Tuesday, April 14, 2009

quick donkey tidbit

Cody (the QH) didn't like hauling with the pony very much, as it meant he had to be tied on his side of the trailer, with the divider in, as opposed to his usual method of travel, which is free in the entire trailer space. So now he is reluctant to load, and we're doing the same work with him we did with the pony last year.

My daughter was standing with Cody at the trailer door, the primary goal being for him to just drop his head, relax, and lick and chew. He's not allowed to pull back, but he doesn't have to step onto the trailer. Eventually she'll have him load one front foot, then both, then load all the way again.

The donkeys were in the barnyard grazing around with Salina, and suddenly, Rafer Johnson got a determined look in his eye and marched over to Cody, peered into the empty trailer, and proceeded to load himself!

Of course Redford was not far behind. I took Cody and we quickly gave the donkeys a treat inside the trailer to reinforce that yes, it's a good place. Redford hopped in, and we had two donkeys loaded up for the road.

Salina didn't like it one bit! She started circling and calling, I'm sure thinking we were taking her boys away. We assured her that was not the case.

Today I went out and all I had to do was open the trailer door and step inside. Rafer was right behind me. Apparently, Donkey Loading 101 is a very short course!


the7msn said...

Love it! It's a testament of Rafer's and Redford's trust in you.

Grey Horse Matters said...

That's too funny and cute. You have to love the donkey's and their sense of fun. Hope Cody was taking notes, especially on the treats.

ponymaid said...

Billie, we donkeys consider ourselves the original Road Warriors. We firmly believe good things lie at the end of a trailer ride. Rafer was growing frustrated with Cody's reluctance and took things into his own sensible hoofs. And of course Redford threw in his vote of confidence. Those boys are doing a fine job of overseeing your place.

billie said...

Linda, I was very proud of them and thought immediately of George and Alan. :)

billie said...

Arlene, poor Cody seemed slightly astounded. I think right now he is just not sure he can trust us to load him the "old way" again. I thought hauling them together would be a comfort, but they both seem to like it better when they can turn backwards and find their own balance.

I'm researching trailers again, trying to figure out how I can swing a bigger one. Right now I'm very intrigued with a 4-horse straight load with a "mid-tack" area that could haul our entire herd if necessary, but for regular travel could be converted to 3 box stalls.

If you (or anyone reading this) has suggestions as to what you prefer in trailers, I'd love to hear it.

billie said...

Sheaffer, I know you are a true traveling soul and I wondered if Rafer Johnson and Redford were taking me at my word that when the biting insects emerged here, we would be heading up to your neck of the continent for the season. Not to mention your upcoming party!!

You would have been proud of the Road Warriors today. Basically, every time I open the trailer doors, they march out there and hop right in. Rafer got in with the pony today and I thought Salina was going to have a fit!

The hard part now will be loading any other horse and managing to get the trailer out of the driveway without donkeys inside!

Nachodonkey said...

Your story about the bird was very moving. I think we are given signs often but put them off as coincidence.

A special aunt died a few years ago. She always said she didn't believe in God and one day shortly after her death I was having a very blue moment as I was driving down the highway. I do believe in a Higher Power and I was praying that I was concerned for her and just wanted to know that she was okay. It was a very depressing, overcast day but about a minute after that thought left my mind, a small opening in the clouds appeared and the sun shone in a circle around my car for a couple of hundred meters as I was travelling down the road. It lasted for about two minutes and then was gone. It was the only time I saw the sun all that day. Maybe it meant nothing but I felt a great sense of relief and would like to think that she has found a good place. I remember the exact section of road this happened. I hope the little bird brought some comfort to you.

Keep well.

billie said...

Nacho, I love your story. That kind of moment seems like it couldn't be anything else BUT a response to your prayer.

I've had a thing with crows for a number of years now. For an entire year everywhere I went, including my office, the house we sold to move here, here on the farm, everywhere, I would see 3 crows.

Once we moved here I began to see more, but they were so elusive, and would fly off if I so much as walked to the window. Eventually I managed to get photos, and they seem to always be around. But never have they let me get close to them.

The week after my father died, I was riding Keil Bay and suddenly a big crow flew right up and landed a few feet away from us, then flew even closer to a post as we rode by. On several different days this week, a single crow has come right up to me in the paddock, and just now, one came right into my back yard.

I don't know if this has anything to do with my dad, but it feels like it might.

Whether it does or it doesn't, it makes me think of him and wonder, and that in itself is a comfort.

Anonymous said...

The title of your post put me in mind of an appetizer at Applebees or Fridays.

billie said...

Ha! Not that kind of tidbit... :)