Donkey Assistance Needed: Calling All Asinus Experts - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 11-02-2013, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Wisconsin
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Donkey Assistance Needed: Calling All Asinus Experts

I've had, well, an obsession with Donkies for way too long. It was borderline embarrassing for people to take me anywhere horsey because the moment I locked eyes with a fluffy long ear I needed an hour or so post cooing and picture taking to recoup myself and move on with life. Well today my father found an ad for a horse-drawn wagon on craigslist, good vehicle, great price; so we set out to take a look. Not ten minutes into our wagon experience, I heard a raspy hee-haw coming from behind the shed, and just pleaded to go see the donkey. The owner was happy to oblige as as I bombarded him with questions. For as many questions as I asked you'd think I would have asked the right ones, but I still managed to miss some things.

We found that this fella was for sale, and he'd give us a pretty good price for le donk and his cart. He is older than 8, but I'm not sure how much. He's chubby, never foundered, and isn't real bony so I'd bet he is 'young-ish'. He was broke to drive, which was a definite plus as I probably wouldn't consider anything that old that wasn't broke. He was tied out to what I could make out as a brush hog for a skid-steer. He seemed like a pretty good guy, he came up to us, wasn't head/ear shy. His feet were in pretty good shape, let me pick them up, too. His teeth are decent, and he let me fuss around with his mouth, too, so that is a positive mark.

I've always wanted a miniature donkey to drive around in a cart, and I suppose I would have settled for a miniature horse, but this guy just came out of nowhere and seems almost perfect. But fact of the matter is I have no experience with donkies, although I have lots of experience with horses, and need a bit more knowledge on this before I go buying my dream steed.

How do they differ from horses? How do you ask them differently? As far as driving goes, I've heard donkies are very difficult to get to trot. (I've heard of someone actually using a shocker on a mule to get to trot. ) I work with difficult horses plenty, and while I love my horses and they are all pets to me, there is a line they do not cross. Is driving them any different if they are trained?

I would like opinions on this donkey, as well. His situation is less-than-ideal, but it is all he knows and he does just fine. Is there anything about him that would send any one running away screaming? I'm excited, but I want to know that he is going to be something I can handle before getting to attached. Thank-you everyone in advanced.
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post #2 of 38 Old 11-02-2013, 09:23 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Nebraska
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For the pics you have up, he doesn't look too bad. If he was trained to drive in the past, you sholdn't have too much trouble bringing him back into it. They remember EVERYTHING! As far as differences between donkeys & those not blessed with long ears....
Donkey's don't try to get away from pressure like a horse will. They have to understand why what you want is a good idea for them to do. You can not rush a donkey. Go slow & let them think it out. Once the two of you are speaking the same language, they are very loyal & obedient.
It took me quite awhile to get Danee to trot in hand & under harness, but now he will do it as soon as I ask. I have yet to see a donkey bolt when scared. Mine will square up & try figure out if they need to defend heard & home.
Care wise, slow feeder's & grazzing muzzles are a godsend. Most donkeys are air ferns. Doneys will get a cresty neck quickly. I have 2 mini donks & they get 1 flake of grass hay in each slow feeder, once a day. In the winter, 1 1/2 flakes in each feeder. The only grain they get is Danee will get a handfull after we have worked in the cart.
A good, waterproff shelter is a must. Donkey's do not shead water like a horse. They will soak it up like a cotton ball & get soaked to the skin. Mine will come running for the barn at the first sprinkle of rain. I only lock them in durring the worst ice storms in the winter.
Make sure your farrier understands donkey feet. They are very different than horses. Much more upright.
generally they are very healthy & hearty little creatures
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post #3 of 38 Old 11-03-2013, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Wisconsin
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We brought him home - he is such a card. We tried him out today, and he was very good considering his unfortunate-looking harness. They drove him in an open bridle with a tomb thumb and no keeper. Considering he listened in that, I think with at very least a proper bit he should only get better. I am used to driving horses with closed bridles, but he didn't seem to care - should I bother to get a harness with blinders? I'm not certain that he ever has been driven with blinders.

He loaded well, despite not being loaded for eight years. He certainly didn't jump right in right away, but we had him loaded without any prodding or lifting within 5 minutes. We took him home and have him currently housed in our indoor arena. When he realized he was off lead he was so happy! He rolled and trotted and sniffed to his heart's desire. I think he is glad to not have to worry about that rope any more.

From where he was in the arena, he could see all the horses, and they could vaguely see him. He didn't bray at them, and seemed hardly interested. I called our old mare and our filly into the barn and they were a bit mystified. The mare was turned inside out, and miss filly was very curious. Our donkey, once again, cared not. There was a crash noise outside and the horses ran out and did not come back in since.

A bit later I brought him over to see the rest of the horses. They were collectively stupefied. He didn't really look at them, which confused them even more. None of them have seen a equine that small, much less a donkey. One of our mares once had to ride past a dreaded 16 hand mule and didn't care for it then and she hasn't had a change of heart.

I figured that was a lost cause, so I took him for a walk I think he very much enjoyed. I honestly don't think he's ever just gotten to go for a walk. He has a few behavioral issues, but is not a viscous mauler, so I have high hopes for him! I also took the liberty of renaming him; I was going to ask for opinions, but I started calling him Franklin and couldn't bear to call him anything else. He seems like a Franklin to me, and I just am not a huge fan of having fluffy names for mini horses/donkeys just because they are small.

If my computer was cooperating I'd put more pictures up, but I hope to share our adventures and I will certainly be asking more questions to those who are willing to answer them!
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post #4 of 38 Old 11-04-2013, 06:16 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: AZ
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Happy for you! I also have a donkey & am new to them. Mine came quite overweight & her neck is very cresty. It is already a lot softer, so I'm hoping it will go down. She has "fat lumps" all over-I'm hoping I can get them to go away, but they are easy-keepers. She has a nice shelter & seems to really like the mats I keep there. I hope when it rains, she will stay under the shelter-right now she likes to stand out in the sun, and she does like her naps.
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post #5 of 38 Old 11-04-2013, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Wisconsin
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All I have now are crappy cell-phone pictures, hopefully I can go out soon and do a proper photo-shoot.
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post #6 of 38 Old 11-04-2013, 08:06 AM
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Location: An English Girl living in beautiful Alberta, Canada
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Lovely. I have a coming 3yo donk named Arthur who I acquired last winter. I knew nothing about donkeys and...still almost know nothing! I have learned the whole 'Ask Show Bribe Think Consider Decision' learning process with Arthur, and next year i really should progress with his training to give him a job other than companion.

I will watch and learn from your thread.
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Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #7 of 38 Old 11-04-2013, 08:24 AM
Green Broke
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Subbing to learn more about learning about them.

Could I really want one like I think I do?

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post #8 of 38 Old 11-04-2013, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Palmyra, NJ
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Good luck with him! He is very cute! There is a donkey at the barn where we board our horse and he and my horse are best pals. The look on my horse's face the first time he heard that braying was just hilarious.
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post #9 of 38 Old 11-04-2013, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
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He is the sweetest thing ever! Keep us updated with his progress!

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #10 of 38 Old 11-04-2013, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Oh my goodness, I want one! So adorable!
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