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Riding donkeys

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  • Riding donkeys

    I recently acquired a foster donkey, and have been learning more about these amazing little creatures. As a breeder and owner of high- maintenance warmbloods I find myself marveling at their resilience and intelligence. I was talking with someone from Mexico and he asked whether I was planning to ride the donkey, and I told him that the donkey was way too small. He laughed and told me “ they are not horses”. So now I’m intrigued. However, they are definitely not horses. I know nothing about training and riding donkeys. Does anyone know of a donkey trainer in New England?

  • #2
    we used to ride competitive trail.... I remember several mules being ridden (and they were good mounts) but can not recall having seen a donkey being used even by kids
    Not responsible for typographical errors.


    • #3
      I had a 14 hand donkey I rode, and know a lot of people who have big donkeys who ride them. Most of the big ones are a slow ride, but there are exceptions, and quite a few of the smaller ones have quite a bit of get up and go.

      The problem with donkeys is that the taller ones (15+ hands) are usually just leggy with small bodies, so aren't (IMO) really up to carrying weight the way a horse or mule can. Not that they can't be fitted up and used harder, but they just don't seem to be able to do it as easily as a horse or mule.

      Breeders are working on that though, and the quality (and availability) of saddle donkeys is improving.

      AFA a trainer, they're very similar to horses when it comes to starting them under saddle, but they tend to be much more afraid of losing their balance/getting hurt, so if they're pushed too hard they'll resist (which is where their reputation for being stubborn comes from). But as long as the trainer respects their inability to keep going when they think they're in danger, then training them is easy.


      • #4
        My family had a BLM burro when I was in high school. I trained her to ride, just bareback, and rode her on the neighborhood trails. She was about 12.3 hh and I was about 95 lbs at the time. She was lots of fun!


        • #5
          If you're not a tall or heavy person, it's quite possible you could ride your donkey, so long as he's not also on the small side. I have a friend who rode her mammoth and large Poitou jennies all over town. They were a fun ride, though we never broke out of a walk.


          • #6
            These people may be able to help you. They're in New Hampshire. --

            Kids still ride donkeys on the beach in the UK.

            This Connecticut story is 5 years old but might still be useful:

            Rack on!


            • #7
              Our family used to have 2 donkeys when I was a kid. My brother, sister, and I used to ride them all summer long. We didn't get more donkeys after they passed away. I missed Ben & Jerry
              Dental SEO


              • #8
                I have a friend that traded in her horse for a Mammoth donkey. He had nice forward gaits, because she trained him to go forward. They have done a lot of exhibition rides and such. Sadly for me, she moved away, as I loved riding with them.


                • #9
                  Meredith Hodges is a well known mule and donkey trainer. I have read her book on donkeys when I bought my fist mule. She is pretty good. She even called me back at home after asking her a question by letter. She will know, if anyone would, about your donkey.


                  • #10
                    So cute!!
                    Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.


                    • #11
                      See how fast they learn? Smart! Almost too cute to be seen! Ha, ha. Loved it.