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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Monday, August 24, 2015

Late summer

My broken shoulder is healing slowly, but here I am using two hands at the computer!  It's been a crazy experience ... pain, swelling, immobility, lack of sleep, frustration and .... the many gracious, kind and helpful offers of food and support from island folk.  It takes a community to mend a broken shoulder!

One of the bright spots has been shared clicker training sessions with a friend who is an experienced horse person, but fairly new to clicker training.  Bonus - she is also a physio!  As a keen student of positive reinforcement training, she has been coming over weekly and working with the donkeys and me.

Until last week, I could only participate by instructing and observing but not interacting with the donkeys directly.  Now though, I am able to do a bit more, although have had to tweak my handling skills in order to protect my sore shoulder.

I have learned SO much and have enjoyed having a buddy to work with.  Filming our sessions hasn't been possible but perhaps soon, as I would really like to capture some of our work. Even note-taking has been a challenge for me until recently but today's task is to make a training chart for each donkey.

Each of the four donkeys moves through lessons at a different speed and some are learning behaviours more suited to their individual personality.  For example, Rose LOVES to pick things up, so I have a few games that "feature" that particular behaviour.  More about that in another post.

In the meantime, here are some recent summer photos:

Gathering at the water bucket


  1. I'm glad you're finally starting to fell better and some good has come out of the misery. The girls all look sleek and lovely. looks like they've all lost a bit of weight:)

    1. Thanks Kris! The donkeys are looking good, but lately they have been out on grass, very sparse, dry stuff but probably high in sugar - for about 1 hour per day. I balance this eating frenzy out with barley straw instead of hay for the rest of the day until 4 PM when thy get their mash + hay ... but even that small amount of grazing has put pounds on! VERY hard to manage, I find!

  2. Oh my goodness I've only just read about your shoulder Cynthia! Sending you speedy get well wishes and hope you are soon mended. What a terrible thing and so frustrating!

    The donkeys are looking marvellous :-)

    Big hugs (but not shoulder crunching ones!!) to you all xxx