Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Draft Animal Power › Other Working Animals › donkey’s first trip
- December 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm #44289Donn HewesKeymaster
I finally hooked Eddie, our 4 yo Mammoth Jack Donkey to a forecart for the first time. Up until now he has been only on logs or a stone boat. He has been driven single and in a team before, and today he was teamed up with my mule, George. Unfortunately I did it with out pictures, but it was so uneventful that I could film his second trip and it couldn’t be better than his first. While I expected him to do well, I also had a slight question only because his learning curve has been slower than most other animals and that leaves you wondering how he will react to the next new thing. I had an Amish assistant (12 yo) working in my shop today and I took advantage of the extra hands. We moved the forecart so it was facing the barn with about ten feet to spare. I think this helps them stand and control an impulse to jump on the first step. He was very quite through the hooking up and adjusting the D ring harness. With the extra person it is easy to take your time and let them learn form the standing. Then I staid at the head while Jake picked up the lines and we moved them for a side pass away from the donkey so he wouldn’t come in contact with the tongue right of the bat. After a couple stops and a few steps to make sure he was calm, we went for a ride in the soggy pasture. At first all the turns are big, wide turns away from his side.
Gradually I added big wide turns to his side. This introduces seeing something new, but doesn’t introduce the tongue so much. At this point he was head down and little line pressure. He is usually very light with no leverage. In the past when he has gotten upset, leverage has not helped at all. Next, we went up by the sheds where we could go around the shed in different directions. This was the only concern he had. The first time we tried a sharper turn his way, we didn’t complete it. He was going to dump himself over the tongue. Lighten up, turn the other way and come back again. after a few minutes he made a couple good turns his way where he was moving over. Nothing to extreme, not side passes or anything like that. Finally, back to the barn for parking, He backed and turned (away from him) very patiently. Nice little trip. I will try to take some video next time I hook him. DonnDecember 9, 2012 at 9:24 am #76148JayChaseParticipant
Sounds like a fun day! Even though I have three boys, 12, 10, and 7, the idea of an Amish assistant sounds rather appealing! Looking forward to that video…
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