I've been able to ride three times since we've moved, all of them short, and most have been good. I'm still trying to find my stride with how I want things to flow in the barn with Gwyn and the donkeys and dealing with herd bound critters.
I haven't yet written about how Gwyn settled in when I first moved her. I trailered her up on Friday, June 26th, almost two weeks ago now. She came off the trailer well, but definitely 'up'. I let her out in the back pasture and she was very spooky. She took off exploring the pasture and was very clingy when she didn't see any other animals.
It's long, bear with me....
My original plan had been to pick up her new herd the next day, but when we started to leave to get a load of stuff from Algonac she FLIPPED the fuck out when she saw the truck and trailer pull out of the driveway.
There was no way I was leaving her alone, unsupervised. I stayed with her, while Eric headed back but then he called and suggested I just get the donkeys. I called their owner, he was able to get home when I would get there, and Eric stayed with Gwyn to keep an eye on her.
So off I went, solo, to pick up two barely handled donkeys. The divider had been taken out of the trailer at this point so I figured they would be fine riding relatively loose
They loaded quickly, but not willingly, and as I drove back on terrible Michigan roads I was apologizing, out loud with every jarring bump, for putting them through that.
Eric was waiting when I got back and he took the older donkey while I took the baby and we brought them into the pasture. I called Gwyn over and she freaked out AGAIN. Because she'd never seen a donkey.
She really wasn't sure what the hell to do, what they were, or what they meant. They were already used to being around horses so they just trotted right up to her "Oh! Hi new herdmate!" Then momma donkey decided that she was going to be boss mare and Gwyn suddenly got her wits about her and went "Oh heeeeell no!"
|Their first morning, a rainy one.|
|One of their favorite shelter trees.|
Baby, I should mention, is a bit over a year old, she was born at the end of April last year. She's been kind of handled, but not nearly enough as she should be, and I suspect was never fully weaned from Momma to break that co-dependency.
Baby has been dubbed Arwen, after the elf of LOTR fame and Momma is Saffron, after the conniving lady who con-married Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly/Serenity.
|The too-rich pasture I'm trying hard to not keep them out on.|
Good thing I did because I learned that in flash flood circumstances the barn fills up with several inches of water, over the tops of my thankfully rubber booted feet. It does not flood in the hay storage area, but actually comes in from under the foundation. Crazy. I suspect, also, because of the way the stalls were designed is why the stalls only barely got wet at the very end.
Once I was counting to 15 one thousands + between thunder rumblings I let Gwyn go and she of course ran right back out to be with the donkeys.
|First ride in the arena! My view for the next long while :)|
|When she refused to continue wearing the helmet we took her off Gwyn. And she promptly had a temper tantrum.|
I really feel like I'm doing this whole thing by the seat of my pants. I thought I was prepared. I feel less prepared for this than I did for being a parent and they say you are never ready to be a parent.
|Gwyn remembers her cattle sorting lessons|
|Arwen was less than impressed.|
|Grooming stall! I've since gotten dedicated cross ties for the spot.|
|A place that I can trailer in and ride at. It's only 20 minutes away and 5 minutes from Kaylee's gymnastics location in Oxford. I have plans for August, muahaha. They also host dressage shows!|