Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Greedy, pushy donkey!

Libby is a greedy, pushy donkey. A very greedy, pushy donkey. But she was good overall today. I put her on a lead for the first time in about a week and a half I think, and she followed me like a puppy dog. Only balked a few times towards the end of things.

I tried to introduce her to a curry comb today, which was interesting. She sniffed it, poked it, and let me rub her nose with it when she was sniffing it, and let me rub the cheek strap of her halter with it, but not any other part of her directly. I finaly settled for her sniffing it and lipping it, and then put it back in my pocket. For her being so interested in not being touched with it, she sure wanted to see what it was doing while in my pocket! Maybe a few more days of introduction of the currycomb and she'll let me use it on her. I know it's still cool out, but she's so furry and she is shedding.

And because she won't let me clip the rope on her without a bribe, I go out with about two handfuls worth of grain in a bucket. I know, no grain needed for donkeys, but she's getting about three single-handfuls a week, if that. Less then a cup. Half of what I bring out goes to Drifter just for standing around and waiting patiently. I'm not bringing anything out at all though most of the time, because I don't want her to always expect something. Anyway, she decided several times to push past me and go for the grain, which is on the ground in the middle of her pen so Drifter can't get to it. Each time, I stepped in front of her, gently pushed the lead back towards her chest, stepped forward slowly, and said back as she stepped back with me. Maybe she'll learn "back" pretty soon.

The last time, towards the end of our little lesson in being nice, being handled, and following me like a puppy, she lunged forward, and I was doing good to keep her in place. I took this opertunity to run my hands over her neck, shoulder, and part way down her foreleg. She never flicked an ear until I was almost to her knee, making me think she's a big old buffalo, and not one bit afraid of me! That doesn't mean I'm going to suddenly start pushing her, but it does mean that maybe she's more ready for things like brushing and other touching then I thought.

I'm also wondering what I'm going to do if she goes from being a little mouthy to being nippy- right now when she lips at me, I just move my hand (or any other body part) out of reach so it's not so easy for her to nibble. It seems to be working, but I'm curious on how to draw the line between her not being mouthy and her allowing me to look at her teeth and mouth.

ANy ideas out there, readers?

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