Some of you may recall from an earlier blog the exciting delivery of Bart and Penny, two established driving donkeys who have joined Emma and her other two foster donkeys.
As Emma has now had a few months to get to know Bart and Penny, I visited her recently to see how things were going. And whilst not wishing to jinx things in any way, all is going fairly well. Bart and Penny have new harness and a brand new carriage, all courtesy of Emma's lovely supportive husband but although he is happy to fund his wife's passion, he has yet to be persuaded to go out for a drive - even the promise of a trip to the local pub has not worked!
Emma is also awaiting with great excitement the delivery of a new trailer, big enough to take the donkeys and carriage. This apparently has hot drink making facilities and even more importantly, a loo! The plan is to take the donkeys out to some British Driving Society social drives which they hold in various parts of the region. This will get them used to all the sights and sounds that they will inevitably encounter as Emma wants to enter showing classes.
On my visit Emma harnessed up the pair and took me out for a drive. The weather was perfect and Penny and Bart behaved impeccably - it is clear that Emma has grown in confidence with the help of Mike Daniels and indeed has grand plans for her pair.
Having recently visited a show to look at the donkey classes, Emma was s a little disappointed to find them tucked away in a small ring and told me she wants to be in the main ring! Her two main ambitions are the British Driving Society's prestigious Annual Show at Smith's Lawn, Windsor and the Mayor of London's Annual New Year's Day Parade down The Mall.
Emma says she would thoroughly recommend driving donkeys as she has found the whole process fascinating and whilst there has been a lot to take on board, it is great fun.
Donkeys benefit so much from the stimulation of doing things and it is fantastic that we have foster owners like Emma who are so keen. The exercise also helps in keeping weight off and as most donkey owners are aware, this is a challenge in itself!
Fortunately Emma has not only her two sons but also a number of friends who are enthusiastic about helping out, as having somebody with you whilst driving is essential.
Clearly Emma has her sights set high and why not? So maybe a picture of Bart, Penny and Emma in front of Buckingham Palace will take pride of place in a future blog!