So I moved to a new barn a few weeks ago...my gelding is out with one other gelding....and a full size donkey (jenny? Lol). At first she just liked to get in my way. Wouldn't move when I asked, I end up having to try and push her out of the way...she literally gets right in front of my horse and I and will stand there so we can't get past her. Well its progressed and gotten much worse. Today she was almost guarding my horse and trying to not let me go near him or take him out unless she got to come to. She actually RAN into me even..Its just dangerous. BO doesn't know what to do, she's had her since she was 6 months (4 now) and just cuddled her like a puppy dog...so she has no training. I just want her to respect my space and to be able to feel safe when getting my horse! I have permission to work with her, and I did the clinton anderson fundamentals with my horse, and have a great horse because of it...but I don't think they will work quite as well with her. I like the boarding situation and don't want to move again...but if I can't get this donkey under control I fear I'll end up getting hurt :( HALP
My mini donkey was spoiled rotten in her last home and never learned how to respect space growing up. She also gets very protective of "her" ponies. We found the only thing that worked with her was carrying a riding bat with a wide popper that makes a loud popping noise when you get her with it. Its the only thing she respects for some reason. If I am carrying it, she stands respectfully back. If not she is in my space. So if I want to collect a pony I make sure I am carrying. Now on the other hand - if I go halter her, she is a perfect angel as long as she has my 100% attention.
Hummm, I'm going to have to ponder this for awhile. It does sound like she's guarding your horse. Donks are often used as heard guards. They will not hesitate to take on something far bigger than they are.
What I can tell you is must donkeys have more of a "fight" responce than a "flight" responce. Where as horses give to pressure, donkeys push back against it. I might run this past a donkey page that I belong to & see what they sugest.
I have a mini that acts very protective around my mare - a lot like the behavior you explained. I carry a long driving whip with me, and it's long enough that he knows not to get in my space. I don't really hit him with it, I just slap the ground hard enough for it to make a sound and for him to notice (it did take a couple of pops on his rear for him to get it). As long as I have my whip, he knows he needs to back off and respect my space. (I'm not sure if whips spook your horse, my mare is very laid-back so she's ok with it). I don't know how effective teaching fundamentals would be if she's already matured and settled into the habit, but donkeys are very smart so she might pick up on it. The biggest thing to remember when you're training donkeys is patience, patience, patience. They're very quick to catch on and very smart, but they can be strong-willed and stubborn too...I'm convinced that half the time, they pretend not to understand just to get a kick out of it. ;) Good luck! :)
Thanks littrella! I'd appreciate any help I can get. I was thinking of trying clicker training with her, done some with my horse and it worked well. Just not sure how to teach her get out of my space with the clicker lol!
I will try carrying a whip with me Elisie, thanks! I tried starting her on the fundamentals, just started with giving to pressure and disengaging the hind end..kept the lesson very short and sweet, and she kinda did well but I just don't know if it would be what she needs.
Ok, some of the replys I have gotten from my donkey sight:
I twirl the end of a lead rope or (I use Parelli) my savvy string (goes on the horseman's stick). If it hits there nose (not hard) it's usually enough to get them to back away. I had trouble with one of my geldings (donkey) whenever I would lead another gelding back into the pasture. I just twirled the rope in his face to get him to back up so I could safely unhalter the donkey I brought in. Worked every time. Now I don't have any trouble. Just a thought
Advise a vet check first...she could need her hormones checked. When they act aggressive or dangerous it is a big red flag that she may be stimulated by your gelding...sending her into this behavior. I had a paint that had to have an implant to keep her hormones level
Give the donkey some feed to eat whilst you get your horse? Take the time to put a halter on the donkey and tie it up whilst you get your horse? Donkeys love attention. Try giving her attention first? They love being scratched on the withers and also at the top of their tail. Make friends with her, and then get your horse? Maybe that's all she wants. Donkeys respond much better to positive training methods than negative reinforcement like Clinton Anderson uses.
I've tried twirling my lead rope, that gets me no where, even if it smacks her a few times, she just tries to get closer :( Its always worked on other horses, I swear every barn I've been at theres ONE horse that's obsessed with Dexter.
I'd love to check the hormones but not sure if BO would be on board with that :( Maybe if nothing else works I could talk her into it.
The donkey actually has hay right there to eat, but leaves it to get in our way. I've tried ignoring her, or saying hi first, I get the same response from her either way :( If I touch her in anyway she tries to just get closer.
The brat spotting me coming to get my horse and makes her way over to intercept
Andddd this is what I go through
She actually pushed her way between my horse and I while I was trying to lead him
She's just..bad...I know BO wont pay for a trainer to come out, so I'm on my own :(