From: Vicki/ladywife <ladywife@b...>
Date: Fri Dec 22, 2000 6:46pm
Subject: Re: [DonkeyMuleInfo] Donkey
Denise wrote: ......... I am thinking though about
a bit as I believe I will
feel more in control.
The keywords are "I will feel more in control". A bit
is just a hunk of
metal. It doesn't give you more control. A bit won't stop a
donkey if the
donkey doesn't want to stop. There are donkeys who when they first
pressure of the bit on the bars of their mouth, freak and turn into
bulldozers, and it is even worse with leverage bits that also put pressure
on the nerves at their poll and under their jaw. If your hands are
light, a bit can cause a lot of pain to the donkey. Just as (your
donkey) will have
to be taught what the jiggle of the bit means, you will need to learn how
telegraph what you want (your donkey) to do so you can avoid hurting her.
I highly recommend teaching (your donkey) the voice commandsof Walk, Left,
Stop and Back by using ground work first, with her only wearing a halter.
Once she responds to your voice commands, you can walk beside her still
using just the halter with the leadrope snapped
to the cheekring on the
right side and the end tied to the cheekring on the right side to begin
teaching her how a "twitch" on the left side means turn left, and a "twitch"
on the right side means turn right, and a "flick" on both sides mean stop.
You can begin teaching your fingers to be sensitive to slightest twitch
the rein by pulling a bandaid around your index fingers. The bandaid
reminds you you only need to twitch your finger for (your donkey) to read
message. None of this pulling her around to get her to go this way
way. That's not necessary at all. Once
she understands those five simple
voice commands and the twitch on the reins that mean the same thing,
ready to begin riding. Start out bareback so she'll be able to feel
shift your weight. Pull your spine in the middle of her spine and
your pelvis, not on your rumpus.
I am attaching photos of my niece Jessica riding Dolly. In the first
notice how Jessica's spine is right over Dolly's spine.
The reins are slack and Jessica's legs are relaxed, although it would be
if her feet were pointed toes forward, LOL.
In the second photo notice how Jessica is sitting on her pelvis and not
She has just asked Dolly to turn left by shifting her weight onto her left
bone and bringing her left leg against Dolly so Dolly has something to
around (the leg acts as a post to help Dolly turn). Jessica is nudging
Dolly with her left heel only in a light tapping gesture to ask Dolly to
step her hindquarters to the right to pivot her in the center to move her
shoulders left at the same time. Notice how the rein is not tight.
Dolly needs is a slight tug and release flick on the rein to ask her to
In the third photo, Jessica is asking Dolly to slow down from a trot to
before crossing the ground pole by Jessica sitting down on her rump.
Jessica's back should not have rounded or her posture leaned back,
but she's never ridden bareback before and is just learning how to balance
and move with the movement.
I begin all my donkeys with just the halter and leadrope, or with a bitless
sidepull. Once they are riding and driving
confidently then I introduce a
bit but don't fasten the reins to it at first. Dolly is wearing a
these photos but the reins are attached to the halter because Jessica's
hands are just learning to be light.