This Driving donkey training tip applies to all training really! We should always be aware of our donkeys moods and be cautious if we haven’t been working our donkeys consistently.
Jeb, Love him SO much!!
But he presented me with a challenge before I hooked up to his viceroy the other day..
Teaching an advanced and yes, possibly dangerous skill calls for extra caution yes, driving can be dangerous.. everyone thinks of riding as the dangerous thing because you can fall off.. but a cart crash can hurt you just as bad!
Never ever get in a cart with a donkey that’s not acting ‘right’ thinking he will just accept what you ask because you’ll “make him”
No no no!!!
I’m not the boss of Jeb ,,, I learned a long time ago I’m not the boss of any donkey.. I gotta see if he will agree with me.. there are different ways to ask and provide him with options in which he can be nicely persuaded to agree with me.
I didn’t get the behavior Jeb was giving me videoed because I wasn’t planning to video anything! The plan was to go on a nice little drive.. Wasn’t expecting him to act like he did… I explain what he was doing in the video.
I did eventually get to go on a nice little drive, but first I had to think about and deal with what Jeb was telling me..
Awww! Yes! I had to listen to my donkey!! It always comes back to that!
Driving Donkey Training Tip
I can not stress safety enough.. I can not stress being able to read your donkeys body language enough! Especially when you get into riding and driving.. especially when they are green!!!
If I get tension from the donkey ,, or I’m feeling like there’s just to much disconnect energy, I don’t ride or drive.. I get their brain working with me first… get some of that energy out with mindful ground work that encourages a calm connection..
I don’t get on the back on or in the cart until I feel a calm energy and willingness from that donkey.
For horse people, a lot of them will lunge a high energy or tense horse before a ride.. that’s not usually an option for donkeys… and just running in circles doesn’t bring calm to the mind or that partnership back in focus I need.
All Activities with Equine can be dangerous… Safety First Always!
Don’t risk injury or major set backs because you’re impatient to get on with your choice activity.
Don’t blame the donkey or get frustrated because he’s not cooperating like you want..
take a breath,, and think about calm, connection type ground work you can do to get on the same page again… then… enjoy your activities without fear or fighting with your donkey.
I really worry about people getting hurt because they see me or someone do something with a donkey but they don’t take time or precautions. I worry when I see people say.. oh just make them do it or donkeys are easy to train to ride, just jump on!
Maybe that works sometimes with some donkeys … or maybe it’s someone wanting to seem more knowledgeable than they are.. not thinking their advice could get someone hurt.
I want everyone to have their dream donkey and achieve goals in a safe way for them and a fair way to the donkey
More on Driving Donkeys!
Here are some links on training a driving donkey… and the video about Jeb’s behavior and how I got his mind back on the task at hand!