For a while now, Emma and I have been playing around with clicker training. I have toyed with it in the past and I think it is an incredibly powerful training aid. However, I always found it somewhat awkward, having to juggle clicker, treats, signals, etc. Mostly, my own brain is the biggest impediment. The way I have always worked with my horses is very similar to clicker training, I just don't use a clicker or treats. Because of this, I find it difficult to keep everything straight, to restrain myself from saying "Good Girl!" when I should be clicking. My methods aren't as precise as clicker trainig but, they do work for me. It's a lot easier to train my horse than to re-train myself.
Emma though, is the perfect clicker training partner. She is very much NOT a horse (or a dog) so working with her is different. I find that clicker training with her works very well because my own habits don't interfere as much. Clicker training also works very well with her because she LOVES food and she is very intelligent and imaginative. With the help of clicker training, she has also learned to be very brave. When she first came here, she had not been handled much. While she was friendly and liked people, she had no trust in them and was very wary of every new thing.
With the help of the clicker, Emma has learned that scary, new objects are more likely to be a path to goodies then donkey eating monsters. Things like road cones for example....
As for the clicker training, I have this notion that if she does show signs of rejecting her baby, the clicker might help. If I can teach her that ropes snaking under feet and sleds dragging behind her are good things, I ought to be able to convince her that a baby donkey is a good thing, right?? I hope so.