In between all of my projects and still trying to recover from a fiendishly bad case of bronchitis, we have managed a few more donkey walks. I have been experimenting with the best way to lead two young, excited donkeys through the woods. I have to say, all those hours spent hand walking Ramsey and Emma at all hours of the day and night have paid off because they do lead quite well together for the most part, even if the exuberance of getting to go somewhere gets to be a bit much at times. They mostly stay with me, but I don't quite dare trust them to just follow me out in the woods. What is working out the best so far is to use just one long lead rope. The snap is on Ramsey and the end is looped through Emma's halter and they both walk with me.
The only difficulty is that Ramsey gets very excited to be out and about with his whole 'herd' and that excitement translates directly to his mouth. He constantly tries to bite the lead rope or Emma's halter or Emma or her ears or my sleeve, pant leg, shoe lace, trees, rock, leaves, etc, etc, etc! Nothing is safe from Mighty Mouth. Emma and I both find it rather annoying. I don't like to be constantly reprimanding him or telling him no. He is just being the baby boy that he is after all and this is purely a byproduct of his excitement and insecurity at being in such a new place (in my experience this kind of mouthiness is very common in boys while the girls very rarely do this. It's a guy thing.). I have devised a very simple solution that works wonders though. I give Ramsey a pacifier....
This is nothing more then a loose-ring pony snaffle I had laying around (still way too big, but it doesn't matter for this). I used one of the elastic leg straps off of his blanket as a headstall and the bit is very loose (even though it doesn't look that way in the photos, I was still making adjustments), just tight enough that it won't fall out or hit his front teeth. Ramsey spends all of his time playing with it, chewing on it and generally figuring out how to carry it. With his bit to take all of his anxieties out on, he walks down the trail quietly and calmly without molesting anybody else. Emma has been wondering why no one ever mentioned pacifiers months ago!
As for Mr. Mighty Mouth...."AHHHHH, HI BLOGGY PEOPLES! LOOK AT MY NEW TOY AND DON'T i HAVE PURTTY TEETH?"