After the shahaylu bond is made, the banshee must be ridden for the first flight immediately. Since this must be done without a harness, the young rider must balance with feet locked into the clavicular prominences which form the lower edge of the banshee’s breathing orifice, or spiracle. “Bareback” is the most difficult way to ride a banshee, and limits the type of flight maneuvers that the rider can do. Of course, since it is often the rider’s first flight of any kind, it is recommended that the novice rider use this flight to become attuned to his or her new banshee’s thought process and flying style, and let the banshee do most of the decision making about when to turn or climb. The banshee’s instincts will keep both of them alive.
After the first flight, iknimaya is completed, and training begins.
The banshee will be saddled on subsequent flights, and the acolyte rider will learn how to balance on the footpegs during high performance turns and dives. At first, a training harness is used, but later a harness specially fitted to the individual animal by a clan artisan steeped in the art of saddle-making will take its place. The rider will then personalize the tack with woven beaded adornment. The harnesses are both functional and highly decorative to honor the bond with the consciousness of the banshee. Each clan has distinct harness style and construction, but a broad range of personal adornment colors and patterns are allowed.