Vicki (Ladywife) explains the terrors of a baby carriage
On the Yahoo donkey list I mused about Jethro being ok with big noisy garbage trucks but bolting at the site of an itty bitty kid in a stroller (pram).
This was the response from Vicki Abbott, who is someday going to put her donkey wisdom into a book, so let's assume this is copyrighted:
Ah yes, the infamous ferocious ass-eating pram. Okay, why does he freak at the pram? Think about it.
The garbage truck is huge. It is loud and smelly but he can identify some of the smells.
The pram is...hmm, about 3 feet high ... It is about the same shape and size as a large predator, plus it has a funky smell he can’t identify.
The garbage truck is big enough there is no way it can sneak up on him, but the pram, well that puppy is just the right size to hide behind a tree and jump out and grab him. Keep in mind donkeys' visual acuity is for identifying threats by size, shape, and movement.
If you watch a nature show of the predator-prey dance with a lion stalking a wildebeest, you see the lion inching forward crouched low to the ground; it freezes if its prey looks in its direction. That is exactly what a ferocious pram does.
When he stares at it, it freezes, and when you distract him trying to get him to move forward, that pram sneaks a little closer and closer.
His anxiety level skyrockets and his body language is screaming for you to listen to him, he knows that pram will have him for lunch but you are ignoring his shouts of alarm.
He cranks it up another notch trying to make you hear he is warning you of DANGER. ... if you turn your back toward the pram and face him thinking you are trying to calm him he becomes even more agitated. Why? Because your body is blocking his view of the pram, now he has to try to pull away from you so when the pram leaps, he can run away while it's eating you.