It has been a long time since I have had trouble moving an equine from one paddock to another – because the place is rigged to make sure I don’t have any issues. You see, over the years, I’ve made all the paddocks connect through a labyrinth of chutes and ladders – on purpose. I did this because I have had trouble moving horses, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t have issues in the future – basically because sometimes you really need to move a horse. Now, I can open a gate and either tempt or shoo someone to where I need them to go, usually.
But, not today.
Donkeys can just decide to not do something. They have very strong courage of their convictions. They aren’t like horses. Donkeys are many wonderful things… but they are also suspicious, smart and stubborn – especially if you suddenly want to move one.
WHY MOVE ETHEL MERDONK?
The farrier is coming. I’ve never had trouble catching her for the farrier, however, last time, she ran away from me and would not be caught. Her hooves grow oddly and quickly, so she really needs to be done. I didn’t want a repeat of the same scenario, so I decided to move her into the barn with Norma for the night.
Sounds reasonable, right?
Easier said than done.
WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE…
It has been a long time since I’ve had a non-compliant equine around here (cookies always help that I seemed to have lost my marbles around this. It would have been smart to have had a plan.
But I didn’t.
I just went out there, put her halter on and tried to lead her to the barn.
She was suspicious, smart and stubborn.
I completely lost it when I put my entire body weight into pulling, which is clearly ALWAYS the wrong thing to do… What was I doing?!
I sat on the ground and started shaking my head. I knew better than this… Here I was, dirty and sweating, frustrated … and there she was, in the same spot, looking at me on the ground.
It was at this point that I actually started thinking about a plan.
MY PLAN FORGOT TO TAKE PHOTOS.
Sadly, my plans forgot to include grabbing my phone and taking photos of each step. So I retraced my steps for you below.
After I made my plan, I did succeed after about 20 minutes… but I had called a very generous neighbor to come and help – and I think knowing that I had backup on the way, made it easier to relax and take the proper time required.
I had just shut the barn gate on Ethel when my neighbor arrived.
AFTER THE FACT PHOTO JOURNAL OF THE WILLFULL JENNY JOURNEY
That was my plan. Watermelon every 10 feet, and then walk away. Watermelon, walk away. I did that for the entire length. Ethel is a sucker for food. Thank the donkgods!
NEW BUTTON. DIFFERENT FUND. LET’S DO THIS!
FUND TOTAL AS OF TODAY: $25 (Thank you!) We’ve saved POWDER PUFF 2/7/22 ($800), EDDIE 2/9/22 ($1200), SURSHA 3/16/22 ($780), BABY FRED 4/7/22 ($650), “CC” Close Call 5/17/22 ($550), PACIFICA 5/22/22 ($780), DONNA 7/25/22 ($600), MAXIMILLIAN 11/8/22 ($1300), “TJ” 1/8/23 ($1000), SWEETIE 1/8/23 ($700), MAMA and BABY 5/9/23 ($500)
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I had the farrier help me. She led and I walked behind her, herding her back to her paddock. Princess Buttercup Pebbles was so happy to be reunited!
Ha! I love the photo trail of your brilliant plan — did you have to execute it again to get her out of the barn and back to her paddock?? :))