To Donkey or Not to Donkey? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,059
• Horses: 1
Question To Donkey or Not to Donkey?

I all, I have a 13hh pony mare who shares a paddock with a couple of sheep and cows. She was usually with other horses before we got her 4 months ago.

Now a friend has offered me a free donkey as a companion. Hes pretty old, and not handled much in the last few years. I haven't actually met the donkey yet.

Question is, do I take on the donkey?

I have no donkey experience, and only novice level horse knowlege. My pony has a tendency toward spookiness and is close to bottom in the pecking order in her "herd".

However this donkey is apparently lonely and needs a friend, and I have quite a large paddock (approx 5 acres maybe a bit bigger, with a Jenny Craig section fenced off for the pony when she gets too fat LOL)

Honest opinions, but please be nice I'm a bit of a sucker for animals needing homes.
VickiRose is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 7,440
• Horses: 1
I would see how he behaves. If he is respectful and not too much for you to handle (you mentioned being a novice) then I would take him. Just know that he may come with heightened expenses in his old age.
Very sweet of you to consider taking on a lonely old guy :')
Wallaby, smrobs and Chevaux like this.
Zexious is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Va
Posts: 1,306
• Horses: 0
Will you be pasturing him with the sheep too? And has he ever been in with sheep before?
horseluver250 is offline  
post #4 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
Posts: 22,258
• Horses: 24
I think I'd take him in on a trail basis. That way, you can see how he'll behave with your herd (sheep included) and you can find out if you'll be able to handle him. If he was well trained at one time but just basically unhandled (not mistreated) for a while, then all that training should come right back. Donkeys and mules are way smarter than horses are and they never forget a single thing.
Wallaby, littrella and Chevaux like this.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
smrobs is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 6,166
• Horses: 5
One good thing about keeping a donkey and pony together is that both tend to gain weight on air. If the fenced off area of pasture is good enough for the pony it's probably a paradise for the donkey.

I would meet the donkey first and handle him. How does he lead? How about foot care? How is he when he is free in the field? Donkeys can get pushy in a hurry so if he hasn't been handled in a while it will greatly depend on how well he was trained before. Also, make sure the donkey is gelded or forget it.
smrobs and Chevaux like this.
NorthernMama is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,059
• Horses: 1
Thanks for the advice guys!
You're right, a lot depends on the donkey, and yeah if he's not gelded then its a deal breaker as our pony is a mare.
I'll find out some more and come back with more details in a few days, but I guess you're saying if he's respectful, gelded and had training at some point, he's a possibility ?
I have heard that donkeys are good companions for highly strung horses as their flight instinct is not as strong. Is that true or a load of hooey?
VickiRose is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 09-04-2013, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Woodinville, Washington
Posts: 1,203
• Horses: 0
The flight instinct not being as strong is definitely true. Donkeys are generally fight before flight unlike horses. As to them being good companions, I think it depends on both the pony and the donkey. I've seen many pairs get along very well though.
smrobs and VickiRose like this.
TessaMay is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 09-05-2013, 02:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,400
• Horses: 1
Is he all boy still? I've seen a lot of jacks be aggressive to smaller livestock. I'd be a bit worried he would mess with your sheep if he hasn't been pastured and proven. You are to be commended on wanting to help this guy, just be wary he doesn't cause a whole mess of problems for you instead of making anything better.
trainerunlimited is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 09-05-2013, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,059
• Horses: 1
Thanks for the comments.
I hope to find out more early next week.
VickiRose is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 09-19-2013, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,059
• Horses: 1
Well, donkey, whose name is eeyore, it a lovely old guy. He is estimated to be 26years old! He's white, and pretty big for a donkey. He has been floated and can be lead on a halter. He is gelded.
Problem is my hubby and his parents, who live on the farm with us, are adamantly against me getting the donkey.
So I'm asking around my horsey friends at the moment to see if someone can take him in.
He looks so sad...
The farrier did his feet last week as they were very overgrown, so when I saw him he was a bit tender footed still. I'm going to see if its okay for me to go see him a few times a week to check on him, brush him,give treats etc. while I try to rehome him.
VickiRose is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Donkey maddieantoinette Other Equines 12 07-23-2013 01:41 PM
New Donkey! Hmenz Other Equines 19 03-05-2013 09:52 PM
My donkey Dapolina Other Equines 2 10-25-2012 11:43 AM
Donkey? ohfroggit Horse Breeds 6 05-25-2012 09:57 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome