereby declaring that she has the god given right to flame as she please. See below.

So expertese is just how many different species of birds must be treated, or
professional degree is claimed? Any published papers?
Anyone here publish in any journals or peer-reviewed work? Were all the peers
flamed out? Do anything with OIE? Or a website and the example of one species/
or bird that has success make you an expert?

Do I get to flame because someone has an idea, but is not an 'expert'? Or Would
it make any sense to for me to flame someone who had no idea what their birds'
BUN or WBC was or hemostasis value threshold? What to do if their bird torn an

Yes, so she can cast 'light' on the dark shadows. That her 'intellect'
can guide the way.

I kid you not! This truly existed!

Reality is stranger than fiction.

Which then resulted in the next letter.