We have offficially had Pappy for a week now so I decided it was time that we have an actual lesson. This week we have spent a lot of time just exploring his personality and gainibg trust. He is by far the most loving and affectionate creature. He has never once offered to kick , bite or rear. He is pretty nonchalant about everything and doesn’t ever get excited -so I figured it was time for the next step.
Today he eagerly searched my pockets for carrots and lowered his big ole nose into his halter. As soon as the stall door opens he shakes his head and does a little halfhearted buck of excitement. Once out to the paddock area he gets rather annoyed at me when I dont turn him loose to graze.
I pick up my 15 year old carrot stick (parelli term for a hard stick with rope on end used like a lunge whip) and started rubbing him all over with it…he didnt even give me a sideways look so I pushed further by flapping it on the ground and swirling above his head like a helicopter- he snorted- went back to eating…guess he wasnt impressed.
I pushed him out into a circle and he reluctantly jogged two laps both ways before coming to center in search of more treats- hes a very food driven donkey…
I finish the lesson off by giving him a good brushing and picking up his front feet for 30 seconds each. This wasn’t his favorite thing but he tolerated it which is awesome. We will need to get him trimmed soon because his feet are absolutely awful. The vet said his toes were curled upward when he got him, like elf shoes. They trimmed him some when they gelded him so it is buying me time.
At this point I got a lesson in donkey . They are like cats, if their head fits, the rest will fit too…
Pappy decided it was breakfast time and he was over my shenanigans so he started trotting towards the gate…it was shut but not latched. He grabbed it with his teeth and OPENED IT. How smart is this creature? So the remaining 30 minutes involved me following him around our entire pasture all while he would wait for me to get within arms reach and he would nonchalantly walk a few steps out of reach…tell me that wasnt on purpose….
We finally agreed to be done and walked back to the barn together…one happy donkey and one out of breath, exhausted donkey trainer…
At the end of the day, who really trains who?
I would love to hear your training stories!
Eat, Bray, Love ❤