Wednesday night (I think) I wrote a thread about working Abe on his cart. This story includes that day but is more of an overview.
Few donkeys in Africa wear blinkers, although you'll see them from time to time.
He ran about a circle and a half.
You have to teach both sides of an equine any new thing, the left hand knoweth not what the right hand just learned.
So, once he knew that it didn't gain on him but he couldn't run away from it, either,
Mostly I walk, and mostly I lead him. Once he's rock solid I'll advance to riding and driving him. Last fall I rushed that process, and it was a few weeks before I could dress myself without help. Not our best day.
And it's repetitive work, which is ideal for teaching.
When I'm too winded to lift another rotten bale, lesson time is over.
So... Thursday afternoon I wanted to work on another project.
We've got a couple areas we kind of lost track of when we were running the phone and computer business, that grew up in thorn trees. Honey locust.
You can do that, you know. Turn weeds into grass just by mowing consistently.
He was... tolerable. Not real cheery, but tolerable.
The locust paddocks are on the other side of the road, a goodly distance.
When he's grouchy he crowds my space when we walk.
When I'm on my toes I keep one of his lines where I can reach it, so if he walks I can turn him.
0 for 2 on Thursday.
The cart is considerably wider than him, and we're in locust thickets.
Not a good plan.
He made it about thirty feet, and got the cart *good and stuck*
And him still not trained to back the cart.
It wasn't elegant, but he backed a little, and I dragged the cart a little, and we argued a little, and we got out.
The pile of thorny branches was strung out in the thicket.
Among other stupid things I hadn't brought a bottle of water.
It takes a lot of water to keep me operational.
He backed the cart like a pro. Put it right where I asked him. Backed it eight or ten feet, one time.
Tractors can't walk sideways. I couldn't have do this without him.
And from where he's standing here there's only room for him to take two steps forward before he has to turn sharply to his right.
"My fault, sorry, back," I said, d he backed, side-stepped, and brought the cart clear of the barn.
This is why I like him to see it.
What a star. What a great afternoon.
Tomorrow the band plays, and I can't get that tired and then play, so maybe Monday we can finish this part of the spoiled hay.
What a guy. What a prince. Abraham.