Training Donkeys Tip. Train them as individuals. What do I mean by that? Sometimes a case study provides the best explanation.
Travellers training journey… you have probably heard donkeys hate doing stuff over and over again .. most do,, but there is always an exception to the rule or role people have commonly laid out and expect all animals to follow..
Of all the animals I’ve trained, Donkeys have so much more individual opinion about things they are trained for and how they are trained.
This makes them difficult for a lot of people who want animals to be in a box.
Having this mindset can also make it difficult to form a real bond/partnership with a donkey…Where you can be a ‘buddy’ to the donkey and more of a passive leader…
which I believe works for most donkeys very well
Not to say that every donkey is going to form a deeper than usual bond with a person.. there are some animals/donkeys that will click with a certain person on a deeper level…. Remember, the donkey has a say so in who it wants to be its person too!
But every donkey certainly can learn to trust and enjoy being with the caregiver that takes time to understand and train them not just as a donkey, but as an individual.
Donkeys: Training Tips and Observations
Traveller a year ago compared to Traveller now seem like 2 different donkeys..
2020 Traveller was halter shy, scared and shut down to 2021 Traveller is beyond excited to get to the training arena!!
The transformation that an abused donkey makes with a foundation of positive training always amazes me.. even though I’ve seen it over and over again, it never gets old.
Still though.. his personality is wildly different from the other donkeys, I’ve got here right now.
Traveller loves routine and more familiar things.. it’s only his need for interaction because trust was built slowly on his terms and now his desire to do things with me, that convinces him to give the unfamiliar a try.
But still.. he likes routine!
Some donkeys hate routine and repeatedly doing the same thing… not Traveller,,,
I taught Traveller a pattern with barrels to follow at Liberty on the ground that I then took to saddle .. this was done to encourage him to ride without me having to use pressure on him.. Traveller will still freeze up and get tense if you give him to much pressure .. so to avoid any stress this played a big role in his riding training.
This would not have worked with Jasper or a lot of other donkeys that get bored easy.
It worked beautifully with Traveller who likes routine though! It allowed me to ease into getting him to ride without stressing him unnecessarily.
To this day when we go in that round pen, Traveller remembers and wants to do that routine!
Traveller would probably make an excellent dressage donkey, where that kind of repetition would slowly kill Jasper inside!!!
One of THE most important things I’ve learned when working with R+ and equine over the years is..
Train the individual, not just the donkey!
More In-Depth Donkey Training Info
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Join up and let me help you be successful with your donkey training goals! All I do is part of how I can help more donkeys… if I can help you with your donkey, then that donkey will have a wonderful home where he’s understood and live a happier life.