Our precious gelding Nestle is about nine years old now and he’s been a real comfort to his mommy BonBon who’s dry-lotted and on a special diet. At feeding time, BonBon is penned so none of the Jacks push her out of the way to eat her food. The male herd hustles in to the barn to eat their grains then they are shooed out to pasture. Nestle takes a break from the corral and follows the other geldings out to pasture while we take care of the critters down at the old hangar barn (you can see that structure in the background of the thumbnail).
After about a half hour, we will come back around to Nestle and tell him it’s time to go back to mommy and keep her company. He knows the routine by now. All you have to do is walk out to the pasture and tell him “Up to the barn!” or “Go See Mommy!” and he’ll wheel around and bolt for the corral. Sometimes he will pause by the gate and wait for you to come up to the barn and other times he’ll trot right up to the barn on his own to see BonBon. He’ll then wait for her to be let out of her stall.
Either way, this loyal boy is a real comfort to her because donkeys are herd animals and very social. BonBon still runs down the chute that connects the two barns to see if she can get the attention of the Jennets Mocha and Callie down at the hangar barn. She misses being with them but there are no pens at that barn so she can’t be sequestered at feeding time or dry lotted there.
Keep up the good work Nestle – you are a good boy!