Wednesday, September 30, 2009

obstacle course!

haltered Daisy up for a short run through the obstacle course, I haven't really worked with her much since before I went on vacation. So I made it a point to keep this session short.

Pulled out a tarp & spread it out with a tire on each corner to keep it from flying away - it's pretty breezy here today. set up the remaining 4x4 poles I have which is two LOL, set up the tires so that if she attempted to avoid the poles she's have to go over tires which = not as fun/easy.

She immediately sniffed the tarp as soon as I laid it out. I set up the poles so that one end was on the tire and the other end is on the ground. First I asked her to cross the poles, she did great. I really made sure I was giving her lots of praise for any amount of try - since I kinda start forgetting since I expect more from her & foreget to keep up the praise. then we moved onto the tarp, she sniffed, I asked, she refused & went to the next side. She realized that I didn't move & still wanted her to 'come' with me. As soon as shes put a foot on it I praised her. I let her sit & think about it, which wasn't long. then I asked her to cross it. She did so willingly!

praise, praise, praise.

I asked her to come with me back to the poles, she then started to 'donkify' me by pushing into me with her jaw. I told her to whoa, but she continued to push into me. for some reason my immediate response was to grab the lead rope from the opposite side of her head & apply pressure in the direction she was pointing her head ( i had to reach over her back/neck to do this), not sure if it was the right thing or not, but it worked. Her reaction was almost 'whoa! what the heck' - during this time I was telling her to quit it, before i did the reach over. LOL.

After that she didn't really try it again, I guess she's just always testing the water! back over the poles we went, this time it was even better - she was kinda weird about her legs last time, this time she was nice & balanced. I turned her around and asked her to walk between the poles. then to whoa, then to back a couple times. She did all of it, kinda got stuck on *back* but she eventually remembered what I wanted.

Back over the poles, then to the tarp, this time NO hesitation!! did the poles, then the tarp, then the poles, and we were done. I was randomly asking her to whoa, then back, then walk off in between the obstacles.

pretty good short session!!
I think it really helps that she has access to that area all the time now, becuase now she's not so worried about eating when we're out there :)

This afternoon we did some brushing, just a quick once over, she was great. Except for the part where i accumulated some static electricty & shocked her when I went to kiss her on the nose!!
Rubbed a bit of hoofmaker on her front hooves, and then wormed her - which was followed by a peppermint!! OOH!!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Expansion, pasture :)

Today we worked on setting up the pasture for Daisy. In the evenings she gets turned out, but we have to keep an eye on her since she has access to alot of stuff. Like the other evening she tried to hijack a Heineken bottle from the recycle bin on the porch!

but the last couple evenings she's put herself up in her pen! its so awesome. Today though she started right in on braying & starting to paw when she realized we were still at the house & not at work. so out she came, she just cruised the property all day until about 3PM, grazing, napping, grazing, napping.

she even did the coolest thing ever! she walked over to where i have a donkey poo compost pile in the corner, backed her butt up to it & topped it off!! I love that they have their 'poo' spots. so she saved me one less pile to scoop!!

She also kept following me around chasing the wagon full of fence supplies & tools. I caught her playing with the bag of zip ties & flinging my box of insulators LOL. It was a chore to keep her outta my stuff!

so 1/3 of the hot wire on the perimeter fence is poly rope ( recycled from a year ago), then I ran outta that so the rest had to be the old fashioned metal wire. Not really too worried about her hurting herself on that stuff since its just at the top of a physical fence. Just enough to keep her from climbing over ( yes she has climbed 4' tall horse fence successfully~!). I put on tons of streamer things so she can see it easily. Installed all the horseguard insulators on the t posts. Those things are awesome, made very well!! The horseguard fence is going to be the separating fence to keep her outta the backyard. right now I'm only doing two strands, eventually going to put up one more so it keeps the dogs out too.

the other modification is that the spot on the shed where she made her 'window' is now going to be a doorway. Seems fitting since she chewed off about half of the siding. So the rest of the remaining siding came off, then we dug holes to put concrete with anchors for the supports we're going to install. Not sure if it actually needs it, but I'd rather have them than not.

set both anchors, and set the post for the new gate. Its actually going to be pretty cool, when she's allowed out ( pretty much ALL the time) the gate will be in the 'closed' position, meaning she can't get into the back yard. When we need to pen her up - the gate will swing inwards to close off the new doorway on the shed!! so rather than have two gates we have one that does both jobs!

here are some fun pics of Daisy today.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

pallets, pallets, pallets

I love this stuff.
example of a gate

I'm planning on making a pallet fence to keep the chickens out of the garden

and I seriously might make a pallet shed for hay storage, or even make one out in the pasture as another shelter for Daisy.
this one obviously isnt done yet

OCD pawing

I discussed Daisy's pawing behavior with my trimmer this morning. Donkeys do paw naturally, but Daisy is doing it in an OCD manner. We actually watched her paw when tied ( standing on rubber mats) and watched her body language. She literally paws to get relaxation, her head will droop, her tongue will stick out the bottom of her lips a bit & her whole body will relax. So she's definitely doing it as a vice to ease some sort of frustration.

the problem is that she's wearing down her toes too much, if I dont figure out a way to help curb the behavior there is a good chance she'll actually hurt herself. If she grinds down her toes & gets into the hoof wall theres the chance for infections, she'll most likely end up lame or in the worst case scenario dead :(

So the plan at the moment is to get her onto pasture. I'm not sure how this is going to all work out with her food intake ( since she is on a diet), but everything in the pasture is pretty dry & dead, with maybe on little patch of green grass. I just happened to order fencing last week - because i wanted the option of having a safe area for her. She gets turned out right now but I have to keep an eye on her since there's 'stuff' around the barn & the back of the house. My fence should be here tomorrow, ideally I would like to get it up as soon as possible. This weekend I went and got some metal posts for gates, and 2 bags of concrete to set them in.

All I need now are gates! Planning on possibly making some from pallets - I've been wanting to recycle pallets forever & now is my chance. I think I'll have a strand of hot wire over the top on the ones that she'll have access to, just to keep her from eating them. LOL.

Another immediate idea was a pair of boots from her, but my trimmer talked to two other donk people & they're pretty sure she would figure out how to get them off. The other idea is to shoe her front feet, I put a request out to a farrier I spoke with earlier this year. So I don't really know anything about that yet. It least that would keep the wear down & let those toes grow out a bit.

I personally only see Daisy paw in the evenings before dinner. So there are some ideas there - feed her earlier, or feed her a meal in the afternoon if possible. Today I gave her a pound of hay @ lunch time, but I spread it all over her pen, so she would have to walk around to get to each little pile.

the other issue is pawing while tied, we have to figure out what type of correction should be used to stop that part of the issue.

the last idea is a buddy, right now I just dont have the capital to go out & buy another donkey. And from what I've found there isn't too many out there!
A donkey rescue up north may be getting in a couple more donks - so i sent out an email to foster one. It would be really nice to see her have a friend, if she still has pawing after the environment change, she'll definitely need a friend, if it isn't a donk she might get a goat or a sheep. I'd prefer a donk though so she can get some good socializing in.

I'll keep ya posted!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hoof progress

9.19.09 Trim

Daisy was a bit of a butt head a couple times, but we took lots of breaks & got the job done. She's really come a long way already with her hooves. I think they're looking great!!

so here's some pics of her feet after her trim!

Friday, September 18, 2009


I let Daisy out to graze for breakfast, that way when I put her up I could clean her feet without her being anxious about food.

She did pretty good this morning, there was a small rodeo on the front left foot. I've started using an old denture brush ( great for cleaning just about anything!) to help clean her hooves, pick a little, the brush them out. i think I need to invest in one of those hoof picks with the brush built in! Instead of fumbling with multiple tools.

Overall she was good, she got some breaks because the chickens kept coming over thinking I was dishing out something tasty.

she did seem a bit iffy when I started to really get in there, but then I was using the brush & my fingernails. Maybe she just hates the hoof pick LOL

I think it's getting better the more I do it, no more 'non-cleaning' vacations again! No kicking out this morning either, which made me very happy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Long time no bloggy........

Hello! I haven't posted in a while because I went on vacation. which means although Daisy had someone to feed & water her, that was about it. I came back to some pretty dirty hooves!! still haven't gotten them cleaned out all the way. I guess we had some rain here while I was gone, so all that super fine dirty got all nice & wet & crammed into her feet.

Apparently Daisy enjoyed her vacation as she wasn't too interested in having her feet held for long enough for me to dig it all out. So we're getting back on schedule of daily feet cleanings. In the super hot months she didn't accumulate much, but now we're getting ready to go into fall & want to start on her now - start teaching her that they're getting cleaned EVERY day, no matter what.

The first day she was kinda a turd, and kicked out on one of her back feet. But I kept at it & made sure I ended on a good note ( VERY IMPORTANT, pretty much with all animals). Yesterday, she was still 'ouchy' about all of it, I think she's just testing me. But I did get some more yuck outta them & realized that she's a little thrushy in spots, not enough to treat yet - but they gotta get cleaned out & aired out. She seemed to have more issues when I was using the pick, so I resorted to digging them out with my fingernails. Still I'm trying to figure out if she's testing me, or if she is in fact a bit tender. Either way they have to get cleaned.
She kicked out again last night ( she has never previously kicked out before I got back from vacation - she's actually been really good about all of it). This time it was big enough to me to holler ' EHHH!' and thwack her on the rump. She almost looked stunned. So hopefully she understood that is NOT ok!

I worked on that same foot again, because I wasn't gonna let it end like that. Picked it up again, she tensed a bit, I told her to relax, she did, and she got her foot back.

On the left front she did her 'hopping around trying to evade me thing' which I've only seen once before when she was with the farrier. I just held on and as soon as she calmed down & relaxed her foot, she got it back.

So adventures with donkeys! woo, but really she is a good girl, I've seen worse. I did remind her that I know how to use the ropes on her. LOL. she hasn't experienced that yet, but if she keeps kicking out then she might meet them.

this session all happened before dinner time, so there was probably a little anxiety about that. but it has to get done one way or another.

I let her out to graze on the pasture for a bit, but I went inside to show some pics of my trip to my dad. I heard Daisy bray & I ran outside. She had somehow gotten through the strand of electric fence to the other side of the property. i think she squeezed through on the gap between the first step in post & the dog run. She probably tried to squeeze through, got shocked & the dogs were going nuts. So i came out & she's over there running around like a crazy donk. The only reason she's not allowed over there is there are 'dangers', some old fence boards that still have nails in them, a giant hole for a french drain I'm working on. She didn't seem to injure herself, but she was going nuts cuz the dogs were going nuts barking at her.

Got her back on the other side, put her up & gave a her a bit of hay. Then fixed the end of the fence by moving the post closer to the dog run & adding some twine so it doesn't get pulled away from it.

I ordered some horseguard fencing to section off a run & fence off the back yard from her. I'm hoping it'll keep her out of the backyard - away from the trees, and also let us let the dogs out in the backyard without them running around her. I'm doing three strands of the brown fence. I dont really like how the white looks, they're also done research that equines in fact can see the brown & green tape better, so the white is just for human eyes.

if you haven't read about horseguard fencing, you should check it out, its not like other tape fences. I actually had them send me a sample one time & its tough stuff!
I will post pics of it when it's installed.

Daisys feet are growing fast, which is a good thing. Its been 7 weeks since her last trim & that was way too long, she's more on a 4 or 5 week schedule. her backs need to be taken down pretty good, she's got about 1/2" hoof wall grown out. Her fronts are starting to shed her heels so now they're looking more normal.

About Me

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I am an artist who tries different mediums. I airbrush, graphite, braiding, and now I'm obsessed with sewing. I created this blog to keep all my creations in one place. Like an online portfolio. Thanks for looking. to check out my items for sale on etsy -

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