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Where to buy donkey harness

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  • Where to buy donkey harness

    Can anyone recommend a place (online) to buy a donkey harness? Nothing fancy, just for fun.

  • #2
    Do you have anyone local who can correct fit on a cheap harness?
    I got my Tough-1 leather w/brass - in original package, unused - for $90 at a tack sale.
    Then paid a local guy who does leather repairs $40 to correct the fit for my mini.

    2yrs later it still works for shows & up until I got my biothane this Spring, for trail drives as well.

    The worst thing I can say about the Tough-1 is the brass is already wearing off.
    Definitely go with biothane for fun - it can sit a week -after a sweaty drive -w/o being cleaned & come out fine.
    I use Dollar Tree leather wipes to clean it & sponge off with diluted Murphy's oil soap first if it is especially grungy.

    Here's one off E-Bay - only thing I can't see is if the saddle is padded.
    It should be, to take pressure off donkey's back from the shafts, but you can add a fleece or neoprene pad to help.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Made-Pre...E90:rk:45f:0
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks for the information. As far as I know, there's not anyone local that could fit a harness. I have biothane bridles and breast collars and I like them a lot. I don't even know if my donkey will be suitable to drive but I want to try.

      Comment


      • #4
        Try anyone local that works on tack.
        The guy I use makes Western saddles & does tack repairs.
        He was not familiar with harness, but showing him what I wanted was all he needed to do a great job - both on leather & biothane.

        BTW: when I say biothane, I mean beta-biothane. More flexible than original biothane & you can get it in a matte finish (that I prefer for harness over patent-shiny).

        Now my turn for a question:
        Do you have any Driving experience?
        If not, find someone who does, especially with a donkey.
        My mule-owning friends tell me they do NOT think like horses so you definitely want a new experience - like being harnessed - to come from someone who will know how to react.
        If you have hitched an animal before, then go for it.
        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I have only a little driving experience. My first horse was an OTT Standardbred. I bought a harness and training cart and used it a bit. I'm looking for someone to help but so far no luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Contact Yonies Harness Shop! His biothane harnesses are the best quality of any synthetic harness I've driven with and I know he has custom-made harnesses for donkeys as well as a miniature donkey!

            https://www.yonies.com/catalog/

            Comment


            • #7
              I bought a biothane one for my mini-donkey at Chimacum Tack (https://chimacumtack.com/). I know nothing and have used it twice in the last 5 years, but it seems nice and since it's biothane at least I don't have to worry about taking care of it!

              How large is your donkey? PM me if you'd be interested in giving mine a new home.
              Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I use this provider for most of my driving needs. https://www.ivccarriage.com/ The harness they made for my 12.2 donkey is just perfect.

                I first had a lesser quality harness for training her and it's just not worth the risk to use inferior products. Sold it and upgraded.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Chimacum actually uses Brahma Web in some instances rather than Biothane products, which isn't quite the same quality as the Beta. Biothane also comes in a matte finish called Granite and Beta is a slightly softer material that is less abrasion resistant.

                  Donkeys have different proportions than horses so measurements are important.

                  Yonies has a couple different styles of harness for different price points. Chimacum does advertise donkey-specific harness. Yonies will make to measure too. Camptown also makes a good harness.

                  Donkeys tend to have a low neck tie-in so I would recommend either a neck collar or a breastcollar with a deep V for their comfort.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                    Do you have any Driving experience?
                    If not, find someone who does, especially with a donkey.
                    My mule-owning friends tell me they do NOT think like horses so you definitely want a new experience - like being harnessed - to come from someone who will know how to react.
                    If you have hitched an animal before, then go for it.
                    Donkeys are generally fairly easy because most of them are not as reactive as mules can be. OTOH, if a donkey doesn't want to stop or turn he won't, which is often a slow motion walkaway, although not always.

                    Mules can be difficult because they're sometimes quite emotionally sensitive (fearful), but not very physically sensitive. Mules also tend to be more herd bound, so as counter-intuitive as it seems they often do better in pairs than as singles.

                    Looking back I can't believe we did as much driving as we did, and often out in public, which would give me the vapors now.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kande04 View Post

                      Donkeys are generally fairly easy because most of them are not as reactive as mules can be. OTOH, if a donkey doesn't want to stop or turn he won't, which is often a slow motion walkaway, although not always.
                      Last weekend for the fourth year, I loaned my standard size donkey to a local church for their Living Nativity which runs two nights. The church members who play Joseph aren't horse guys and their job is to lead Mary on my donkey into Bethlehem. I give the guys a primer each night and tell them "All the power my donkey has is in her head and neck. If she gets her head down and pointed to the right you won't make it into Bethlehem. You'll end up doing a 180 and the story will have a different ending. Get your right elbow lodged into her neck to bend her to the left if she starts to drift away to the right." I'm happy to report that my dear donkey takes her role seriously and hasn't pranked any of the Josephs, yet.

                      It's happened several times to me, the slow motion walkaway and it's the damnedest funniest and maddest thing an equine can do to you. Nothing makes me swear louder or more X rated than when that has happened. Totally helpless!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SLW View Post

                        It's happened several times to me, the slow motion walkaway and it's the damnedest funniest and maddest thing an equine can do to you. Nothing makes me swear louder or more X rated than when that has happened. Totally helpless!
                        Mules are worse, because they just stiffen their entire body, wheel away, and leave. I still drop the lead rope when any equid starts to go because the mules have me trained. I know I can't stop them so why get a rope burn trying to hang on!

                        Funny story about my first donkey, though. Little 12 hand guy who would just turn his butt to the little old lady who owned him, and once he had her behind him he'd just walk off. He'd been pushing through the wooden fence and getting out and then she couldn't get him back in, so she gave him to me. I was in my 20's then, so when he turned his butt to me and tried to drag me off I just ran up and jumped on his back. Surprise, surprise. :-)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I toy with the thought of teaching my two mini donkeys to drive, but like I need another expensive hobby? Plus they would fight non-stop the entire time, I'm sure
                          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                            I toy with the thought of teaching my two mini donkeys to drive, but like I need another expensive hobby? Plus they would fight non-stop the entire time, I'm sure
                            But then how can I live vicariously through you?

                            Rebecca

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              They are in that not-quite-all-the-way-fuzzy stage right now where they just look moth-eaten
                              COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                              "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                                They are in that not-quite-all-the-way-fuzzy stage right now where they just look moth-eaten
                                They are adorable! It would be fun to hear your experiences training them to drive.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I've really liked everything I've bought from twohorsetack.com and they don't charge extra for custom sizing

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                                    Do you have anyone local who can correct fit on a cheap harness?
                                    I got my Tough-1 leather w/brass - in original package, unused - for $90 at a tack sale.
                                    Then paid a local guy who does leather repairs $40 to correct the fit for my mini.

                                    2yrs later it still works for shows & up until I got my biothane this Spring, for trail drives as well.

                                    The worst thing I can say about the Tough-1 is the brass is already wearing off.
                                    Definitely go with biothane for fun - it can sit a week -after a sweaty drive -w/o being cleaned & come out fine.
                                    I use Dollar Tree leather wipes to clean it & sponge off with diluted Murphy's oil soap first if it is especially grungy.

                                    Here's one off E-Bay - only thing I can't see is if the saddle is padded.
                                    It should be, to take pressure off donkey's back from the shafts, but you can add a fleece or neoprene pad to help.

                                    https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Made-Pre...E90:rk:45f:0
                                    I'm glad to read this!

                                    I just ordered a Tough-1 leather pony-sized harness for my 12h standard donkey.

                                    I really wanted synthetic/biothane (because, you know, laziness), but went with leather for the sake of adjustability. I'm thinking (hoping?) it will be easier to adjust it to fit, and hopefully without pricey and inconvenient professional modifications.

                                    The harness is just for playing around. While the dream is to get her driving reliably, I'm not sure how that will work out. She's a bit of a drama llama. Neither of us really know what we're doing; what I know about driving can fit in a thimble. If I end up over my head, I'll probably just throw in the towel unless a competent pro to help us magically appears.
                                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Updating:

                                      In case anyone else owns a ~12h short and stout donkey and wants to buy a Tough-1 harness...

                                      The bridle:
                                      -The cheekpieces and noseband are a good fit
                                      -The browband is too narrow, which makes the blinkers too narrow
                                      -The throatlatch is way too tight. I'm going to rig up some kind of extender, because there is not enough leather to punch more holes.
                                      -Between the narrow browband, the blinker stays, and the rosettes preventing mobility, the crownpiece does not sit very nicely over her head. I think it would be OK if I could remove/replace the browband, but the rosettes prevent that.

                                      The breastcollar:
                                      -The neck strap length seems ok, but the breastcollar overall seems too long. I'm hoping as the leather relaxes and breaks in it will sit better; right now there is a huge gap in the front.

                                      The saddle:
                                      -Way too narrow for a flat, wide donkey back! No clearance for her spine and the padding does not sit right. I feel like if the padding was shifted a few inches down on either side, it would be OK (which isn't a possibility, just saying).
                                      -The girth is too big, but I can easily fix that with a hole punch.
                                      -Back strap on the crupper is also too long, but that also can be fixed with a hole punch
                                      -I don't understand the how the belly bands to hold the tugs down work on this saddle? They are different than others I've used...

                                      The breeching:
                                      -Way too big overall! I don't know if hole punching will help because there's enough leather for it to extend well beyond her flank/stifle. I may need to swap it out for a mini size, because I'm not sure there's anyway I can make it work. My donkey has no butt!

                                      I'm debating if I should send it back. I think I'll hang on to it to start the training process, as I think even with the narrow bridle and saddle, it will work fine for ground driving. If she takes to ground driving well and we move on to pulling, then I will reevaluate our options. She is wonky shaped, even for a donkey, so I think I'll either have to have some custom leather work done or mix and match parts, and that seems like an expensive endeavor when her future in driving is still a complete unknown. Although she couldn't care less about wearing the harness, so that's a good sign!
                                      Last edited by Texarkana; Dec. 29, 2018, 12:56 PM.
                                      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        For basic training you can get away with the harness, but I would use a open bridle, squishing her head will do you no favors. I keep them open until shortly before hooking (and sometimes after!) the first time anyway. The couple of donkeys I've worked with haven't minded the whip movements so the one drives open and the other is still in the basic stages.

                                        The saddle will cause issues when you hook to a cart due to lack of padding and gullet space. I believe the Tough-1 harneses have wrap straps instead of a false belly hand and overgirth.

                                        Comment

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