Thursday, May 02, 2019
My donkey, Pimmy, gets routine care same as the horses. Besides the basics like inoculations, wormings, and feed supplements, she receives dental work and hoof trimming. She’s a smallish equine, so experts tending to her teeth and hooves sometimes are on their knees while working on her.
Pimmy teaches much about patience, courage, and devotion. As a little one among a couple of big, sometimes nippy horses, she figures out how to get along. She reads their moods and their willingness to tolerate her presence. She particularly has ingratiated herself with my lead mare who brooks no interference from other horses; in fact, that sometimes grumpy mare lets Pimmy share her food, stand beside her while lounging, and snooze with her in a single stall.
In ways that donkeys differ from horses, maybe their most impressive and endearing qualities are bonding and devotion. When the horses are hauled, Pimmy usually goes along, to baby-sit the one waiting its turn to be worked. She’s an incredibly loyal companion, loosely follows when her horses are carrying riders on trails.
Her bonding and devotion strengths suggest that if she lived at my place without horses, she’d follow me around and off-lead. I’m reminded of images from another century, many show a gold miner on foot and leading a loaded donkey, illustrating a tight, co-dependent relationship.
Our farrier understands how Pimmy’s hooves differ from a horse’s. This spring, he pointed out that her inner hooves are bruised from the winter snows. He explained that the depth of a donkey’s inner hoof allows snow to pack tightly into it, and stay put, which causes the bruising.
Every day, I learn more about my little Pimmy. Her presence has been one of the “best things” that’s ever happened for me.
Dear Friends, donkeys are rideable and trainable to fancy performance levels. Diana