December 5, 2015

3 Things My Donkey Taught Me

In honor of Jethro's rapidly approaching second birthday, I figured it was about time to recognize the life lessons he has taught me + share some ear pictures.


1. Accept imperfection
I have always been an over-analytical perfectionist, but the fact of life is that you won't always be 100% successful at everything you do... and I finally accepted that.  Give 110% effort into whatever you do and don't quit, but acknowledge that things won't always work out and there is no use in dwelling over the doors that closed.  Use those unsuccessful attempts for motivation.
Sometimes things seem to be going really well, but then suddenly your baby donkey goes into "I hate the world and everyone in it" tantrum mode and nearly tramples some toddlers. It is okay (as long as you don't get sued), you can work through those baby stages and laugh about it someday.


2. Choose your battles wisely
Know when to step up or step down. Not everything in life is worth fighting for, and some issues that seem super important at the time are quite insignificant.
If your baby donkey takes a couple of small steps when asked to halt (while still new to the concept) you should *probably* not draw even the slightest attention to it otherwise a huge fit due to Short Man's Syndrome may occur.  Like I said before, accept imperfection, particularly when starting a new concept, and know that the issue will likely solve itself in time.


3. It is okay to ask for help
One thing I have gotten way better at this year is asking questions.  I once had a teacher that said "don't fail silently, ask questions" and five years later, I have finally heeded that advice.  While the thought of admitting confusion used to embarrass me, I realized it is okay to not have all the answers.  Sometimes you have to seek out people who have more knowledge than you in a given area.
While training Jethro from scratch has been mostly smooth sailing, there have been bumps in the road where I wasn't sure why we couldn't master that one showmanship maneuver.  After asking for advice, he is a pro at something that once seemed unattainable.


8 comments:

  1. My mule has also taught me a lot of these lessons. Especially #2. I really try not to get into a full-blown argument with her as it will never be productive.

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    1. Definitely! Nitpicking is a sure-fire way to make things worse with Jethro.

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  2. Great post. Sometimes you have to wonder who is teaching who. I have learned many valuable lessons from animals as well.

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  3. This is great! It's amazing what equines can teach us, and it seems like mules and donkeys can often teach us the hardest lessons!

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    1. Thank you! That's for sure, you definitely learn a lot from them.

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  4. i love it and have had to learn very similar lessons from my opinionated arab mare

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    1. It can be tough at times, but those extra opinionated horses sure do teach you a lot.

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