This was just one remark made during The Donkey Breed Society Scottish region’s day with The Donkey Sanctuary’s behavioural trainer, Ben Hart. Thirty five people came to Caledonian Market, Stirling to learn from one of the UK’s top equine experts.
Ben spent some time talking about how humans react to the behaviour of equines. This proved hilarious but the message was well and truly put across. And before meeting the donkeys the group had a completely different outlook on how they would deal with their animals in future. What was interesting and encouraging was how varied the group was and how everybody wanted to come away with different things.
There were people interested in driving, keeping donkeys as pets, or companions, people interested in fostering donkeys, there were vet students, past donkey owners, and representatives from other animal charities. A rich tapestry: all with the interests of the animal with the long ears at heart. Ben handled numerous questions and nobody left without thoughts of donkeys’ behaviour on their minds.
Ben explained how his work is based upon an understanding of the equine and human mind. Using his lovely models, Marley the mule, Gertie the donkey and Dominic the Poitou, he showed how positive reinforcement motivated and encouraged good behaviour.
Ben dispensed excellent advice which participants were encouraged to take home and work on, to enhance the behaviour of their donkeys.
It was a fantastic day which certainly raised the profile of the humble donkey and gave us all food for thought.