Two miniature donkeys - mother and daughter - recently adopted by a nice young couple.
I am told that the previous owners warned that the donkeys may have had "bad experiences" with the farrier. Uh oh.
We go into the pasture, and the donkeys gather round us, curious and friendly. After introductions have been made, and a suitable interval has elapsed, I figure we might start work - I ask the owners if they plan to use leadropes or halters or anything. They reply that they thought we might give it a try without.
So we do. And the dear little donkeys let me at least nip the toes off all eight feet, with no snatching or kicking or running away. And in between trimming, they do some of the cute and adorable things that donkeys are apt to do such as resting their head on your shoulder, which is pretty irresistible I must say.
Although I only roughed out the feet, the owners were happy, as they thought the donkeys might not cooperate at all. Hopefully next time we'll get even more done.
So what's different about these donkeys, who allegedly have had "bad experiences" and yet were so cooperative? I wonder if the new owners, who are so kind and courteous to the donkeys, have made such a good impression on their adoptees that the donkeys have decided that humans, at this new place, can be trusted. Perhaps having them at liberty helped also.
Tomorrow I go to see another donkey, who also has had "bad experiences" (including having her ears pinched as punishment). She has a kind owner, and she has never kicked with me after the first time. However, she nearly always just says NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo. And her feet are getting longer and longer. We are thinking of resorting to the Animal Communicator.