Wednesday, 28 May 2014

May Agility, Peter, Sarah and Sinead's birthdays and lots more to come

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:-


Denise and Jasper


Denise and Noah


Denise and Giffy

Well done Denise and donkeys !


Friday, 28 February 2014

A trip to Somerset

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!

February catchup

Well here we are in Feb and December and january have just gone by in a flash.
December as usual was spent trying to get all the donkey adopters their christmas cards and news - this time online but it seems to have been a bit of a disaster as many people said they couldn't open the files. Big apologies to everyone - if you should have received a card and havn't please email us !

While December was dryish the donkeys were able to go out most days until about a fortnight before Christmas. Then the rain came in to stay and the donks have been in the stables and yard ever since. January was one of the wetest we have ever seen - though the warmest too, no frost at all but storm after huge storm. We are most fortunate that we are not really at too much risk of flooding.The fields quickly became waterlogged and still are. The donkeys have been going for walks along the Hobby Drive . After their morning feed they mill about in the yard begging to go. Giffy pings the electric wire (which isn't on - sshh! ) , she and Welly have pretend biting matches and Peter tries to open the tack room door. Charlie and Jasper play tug with the headcollars as we put them on and baby Kiwi hangs on the end of the collars while we do everyone else!

Bart went away for 3 weeks leaving Sue and the stalwart helpers Terry, Paul, Nigel and Anne helpers to look after everyone. Not a problem but nothing much except donkey care gets done when we are a hand short! Then we had a major disaster - While he was away the little tractor who pulls our poo trailer twice a week broke down and has now died. We have had to make a big decision about replacing it - so nowwe will buy a new tractor on a bank loan. Hate to be in debt to anyone but sometimes there is no choice.....

Christmas Agility

Here we all are having a go among the Christmas decorations:-Sammy - when we came to the curtain he spotted the tinsel - clever boy! There were just 2 pieces blowing about among the plastic bits. He was curious so he just reached out to feel one of them, to see what it was,then he was happy and went straight through.

Bart and Pierre

Bart and Noah....it was getting a bit dark by now!

sue and Kiwi

Bart and Kiwi

Sue and Peter

Anne and Noah Both did a lovely round!

Nigel and Eli who was definitely not in the mood!

 And Dear Toby. He's nearly blind now but he makes such a fuss when he's left out that we are including him now. It's early days but he is following !

Now how about the scores:-
 OLHA!

"Well done to everyone for braving the extremes of weather for their Starter entries. It’s hard enough to get that first video filmed and sent in without the added discomfort of blazing heat or freezing snow! Well done to everyone."

December 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Sue Kelly GB
Equine  name Kiwi

1.Santa sack 4/4 hesitant to get started, tight rope
2. Icy Pond/Tarp 5/5
3.Weave 3/4  two stops, one tight rope
4.Jump 5/3 YAY!!!! One tight rope, not together but a JUMP
5.Mince Pie Moment 3/3 corrections, handler not obviously eating!
6.Curtain 5/5
7.Chimney Squeeze 4/5 donkey not completely through before backup
Tight rope out of squeeze
8.Iceberg Wade 5/5
9.Balloon Surprise 5/5 Well done!
10.Own Choice 5/5

Total Score 88
Comments Wow! The best you’ve ever done!

December 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Bart Kelly GB
Equine  name Noah

1.Santa sack 5/5
2. Icy Pond/Tarp 4/5 front feet not quite on
3.Weave 5/5
4.Jump 1/5 no jump but together
5.Mince Pie Moment 2/5 corrections, good pretence at eating!
6.Curtain 4/4 one correction, one tight rope
7.Chimney Squeeze 4/5 donkey not completely through before backup
8.Iceberg Wade 5/5
9.Balloon Surprise 5/4 a bit of assistance to get started but good
10.Own Choice 5/5

Total Score 87
Comments Excellent, rope work gets better and better! Well done!

December 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Bart Kelly GB
Equine  name Kiwi

1.Santa sack 4/5 hesitant to get started
2. Icy Pond/Tarp 3/5 good correction
3.Weave 5/3 tight rope, handler missed first cone
4.Jump 1/5 no jump but you were together
5.Mince Pie Moment 2/4 tight rope, corrections
Tight rope
6.Curtain  5/3 tight rope through curtain
7.Chimney Squeeze 5/5 could do with a tidy up but you did it!
8.Iceberg Wade 5/4 tight rope
9.Balloon Surprise 5/4 only just! Tight rope on exit
10.Own Choice 5/5

Total Score 83
Comments A good try but remember who is directing the feet!!!

December 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Sue Kelly GB
Equine  name Peter

1.Santa sack 4/5  hesitant to start
2. Icy Pond/Tarp 3/5 back feet not on in wait, donkey moved
3.Weave 3/5 two stops
4.Jump 1/2 wrong direction but first attempt judged,
5.Mince Pie Moment 4/5 donkey moved
6.Curtain 5/5
7.Chimney Squeeze 4/5 donkey not completely through before backup
8.Iceberg Wade 5/5
9.Balloon Surprise 5/5 great!
10.Own Choice 5/5

Total Score 86
Comments Good job! Well done Sue and Peter.


December 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Bart Kelly GB
Equine  name Pierre

1.Santa sack 5/5
2. Icy Pond/Tarp 5/5
3.Weave 5/3 tight ropes
4.Jump 1/4  not a jump, not quite together
5.Mince Pie Moment 2/3 lots of corrections and no eating!
Tight rope
6.Curtain 5/4 got there eventually
7.Chimney Squeeze 5/4 tight rope on exit
8.Iceberg Wade 5/4 need more bottles
9.Balloon Surprise 2/2 a really good try he almost did it
10.Own Choice 5/5

Total Score 78
Comments A really good try in appalling weather! Mad!!

December 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Sue Kelly GB
Equine  name Sampson

1.Santa sack 5/5
2. Icy Pond/Tarp 5/5
3.Weave 5/5
4.Jump 1/4 not a jump, not together
5.Mince Pie Moment 3/4 donkey moved, one correction stepping in, no eating!
6.Curtain 4/5 lots of hesitation to go through curtain
7.Chimney Squeeze 5/5
8.Iceberg Wade 5/5
9.Balloon Surprise 5/3 not a balloon so I have to dock two marks but otherwisegood
10.Own Choice 5/5

Total Score 89
Comments Good job Sue!

Having fun with November Horse Agility

Lots of our donkeys have been trying out the agility this month - and two of our helpers!
Here's Jakey Ted's debut entry :-
Here's Jake's friend Jasper - his second entry.
...and Charlie with Sue...
but he did a better round for Bart.....


that's Toby in the middle. He hates to be left out so we play a bit with Toby too. Toby can't see very well but we are hoping to teach him to follow so that he is able to take part.
Here's Sammy the big stallion:


..and here's Sammy's friend Pierre being Pierre. He's slow but he was comingbecause he wanted to not because he was being pulled. He hates being on the lead as you can see by all the rope tossing !


Our helpers Anne and Nigel had a go too with Noah and Sinead so hopefully we'll be able to post their videos soon too.
Now to see what marks we all got.........
SCORE SHEETS
We had a full on Donkey Class this month too (ten entries!), I hope you will all enter into the Special Christmas course where donkeys look so perfect.

October/November 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey or Mule
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Sue Kelly GB
Equine  name Jake

1.Curtain 5/5
2. Tarpaulin 5/5
3.Flags 5/5
4.Jump 1/1 Donkey OR handler to jump, no jump from either!
5.L bend 5/5
6.Weave 5/5
7.Back over 3/5 touches
8.Spooky corridor 5/3 donkey behind with lead rope wrapped around handler NOT SAFE!
9.Narrow gap 5/5
10.curtain 5/4 tight rope

Total Score 87
Comments Lovely round, such a pity about the jump!


October/November 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey or Mule
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Sue Kelly GB
Equine  name Pierre

1.Curtain 5/5
2. Tarpaulin 5/5
3.Flags 5/5
4.Jump 1/5 no jump
5.L bend 1/1 corrections, tight ropes, handler stepped outside
6.Weave 2/5 cones missed, stops
7.Back over 5/5 difficult to see
8.Spooky corridor 4/2 tight rope, handler crouching in corridor not safe
9.Narrow gap  5/4 no stop
10.curtain 5/5

Total Score 80
Comments A good try but crouching in a narrow space or in front of a horse/pony or donkey will always lose marks!
October/November 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey or Mule
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Sue Kelly GB
Equine  name Sammy

1.Curtain 5/5
2. Tarpaulin 5/5
3.Flags 5/5
4.Jump 1/4  no jump, handler slightly in front
5.L bend 5/3 handler should be inside poles
6.Weave 4/3 weave in wrong direction, one stop
7.Back over 4/5 one touch, not bad at all
8.Spooky corridor 5/5
9.Narrow gap  5/5
10.curtain 5/5

Total Score 89
Comments Good job, well done.

October/November 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey or Mule
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Sue Kelly GB
Equine  name Charlie

1.Curtain 5/5
2. Tarpaulin 5/3 rope wrapped round handler
3.Flags 5/5
4.Jump 1/5 no jump
5.L bend 5/5
6.Weave 5/3 follow arrows on course diagram
7.Back over 4/5 one touch
8.Spooky corridor  5/5
9.Narrow gap 3/4  no wait, handler crowded donkey
10.curtain 0/0 not completed

Total Score 78
Comments Don’t accept mediocre! You have some fantastic stuff in here but allow small errors to magnify, such a pity. Take care of the small things and the big things go away.

October/November 2013 Class 1d: Starter Level Donkey or Mule
Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles a point will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score.
Human name Sue Kelly GB
Equine  name Jasper

1.Curtain 5/5
2. Tarpaulin 5/5
3.Flags  5/5
4.Jump 1/5
5.L bend 5/5
6.Weave 5/5
7.Back over 4/5 one touch
8.Spooky corridor 5/5
9.Narrow gap 5/5
10.curtain 0/0 not completed aagh!!!

Total Score 85
Comments That darned curtain, I do wish you’d kept going! The rest was excellent.



Agility in February

Can't believe it's half way through February already and we havn't done any blogging since October! I'll try to catch up as we have done some agility in November, a Christmas shoot in December and had so much going on in January that we missed out on the agility.
Here is Pierre doing his best ever (we think) Agility at Liberty.When he's at liberty he can leave any time he wants to.'When you take off all the equipment what's left is the truth' Have to wait to see what the judges think though - we made lots of mistakes on the obstacles and in between he did lots of things he didn't have to - but it helped to keep his attention on the job. he is really starting to follow now but we still have a long way to go. That's why we do agility - because it's a challenge and not as easy as it looks!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Jasper's Agility Debut

Time to film this month's Online Horse Agility entry !
It's getting dark much earlier now so we had to set everything up in a hurry.
Our donkeys love knocking over all the obstacles so we shut them in the shed. Just as well because the horrid biting flies started to come out. Charlie said he wanted to go first but when he came out the flies put him off and he dived into the stable ! Jasper was already in there so we asked him to go first....and.....he did really well !
His little tail swished all the way round. He did the gate really well.....He was a bit hesitant about backing up through the T-shape but stepped into the hoop perfectly. He didn't want to stand there though and didn't think that scary flag was nice a t all !!!  However he did such a good job and it was the first time he had done a filming all by himself so we say WELL DONE JAS !
Here's the link.