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May 16, 2005

Clipping Your Donkey for Show - Part 8

Now that your donkey's face and mane are clipped, you might like to touch up the fur in his ears.

There are many different ways that people clip the fur on their donkeys ears. Some don't clip their ear fur at all. Others clip it all short - both inside and outside their ears. And then there are a variety of styles in between those two extremes.

Of course if you choose to not clip your donkey's ears, there's not much you have to worry about, and he will probably look quite nice as he is.

I much prefer to not clip all my donkey's ear fur short, especially inside their ears. I think that hair helps protect their ears from bugs in the summer time, and I want to help them avoid some of those problems.

I like to do a little clipper touch up on my donkeys' ears, but not a lot. Often times the style I choose for their ear clip varies from donkey to donkey. Among mammoth donkeys you will see a lot of people who clip the ears with big fuzzy pom-poms on the tips. I like to do this style on my mammoth donkeys, too.

ClipEars-mammoth.jpg

When clipping my mammoth donkey's ears, I use the Oster 5F blade. I believe this blade clips at about 1/4 inch length.

I start by clipping the fur inside their ears to where it is even with the outside edge of their ear. The easiest way to do this is to gently press the vertical edges of their ear together and clip the hair that sticks out. This has worked pretty well for me. It takes off the hair that is hanging out, but leaves the hair inside the ear to protect it from bugs.

Then I clip the outside of their ears, leaving section not clipped at the tip of each ear. The unclipped section is approximately the last 1 1/2 inches of their ear tip. This unclipped tip creates the pom-pom effect. Here are several close-up pictures of Andy's ears.

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Most standard and miniature donkeys that I have seen at shows don't usually have the pom-pom style, and if clipped, just have a smooth clip on the outside of their ears.

My little standard jennet is blessed with beautiful long tassels of hair that come out of her ears. I like the way they look so well that I just leave her ears like they are naturally.

ClipEars-Elsie.jpg


Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:33 PM | Comments (1)

May 13, 2005

Bishop Mule Days

It's only a little over a week until Bishop Mule Days starts, and if you are like me, you are probably busy getting last minute projects done, trying to get in a few more training sessions, and wondering where all the time has gone!

But until then, here are a few more of my favorite photos from last year.

It's always great to see kids out there getting involved. I really enjoyed seeing Becca Garrett participating in the donkey events. We have watched her showing donkeys since she was quite young. She is really growing up to be quite a nice young donkey lady. Here are two pictures of her driving Arco Alma.

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Another of my favorite things about Mule Days is making many great new friends!

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This year promises to be just as exciting! We hope to see you there!

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2005

Treat of the Week - Donkey Veggie Burgers

Here is a recipe to make veggie burgers that your longeared buddies can eat (in small quantities). Now they can have sandwiches along with you!

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Donkey Veggie Burgers

1 1/2 cups Water
1 cup Chopped Celery
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Quick Oats

Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add sliced celery and salt to the water. Return to a boil. Remove the pot from the stove, and stir in the oats. Use a clean, rust-free canning jar lid ring as a mold to form the burgers. Lay the lid ring on a non-stick or oiled cookie sheet. Spoon burger mix into the lid ring until it is full and packed down. Then move the ring to the next spot on the cookie sheet and repeat the process. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake your Veggie Burgers for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and put burgers on a cooling rack to cool.

Make your longeared buddy a tasty sandwich with a slice of whole wheat bred topped with one of these Donkey Veggie Burgers, and a few carrot shreds or lettuce leaf on top. Just be careful to not give your critters to many of these at a time as they do have quite a large amount of grain products in them.

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2005

Help at Last

Over the past few months a number of you have emailed me with questions about how to use some of the features on LongearsMall.

I have great news for you! I have just added a new link to the menu at the top of the LongearsMall pages. It is titled "Help", and takes you to a new area of LongearsMall where you can look up solutions to frequently asked questions.

I have listed a number of the most often asked questions there with links to their answers. If you have a question about LongearsMall that doesn't have an answer there, please email me, and I will be happy to answer your question and add it to the Help section for other users, too.



The weather has been too wet and miserable outside for me to be able to do much with my donkeys this week. But while we're waiting for it to stop raining and dry out, I thought you might enjoy this photo from a few sunny hours we had last weekend. This little boy is learning how to saddle Elsie and get her ready for a ride. Does it look like he's having fun?

saddleElsie.jpg


Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:10 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2005

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I like to see the rain to help the gardens grow, but it sure does make it hard to find a good time to train and condition my donkeys.

Utah is supposed to be a dry state, but this spring has been very wet! We've had an extraordinary amount of rain the past 8 weeks. It seems like it will barely dry up enough to start riding again in my training area, and we'll get another week of rain.

I thought I was going to get a good head start on conditioning Andy and Elsie for Bishop Mule Days this year. Things started off well the beginning of March, we had two good weeks of training, and Andy was really starting to get into it. Then the rain came, and it's been raining off and on ever since. I have finally given up on waiting until it dries out. Any evening it isn't raining I usually try to at least do some riding. If it's too muddy in my normal training area, I just ride around the back yard instead.

I have found that doing short (no more than an hour) training sessions with a mix of both fast and slow exercises is really helping Andy get back in shape fast. We usually do a little trot work, and transitions up and down from trot. Then we mix in some softening and responsiveness exercises while walking, and transition up and down between walk and halt. Then we might go back to a little more trot. I also mix in some leg yield along a fence, backing up, and if the ground is dry enough, a little canter.

It's also important to keep things interesting for your donkey or mule while doing your training and conditioning lessons. I have several barrels, a few pylons, a sheet of plywood, and some white PVC pipe lying around different parts of my training area. I use these items in my training to give me points to turn around, navigate through, stop by, etc. Every few lessons I like to move them around so that there is a new arrangement to navigate through.

I recently found a new riding instructor who has access to a large indoor arena that we have also started using once a week when it's too rainy to work outside. In the arena there is a new variety of distractions and obstacles to train the donkeys around. They have several jumps set up in the middle of the arena. They also have stall panels, a pile of rocks, a fire hose, oddly colored jump boards, and funny doors around the perimeter of the arena, too, to add some challenge.

Here are a few pictures of Andy and Elsie from our lessons last weekend.

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If your weather is uncooperative like ours has been, you might try to find an equestrian center or farm owner in your area with an indoor or covered arena who is willing to let you use their facilities for a small fee. If nothing else, it's a great opportunity to expose your critters to a new environment - working inside a building!


Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2005

Clipping Your Donkey for Show - Part 7

Are you ready to clip your donkey's face now?

I like to clip my donkeys' faces in the second or third clipping session. By that time they have gotten used to the noise and feel of the clippers again. If you clip your donkey's face near the beginning of a clipping session then he won't be as bored and tired of standing still, and it will be easier to get him to hold his head still.

One of the essentials for this step is an assistant to keep the donkey entertained and happy while he is expected to stand still. Your assistant can feed your donkey grass blades or other small tidbits and treats one at a time while you are clipping. Another thing that has worked well for us is ear rubs. All of my donkeys like to have the inside of their ears rubbed. While my assistant is rubbing my donkey's ears, the donkey usually stands very still and relaxed - perfect for clipping.

Your donkey's neck should already be clipped, but not his mane. I start along the bottom curve of my donkey's cheekbone, clipping against the direction the hair grows. Once you have the first path clipped, continue clipping along beside your previous clips until his cheek is clipped. You will probably have to untie your donkey and drop the halter nose band down off of his nose for a bit while you clip his cheeks and under his jaw, so that you can get to those areas.

Probably the most challenging part to clip is the space under your donkey's jaw between his jawbones. Just try to clip opposite the direction of the hair and even it up as you go until you fell that you have clipped enough of the hair there and things look ok. Something that really helps is if your assistant can feed your donkey treats down low while you are clipping under his jaw, so that he stretches his neck out and makes it easier to get to the hairs.

You may also want to clip the area on the bridge of your donkey's nose, too, while his halter is down. Continue clipping up his face, carefully around his eyes, up his forehead, and between his ears and mane. Some people clip their donkey's whiskers, too, but I don't. I figure the donkeys where made with whiskers to help them feel, and I don't have a problem leaving them. I have also heard of some donkeys who wouldn't eat after their whiskers were clipped.

The tricks for clipping your donkeys face are:

1. Find a way to keep his head pretty still, and keep him happy.
2. Always clip opposite the hair direction (that direction changes between all the different areas of the donkey's face).
3. Watch for all the humps and dips in your donkey's face, and try to follow that contour with the clipper.

Once you are happy with the clipping job on your donkey's face, you are a ready to clip his mane. I start by folding the long part of his mane away from me. Then I put the edge of the clippers next to the bottom of the hairs I have folded back, and clip away from the mane hairs toward me. This gives a nice smooth, short edge along beside the mane.

Then I like to take a pair of sharp scissors and carefully clip my donkey's long mane hair back to about 1 inch long. Some people prefer to leave the mane long, and others prefer to clip the mane all the way off even with the donkey's short neck fur, but I think my donkeys look best with a little edge of mane along the top of their neck.

If your donkey has a dark mane and lighter body fur like my Elsie does, you might want to clip all the light fur off even with the body fur, leaving only the dark mane hair sticking up to be clipped off and 1 inch long. Here is a before and after picture of Elsie's face and mane.

ClipFace01.jpg

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Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2005

Bishop Mule Days

Are you going to be at Bishop Mule Days this year? We'd love to get to meet you if you are there!

Bishop Mule Days is one of my favorite longears events of the year! And I can hardly believe it's only about two weeks until the show starts. I always look forward to the great variety of donkey and mule events, as well as the chance to meet many wonderful donkey and mule owners.

I have enjoyed watching the more serious events as well as the just-for-fun kind of classes. Here are a few pictures from last year.

This first photo is of several of the nice saddle mules lined up in their English riding class.

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And this is one of the fun races. In this class there were quite a few participants who had come with the Pyles Boys Camp group. Pyles Boys Camp works with boys from troubled homes and gives them an opportunity to experience life in a new way. I really think it's great that they offer these young men the wonderful opportunity to work with mules and participate in events like Bishop Mule Days every year.

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If you have extra time while you are at mule days, you might enjoy checking out some of the other attractions in the community. There is a really neat historical museum in Bishop that you might like to visit.

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Mammoth Lakes is also not to far away, and makes a nice escape from the hot weather down in the valley. Here is a beautiful little lake we visited up there last year.

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Come join us for this exciting week!

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2005

Treat of the Week - Special Sandwiches

Every once in a while you will find yourself needing to give your donkey or mule some kind of medicine or wormer that he may not want to take. Here is one little trick that you can use to solve that problem.

Ever few weeks you need to worm your donkeys, but there are some kinds of worming paste that they may not particularly like the flavor of. One that my donkeys don't really like is Equimectrin paste wormer. So what you can do is give your donkey or mule special sandwiches that they think are a great treat, and hide the wormer paste somewhere in one of the sandwiches.

Here's how you do it. Put two slices of bread on a plate and cut them down the middle into 4 quarters - smaller squares. I prefer to use whole wheat bread for mine. That is what we usually eat at home, and I figure it probably has more flavor to help mask the meds.

Once you have your 4 mini bread slices cut, start filling the sandwiches with good things to eat. I like to liberally coat the middle of my sandwiches with molasses. I lay out one mini slice. Then pour about a teaspoon of molasses on top of it. Then I put another slice on top to finish the sandwiches. I make a nice supply of these un-medicated sandwiches.

Then I take them out to the barn, and prepare to serve this delicacy. I start by picking my first donkey to worm, and measure out their proper dose of wormer into one of the sandwiches. Then I take that sandwich and several un-medicated ones to the chosen donkey. I praise them for being such a good donkey, and give them one of the pieces of the un-medicated bread. Most donkeys love this treat, and will gobble it down and beg for more. Once they've gobbled down one or two slices of the plain bread with molasses, I offer them the paste wormer sandwich. Usually they grab that one, too, and don't even hesitate to munch it up and look for more. I then give them one last plain piece as a final treat.

Some donkeys have extra sensitive taste buds, and quickly learn to detect the smell of wormer inside these sandwiches. When offered the special sandwiches they will carefully sniff the sandwich to determine it's contents, and if they smelled wormer, they turn up their nose and leave. I have ended up having to just squirt the dose of wormer directly into those donkeys' mouths. But for most donkeys, the sandwiches make worming sessions a lot easier and more enjoyable for all of us!

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2005

Tote That Load

If you have ever taken your donkeys or mules to a show or other event before, you've probably found yourself toting a lot of things around. Here's something that might help ease your burden.

I know when I go to shows I end up hauling hay, tack, blankets, equipment, manure and all kinds of other stuff back and forth. So far I've just done it by hand when I didn't want to go to the trouble of driving my truck back and forth.

But this year I have decided to try something new. I just bought a neat little wheelbarrow that I plan to take with me to Bishop Mule Days. At Bishop Mule Days, my trailer will be parked off in one of the camping lots, and it is quite a little walk to get from there to the donkeys' pens and back. Every day I end up making many trips back and forth between the too, and often times I'm hauling equipment and other stuff along with me. This year I'll be able to just load it in my little wheelbarrow and roll it back and forth. Much easier!

The neat thing about this wheelbarrow is that it folds up pretty small, so it won't take up much space when my trailer is packed for the trip. The wheelbarrow is not a heavy-duty commercial grade one, but it is strong enough that I think it should work quite nicely for my trips away from home. Here are several pictures of it - folded up and unfolded.

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These folding wheelbarrows can be purchased from Roundpens-n-More.com. Just go to their website and click on the Trailer Accessories link at the bottom of the list down the left. The wheelbarrow is currently the first item on this page.


Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2005

Another Camera is Up!

We have another donkey WebCam on Longears Mall!

WebCams are such a great thing, especially for those of us watching for our jennets to foal. I just got my WebCam set up and running last weekend. Now I can easily check on my donkeys from work or anywhere else with an internet connection. And you can watch them too!

To view my new webcam or any of the other donkey webcams on internet, just go to the WebCams menu above, and click on the webcam link you would like to view. Mine is the one for Sagebrush Ranch.

Right now my webcam is monitoring my "expectant mother" paddock. My jennet, Pansy, is due to foal in about a week and a half. You might enjoy helping me watch for Pansy to have her baby. I don't think she'll foal for at least a few more days. She's started building a bag and looks like she's about big enough to pop though.

Once the baby is born, I plan to keep them in that paddock for the first few months. So you should have plenty of opportunity to watch Pansy and her baby for a while.

At night you can't see much because the lighting in her pen isn't good enough for the camera, but you can watch Pansy during the day. You may be able to also see one of Pansy's buddies on the other side of the fence from time to time.

Have fun watching the donkeys!

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2005

Clipping Your Donkey for Show - Part 6

Now that you have finished clipping your donkey's body and legs, you can touch up his tail so that it looks neat and tidy.

There are a variety of styles you can choose for his tail. I like to clip the short hairs at the top of his tail with my #3F blade that I used on his body. I like to leave my donkey's tail long, but I do even up any extra long straggler hairs at the end of his tail, that are hanging way down beyond the rest. If you prefer, you can use scissors to cut his tail hair straight across the bottom at about the height of his hocks.

Here is a good picture of how I clipped Elsie's tail last spring. As you can see in this photo, I had not clipped her legs yet. I did that step after her tail.

Elsie-Tail.jpg

Once your donkey's tail is done, you can clip his mane. I find this is easiest to do when I am first starting a clipping session and my donkey hasn't gotten bored yet. I have an assistant come feed my donkey grass or carrot bits while I am clipping, so that my donkey holds his head and neck still. Clipping the mane can be a tricky job, and it's always easier when it's not moving all over the place!

There are a variety of ways to clip manes, too. Probably the easiest is to just roach it off even with your donkey's neck. With my donkeys, I prefer to clip their mane at about 1/2 to 1 inch long. That leaves a nice short, neat mane that complements their head and neck well. Different donkeys are built differently, and you might prefer to do yours differently. But I'll explain how I clip mine.

Carefully fold the long hair of your donkey's mane away from you, so that it is lying off the other side of his neck, and the shorter fur hairs are left standing up. Position your clipper next to the mane you have laid over, and clip down toward you to clip the shorter fur hairs the same length as the rest of the body fur. Then repeat the process on the other side. This will leave the longer coarse mane hairs standing up with a nice neat clean clip on the fur along beside the mane.

Now you can carefully use scissors to clip the mane hair shorter - down to about 1/2" to 1" left standing up above his fur. If your donkey's mane is a contrasting color to his surrounding fur, you can carefully clip away most of the surrounding fur hairs to make the mane color stand out more. Here is how I clipped Elsie's mane.

ElsieMane.jpg

Next time we'll be ready to talk about clipping your donkey's face.

Kristie Jorgensen
LongearsMall.com


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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)