Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Dec 13, 2014
I know that donkeys have a reputation for being stubborn but Cilla was definitely an exception to this rule. She loved children and adults alike and she was a very popular donkey indeed. Sometimes she was brought to children's outings and the children got rides on her. I think they got just as much pleasure from stroking her and just being with her.
She was very well mannered and trustworthy and even children who had no riding experience were quite safe riding her. In the winter she was clipped and had her own rug. She looked so cute wearing it. She was also a great little jumper and was the ideal pet to give children their first experience of riding. She was good company for any of the young horses who were a bit nervous and sometimes she accompanied them in the lorry when they went to shows or to the vet and to the farriers.
As I mentioned she was an exceptional donkey and gave the children confidence. This is not always the case with donkeys so make sure you check that the donkey you want to buy does not have a stubborn streak.
A well known English show-jumper called Harvey Smith wrote a book and in it he mentioned that his son who became a very famous show jumper too rode a donkey before he was allowed to ride a pony. Harvey's theory was that if his son was able to master the "art" of riding a donkey and jumping it he would have no problem in dealing with difficult ponies or horses.