Hip hip hoo BRAY

What a wonderful much needed sunny afternoon. The donks have really not ventured into their paddock for weeks …. but today they have been gently strolling around, followed by a siesta in the sun ☀️

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Profound

On Thursday afternoon as it was such a lovely day, we took the rugs off our donkeys. Don’t know wether it was that or the spring sunshine but they spent the next 20 minutes hot hoofing it around their paddock. Bucking and cantering encouraging one another to take the lead. Biting each other’s ankles until they could stand no more and off they’d go again, quite often using me and my wheelbarrow as a marker to go around. From one end to the other doing flying changes ( where they naturally change their leading front leg around corners ) …. what a delight to see such happy, energetic, funny donkeys.

On the opposite side to that, I went out to feed them at the usual time and Little Lad was laid down outside his stable. Normally they would be up and about knowing food was soon on its way. However he stayed down. I placed my bucket of goodies out of site and slowly entered into his space. He didn’t move. I got down on the straw and got to within touching distance and just sat there quietly with him. George came over had a good sniff and nuzzle ( don’t think he could work out what I was doing on the floor ). I stayed there very quietly and Little Lad kept closing his eyes and nodding his head. It could have been he was tired from his racing around earlier, but I like to think they we shared a moment of complete and utter trust. I have studied the Trust technique, a mindfulness approach for Equines. Louis our cat who is always around when we are out with the donkeys slowly made his way over to me and sat with the two of us. I had 3 amazing animals with me, two laid down and the other just munching on some straw and licking his salt block. We were like this for 15 minutes or more. I didn’t have my camera with me, but then maybe that would have disrupted things anyway. It was a Profound moment. I feel extremely privileged to experience the things I do with such amazing animals.

Did you have spring in your hooves today ?

Well I’ve never seen our two donks gallop as fast as they did this evening!!!

Just as I was feeding them their straw something spooked them in their stable and they exited in an excited manner. Then for the next 10 minutes churned up the ground as they ran faster and faster around the paddock, turning tighter and tighter with every lap. George even jumped over the fallen bollard !!! They clearly were very excited about something, maybe it was just a celebration of a day and almost a week without any rain and howling wind ! Or maybe Matt the fabulous farrier who visited this week gave them some extra va va voom in their feet !!!

Can’t do what it says on the tin….

Glorious George cannot get his head around the fact he is meant to lick his garlic/mint treat !

The boys are given this as a very special treat or distraction when we need to do something different to them. They both get very excited at the thought of them. Little Lad licks and licks and licks his until everything has turned all runny and he looks like he has dived into a marmite jar !

George on the other hand insists on biting the tub and scraping his teeth over the lick. He doesn’t seem to get as much out as his friend and looks quite frustrated!!

And then we’ve noticed after having this treat he uses his tail like dental floss ….. it is hilarious to watch. Yesterday he even tried to floss with Little Lads tail …….

We’re going to party like it’s your birthday 🎁 🎉❤️

We don’t exactly know when Little Lad was born, but we do know that 7 years ago today he had the chance of a new life, so here’s to you Little Lad 7 today !!!

He was rescued along with 6 other donkeys from a world of neglect, fear and starvation as the country was gripped in artic conditions in one of the most severe winters of late. All of the donkeys had overgrown corkscrew hooves, some were emaciated and one so weak she had to be carried to the lorry. The person responsible had been banned from keeping equines previously. These frightened donkeys were kept with 2 of their friends who had died from the neglect and many dead chickens, ducks and geese. It was on of the worst welfare cases the RSPCA and The Donkey Sanctuary had seen.

Only 5 of them survived and all found peace and love at The Donkey Sanctuary. I’m sure if the welfare officer in charge of this case could see what a handsome, inquisitive, playful, big and intelligent donkey Little Lad has become she would be delighted.

He found companionship in George and they are inseparable. Like a tag team keeping us on our toes and giving us huge amounts of pleasure.

You’ve come a long way Little Lad !!!