Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Eddie Files...

I'm going to try and keep track of some of the things I do with Eddie who is now a yearling donkey.
Before he was gelded, he and another donkey called Thor were 'paddock buddies'. They were weaned from their mommas together and have spent the last 9 months together.

One of my main concerns was how Eddie was going to handle being separated from Thor.
I can tell you now, that Thor is having a rougher 'separation' issue than Eddie is.

According to the Veterinarian's orders we were to hand walk Eddie a little each day until he healed up.
This presented itself with a great opportunity to start Eddie on his preliminary work for eventually becoming my saddle donkey.
Eddie already has had 'basic' training in the halter and lead rope area. But here was the chance to get myself into a daily routine with him.

To my surprise, Eddie is an extremely willing student and has not shown any concern at all for his 'paddock buddy' who runs in circles and brays loudly each time I take Eddie out for some work. [They were separated last Friday.]

By now when Eddie sees me approaching with a halter and lead rope he stands at the gate and begins to bray, softly at first ... then louder until I step inside. Then he walks to me and waits. He seems to enjoy it, and yes, donkeys are very social creatures.

Each learning session begins and ends with a nice overall and relaxing grooming.

I don't know if what I'm doing is 'correct' or not~~but it feels right to me and seems to be working well.

Soon Eddie will be taking hiking ventures with me and Morris, my Jack Russell. Eddie has shown no animosity towards having a little dog bounce around while we do our work.

So far in 5 days Eddie has learned:

Step forward when asked.
Step backward when asked.
Follow quietly.
Don't crowd the handler.
Baths are nice.
Stand quietly while tied.
Little dogs are okay.
Hound dogs are a curiosity.
Pick up a hoof when tapped on the leg.
...Humans are wayyyy cooler than old pasture buddies.


  1. It sounds to me like Eddie has a very mellow head on his little shoulders! And it looks as if you are both off to a very good start. many mules and donkeys do you have?

  2. Good for you and Eddie. Sounds to me like you're doing a great job. Trust is the big issue and obviously he already knows he can trust you. I think it's sort of like raising kids except you get to leave them outside when you've had enough!! Donkeys are such people lovers - it's very natural for them. I love handling the donkeys. Val you go girl!!!!

  3. Hi Val,
    Eddie looks like he has the makings of a real athlete. I love his short back, round rump and long legs. What's his breeding? Part standard? It's so nice to see a correctly fitted halter on a properly tied up donkey with a real quick release knot. Me thinks you are not a novice to all this. Sounds like Eddie is going to be a piece of cake to work with, donkeys are so easy. I love Thor too, stellar job on the head shot, a M&M cover shot for sure.

  4. Cool Post! Eddie is so sweet! :))

  5. montanasmama~~
    I've been around donks and mules for 15 years but this is my first birth to saddle donkey.
    Eddie is out of a grey roan standard jennet [out of Colonel Ben] and the jack is Stetson from Iowa, also standard.

    MJ~ohhhhh myyyy. We have 25 mules, donkeys, and horses.