Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Moole School

School is perpetually in session for my horde of mooles. They're all in various stages of growing up and coming along in their training. In terms of general baby goals for their ages, they are all fully on track to becoming solid citizens, with a few quirks here and there and things to always be worked on. 

Uma is the same age as Pax, so now approaching 17 months. She is still TINY but filling out in her body. She's got that donkey haybelly which, as far as I can tell, is nearly impossible to get rid of on some of them. She came with it, and it looks much better but it's still there. Clean fecals, regular deworming, you can see her coat is good and shiny... she's just... full of hay. I asked the owner of the mini moole that comes to the driving competitions, because he also has a huge gut, and she said that even though he gets a tiny ration and heavy work literally 6 days a week, he just has it and that's that. Boo. 
She has really started to mentally mature a lot more over the course of her yearling year. She is still weird about a lot of things, like you can't just walk up to her in the pasture, nor can you put your hands on her body unless she is tied up, but I think that will continue to get better as it generally has been (slowly). Baby mooles are kind of like horrible obnoxious teenagers. You think baby horses are bad, try dealing with all of their crap but with a donkey brain in there!
Things she does well: halter, lead, tie, wear a flymask, flyspray, stand for hoofcare, stand more or less still to be brushed off, sort of stand for mane clipping, wearing boots
Things she does not do well: body clipping, trailering (haven't tried!), bathing (she likes water but not being sprayed with the hose yet), and not very fond of general touches from people if she wasn't expecting them - just needs more work on that!

This little dude is continuing to impress me. It just goes to show that it is SO IMPORTANT to get your hands on these guys as soon as they are born. It makes ALL the difference. He has no meanness in him whatsoever and he loves people and attention. It is very rare to get that sweet adorable temperament in a zebroid, and it has to be cultivated. He's a testament to his breeder's program. 
He's a million times easier than all of the mules, which is really saying something. It's all because of his early formative training - they were all feral or mishandled, and he was neither. He was handled straight away as a baby, and it makes a difference.
Things he does well: Easy to catch, halters, leads, ties, trailers (although he has not been in my trailer), clipping, grooming, flymask, wears harness, wears bridle (but still learning about the bit), lunges in harness, starting to long line and learn about steering, ponies, wears boots and wraps, stands for hoofcare
Things he does not do well: Not a fan of baths (although he loves water), or flyspray (but he tolerates it), needs to be a little more secure by himself (the world is scary when you're alone without your herd!) 

I long lined Lendri off the property for the first time ever the other day, and nobody died! She actually surprised me with how good she was. She has technically been hitched once, but I feel that she needs to be much steadier in the long lines before we hitch again. There is so much that can go wrong when hitching a greenie so the more I can do on the ground the better. I still am not compeltely convinced that she is going to make a perfect driving moole - she is still so reactive to things sometimes - but I am going to give it the full benefit of my time, because she has come SO far and I'm not ready to give it up just yet. 
Things she does well: Easy to catch (runs over!), halters, leads, ties, trailers, mane and body clipping, grooming, flymask, wears harness and bridle, lunges in harness and sidereins, stands for hoofcare, flyspray, long lines, ponies, wears boots and wraps, has been hitched once without issue
Things she does not do well: Hates baths! Tolerates it but is pretty sure I am spraying her with acid. Still can be quite reactive and flinchy to basically anything that touches her that she is not sure about. 

I ordered a new bit for Sriracha - it's a little butterfly mullen mouth driving bit that is mini sized. I should be able to use it on Lendri as well, as it is a 3.75" (standard mini size is 3.5"). For comparison, Lendri can go either in the 3.5" or the 4" that I use for Zu, but she does seem to prefer the 4", which is a single jointed sweet iron snaffle. I don't know that Zu will fit into it, but I might try it on him for giggles. I haven't tried the bridle on her since the last time when she stuck her tongue over it and cut it - it was only her second time wearing a bridle and I didn't want to repeat the incident until I switched bits. 
Things she does well: Halters, leads, ties, trailers, mane clipping, grooming, flymask, wears harness, learning to lunge in harness, stands for hoofcare, flyspray, happy to go out alone and do things, wears front boots
Things she does not do well: Not a fan of baths, still sligtly funny about her tail and back legs being handled (although getting better every time), having difficulty accepting the bit and bridle. She's only been not-feral for a few months so it's pretty good, all of it!

Tried the (sans bit, sans adjustment) blinkered bridle on Zu... as you can see he really cares. He was looking around for a minute though going, uhhh I can't see?

How not to wear your flymask


  1. What pretty babies! I just brought in a little donkey (she's about pony sized) and I'm amazed at how smart they are.

  2. All your animals are so shiny! Like glass!

  3. So basically nobody likes baths haha ;)