Donkeys

Since Saleem and I are going to a small show by the end of the month, at one of the neighbor farms, my friend and I had one concern. (She is bringing her four year old gelding.) That farm have- wait for it- are you ready?

DONKEYS !

Now, they don’t only have donkeys, they have them live on a pasture right next to their training grounds, which could be a huge problem, so we decided to cheat and practice a little. Luckily my friend knows the nice people at the place, and we were allowed to sneak- donkey-train our horses…

I mean, donkeys, could you imaging anything more terrifying?

I remember when Poseidon and I came across them, once, at a long distance, just riding by on the road. He nearly dropped me and I swear he went into a full blown panic attack. A bloody long haired donkey, are you kidding me? No way, no sane, or insane horse would go near that!

Seeing Poseidon’s reaction to them, and Apollon’s by the way, since he was there too, it was the day we were moving the horses from our old beloved –but now sold- home, to a new stable, and since we couldn’t drive Poseidon, we had to ride them, so we had Amalia and an elderly gelding named Bogart lead the way, while I rode my crazy horse and forced a friend of mine to ride Apollon, despite the fact that he was hardly broken in.

Of the four of them, tired after a long trip, and I mean LONG, only Bogart did not decide to turn and run all the way back on the spot, by seeing those donkeys. (We handled it, and they didn’t run back home, but that sure taught me a lesson…)

I haven’t been by the donkeys with any of my horses since, coward as I am.

But now, I had to, since I had signed Saleem up for that show, with donkeys right on the other side of the fence. So, I rode Saleem, all alone, all the way to where my friend have her Dorién, which is not that long, it takes about 15 to 20 min on bike, but Saleem and I managed to make it in about 40 min, which I must say was a little longer than expected, and for a few reasons.

One, he is not used to being that far away from home on his own, so he became more and more hesitant as we went along. Two, we met SHEEP for the first time in our life, and I must say, they are not all cute. While Saleem stopped to look at them, they started to run up to the fence, to meet and greet him and Saleem wasn’t too happy about that.

Then we met a herd of cows on the way as well, but Saleem was cool with that. I was very proud, Apollon never learned that cows wouldn’t eat him alive, not even after we started living right next to a pasture with cows on it. No, Apollon learned that the cows AT HOME wouldn’t eat him, but any strangers was not accepted… Saleem seems to be able to add two and two together and realize that a cow, is a cow, no matter what pasture it lives on…

Got to love that horse…

Then we met a tank truck, on a small road. I mean a tiny road. I mean a road that is so small that two cars can’t pass each other and stay on the road both of them. Coward as I am, I jumped off my horse and led him to the other side of the road, where there was a field and not a fence, so he wouldn’t feel like the truck was coming at him, leaving him nowhere to go. (Technically the field had not been harvested yet, so we weren’t allowed to enter it, but in a situation like that, I couldn’t care less…) Also, me getting off the horse, is a clear signal to the truck driver to slow down… I learned that the hard way with Legacy when one of those truck drivers caught us underneath a tunnel… and the bloody moron didn’t slow down, he just came blasting towards me, in a tunnel… no wonder my horse felt trapped… we ended up in front of that truck and he did slow down, fast, because Legacy turned and ran for his life, nearly getting us both killed…

IMG_5363 Legacy

Anyway, Saleem, took one look at the truck and sniggered at me. So here I was, taking all precautions, having learned from all of my past mistakes, my past horses and my past near death experiences and Saleem didn’t mind the huge truck at all… he didn’t flinch, he didn’t look at it, and we didn’t enter said forbidden field, because we needed no escape after all…

So, we met up with LHK and Dorién, the boys said hello, Saleem tried to convince Dorién that he was a cute little mare, Dorién told Saleem that he was an idiot and not a stallion anymore and then they just walked side by side, like they had been doing that all their lives… no problem… calm and easy young boys, on the road together…

We met a tractor as well, and where I was looking for another field to seek refuge by, LHK surprised me by just dodging into a driveway. I mean it was a huge drive way, it was an easy refuge for both horses, while the tractor passed, but I would have never thought of it.

Why? Because there was a mail box in the drive way… Apollon would have rather got run over by the tractor than go anywhere near that mail box… Neither Saleem, nor Dorién even realized that there was a mail box, or a scary tractor coming by on the road, they were busy wondering what they were suddenly doing, parked in a drive way…

So, at long last- and this may sound stress full, but it’s not, this is Denmark, trust me, traffic could be much worse than that- we arrived at the stable with the donkeys…

And found that right next to the training grounds, lives something much more terrifying. Three trailers, one of them black and shiny so you can see your reflection in it… now that, was a bit spooky, Saleem had to admit…

But the legendary donkeys, he walked right up to and nearly crashed their fence, because they were just adorable and he really, really wanted to play with them…!

Dorién was a bit more skeptic, but then again, he is two years younger than Saleem, and it only took him a short while to copy Saleem and walk straight up to the fence and look at those donkeys, while I was busy telling Saleem that we weren’t getting one of those… Saleem was very disappointed…

So we trained on their training grounds a little, got used to the scary black trailer and said goodbye to our new donkey best friends.

We parted with Dorién, which both horses were completely cool with, (that is always interesting if they can take being separated, two young horses who have been leaning on each other for how ever short a while, but none of them flinched as we went our separate ways,) and rode home in about 20 min, trotting and galloping most of the way, meeting no tank trucks, nearly not spooking about the sheep and dying to get out of the heat and back home…

So, well, once again, I am pretty astounded by my young man and by how much trouble Poseidon and Apollon used to be, and how many years I spent, wondering if I just simply didn’t know how to train a horse at all, because those two were driving me crazy. 15 years with Poseidon. 13 years with Apollon. 5 years with Saleem and we can load into a trailer, meet strange cows on the road, walk past sheep, not freak out over tank trucks or mail boxes and we are about ready to adopt the donkeys…

What can I say, Saleem is just a wonderful horse.

IMG_0802 Saleem

And so were the others, but oh boy, sometimes not so much…

IMG_8878 Poseidon IMG_7524 Apollon

No offence guys, love you both to bits…

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About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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4 Responses to Donkeys

  1. sammerson says:

    I always thought it funny how most horses react to donkeys. We look at them and think, “but they look just like you! Why are you scared of them?” but that’s just another instance of humans thinking horses are dumber than they are. They know the difference! I can’t blame them much, I used to want a donkey badly, then we lived a few houses down from some and I heard that horrible noise they make!

    I used to ride on the road all the time at the old place, it would frustrate me to no end how people would just speed by in their cars, not even moving over and give you space. Granted, my horses have always been pretty good with cars, but it doesn’t matter, the smallest things can set off the calmest horse, for no apparent reason. Cheyenne did try the stand in front of the car method once, but I think it was more to see if she could, that’s just her personality, she will test anyone and anything to see what she can get away with!

    Good for Saleem, I’m glad to hear that you have one that you can trust and has plenty of potential. Now you just need Apocalipse to grow up a little more and you’ll have two perfect horses! (Not that the others aren’t/weren’t perfect already!)

    • Starstone says:

      hehe I know this is unfair, but Apocalipse is already perfect, no matter how he turns out 😉

      and yes, they all are, it’s just a bit of an eye opener sometimes, as to HOW much trouble the two old red boys used to be 😉

  2. jen says:

    I think donkeys are adorable and have always wanted one! Around here, lots of people put donkeys and horses in the same pasture – sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Guess it depends on the personalities of the critters involved. We once rode past a place with a donkey in the pasture, and the little guy was braying at the fence for all he was worth. I had a hell of a time trying to keep Tequila away – she wanted so badly to go say hello. I never had Blue near a donkey, but judging by how scared she is of other horses, I could see where a donkey would put her over the edge!

    I’m giggling over the mailbox thing. At the arena where I used to ride once in a while, the guy had a mailbox mounted on a post specifically for practicing with your horse. It was a fun little game to ride up, open the mailbox, and close it again. You’d be surprised at how hard it is for a lot of horses to accept a mailbox!

    I’m glad you’re having fun with Saleem! Seems like you’re finally being rewarded for all your years of hard work and patience with the others!

    • Starstone says:

      haha Apollon and I would have never got near enough to a mail box for us to open it…! but I love the idea, of an “at home pratice mailbox” why didn’t I ever think of that 😉

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