Donkey lovers... I have questions! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
View Poll Results: Are donkeys only for experienced riders?
Yes. 0 0%
No. 2 33.33%
Depends. 4 66.67%
ALWAYS. 0 0%
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post #11 of 22 Old 05-02-2017, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ducky1234 View Post
"Stubborn" donkeys that I have known have been either entirely untrained or trained to be "stubborn". It's very easy to train your donkey to be stubborn using the standard horse "go forward" training. Pressure, no result, more pressure no result, even more pressure, realize it's never going to work, so give up. You've trained your donkey to be stubborn.

Even more effective in training a donkey to be stubborn is give up and then bribe with food.
Oh, couldn't help it!
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post #12 of 22 Old 05-03-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, couldn't help it!
Reminds me of something on that block game!
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post #13 of 22 Old 05-03-2017, 06:38 PM
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xD I'm crying!

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post #14 of 22 Old 05-04-2017, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by EmberScarlet View Post
When someone talks about trail riding, usually the first thing not people think of are horses.
But what about donkeys?
This question has been on my mind for a while, so I have a few questions for donkey lovers/owners; mostly in terms of RIDING.

1) Are they really that stubborn? I know that they are infamous for being, well, asses. I think the main deterant for me is that. Are they hard to manage?

2) Height? People say that Mammoths are really hard to find, and normal sized donkeys are too small to ride.

3) Riding skill? Are they steady, good trail rides? Are they reliable and trustworthy, or will they suddenly stop moving and be stubborn?

4) Are they more/less or as expensive as a horse for keeping?

5) Do they need specially fitted tack, or can you just use appropriate fitting horse stuff?

I have the curiousity itch!
Well, I'll have a shot at giving you some answers, based on George, who is a very donkey-like mule. I've had him a long time, and we have shared many adventures.

1) Yes, altho I prefer opinionated. George is not much like a horse, and a Donkey isn't a horse at all. And Yes, George can be a real trial when he is in the mood.
2) Mostly. George is 14h and 850-900lb. He can carry my 150lb butt around all day in the mountains. A smaller lighter person could probably get by on a 13h / 750lb animal, but anything much smaller than that would be iffy. I think an average sized person would want a "Mammoth" donk; in any event that is all I have ever seen being ridden by an adult. They're out there, but not common. A good one even less so, and probably expensive.
3) George is an amazing trail animal, and trustworthy on most any kind of nasty footing. And he can absolutely be relied on to stop and question your authority if he doesn't agree with your plan of action.
4) Less, but not enough to really matter much. A smaller animal will eat and poop less if that's what you are asking.
5) Yes. I never did find a "production" saddle that fit His Muleness properly. He is as round as a barrel, with nothing like a withers. He currently wears a fully custom Synergist saddle that fits him as well as could be contrived (hand fit, in person), but he still has to wear a breast collar and breeching to locate the saddle front to back. Good rider balance is all that keeps it on top.

Hope this adds a little insight. Steve and Georgie T.
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Last edited by george the mule; 05-04-2017 at 05:13 PM.
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post #15 of 22 Old 05-04-2017, 05:11 PM
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In a way it's almost too bad donkeys aren't as majestic as horses (though they are just as cute! in a fuzzy/scruffy way).

I know next to nothing about donks, but aren't they less prone to health problems? (ex. founder, laminitis, colic, etc.). And don't their hooves tend to be stronger and hold up to rough terrain?

If you can get past needing a majestic animal, they do seem like almost the perfect trail mount.

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #16 of 22 Old 05-04-2017, 05:16 PM
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Just did a google search on riding donkeys for the heck of it... I am impressed and shocked at the number of people (usually tribal native people) riding donkeys bridleless! Apparently donkeys are extremely reliable.

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #17 of 22 Old 05-04-2017, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by horseluvr2524 View Post
In a way it's almost too bad donkeys aren't as majestic as horses (though they are just as cute! in a fuzzy/scruffy way).

I know next to nothing about donks, but aren't they less prone to health problems? (ex. founder, laminitis, colic, etc.). And don't their hooves tend to be stronger and hold up to rough terrain?

If you can get past needing a majestic animal, they do seem like almost the perfect trail mount.
I don't mind about looks much. And, yes, so I've heard, they are less prone. But when that's true depends ...
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post #18 of 22 Old 05-04-2017, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseluvr2524 View Post
In a way it's almost too bad donkeys aren't as majestic as horses (though they are just as cute! in a fuzzy/scruffy way).

I know next to nothing about donks, but aren't they less prone to health problems? (ex. founder, laminitis, colic, etc.). And don't their hooves tend to be stronger and hold up to rough terrain?

If you can get past needing a majestic animal, they do seem like almost the perfect trail mount.
Hi Horseluvr!

They are reputed to be healthier, resulting from "hybrid vigor". Certainly George has been problem free health wise; he had a hoof abscess once, but that's about it vet-wise in nearly nine years. He is 17 now. He has been barefoot all of his life, and has hooves of polished steel. "Donkey feet" we say.

Majestic aside, George is just great. I find him rather striking in his own way, and will sic him on anyone who says differently ;-) I have to re-emphasize that a mule is _not_ like a horse, and a Donkey is even more _not_ like one. Trying to work with one of these animals as if they were a horse isn't going to get you very far. It took George a couple of years to re-train his pet human, and the learning process continues to this day. I will add that once learned, techniques that work with mules (and presumably, with donkeys) also seem to work very well with horses.

Steve
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post #19 of 22 Old 05-04-2017, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by george the mule View Post
I have to re-emphasize that a mule is _not_ like a horse, and a Donkey is even more _not_ like one. Trying to work with one of these animals as if they were a horse isn't going to get you very far. It took George a couple of years to re-train his pet human, and the learning process continues to this day. I will add that once learned, techniques that work with mules (and presumably, with donkeys) also seem to work very well with horses.
I have to ask, since I've been listening to her YouTube videos and reading her stuff, but does this website seem like any good?
Mule, Donkey & Horse Training with Meredith Hodges | Lucky Three Ranch

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post #20 of 22 Old 05-04-2017, 09:12 PM
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Meredith is one of the best. I think at one point she had a donkey trained for Dressage She still might; for sure she trains Dressage mules. Her book is good, and very detailed, but technical. I was told when I got him that Georgies daddy was one of her Jacks. Might be a good place to start looking for a riding donk if you are serious about new adventures.
Steve
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Steve Jernigan KG0MB
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