Lesley Neuman: The First Touch Gentling Your Mustang
Lesley works with 3
wild horses at a BLM adoption, and very clearly
explains what is happening, what she is doing, &
what she sees in each horse as it progresses. Study
this video and you can learn "pressure and release"
gentling techniques to gentle your own new mustang!
Help for Burro adopters! Crystal Ward
All the basics of
gentling, handling, and training. A MUST for new
burro adopters! Good for domestic donkeys, too!
Burros are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, along with the more familiar Mustangs, and the more rare wild mules.
Burros are wild donkeys, who are descendants of animals originally brought to the US by the Spanish for use as pack animals. They were popular among prospectors, who used them to help transport their gear.
Adopters like burros for their friendly nature, their watchdog
capabilities, and for use as driving and riding. Their gentle nature
makes them perfect for therapy animals. They are used throughout the West by shepherds to guard flocks of sheep and goats.
Burros are comparatively easier and safer to gentle than horses, due
to being less reactive, having less of a flight response, and being more
cerebral: they like to stop and think things through rather than
The main technique is "just spend time" hanging out with the donkey, letting him or her know that you mean no harm and would like to be friends.
Donkeys have an undeserved reputation as being "stubborn." They are not stubborn, but they do have a powerful self-preservation drive,
and are highly intelligent, but need time to think and process. Unlike horses, they do not have a strong flight response, and do not see themselves as prey.
They will stand up to a threat, and they cannot be forced to do anything that they do not understand or that they feel is unsafe. If you understand that, and are willing to work WITH the donkey, they make delightful animals to have around!
Wild donkeys are very social, although their herd structure is less "structured" than horses. They do not always stick
tightly together in close bands, but will branch out over a large territory, using their voices and large ears to communicate with each other.
Burros have a hard time living alone - they need companionship as much as horses do. If you adopt, get two - or make sure you have another similar animal (horse, pony, mule, donkey, even sheep or goat) to be friends with. Donkeys bond very deeply, and do not forget. It is very hard on donkeys/burros to be bought and sold frequently. They will grieve for those they were forced to leave behind.
With love, consistency and patience, burros can be
trained to do amazing things.