Category Archives: Norma Jean

A Sunday stroll with Norma Jean

Saturday, July 8th, 2023 | Filed under Norma Jean

I am so enjoying letting Norma Jean (my 30 year-old donkey – I’ve had her for 28 years) roam around on her own.  She goes into the barn at night, but she is free to roam all day.

For me, just watching her make choices kinda thrills me.  I love watching her decide how she will spend her day!

I also love that she is feeling so much more secure, as she ages, because I’ve separated her from the others.  At first, I wasn’t sure she would accept being separate… but now I realize that she can visit them, but she is safe and not intimidated in any way.

You see, she had two choke episodes in the recent months.  I actually saw the second one happen, and it was because the pony came over when I was giving her a cookie, and he scared her so she gulped the cookie.

The lightbulb went on.  Norma may be in good condition for an old lady, but she knows that she is old and compromised… so best to separate her.  If I had another old horse (like her pony friends who passed), I would put her in with them.  But I don’t.  So, for now, she can visit whomever she likes whenever she likes.

She seems very happy and she looks good.

This makes me happy every time I catch her from one of the windows or when I’m outside.  I thought I’d share.


I took this pic from my office window. Norma is going into my garden. She ate quite a few plants before I shut the gate. Roses and new flowers from seeds.

Here she is visiting Dominic

Again from my office window. She is eating the green weeds around the tree that we irrigate.

Here she is, in the flowerbed in front of the house.

Back in the barn for a snack

Again from my office window. She’s eating the oak tree and the weeds.

In the circle of the circular driveway.

I love this one. She’s supervising the new fence line… and I like to think the souls of her two pony friends (Dodger and Slick) are with her.

Here she is strolling in front of the house.

This is where she is right now. I just took this pic as I type.

Enjoying her fans

I love giving this gentle, sweet old donkey – who has been with me for 28 years – a cozy, comfortable and hopeful life. She deserves it. I don’t think she has ever done anything wrong – ever.

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Dominic 2.5 and other things.

You have all been so curious about Dominic – which is great!

I haven’t written again about him because I am suddenly more concerned about his suspensory issues.  He will be fully checked out – with an ultrasound – at Loomis Basin Equine Hospital on Monday.  I want to rule out DSLD.

Here is a pic of Dominic being ridden this week  (by a friend who is a trainer) for the first time in 9 months.  I was watching his pasterns and fetlocks.  I look at them and wonder if this is his conformation or… and I’m suspicious that such a young horse had that horrible injury last September (after only having him 2 days).  I want to find out what’s-what.  I don’t know about Gypsy Vanner cross horses and want to make sure he is OK.

The good news is that he was exactly as he was when I purchased him.  He was perfect.

I’m very concerned about his suspensory issues…


Norma Jean is doing much better.  Even though she is rubbing out her hair, the new hair is coming in behind.   I think the antihistamine is helping.  Norma seems chipper and willing to roam the property in her free time (when I let her out of the barn).  She goes out for about 2 hours, then she puts herself back into the barn.  For a 30 year-old, with skin issues, she is doing well and she’s happy.

Soon, I will build a paddock for her just outside her old paddock, so she can be with her friends but they cannot push her around or steal her food.  Right now, she has Finn, Missy Miss and Mo as neighbors, which is good, but she will always walk over to her old paddock and visit with Rocky Balboa pony, Ethel Merdonk and Princess Buttercup Pebbles.

She is tentative when I come out before her 2 hours are up – she’s worried I’m going to put her away early. You can see the patches that she has rubbed bald. I have sunblock, Swat and Equi-Spa The Balm all over her.

She’s sneaking hay from the little cart. Again, she doesn’t like it when I’m lurking because she thinks she has to go in.  She hangs out by her friends.  This is approximately where I will build her a new paddock.

She found her way into my garden. I thought this was cute. She is so gentle with everything.

This is the view from my office. When I see her turned in this direction, I know she is headed back to the barn. I will go out in 20 minutes and she’ll be inside the barn. She is such a good girl.

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