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

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Making rope reins

Today I made two sets of rope reins to use with ground work.  The advantage of this is that because each side can be clipped to the cheek rings on either side of the halter, the weight of the rope is evenly distributed across the donkey's withers.  You can also easily lead from the left or the right without having to unclip/ reclip the snaps on the lead.The rope reins can be customized to fit the animal and that way you don't have a handful of extra rope to deal with.

But most importantly, these reins allow the handler to use the lightest possible touch when asking for a walk off or lateral flexion.  You can slide your hand down the lead to the snap, gently and then at the slightest positive inclination from the donkey you can DROP the rein entirely - giving such an effective release to your request.  This is brilliant!

I started with a length of soft marine rope, two short snaps, electrical ties, hockey tape and scissors.

Then I haltered up a donkey and measured from the cheek ring on one side of the halter around the withers and over to the opposite cheek ring.  I let the rope lie gently on the donkey's back just behind the withers and added some length to allow me to thread on the snap, fold the rope back and attach an electrical tie. I taped the whole folded back section with hockey tape.  Did the same on the other side.

I used chrome snaps on this one and brass on the other. I was looking for short snaps so that my hand can slide as close as possible without banging into a big snap.

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