Is there a section on donks that I'm unaware of/can't find? ALL of a sudden I'm having problems with my 10 year old mini jack, and I'd like to talk to some people who also have donks/mini donks to see what they think.
He has always been like a big teddy bear. Very loving, very easy to handle, could do anything with him. He'd come right up to me in the pasture, I could easily halter and lead him, easily pick his hooves, he LOVED being groomed, etc. Was always great for the farrier and the vet. I used to be able to just go out into the pasture with a hoof pick and do his hooves right there, no lead rope, nothing. Suddenly a few months ago it changed. It started with him not letting me pick up his hind feet... he kicked and ran. The next time the farrier came he stood there shaking the entire time and kicked and tried to bolt when she tried to lift his hind hoof. She ended up having to lift it with a soft rope and hold it until he calmed down so that she could trim it. Then he did the same thing with the other side. And he's been like that ever since. Now he is like that with his front feet as well. And now he has started running when he sees a halter or lead rope. He bucks and hauls butt. If I start brushing one of the other horses he will come up and act like his old self, he will bump me with his nose and want me to brush and scratch him. But it's only when he comes to me. If I try to go to him he hauls butt.
He has absolutely no reason to be afraid of me. He's never been hit, never been hurt, and he will come up to ME in the pasture for scratches. So I'm not sure that it's a fear thing. And the fact that it's getting worse makes me think that it's an attitude thing... like he's getting away with it, so he's seeing what else he can get away with. But 10 is a little old to just be starting this, out of nowhere... Idk. I don't really know what to do with him.
My boy was very similar. He was a little snob because he was never corrected, and this led to increased snobbery. We ended up having to put him out in a separate paddock because he was becoming excessively troublesome and dangerous towards our horses, especially my younger mare when she was in season.
Through some head to head bull fights for dominance, he finally learned to take the backseat and chill out. He had just been allowed to romp around and do as he pleased for his whole life.
Do you work with him regularly? Do you require his respect, or (forgive me) allow him to be the cute little donkey snob on occasion? I thought with my boy that his size would keep everyone safe, but I was wrong. He took up biting fingers of people walking through his paddock before I put an end to his disrespectful behavior.
What is curious to me is the sudden nature of his behavior. Is he sound/healthy otherwise?
He is sound and healthy, and ridiculously cute. When he behaves himself everyone who meets him completely falls in love with him. He's hilarious. My vet has more nicknames for him than I do and always jokes that she's going to load him up and take him home with her. He IS a bit spoiled, but he's never been allowed to be mouthy or too terribly obnoxious. When he gets too big for his britches we just say no and give him a little shove. I used to do his hooves and scratch or brush him every day, but I haven't been lately because he's been being such a little... twerp about it everything. And I feel like if I try to do something and he gets away with acting up, it's just reinforcing the behavior. But if I just completely ignore him and make him come to me, it's better? I have no idea. It's so weird that he just did this so suddenly when he has always been such a good little donkey.
My mom. We share land and he is her "baby". She thinks that *I* did something, and I know that she didn't do anything. She's never even out there without me, because her health prevents her from spending much time doing physical activities.