DONKEY DILEMMA - please help asap - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-19-2009, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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DONKEY DILEMMA - please help asap

I think I have gotten myself in a mess. We have 4 horses and are supposed to be picking up a donkey next week. Since I have no donkey knowledge I started reading up on them and now am afraid that we will not be able to even get him in the paddock. I planned on taking some days off work near Thanksgiving( wed - mon) so I could intergrate him slowly in to the herd as I have done with the horses. Now I have some real concerns about even unloading him since he does not know how to lead. We have no way to get our trailer in the paddock or pasture so he will have to be led to the paddock with no fences as safegard. If he gets away he will be lost. Also I dont know how I am going to be able to take him down to the pasture and show him the fence line and how to get up the lane back to the paddock where we feed. I feed in the am and then horses go down the lane to the pasture until I come home from work and then they come up for more feeding and I lock them in for the night. I had planned on stalling him the first night but wonder if I will be able to get him in the stall even if I can get him in the paddock.
He is currently living in a field with other donkey's and horses. I dont think he is afraid of people as he comes to the fence for treats but still with no training it could be a problem.
I could pay for his owner to deliver him but she cant do it until Fri. That would only leave me 3.5 days to get him accustomed to our place, to the horses and to teach him where to eat. I feed my horses on opposite ends of our open stalls and breezeway. Their buckets are about 8 feet apart. In other words he will have to know that he goes in last. With a new horse I wait until others are in place and then lead the new horse to his feeding station for a couple of days until they get it.
Another concern is that our lane to the pasture sometimes has a muddy/wet place that he would have to walk thru....I read that donkeys hate water.... I am just about worried sick

Please give me any suggestions and opinions..........
sherie is offline  
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-19-2009, 09:56 AM
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There is a great Donkey and Mule Trainer named Meredith Hodges. I suggest you look her up, she has a website and many books on how to work with and train Mules and Donkey's.

She'd be the greatest help.

You have to understand that Donkey's and Mules *I used to work on a farm where they bred them, breaking and training* think much differently than horses.

They are faaaaar more intelligent and you cannot bully them like you can a horse. They never forget, and you have to work in a way where what you want them to do, was their idea.

They want to know WHY? WHY do you want me to do this, and HOW is it that you are asking for it to be done.

If they dissagree, well, you have to stop and start all over.

Meredith is a phenominal Mule and Donkey person, I would turn to her :)

Lucky Three Ranch - Knowledge and educational materials about mules, donkeys and longears.

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post #3 of 23 Old 11-19-2009, 09:58 AM
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Calm down, you are over thinking it. He likes treats, use treats if you have to. Have someone there to help you.
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-19-2009, 10:03 AM
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Everything MIEventer said is true. My freind raises mammoth donkeys. They are very smart and do wonder 'Why'

But they will also protect you, where a horse will run, the donkey will stand ground, and if you bond with it, and you are in danger, it will protect you.

It's eaisier if two people help train a donkey. I remember when my freind was teaching her donkeys to lead, it was easier for me to follow behind and urge them forward, while she pulled them forward, than it was using a butt rope. They are very stubborn though. You try to lead that donkey, two things will happen if he has never been led before: 1) he won't move, or 2) he will freak out and you will lose him. Is he used to being handled at all?

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back. -- Unkown
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-19-2009, 10:06 AM
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You cannot come with the mindset that they are stubborn. Because they truely are not - they are just very smart and have to know the reason behind what it is that you are asking.

Meredith will tell you, you cannot work with a mule and donkey with the mindset of "they are stubborn" because you wont be successful at getting past the boundaries.

:) :)

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post #6 of 23 Old 11-19-2009, 10:17 AM
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One thing not mentioned yet - horses. My Joe, he who feared nothing mechanical, was absolutely terrified of donkeys. One "hew haw" and he was off like a startled rabbit.

Once out on a hack we were moseying along this path
and suddenly up ahead, out popped not one but two long eared devils - they with horns - the mounts of the devil.
Joe went into reverse - through the horse behind - a sort of barge with butt first - all in a perfectly straight line.
Luckily out from the house came a young lad - he must have been all of five years old. He told the pair of donkeys to go back in. And they did.

I managed then - with much persuasion - to get Joe to go forwards which he did - with the other horse in front, just in case.

Once past the gate then Joe did a runner - up the track until he was out of sight, smell and sound of those creatures of the nether world.

So don't just worry about the donkeys - worry about the other 4 horses in your barn.

Still I suppose it is time for Father Christmas isn't it. You can always offer the chap out for nativity plays and the like.

Best of luck

xxBarry Godden is offline  
post #7 of 23 Old 11-19-2009, 11:02 AM
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-19-2009, 11:11 AM
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Be careful. Donks are different. I, personally, have never owned one, but a barn I worked at used them for necking. Two things I noticed were they weren't "stubborn" so much as determined. Donks aren't like horses, they don't run first and think later and they will protect themselves when a horse won't. A horse might try to climb the walls or run blind into fences to get away if they are terrified, but a donk won't hurt itself, it will try to kill you or anything else that they see as a real threat. Just my observation tho…which was extremely limited when it comes to donkeys!
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-19-2009, 11:23 AM
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I am no help to your problem. But all I know is I can not wait to see photos of the cute new donkey!
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-19-2009, 12:26 PM
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i am just going to say that it wont be as bad as you think it will be, but i would definately get the owner to deliver him, because she can assess your layout and make suggestions as to how you need to proceed to intergrate the donkey into his new home, and she could help get him settled in. . could you not just arrange a date that suits both of your schedules even if you have to dealy his arrival for a few extra days?
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