RMS Magical Merlin gets a new zip code~

Mid-morning of October 25th in Helena, Montana, owner/trainer/breeder Janelle of Rocky Mountain Songbirds, harnessed Merlin.  We had each driven half way to meet in the middle for a day of fun  and it worked out great.  First Janelle drove Merlin pulling a tire, and then I took the lines for awhile before turning them over to Jim and grabbing the camera.

Grnd driving 10 25 Helena MT

We hitched him to the training cart with Janelle driving  around the pasture including a trot.  He was calm, quiet and stood very well.  He didn’t really want to trot out for very long but that was okay.  He was relaxed so off we went to the Bureau of Reclamation Lands for a test drive.  The drive was on gravel roads along ditches and down a hill into a circle turn around that we took several loops on.  Merlin took his time coming back to the pasture which has not been his normal, during training he really liked to come home.

 First drive Janelle n Kristi 10 25 09

Then I took  Jim on the same drive with about the same results.  Something moved off to our side on the way back and Merlin squared off to it, may have just been the breeze moving the tall grass but it certainly didn’t spook him.  He came back to the ranch at a nice calm walk which suited us just fine.

 The next morning we double blanketed him for the trip home in the open stock type trailer.  At each stop I adjusted his blankets to make sure they were doing their job to protect him from butt rubbing and to keep him dry.  He really liked me in the trailer with him dishing out treats.  He loaded the best of any new donkey we have ever brought home.  At one gas stop in Missoula Jim yelled out, “Talk to me Merlin,” and he did…. One big deep man-sized bray….a real head turner!

 Before we unloaded after our 8 hour trip home over two major mountain passes thru snow, rain and wind I moved the other boys into the center pasture.  That way he would have some time to get a drink and something to eat before meeting the troops.  I was also able to get a good measurement on him.  RMS Magical Merlin is the tallest at 58 ¾ inches and the youngest at just 3 ½ years old and he isn’t going to take any crap off any of the other three.  After getting things sorted out we have a Teamdonk peaceful foursome. 

 Merlin’s training totals 16.5 hours and 19 miles of driving including this one …give or take! Janelle kept excellent records for us and turned over a nicely trained donkey boy!  Check out Merlin’s twin brother, Mike and all the donkeys for sale at http://www.midrivers.com/~rmsdonkeys/  If ya talk nice she’ll even train one for ya or ask about her teams…she’s got some good ones, large and small, for sale!

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