The Summer of Sport is a lot of fun and unusual courses for agility lovers that comes round once a year.
Here we are having a go at the pairs class.
Donkeys and handlers must do the obstacles smoothly together - well, we tried !
Jake and Noah, Sue and Claire
This was our first go at ridden agility - 'equagility' as it's called.
At last Sammy has not been lame for long enough for us to get in some riding.
Pierre was not too impressed because he had to stay in the shelter so that he didn't get in the way.It was getting darker and darker so no time for several 'takes' .
First we had to go round the obstacles on the lead, then again riding.
Sammy was such a good boy first time round but by then Pierre was really jealous so Sammy just HAD to go to visit him and make sure he was ok. THEN he did the ridden round !
Oh dear there's so much catching up to do after our summer busy time !
We've missed out on our agility in july and september because there's just not enough time to set it up, practice a bit and film it so it's very good to now get back to it.
Here are some of our summer videos :-
June - a new obstacle - the TUNNEL !
Pierre and Sue at Liberty
Bart and Sammy - you can fast forward when he gets to the tunnel..
but it was all in a good cause because when Sue had a go.......
Just uploaded our Liberty Bronze video for September - dear Pierre being Pierre as usual but not helped by plenty of very silly boo-boos by the handler ! (eg walking round side of the box so he thought he should follow ! Tch ! I dunno.........
Also you're not supposed to touch your donkey when doing liberty......
Here's our scores :-
(for doing the obstacle)/(for good horsemanship)
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles, food rewards are given
between obstacles or there is a break in the flow from obstacle to obstacle 1
mark will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score. Human Name Sue
Kelly Equine Name Pierre 1.Weave 5/4 handler missed last cone 2.Curtain
5/5 3.Tarpaulin 4/5 stop 4.Closed gap in 4/4 break, not quite far enough
in 5.Closed gap out 4/5 not in enough before backing out 6.Scary Corner
5/5 good 7.Pole corridor 2/4 break, stops but good in the end 8.Curtain
4/5 break 9.Pole wheel 5/5 10.Pole wheel other direction 4/5 missed the
On September 13th we had a great day at our Donkey Agility Day
Here we are with our
rosettes after the mini competition:
left to right:-
Lucas and jake, Victorien and Welly, Eli and Nigel, Bart and Giffy, Sue and Jasper, Vanessa, Peter and Alison, Jill and Noah
The weather was great ,
the ground was solid rather than muddy and we had lots of room here
in the field. Our coach Vanessa gave us a talk on persuading our
donkeys to lead on a loose rope and NOT eat and on how to tell if our
donkey was afraid of going over, under or through and what to do
about it. We all had a practice then showed off our best obstacle.
After dinner we did all the obstacles in turn to earn marks and get a
The competition was won
by Giffy the mule with Bart and Wellington with Victorien in equal
A surprise visitor was Alison from the Donkey Sanctuary
who chose to play with Peter, our 4yr old, and managed 3rd
place ! I was SO proud of Pete who has never done anything like this
before and definitely not with a stranger.
Next was Lucas with
Jake who got all four feet on the pedestal and Jill with Noah.
Sue with Jasper who said all the things he does in the stable yard
were far more scary in the field !
Next was Nigel wit Eli who did
much better in the field than he had done before in the yard. Ah
well, that's donkey life !
We all had a fun day and look forward to doing it again !
Oh dear ! Don't know how it has got to May already ! So much to catch up with including
the coming of the new tractor and moving of the Great Poo Heap,
riding lessons for Pierre and Sammy,
our great Donkey Agility Day,
the arrival of new helpers for the summer,
Welly's new boots
and Donkey birthdays galore!
Our big baby Sarah (aka Tiddly) was 2 years old on 9 th April
Sinead, our lovely Mother donkey celebrated her 11th birthday on 8th may
Peter has become 4 years old on 21st May
HAPPY BIRTHDAY everyone !
Peter says a BIG 'thank you! ' to Peter who has adopted him for his Birthday present.
Here are our agility videos for May:-
Peter scored 98 out of 100 - more than any of us have ever scored ! Wow! Now we are promoted to First level (from starter level). Sammy was promoted at the end of last year. Oo-er .. they do trotting in first level!
Pete lost a mark for loosing the smile in the rope at the 'gate' and for treading on the backing -up pole (oops Mr Clumsy !).
Kiwi came second with 96 - being her usual mischeivous self and trying to knock over the cones and pull the rope and sneak off in the L Bend .
Next was Sarah with her FIRST OFFICIAL ENTRY !
She was not allowed to enter until she was two - which she is now. :>)
Not a bad round scoring 90 points but could do better ! She lost lots of marks for banging poles and refusing to wait - we reckon she thought it was tea time as she'd been standing around watching the others and it was getting dark...... and the flies were out.....
Sarah only just beat her mum Sinead who scored 88 points
Pierre did a nice liberty round
....and just for fun Toby our dear blind donkey had a go and our helper Denise took her favourite donkeys and Giffy the mule round the course:-
When the donkeys are in they make lots of mess so twice a week we take the poo away in our trailer. Clovelly Estate gardens like to have it and are supposed to provide us somewhere accessible to put it but...with all the bad weather thee is mud everywhere and they have not been able to do lots of their work so the easy bins are full and the approach to the other is under 1ft of mud and our tractor can't get up the slope to the place they really want it. It's even worse because our usual tractor blew an axle bearing in the summer and we've been using our smaller one.
So - when our little tractor broke down again we had to decide about replacing it and it had to be with something that would do the job despite the ever-increasing difficulties. After a good hunt around on the internet we tracked down some likely candidates and a nice person who would give us some advice and set off to see tractors in Somerset.
We checked first that the dealers were not flooded! We had a lovely drive as it happened but when we arrived we could see the Somerset levels all flooded - in an attempt to save Mucheleney the authorities were pumping water out from there onto land around the tractor dealers - the road was just awash about 1" deep.
We looked at several tractors - we like them better than sports cars - and ended up with a choice between a good second hand one that was a bit too pricey or a new 'cheap Chinese'. We were too worried about second hand cheap Chinese not being reliable(since we would be spending lots of money on it).We eventually chose the new Chinese. Now we have to wait a few weeks for it to be ready..then a new blue shiney Chinese tractor will arrive...and we will be paying back a loan...........the poo heap is getting ever bigger......hope we have a good summer next year!