I have a young apprentice - she lives across the street, she's eight, I think and she is wonderful! She comes once a week and we do donkeys stuff together - today was her fourth visit.
So far I have learned a lot from her, although I think it's supposed to be the other way around! I have learned that we have to mix some "fun" in with the chores and that I need to let her figure some things out and not always be suggesting "the way I do things!"
So today was the first day in a week or so when it wasn't pouring with rain. The donkeys finally had a day to roam and be outside and dry off. I could tell that Siog wanted to run, so when my young friend came, I suggested that we might encourage the donkeys to run around in the meadow. My friend told me that her favourite thing is "running!" Perfect! Off we went, both of us galloping around to encourage the donkeys.
Siog picked up the game immediately and off she went like a crazy youngster - tearing around after us, head held high, legs just flying. The other donkeys didn't join in but no matter.
Afterward, we haltered and tied them to fence posts for a decent grooming. My friend, her name is Forrest, loves Siog and offered to groom her, but unfortunately, Siog hates to be groomed! However, Forrest proceeded to work on her and when I turned around, she was giving Siog a hug around her neck. This, I learned, was because Siog was being fidgety, so Forrest just calmed her and reassured her with a hug.
I would never have thought to do that - but Siog and Forrest figured things out together and it worked beautifully. Let them be friends, let me watch the interaction and not always have to "teach!"