Thursday, August 30, 2012

Alan's big deal

So maybe seeing Alan being led across the corral away from his buddies isn't a big deal to you,
but it's a very big deal for Alan. Yeah, and for me, too.

In the five years that Alan and George have been a part of my family, I have not been able
to train them to walk on a lead line over any distance, let alone separate them by more than 10 feet.
Once Lucy arrived and my attention was refocused on riding, I gave up trying.
After all, their job was to make me laugh and smile – they needed no further training for that.

But lately I got to thinking that maybe it was time to try again. There was something in the way
Alan looked at me when I would go out to get Lucy to tack her up that said, "my turn, my turn!"

Last week, I put the comealong hitch on Alan, and we've been enjoying short walks around the corral. 
Yesterday, we ventured further.

Me: Come on, Alan. We've got fly masks to find.

Me: Stop eating the rope, please. You'll get lunch when we're done.

We didn't find any fly masks, but we did discover the jolly ball that's been missing for months.

I'm not sure why we're successful now when we haven't been so many times before. It's probably a combination 
of Alan being older, me being wiser, and the comealong hitch being the right tool. 
Or maybe Alan would rather be with me than George because he knows I won't chew on his face 
and rip off his fly mask. Whatever.

George and Hank seem more upset about Alan leaving them than vice versa.
And there's no doubt in my mind that Lucy is jealous.

For now, we'll keep walking farther and staying away from the herd longer.
Who knows where that will lead us?
We'll worry about it once we've found all the missing fly masks.

p.s. If any of you want to learn more about the comealong hitch – how to tie it and use it – 
email me at the7msn at gmail dot com. Justina and I made a video, and I'll give you the link and password to watch it.


  1. He doesn't want Lucy too have all of the fun with Mom.
    Pretty soon you'll be going out all of them.

  2. I'm just so proud of Alan seeing him do this. :-)

  3. Aw, Alan!!! I would have thought George would be up for it first. Goofy, shy Alan...Good boy!!!

  4. You really are Mom.

  5. How very cool for you and Alan. He looks very attentive.

  6. Thank you so much for the tutorial! I practiced it on the dog just now. It is kind of like the Gentle Leader for equines. It always goes back to the nose, doesn't it?

  7. I'm so glad to see Alan get the spotlight. He has to enjoy the one on one time....and the break from brother love. Cute pic with the rope in his mouth.

  8. I also thought it looked like a Gentle Leader for donkeys too One of these days you will have all four on comealongs and be taking walks around the property.

  9. I needed some happy news today!!!

    I'm proud of both of you!

  10. It's always good to be able to lead them in case of emergency or safety. My mini donkey is halter trained, but, if he decides he wants to go somewhere else he just puts his head down and takes off at a run. Think that is why he was asked to leave the petty zoo he called home for several years.

  11. This is great, Alan coming around from Chuck to the Comealong! And George longs to be your second riding donkey... - how many months, did you say, until your retirement?? ;)