Well, after laying down all afternoon in the sand, and Amy trying to help him up, when it was time to get fed, Pepper got up and "cripped" to his pen. I didn't see if it was a struggle or not, he was up when I looked and he walked about the same as he has since it's been cold. Mugged me for cookies and tried to knock me down with his head, when he realized I didn't have cookies. John always has them, because he has pockets. NO POCKETS, NO COOKIES.........so I had to make another run to the feed room in a hurry, so the old buzzard wouldn't think I didn't love him.........!!! LOL
I don't think he is suffering that much, Ellie at least mentally. Except for laying down more than usual for longer periods of time, the ears are up and the eyes are busy watching what's going on and of course he is still capable of making you suffer is he catches you unaware with that head.
I'm wishing for a warming up, this week is suppose to be warmer, but only in the 70's. The nights are in the low 30's high 20's, I think it's probably the nights that are the biggest problem for him. I don't think blanketing him and making him stay in his pen would help. He's actually got a pretty good body score, for a change. A few years ago he got really thin for some reason, he was down to probably a 2 or less body score. Just skin and bones. We did blanket him all winter and he had to stay in the pens at night. Did not make him easy to get along with believe me. Somewhere along the passage of time he got his appetite back, I think it was the addition of rolled oats to his diet. In fact about a year ago I cut back on the amount of mush he gets, he was getting pudgy and didn't need to be carrying the extra weight. He's always ready to eat and almost always cleans his plate.
It's too bad ropers can't see the damage they do to these donkeys in the name of fun. Of course Pepper didn't help his cause, by wading into a "love-fest" years ago when one of the girls was entertaining, and he was already over the hill, and not capable of holding his own with the other guys. That's when he ended up with a broken hip.
ONE DAY AT A TIME...............!!!!!