Seperating Herd Bound Mini-donkey from Horse for Riding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-13-2015, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Seperating Herd Bound Mini-donkey from Horse for Riding

Hello! I would like advice for helping my mini-donkey when I take my horse out of the pasture for riding. I have only the two animals and they usually always stay in one another's shadow these days.

We have a plan to convert some land across the street into a trail so I have a place to ride my horse. My trainer will give me the skills to get the horse over being separated from her buddy, but what do I do about my mini? When I took my horse out of the pasture the other day to bathe her, the mini became very upset when she momentarily lost sight of the horse and began braying like crazy. This echos throughout the neighborhood and increases the horse's anxiety. When I trail ride across the street the horse will certainly be able to hear her panicking pasture-mate begging her to return the entire time.

Short of buying another animal, how can I solve this problem? Thanks for any input!!!
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-13-2015, 10:22 AM
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Why not adopt another mini-donkey? Seems to me to be the easiest solution. We have horses and donkeys. In the past, before we had a farm, I would keep a horse either entirely on its own or with at least two companions, and this avoided the problem. Herd behaviour is very ingrained, and the left-behind animal will feel it more than the one you are riding away. Donkeys are especially keen not to be left behind, and yes, they will make a lot of noise, as you have found out.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-13-2015, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm. Keeping trios or singles does, in retrospect, seem like the obvious thing to do. That is good advice.
As far as getting a third right now, it's really a space and cost issue. My mini and horse get the same treatment. The both see the farrier every 6 weeks (I've heard a lot of people do every 4 months for a mini-donkey), they get the same supplement, the same vet care, etc. So to get another would be only slightly less expensive than getting another horse (which is to say, expensive). Then there's a space issue. The fenced area is small enough that if we added a third animal we would have to think about supplementing the grass with hay, whereas right now they only get hay during the winter. All this I am willing to do....hahaha it just seems little cruel to my husband who got me the first horse only about 5 months ago, not understanding at all how these needs would snowball and who, by the way, is footing the entire bill. : P
And on the serious side, I take my responsibility to these animals to heart, and having only owned for 5 months, I'm cautious about expanding so quickly. To do so feels unwise.
I've thought about a goat, but there's something about me and goats. They are are my animal nemesis.....
So there is a third animal in my future I'm sure, but til then any other recommendations?
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-13-2015, 01:52 PM
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My gosh, your mini donkey costs you that much? Our three run off the smell of an oily rag, and have to be muzzled in pasture. Good on you for giving your donkey frequent trims. I trim myself and that saves a bundle. The donkeys are much easier to trim than the horses.

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post #5 of 16 Old 06-13-2015, 02:02 PM
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If you grain and hay? Then feed donkey when you ride off, so has something to think about.

And if donkey cannot get out of fence, then just ride off. Catering to it won't do anything but make it worse.

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post #6 of 16 Old 06-13-2015, 02:23 PM
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Another mini donkey, would be the easy solution.
Other that that, put that mini donkey in a safe place, when you ride your horse, and he will learn to relax when your horse leaves, with time.
You can`t do anything about that mini left behind, far as braying, but you can certainly teach your horse that when he is ridden or handled, his attention belongs on you, and that you are his trusted leader then.
If he is calling, then his leader is back in that pasture, and so is his mind
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-13-2015, 04:25 PM
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Cant you take it on the ride with you?
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-13-2015, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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SueC-- well my horse is a super, super easy keeper just like the donkey and and most of their food is "free" (grass). I was thinking another horse, as opposed to another donkey, would only be one extra bag of supplement a month...but now that I think about it that's a dangerous assumption! I forget that some horses have real appetites and may need more than a whiff of roughage and a cup of grain.

ChitChatChet- Actually.... It might be possible to fence the other pasture in the future. Then I could just let the donkey free roam over there while I ride my horse in the same field, so that is something to keep in mind. Otherwise though I don't think the poor little thing could keep up.

For now it looks like I'll have to let poor donkey cry it out in the barn and hope the neighbors don't complain.

Thank you everyone!!
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-13-2015, 06:04 PM
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When I take one mini out to drive the other paces and runs the fence the whole time we are gone. I figure it's a good way to exercise two animals at once. However, I can understand it's a pain in the rear if the braying donkey upsets the horse you are riding. The single best piece of advice I was given in regards to 'herd bound' or 'buddy sour' equines was to teach them that the two of you (so you and the animal you are working with) are a team. The only way to do that is frequent riding/driving/groundwork (you get the idea). Eventually your riding horse will learn to ignore the donkey calling him. When I hitch Clementine up to the cart she knows it's time for business. No matter how much of a fuss the other mini puts up she has learned to let it go and focus on me. This method is more work than simply getting another animal but it costs a lot less. Good luck.
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Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground. ~Author Unknown
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-13-2015, 06:48 PM
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We had decided to trail ride and leave the Shetland mare at home. That lasted about 10 min. She'd picked her way thro the fence and came running up the trail hollering her head off. Since traffic wasn't a concern she came with us on all the rides. She was the boss so leaving her at home didn't suit her one bit.

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