This video addresses a question about a donkey who is fearful of humans. The donkey has made some progress but it is going slower than anticipated. It seems he has some fear of humans in general as well as in association with ropes, hoses, etc. I suggest some ideas in the video for helping him to grow more comfortable. I have to admit…I video my answer straight off the cuff. Then I watch it later and have more thoughts and ideas. So I write the text portion to add to my initial response. My head never stops processing ideas. It seems that you are on the right track, so here are some ideas to help you break down this particular behavior to smaller steps. It is the successive approximations that ensure success so if you ever hit a roadblock try to address the issue with even smaller steps. If you need help thinking how to do this I am always here to help. :0)
One suggestion is to utilize the target. I know he is worried about things in human hands but if you keep the target low and slow he will grow braver. Usually the real fear isn’t the object but the human holding the object. Horses often feel safer when they poke their head out to touch the target. Once they learn how to touch the target it starts to become conditioned. They grow increasingly more comfortable with the target. Pretty soon it becomes a familiar and safe behavior/object. It will also help him to grow more comfortable with the humans presence since we are also associated with the target. We will be able to fade the target out of the picture but for now it works to help bridge the gap. When he is consistently and boldly approaching the target it is time to introduce some touching.
In the video I suggest letting them pursue your hand verses always trying to reach out to them. In addition, when you see they are confident with following you as well as the target work. I recommend holding your hand out to the side. You may ask the horse (or donkey) to target in a position that encourages him to walk past/near your outstretched hand. However, I still do not suggest reaching out to touch him for a while. Since they are such individuals there is no set recipe for the plan to move forward. It will be something that you will read in his demeanor. He will have soft eyes, mouth, lower head carriage and general relaxed attitude. He will not be stand offish or seem like he is about to flee. However, when they have grown comfortable with your presence they usually progress much quicker. I always recommend letting the horse dictate the pace. Going too slow is better then too fast. Cara, I hope this helps with your newest donkey. I would love to hear thoughts and comments.