Spring weather is here and it’s perfect for hiking and talking my donkey on walks. I try to do one long walk with him each week- 3 or 4 miles- in addition to letting him come out and graze in the yard. He loves to get out of his pasture for a while. He is endlessly curious and always wants to be a part of whatever is going on.
Every time I write about him I say what a wonderful little creature he is. I’m always blown away by how agreeable and kind he is. Never once has he tried to bite or kick me, even though I’ve had to teach him everything from picking up his feet to be cleaned to tightening a girth and wearing his pack. He had never been handled before I got him, but he takes everything in stride and rolls with all the different things I do with him.
I’ve taken him on walks around the neighborhoods by the barn, down country roads and even into suburban neighborhoods. People love to come and say hello to him. I need to start carrying treats so that they can feed him, and then he’ll look forward to meeting new people.
The next step is to trailer off and do some longer hikes with other horses on the trail. I also need to expose him to dogs. He was very sweet when he met my chihuahua, even though she growled at him and tried to bite his little nose, but he needs to be around big dogs so that when we encounter them on our hikes it isn’t a problem.
My next big goal is to take him camping. For our first outing we’ll go to a horse campground, set up a base camp and hike out from there. Donkey will get a chance to spend the night on a high line, and it will be easy for me because we’re essentially car camping. If that goes well, on the next trip I’ll load up his pack and hike out to a campsite in the woods. I’ll have to high line him on two trees and set up camp like I do when I’m backpacking. Once we’re able to do that safely and efficiently, the sky is the limit! We can go anywhere our feet can carry us!