Sue has been training those big French stallion donkeys again, though it does get a bit late at night when we are all so busy.
Here's Sammy doing a lovely relaxed trot.Lately he's perfected going forward when asked and he's learning to do a figure-of-eight pattern which has a change of direction in the middle. He does it well on the lead and fairly well off the lead though he does like to go off to put his nose on various things because he knows he will get a reward for that !
Here's Pierre standing over the log.He's watching the camera with one ear while getting ready for a good, loud Eeore. He has twice put both front feet on the log ! Well done Pierre. Just missed the picture of course. He has also been doing the figure-of-eight and is good at it but he's much slower than Sammy.
Well, it was a lovely sunny day and we were up in the Donkey-Riding-Meadow waiting for customers.
We tried very hard to keep awake..
.Jake and I rested our heavy heads on the fence.
Our good friend's son Tristan was getting married in a few days time so Sue put some ribbons on our saddles to match the wedding colours - we wore them for a few days to send good luck to the happy couple because it was too far for us to actually go to the wedding.... but in the end we all had to sit down for a sleep.
Eli, Jasper, Welly, Sinead and Noah
Then the customers arrived and we took it in turns to carry them round the field.
Charlie, Sue and Jasper.
Jasper is wearing his sunhat so that he doesn't get sunburn on his white nose.
I got into trouble for digging up grass roots and eating them and making a hole i n the field.
I told the humans when it was time to go home by fiddling with the bridles.
Charlie joined me by tossing some bags around.
Sue told him it was lucky he wasn't AT the wedding because he would have been in even BIGGER trouble !
So Charlie settled for constantly begging for his bum to be scratched and eventually the humans got the message and we went home.
Here I am looking very smart in my saddle. I'm a good riding donkey now ! Best eeoores, Eli
Every year Clovelly holds a fund-raising fun day for the RNLI lifeboat. Lots of flags and bunting are put up around the village and there are special events in the harbour all day and a swimming race out to the lifeboat for the local children.
Our helper Sarah dressed up her donkeys for lifeboat day with ribbons and plaited their tails.Charlie thinks he should be getting some attention too !
Then off they went to the village looking very smart !
In fact Sarah looked so smart that Baby Kiwi, who is looking very beautiful herself at the moment, just had to pose with her. (That's Eli in the background.)
Eli has now become a fully-working riding donkey !
He has been standing for photos for some time, with children on his back, and he has carried the luggage back and forth from the street and the donkey-riding field many times without being worried - so we decided it was time he tried giving donkey rides.
The village children come to ride the donkeys on winter weekends so we invited Tom to ride Eli for the first time. Tom is a good rider - he won't frighten Eli by wobbling around and he won't be too scared if Eli is a bit scared.Here's Tom on Eli's first ride -
Eli was a bit unsure what to do at first so we took Jake for company. However he soon got going and was not at all bothered about being ridden.
Well done Eli and Tom !
After Tom had ridden him around for a bit Eli had his first proper rider.
We helped the little boy to jump on....
And off he went. Our helper walked along too just to be sure everything was OK.
Since then Eli has given lots of rides and seems to enjoy it. He goes best with Jake (they are very similar donkeys) but he won't go round with Sinead because they REALLY don't like each other !