Rescue / shelter group
Posted Nov 14, 2009
I love my donkeys! We use them to pack and they are delightful trail and camp companions. I love when they greet me in the morning. They often follow me around and supervise my daily chores and they are always up for a good scratch. People refer to them as stubborn, but I am convinced that their behavior has more to do with intelligence than a personality vice. Yes, they can make thing inconvenient. For example, mine often refuse to cross a particular log or something the way I want them to do it. But if I stand on one side of the obstacle and am patient they will find a way across the offending branch or gully. Sometimes they decide the way I wanted it done was the best way to go other times they will find a route that is different--often easier than the route I chose. So a good relationship with them needs to be built on mutual respect. Baby donkeys can become quite pushy if their handler does not exert enough leadership, but adult donkeys can shut down if they feel a person is being overbearing. They seem to figure if a person gets that worked up over something, it must really be awful and they won't budge. There is usually an answer, but it takes time. However, if you get good at reading and working donks you will find your horsemanship really benefits. If you can convince a donkey to be a partner, working with a horse is a piece of cake!
Another important thing to keep in mind--onkeys are primarily desert animals so don't do well in wet climates without special measures to keep their feet and coat quite dry.