My folks bought a donkey yesterday and he wasn't in great shape when they brought him home. His hooves are pretty bad and he's got terrible thrush. The farrier's coming Wednesday and we started treating the thrush right away. He'd been left in a pasture for quite some time, as I understand. He was filthy and his skin was dry and scabby. :(
He's really gentle, but he's skittish. He doesn't like his face touched and he's very hesitant to take any food by hand. But the weirdest thing is, today when I ran my hand down his back, he hollowed out and lowered his hindquarters almost into a sitting position, and tried to step away from me. I barely touched him. I thought he was hurt at first, but when I poked and prodded around his spine, he didn't react. He walks and trots fine, too. And he's eating and drinking normally.
Here's what I'm wondering: He used to be a show donkey and I guess the former owner was really serious about it. I'm wondering if she was mean to him. I think he's ducking away because he thinks he's going to get smacked or something. I don't know how donkey showing works, but I've heard of people hitting horses to make them stand a certain way and whatnot. He doesn't do it every time, but quite a lot. What are your opinions?
Here's a picture of the little dude after a bath and deworming:
He behaves really well and he seems super calm. It's just the weird evasiveness that has me worried.