February 08, 2005
Are you folks itching for spring as much as I am right now?
This last week we had nice dry, warm, sunny weather. I was pretty busy during the week, but on Sunday I finally had some extra time and I did a training lesson with two of my donkeys, Andy and Elsie.
I rode Andy for a while, and he was a really good boy - soft and responsive to my ques and obviously enjoying himself. I also ground drove Elsie, and I think she enjoyed the attention, too.
I added an extra challenge to their lesson. I laid out a sheet of plywood on the ground, and had them walk across it several times until they were comfortable with it. Then while I was riding or driving them, I had them cross the plywood "bridge" several times as part of the pattern I was taking them through.
I think Andy really liked the plywood "bridge" game! By the end of the lesson he was looking for more chances to cross the plywood. When I'd ride him around on a path toward the plywood, he would happily cross the plywood and not even consider just going around it. It was like he was thinking, "See, I'm hot stuff now! I can cross this plywood like a pro!" It's amazing what variety and little challenges can do to help donkeys, mules and even horses enjoy their training practice better.
But I guess all good things must come to an end someday. We had a snowstorm come in Sunday night, and now it's all snowy outside again. It's not quite as bad as some of our storms in the past. We only got about 5 inches of snow Sunday night and Monday, but last year we had about 15-20 inches in one storm. Here is a picture of my donkeys right after that storm.
I'm happy I got in a lesson with Andy and Elsie while it was nice outside, and I can't wait until it dries out again and I can add some more obstacles in their lessons! Any ideas what obstacle I should add next?
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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at February 8, 2005 07:41 AM