|Joseph loves rose hips|
In other thoughts, recently Liam was holding Bella and tried to move out into a different area of the pasture to get away from Scout and Joseph. Scout was tearing around, thinking we were taking his mama away, and Joseph was slowly and deliberately trying not to be caught. Bella is their lodestone, she is the center of their lives, so of course Liam couldn't get out of the middle of it. I explained to him that they both wanted to be with her, and he thought it was because she was the herd boss. I said no, Joseph is the herd boss. He can move any of them off their feed with just a dirty look. But Bella is the one they love, so if she moves away, they follow. I told him to think about that. It's not the tough one, possibly a bully (although Joseph is decidedly NOT a bully) who brings them together, it's the loving one. And Bella is definitely the loving mother type, but she also doesn't take crap off of anyone. She does pick her battles though. She shares feed with anyone but the donkeys, she puts up with Scout doing some dorky crap, she adores Joseph but she doesn't let him take liberties. Food for thought, and I am definitely not the first person to observe it. Mark Rashid writes more clearly and specifically about it than I have here.
Having a magnet like Bella can definitely work to a person's advantage. When Joseph is being evasive, I know he won't go far before he curves back toward her, so I use that, asking him to move his feet away, until (usually after about 30 seconds) he decides it's not worth it and comes to me. If all three of them are keyed up and running, I know that once I catch Bella the rest will come after. And she is usually quite easy to catch, all I have to do is ask her to come.
The donkeys don't really fit into horsey psychology. They just love everyone. Especially people, and especially if they can get a good scratching or, best of all, a treat.
As I use the word "love" so much, I am thinking to myself there are a lot of people out there, including some horse lovers, who would say horses (and donkeys) can't love. I totally disagree. But that's okay. They probably do witness the same emotion in them that I do, and call it by another name. Habit, or attachment, or something of the sort. I suppose it would make it easier to detach oneself from them, to buy and sell and separate, as if the horses don't care. I'm not saying a person shouldn't buy or sell horses, I know they do adapt & form new bonds, but I think they do have feelings about it too.
Enough of all that. I'm going to go enjoy my day of enforced insideness (howling winds and deluge out there) by cleaning tack and getting my house more livable. Have a lovely weekend!