Sunday, October 25, 2015

25th October, 2015 Benny and The Jets

Well, not Jets really, donkeys. Benny has recently moved to the Forest from the Isle of Wight and is absolutely fine with all kinds of farm animals; he just can't stand donkeys. At the moment there seems to be an incredible number of donkeys turned out on the Forest and therefore he and his rider, Debbie, are almost bound to come across some on every ride, particularly as some hang out on the corner close to where he is kept.

Benny puts paid to the theory that it is the rider's nerves that alert the horse to a problem since Debbie hadn't expected any trouble at all the first time she met them and was perfectly calm. However Benny had other ideas and hurried off at a fair rate. Since then he has become hyper-alert for them and even jumps at donkey-coloured logs.

Today we took him along the Purlieu to see if we could find any as typically they had disappeared from their favourite corner. We spent a good hour or more observing the donkeys at close proximity when we found some, with me interrupting his pattern of behaviour with clickered treats. Occasionally he escalated his behaviour and started to go round me in circles, using his shoulder to move me out of the way. On those occasions I used groundwork techniques to ask him not to but it does just show that adrenalin is a product not just of what you are doing but how long you do it for.

Hands too full to get many pictures but you can just see the donkey in the background and we did get much closer than this.

A more carefree afternoon with my next door neighbour's daughter and Jack in the inclosure. Such fun!