I'm going to pick up a donkey tomorrow. (OMG YAY donkey).
She is about 12, about 48-50 inches at the withers and I was wondering if it's too late to try and break her? I just thought it could be a fun project for myself; however, I have never owned one nor trained one. Any donkey people have advice? I have been around horses for twelve years, so I know my way around a horse but from what I've heard donkeys are much, much different.
Any and ALL advice about donkey's would be appreciated. How about introducing a donkey to two horses? Anyone have any experience with that?
Thank you! :D
First, congratulations on your new addition. As far as introducing her to your herd, I would put her close to them with a single, sturdy fence separating them so that they can introduce themselves without running the risk of the horses running the donkey all over the country. Leave them like that for a few days and then turn them out together. Stay close and watch for a few hours (all day if you can), especially during feeding times to make sure that nobody is getting bullied. If they make it the first day without injury from a kick or a bite and nobody gets run through a fence, then they'll usually be fine after that.
As for training them...my best suggestion is to get hands on help from someone experienced with donkeys and mules. They are a lot different to handle and to train. Heck, I've been around horses all my life, been training for 15 years, and had my first long-ear training experience last spring/summer. I had to have a lot of help from my Dad, who's very experienced with that variety of equine.
Through training him, what did you learn, smrobs? What were the things that you found different?
And thank you, she'll be here for a trial but I really hope she stays. She's just adorable. I'm sure it will be a steep learning curve for me. I have no experience with them whatsoever but hopefully my knowledge of horses in general can help me out. And I'm SURE I will be posting on here more often; God knows I'll need the help!
Well, a donk will never forget if you treat them badly. My mini-donk, who is about to be 29 years old, came to us really ear shy as a 2 year old. It's just been in the last couple of years that he figured out that having his ears handled isn't going to kill him. He still doesn't like it, but he doesn't have the freak out like he used to.
Also, you can never push them to do anything. If they see something scary and say "Nope, don't want to go there", you can't just urge them to go on toward it slowly like you can most horses. If they see something scary, it's best to just let them sort of circle out around it and you don't even act like anything happened. If you make a big deal out of something, then it will convince them that there is a reason for there to be a big deal and they'll be even more hesitant.
Long-ears, since they remember and learn so well (they are exponentially smarter than horses), have to believe that what they are doing is their own idea, not yours.
Their behavior is similar to a horse, just much more acute. Where you can make some mistakes with a horse and not have a huge issue come of it, you make the same mistakes with a mule/donkey and you're apt to spend the next weeks/months trying to correct it.
The only things I know about donkeys is basically what smrobs said. They are awesome to ride. Also my friend said her donkeys will do anything for a rub down inside their ear, they love it!
Also good luck and congratulations, I hope it works out. :D
smrobs is spot on with her info. Donkey's also usually wont bolt when scared of something. They tend to freeze & stare it down. Let them look at it until they realise it's nothing to worry over & then they will move on. They are extreamly smart & want to know why what you want is in their best intrest. Also they are EXTREAMLY motovated by food. Frosted mini wheet cereal makes Danee swoon! Enjoy your new longs ears & WE MUST HAVE PICTURES!!!!!
Well... here she is :)
Miss Maggie of Vancouver, WA. We're trying clicker training to see how that works out. Got some progress last night! Yay!
Ahh I absolutely love donkies! She's beautiful :)
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Yes... now that I have her in my care, they are certainly different!
She's beautiful. No braying for breakfast at sunrise? Yet?
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