Welcome to my blog - a diary about living with donkeys, notes about care, my training sessions and the absolute pleasure of donkey companionship.

Leave a comment! Just click on Comments at the bottom of each post and a box will appear. If you have a question, I always respond!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Barn aisle lessons

Pouring rain today and the forecast looks like a wet week.

So ... what can we do in the barn aisle?  Donkeys each in their stalls, one by one, I bring them out.

Ringo first.  He has to target my fist at the front of the aisle, then drop his head and stand.  I clean his hooves.  Try to vary the rate of reinforcement but he is squirmy, so I click him for standing still.
Today he kicks with his right hind (always the right hind!)  I know I shouldn't react but I do give him a thump on his rear and tell him to quit.  He settles, we continue.  I get my shedding blade.  He hates brushes but loves the shedding blade so that's what I use.  He had been rolling and was full of bark mulch and straw etc.
So I clean him up and he very sweetly turns his head to touch the middle of his belly.  This is something I taught him last winter to encourage more flexibility in his neck and he'll throw this one at me whenever he's trying to get extra treats.  Finally, we're done and I ask him to back down the aisle and into his stall.  He does this really well, turning the corner into his stall and dropping his head in front of his dish for his bonus.

Deenah next.  She is so keen and I have just started bringing her into the aisle as normally I clean her hooves in her stall while she's eating or else outside.  She just loves having a trurn at clicker training and is catching on so quickly.  Although she still doesn't quite get targeting and will mouth the dowel or the clicker or my hand instead of the blue ball target.

Dorica is (always!) last.  She gets very serious and concentrates with all her might.  For some reason though she always feels threatened by the other donkeys as though they are going to steal her treats even though they are in their stalls and can't get to her.  But she's the mini and often gets picked on by Ringo.
I often have to move her a distance away so she feels a bit more secure.  Not quite sure how to handle this as she has now learned to growl and pin her ears back and she never used to do that.

No comments:

Post a Comment