Friends of the Donkey Whisperer Farm,
“To all of my readers who have been following my blog since 2010 you know how important my family two and four-legged is to me and I just want to say thank you for reading my blog and following my journey in this thing called life. If you are new to my blog you can search all the way back to 2010 and see my journey in blogging and life, thank you for reading my blog and may GOD bless each and every one of you and your families two and four-legged in Jesus Christ Name.” Melody, Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC
My horse Miss Lily (Palomino quarter horse) I call her Mr. Ed’s wife is so darn smart and special, we are very connected she is in her forever home. June 1st, 2014 I was able to bring Miss Trophy our new horse home to her forever home. Miss Trophy gets to live with Miss Lily first and most important as horses need to live with another horse, second for me to teach her to trust, think and use her brain. Why does she need to learn to think? She is not a wild horse she is a domesticated horse a horse who needs to accept the human world for the vet, trimmer/farrier, saddle, going in the trailer and much, much more. One day I will ride this mare with just her halter on and no bit, but not today as she needs time to adjust to her new life and learn to trust me to be a leader using resistance free training. Miss Trophy has not been started yet (carried a rider with a saddle) she is six years old. June of 2014 we brought home Oboe and Tuba (rescue donkeys no paperwork) to live with Rio our Mammoth donkey 16’2 hands tall and eight now. Rocket Man (our mini donkey age 20) now lives in a mini donkey world with Roy and Maximus (two new minis) all live in separate spaces and are balanced and calm. Roy and Maximus are afraid of the blanket and much, much more one step forward, one step back all the while helping them learn to trust me.
Minis Live together, Mares Live Together and Rio with Oboe and Tuba
After studying the behavioral traits of Miss Lily, Rio the Mammoth donkey and Rocket Man I learned that this is not a safe and natural way to live. Why? Miss Lily wants to run and chase Rocket Man and would get frustrated with Rio as he would not run with her and she would ride him like a stallion trying to get him to run. Can a horse live with another smaller animal or a donkey sure but the personality, sex and age are all factors. Miss Lily is an extreme athlete and an extrovert she likes to run and move fast. Rio is an extreme gentle giant an introvert he prefers to stand around and look at things. Rocket Man is a mini and he is not big enough to out-run a fast horse or a Mammoth donkey that is 16’2. When Rio and Rocket Man bonded Rio was nine months old and small, Rocket Man was thirteen. Now Rio is so big when he grabs his neck, normal behavior for donkeys he picks Rocket Man off the ground a few feet and then lays on him with his knee. Not safe and thus why they no longer live together. When Miss Lily would chase Rocket Man Rio would protect him. Rio can see Rocket Man on the other side of the fence and will always love him but he is too big to live with him. I am grateful to GOD nothing bad happened to Rocket Man while we were waiting to get moved to our new farm in Sequim, WA.
Miss Trophy our new mare is truly smart, athletic and contagious with beauty she is not easy as horses go as she is very defensive and reactive so we are working on helping her relax and feel calm in her new world while having a plan to set her up for success and stay safe. A thousand pound horse who is only using the reactive side of their brain can’t think and make good choices they are into the flight or fight mode and this is a dangerous horse. As long as we humans have a plan this horse can learn to think again this entails a lot of patience and time and a plan to keep her and me safe. I am pleased to report Miss Trophy now trusts me and this is a huge accomplishment in a very short amount of time. After getting to run free on the ten acres for five hours (we will one day grow low sugar hay on) with Miss Lily this mare is the first to come to me when I call. She comes to me before my Miss Lily amazing ha? Not really when you understand the personality of this mare and her most important issue is to gravitate towards safety and a fair leader ME. I trump Miss Lily and for this I am extremely pleased with my training. Miss Trophy is truly a magnificent horse and we are starting to bond and build a super strong relationship as she finally trusts me after four months of being handled lightly every day. I have taught her how to back-up a few steps, whoaa and come to me, send into her stall or the pasture, turn around, lower her head and let me take the halter off, wait at least thirty seconds before leaving me. She can now stand for the farrier without urinating, pawing, defecating or squealing and she has lost 1″ in height as she is not in fear for her life on adrenalin. When she came to me she hated the halter and now she actually chooses to put her head into the rope halter as I wait for her to choose. She can stand calmly and not have stress, excited to see what is next to learn.
“Miss Lily has lived with me since she was twenty months old and she is now nine. Miss Lily did not come to me trained and she was difficult and not confident in the beginning. Today she is a confident and strong nine-year old Palomino mare, she is a huge part of the training and success I am having with this new un-confident mare as all animals and humans gravitate towards calm energy and a leader with a plan.” Melody Johnson, Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC
I am a world-wide virtual coach for you the owner of the horse, donkey or mule to learn how to care, setup your farm for mud free, correct diet, load in the trailer, pick up the hooves, stand for the trimmer/farrier ride, go for a hike carry your lunch, take fecal samples. The sky is the limit when you learn to understand the personality and behavior of your horse, donkey or mule and yourself. The most important part of being a great leader is controlling our energy and having a plan to stay safe and keep the equine depending on the personality engaged. Example; My introverted Mammoth donkey Rio does not enjoy big changes, loud noises or anything new thrown at him put on him fast. In fact my extroverted new mini donkeys do not enjoy this either.
What do the different personalities crave and desire to relax and learn?
The introvert is looking for a leader who is calm and has low energy to take the time it takes to help them feel comfortable with change. Sometimes this is like watching paint dry for us humans with the extrovert personality. Thus why I teach to train them in small time frames as drilling makes them crazy both the extroverts and the introverts.
The Extrovert is looking for a calm leader with low energy that can pick up the energy and make things fun this takes having a plan and setting them up for success without us humans getting hurt. The introvert learns extremely fast after they trust us and have learned to use their brain to think. Can’t think when scared for your life. I have four new donkeys all geldings in training, Oboe and Tuba are both rescues no paperwork. Oboe is an extrovert and will fight to the end with any equine or human he does not trust. Tuba is an introvert. Maximus is our mini black gelding age two and an extreme extrovert along with Roy who is extroverted too but can go into introversion like Rocket Man our mini age twenty he is bi-polar at times when very stressed. This personality is one of the most interesting as I find studying the behavior traits of the herd and the personality on a daily basis.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is in animals just like us humans
When we bring home a new animal dog, horse, donkey, mule, cat and they did not get the beginning imprinting meaning touch safely, love and the time to learn humans are safe we are seriously bringing personality and behaviors that may or may not ever change. Example in 2008 after my most beloved kitty Shimmer died I waited a year and let PAWS know I was looking for another Manx mix rescue. A man I worked with in information technology had the mother of a manx mix and she had kittens he told me I could have one of his kittens for free. My husband and I brought Shimmer home to live with us at seven weeks and he adored being held and loved on by both me and my hubby. Shimmer had a great start in life the love of his mom and siblings and was touched gently by humans as a kitten. I taught Shimmer to walk on a lead like a dog and he traveled all over the USA with us in our R.V. and car. He was very social and felt safe with us and our dogs. Christmas was great fun as he loved opening his presents yes a cat that could open his present (cat nipped tucked inside) I miss you Shimmer and know one day I will snuggle with you again in heaven.
When I got the call two kittens now three months old were ready to pick up I ran to the center to meet them. I made the decision to only bring one home but after hearing their story about being found in an abandoned car and how scared they were I thought I can help these girls I will take them both. I am happy to share moving into the 5th wheel is helping them as we are in a smaller space but they still want nothing to do with us other than food, water and their cat box cleaned. Our dogs are a different story they like to snuggle against them and they sleep with them to stay warm on the floor. They sleep on our bed when we are gone and never when we are in it.
After living with us for six years they are still distant with us. They do not trust us, their memories of PTSD with humans spaying them, giving them shots, living in a cage waiting for a home and worse are still in their minds and to fix a cat that is feral is most of the time impossible. These girls are indoor cats. To fix a human with extreme PTSD can take years and can work or can not work it all depends on the personality of the human and the person doing the rehabilitation. Studies have found horses and donkeys used with licensed mental health care workers to help PTSD humans live a great life again. PTSD never goes away as triggers can set the animal and the human off but they can learn to live a good life. Interesting ha?
Shimmer my prayer is you are in heaven chasing bugs, and climbing trees and when tired you lay in a dry warm place and enjoy heaven. I love you and miss you every day my kitty Shimmer.
Purcilla and Jasmine (feral rescue sisters)
If you need help to train your donkey, horse or mule give me a call the first thirty minutes is free to meet and greet. Melody Johnson, (360) 620-5868. I am a world-wide virtual coach to train you to train your equine. We use Skype, your videos and mine along with detailed homework assignments. Each of your lessons are banked and kept track of via quick books so if life happens we can step back into training when you are ready. Learning from the comfort of your home is a really smart way to learn as you are relaxed and your brain has time to learn, having a personal coach to ask questions is invaluable as no DVD will give you this.
I look forward to coaching you as fall and winter is the perfect time to study and prepare to have a plan when spring arrives. We meet once a week via Skype. My Skype name is DONKEYWHISPERERFARM2010.
GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!