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Gentle Training

This is a 7 year old BLM jennet that was captured one year ago. She was adopted at the Klamath Falls, Oregon BLM Adoption on May 6, 2001.

This was my first time to work with a BLM donkey. Thanks Vicki Abbott and Kickin' Back Ranch for some great advice on handleing a wild burro. I am using a 8' bamboo pole in these pictures. The length of the pole makes it easier to touch the burro. She would feel too threatened if I tried to just walk up to her. I'm sure she would have moved away instead of standing as she is doing here.

The bamboo pole has ridges all down it and I am applying firm pressure when I rub the burro with it. You could tell that she was enjoying the contact.

I was able to work the pole all up and down her leg.

Each time she raised her leg, I quit rubbing her. It took a few times but eventually she would raise her leg when I pointed at it with the pole. Hey, here's a wild donk that I can pick up a foot and not even be touching her!

She stood still even with the pole rubbing her rear.

Can't forget the belly.

I gradually worked my way up the pole, rubbing all the time. She got curious and acted like she wanted to sniff my hand.

Breakthrough moment! She DID reach to sniff my hand. COOL!

As I kept rubbing her neck, with the pole, I inched my hand closer to her. She stood still when I touched her neck and started rubbing with my fingers.

Then I was able to touch her cheek. She realized that my hand was not going to hurt her and in fact that it felt good.

I kept my fingers stiff and rubbed her cheek. No light touches allowed. She loved it. As I would reach for her, she began to lean towards me.

This was her favorite place to be rubbed.

She kept her eyes on me all the time. Whenever she turned her butt to me, I put on a little pressure and moved her away. She learned that if she faced me, then she could stand still.

I worked both sides of her body.

We ended our first day with a good rub job on her favorite spot.

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