Monday, September 27, 2010

Another visit from Koren, donk farrier, and now two of the three donkeys are in love with her!  Up to now, Luigi had been her amorous buddy, pressing up to her side (unfortunately, also showing off his manly backside), attempting to steal her tools, pulling on her farrier apron...  But on this visit, little Gabriella vied with Luigi for #1 assistant position.  Just like little kids at school, outdoing each other's antics to get the teacher's attention.  Gabs was literally wrapping herself around Koren while work was being done on Fran.  Fran was the only aloof customer.

Koren slowly disappears from view as Luigi cuddles up, backside first.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Fabulous Guy

Today I'm going to digress from the three lovelies (hmmm, perhaps Luigi would not enjoy that title) and turn to Natural, the other equine in my life.  He's a 26 year old Standardbred, who's been with me for 20 years. Next to Rick (husband) and Dudley (black lab featured in previous posts), he's my main squeeze.

I don't ride anymore after a pretty bad fall six years ago, but do work him in the outside arena, about 80x120 Today he was a marvelous gem.

I took my lunge line and whip with me out to the arena and coaxed him in with some carrots.  But once in, he was not in the mood to be haltered.  Finally I quit chasing him and told him, "Fine, then you're going to run" and cracked the whip.  Lo and behold the boy started lungeing around this large area, just as if he was attached to a line.  I'll admit I had a much harder workout trying to keep up with him, but he went through all of his paces through voice commands - walk, trot, canter, ho.  My equine friends will know this is not out of the ordinary in a round pen, but not in a space this large.

I was beaming!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Training Begins!

Labor Day not only marked the one-year anniversary of entering life with the donkeys, but also marked the First Day of Training to Drive.  Dum da dum [drum roll in background]  We clipped on two leather dog leashes, one on each side of the halter.  I was in back as the "driver" and Rick was in front with a lead line offering a little direction when my voice commands fell on deaf ears.

We started with Luigi and things went rather swimmingly.  I was able to get him back on track, turned, and went down the driveway like pros.  Then it was Fran's turn.  Not so swimmingly.  Two steps, then stop and think.  I'd nudge her, we'd go another two steps, stop and think.  Didn't try Gabriella, the little teenage hellion.

I've been looking for books and articles to help me figure out what I'm doing and the pickin's are sparse. But one I found yesterday did say geldings seem to perform better.  So I guess our experience also points in that direction.

Now to start looking for some decently priced gear!

I do have to put a plug in for friend Jill who offered words of encouragement this past weekend.  She taught her pony to drive without too much effort -- only thing was it was about 40 years ago.  Hmmm....