I have never introduced my sister's miniature donkey, U-Turn. When we got him, he was a beat up, skinny, almost on the verge becoming lame, five year old jack. He was skiddish and broke my dad's index finger when we loaded him in the trailer (he is TERRIFIED of trailers). We got him for $100, which wasn't bad at all. It has been two months since then.
As bad as his feet were, I got them into awesome shape! No curly toes like he used to have. He has filled out, A LOT! He eats like, well, a horse . When we got him, he was missing the hair on his tail, come to find out when we gelded him, the vet said he had to do and emergency surgery to save him a year ago. He said the other jacks he was pastured with were bigger and actually BIT his tail off, at the bone! So, very short bony tail, no hair hanging from it. He had so many scars when we got him, it wasn't even funny, thank goodness all the hair grew back and he looks somewhat normal now, lol.
The story today is this..... U-Turn doesn't know how to lead. HOURS have been spent trying to teach him, but he doesn't move for us . Well, today I wished for more than anything in the world he would lead. I forgot to shut the gate, and he got out ! We looked EVERYWHERE for him, and finally seen him by our rabbit hutch out front. I grabbed a lead rope and a gallon of grain, and went for it. He would walk, but only two foot before he decide he wanted grain. Another two feet, another bite of grain. I did this for 300 feet! It took me 45 minutes to get him in his field. By the time I was done, I had less than half the grain than what I started with. I bet he has a belly ache now, but at least he is safe. I think we are going to work more on leading .
But, without further ado, here is U-Turn! The first pic is at is old home (and yes, he has a bow in his mane in some of the pics )....
I'm with MM on the leading thing; get a long lead rope around his arse and drag him. The same technique is used with foals, and since you're pulling the whole body around instead of just hauling on the head/neck, you're much less likely to cause any damage.
Keep in mind, even for small animals, unless you're a big farm girl like me, you often aren't going to get far trying to use brute strength. The "come along" rope around the butt usually gives you the leverage you need, but if he's still being stubborn, crank his head to the side instead of trying to pull straight. The idea is to MAKE his feet keep moving, and he loses all his bodily strength when you crank his nose to his hip - eventually, he HAS to move, even if it's to stagger sideways. If he refuses to move forward, just keep tipping him in a circle so he learns he HAS to move when pressure is applied.
When I'm teaching a youngster to lead who hasn't been handled much or trained, I usually end up moving more from side to side then I do forward. I will stand at their head and ask them to move forward and if they refuse, I will tip their head to the side to force a "stagger step". After each "stagger step" I will ask for forward movement. They get praised when they step forward, and more "stagger steps" when they refuse.
He's adorable! Nice job on getting him back into good shape! But PLEASE DON'T EVER feed him grain! That is way too much of a food for donkeys. See how his neck has a thick spot all the way down along the top of it, under his mane? That is a fatty deposit from eating food his system isn't designed to process, like grain, corn or sweet feed. It will NEVER go away, no matter what you do, and if it goes too far, it will break over to one side (called "cresting").
Donkeys survive quite happily and healthily (is that a word!?) on good grass hay alone (unless you're doing very strenuous work with them, like plowing all day or eventing or something).
He RARELY gets grain. He is an easy keeper on hay. He would not move a muscle unless he had the grain in his mouth, though. He would take a bite, and as soon as he was done chewing that, he would balk until he got another bite!