The horse blanket that I bought for Aitana during her December health crisis was too big and the various straps and metal buckles were very uncomfortable for her when she was sitting down, so she has been covered with a rotating collection of blankets, duvets and an old sleeping bag. They need washing every couple of days and take a long while to dry out in winter weather.
My daily call to Aitana, as the temperature dropped at the end of each day, “Come on donkey, let’s put your blanket on!” morphed into “Come on donkette, let’s put your blankie on.”
I am pleased to report that the Donkette in a Blankie is now looking very healthy indeed. She is still separated from the other three donkeys at night and for some of the time during the day, so she can eat her own food without having to compete with the others. She has always been a very gentle donkey and it was not until the new equine vet Cristina pointed out the way Aitana was being sidelined by the others during feeding time that I realized how that contributed to her serious weight loss last year. Following her three months of supplemental feed, cereal mix for foals plus iron-rich Red Cell (given to race horses!) she has put on weight and is looking quite well rounded.
The unusual run of cold weather has meant the management of Aitana’s health crisis has been quite hard work for many weeks now. Back in December, I was sleeping in the stable with her to ensure she remained properly covered up against the cold, and I have still been getting up in the night to attend Aitana in the stable to make sure her ‘blankie’ is in place. The donkette has developed an amazing Houdini act and manages to get out of the straps that keep the blankie on!
We have had the first serious rainfall since October, here in Alicante, and a whole fortnight of wet weather is really appreciated by the farmers of this area. The trees really needed this. I’m hoping my trees will produce good fruit this year – olives, almonds, oranges, lemons, medlars – so this is a good start. But the donkey field is a total disaster at the moment, muddy and very slippery, and it will take a long while to dry out.
What we need now is some sunshine…
And thanks to Chris Ameruoso – in his latest video with Hazel the donkey, uploaded today! – we have some lovely SUNSHINE! Enjoy…