On Saturday, I had the privilege of trimming two new donkey clients. One was a jack, and the other a pregnant jenny. Both donkeys were inclined to kick at first. What am I saying, "inclined to"? Both donkeys did kick at first. Donkeys are good wee kickers, and the owner's granddaughter told me, with some satisfaction, that they had a friend whose jaw had been broken by a donkey kick. I can believe it. I did not get behind the donkeys.
Both donkeys calmed down when they figured out I wasn't going to grab their hind legs and hold on. They calmed down in different ways. The elderly jack donkey became very listening. He stood with his ears turned backwards toward me, like giant antennae tuned in to our conversation, and he became helpful. We bribed the more anxious jenny with apple at first, letting her eat when her foot was off the ground, and taking the apple away when either she or I put her foot on the ground. We ran out of apple by the time there was still a foot and a half to do, but we didn't need any more, as she had put herself into a meditative state by this time.
There's a sort of sadness to some donkeys that is very poignant. Perhaps they have all seen too much of life.
Later that same day, I trimmed our own horses. They were very good. Not so long ago they used to give me fits when I tried to work on their feet. I haven't trained them up to it, and I haven't accustomed them to the process much, as we have hard ground and I let them self-trim for months on end. We've just somehow gotten used to dealing with each other, and it was so nice to tie each one up in turn to the fence with a nice netful of alfalfa hay and have them stand there chomping peacefully while I matter-of-factly plonked their feet on the stand and nipped away and didn't bother my head much about anything except getting the job done.
Saturday was the first day we've had that really felt like spring. It was opening day of fishing season, I guess, and all the creek banks in our area were thronged with guys in camo and waders. I was happy for them that they had such a beautiful day to be out and about. Today the clouds and rain were back, and no one wore Easter dresses to church except the little girls - everyone else was still in their winter drab. Weather.com prognosticates more chilly weather for at least the next week. Sigh. Come back, Spring!