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Oak's Mama

Anyone familiar with Hinnies?

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Is anyone here familiar with Hinnies? I had one brought to our ranch that was in need of a home. I am a soft heart. He is a miniature about 10 years old and was abandon for about 3 years in a pasture. I had him checked out and he is ok, (when he had his shots). We got him to put with the cows. BUT he wants to stay with the horses. SO, the first 2 days he hung around the dividing fence line by the horses. We have acquiesced and put him in where we keep the 3 older horses. NOT where Oak and Starla are. The vet said that they can eat the same things as horses and are less maintenance. Is there anything I may need to know? 

 

Edited by Oak's Mama
forgot to add a word.

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I'd be kind of careful with grain. Like a donkey, they don't need much. Most of them lean a little more to the donkey side than the horse. And being a mini.....well, even more so. Minis don't need grain either.

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Aahh, thank you no ponies! No wonder he barely eats the grain that I put out for him. I guess HE knows better what he needs than I do. Can I give him Timothy and Alfalfa pellets? 

 

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The one we have is NOT social with people. He was abandon in a pasture for about 3 years and when he was found he wouldn't let anyone near him. He was matted and dirty and in rough shape. The guys that found him tried getting some ropers out there to catch him, yea.....that didn't work well. Then they tried to set a trap with feed for him. That was a no go as well. They ended up getting a local vet out with a tranq dart. Then they brought him to us. We stalled him for a couple of days to get him cleaned up and checked out by our vet and vaccinated. Then turned him out. He does well with the horses, but will NOT let us get anywhere near him. When we pull the horses out to feed, groom, and/or work them, he paces and brays until they are returned. We have to feed HIM in the pasture. He looks more like a little horse than a donkey.  

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, "but will NOT let us get anywhere near him."

 

Well no wonder! You cleaned him up and vaccinated him, LOL.  The site I gave you sells them, so they're gonna tell you how sweet they are. Any animal has to be socialized. You'll have him eating out of your hand in no time. He'll learn from the horses too.

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I'm sorry, but I had a little giggle ^^^ at that.  He's offended and stand-off-ish because he was transported, cleaned up, hooves and vaccinated .... and now we're talkin' removing his "boys"?  Yeah, THAT's gonna get him friendly!  LOL  

In all seriousness though, gelding an intact male long-ear certainly can improve their attitude.

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Bwahahahaha! Y'all about had me spitting my coffee at my computer screen! 
Yes he is gelded, and yea, we DID kind of did strong arm him a bit by sedating him, transporting him, stalling him, and having him poked and prodded. I guess I am thinking like a human again! But y'all he really was in bad shape when he got here. Underfed, matted, dirty, and his hooves were in dire need of a farrier. Once you get him in hand he is ok with you doing whatever you have to do, the problem is CATCHING the fast little guy! Y'all are funny! I am still laughing!  

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Manna-Pro makes a treat called "Apple Wafers", with a pretty good load of fenugreek (smells like licorice). Give him a bit whenever you catch him, and start carrying one in a pocket. He will soon be catching YOU.

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He will want to be with horses more than cows for sure. Mules and hinnies chose horses over donkeys or other mules/hinnies. Donkeys will chose other donkey more than horses or mules. 

Be careful with the treats. He could get too fat very quickly! Are you sure he is a hinnie and not a mule? Hinnies are difficult to produce and not all that common. Stallions don't settle jennies as easily as jacks settle mares for some reason.

Either way, they are usually intelligent and nosy. Make him curious then let him check you out. Sit on a bucket in the pasture but ignore him completely. Read up on walking one down and try that rather than cornering him. Mules typically react poorly to force and learn very quickly when attempts to catch them fail. I can't imagine it would be much different for a hinny. 

He is going to be hard to catch until he trusts you. He had a lot of contact forced on him, so it will take time for him to trust.

 

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Thank you kdrown. Yea we are pretty certain it is a Hinny. Or at least we were told by a man who owns mules that hinnies look more like horses and mules tend look more like donkeys. This one looks like a miniature horse. The vet didn't question us when we told her we had a hinny and she came and checked him out. I feel pretty sure that if he wasn't she would have let us know. We have used her for all of our livestock for the past 10+ years. 
This one is NOISY, most especially when we have to take the other horses out of the pasture to go to work and feed them, he paces back and forth along the fenceline braying almost nonstop until ALL of the 3 horses he pastures with are returned. He even seems to 'conversate' with them. They whinny, he brays. Treats haven't worked, trying to rope him hasn't helped his demeanor, and anesthetizing him to treat him just left him anxious. We are not really wanting to ride him, or put him to work. HOWEVER it would be nice if he were sociable for having him tended to by the farrier, grooming, treating for any health issues that may come up, etc... I will try the bucket thing in the pasture one day when I can get extra time. Again thank you. And I will look into "Walking Down A Donkey". 
Again thank you for your help. 

 

 

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Glad to try to help. The little ones are so smarty pants!

Walking one down is a means to teach one to catch you instead of the other way around. It can take all day the first time or four. No treats, no equipment needed but you may need to pack a lunch if he is in a large area. It took me about 6 hours to walk my mule down the first time! She has 1200 acres to avoid me in though.

Start by approaching him in the field, eyes down, relaxed body. When he walks away, follow him. You are not threatening him, making eye contact or being "bossy", just following him and not letting him hide in his herd. You can probably just circle his herd mates, not letting him near them and not have to follow his every foot step. If he stops and looks at you, invite him in by turning parallel to him or turning your back to him even,  and still not looking at him. As long as he is looking at you, you let him be still. When he looks away or walks away, you follow him, make him move but not into his herd.

It is simple but your timing has to be pretty good and you need to be able to recognize when he is asking to come to you and know how to invite him. They want to be with their herd and you don't let him be with is herd until he includes you in the herd and asks you nicely by coming to you. If you can walk him down successfully, it should get easier and faster each time until he will eventually come to meet you. 

I don't like Monty Roberts but he gives a pretty good description of how this works if you have access to his book about Shy Boy. He "walked" Shy Boy down on his home range by using another horse to keep Shy Boy moving. A domestic equine, even an un-handled one, in a smaller enclosure is usually a simpler project!

I've never herd a hinney voice. I wonder if it is different from a mule whinny-bray? They start out like a horse buy end like a donkey. 

 

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Kdrown, this one sounds like a donkey but with a higher pitch. You can almost hear where it wants to turn into whinny. He snorts like a horse and he looks like a miniature horse. I have spent the last couple of days in the pasture walking up to him and just before he starts to spook and run, I turn my back and walk away from him. Then I keep doing this until I am able to close the gap. I am now w/in 6 feet of him and can stay there and he is ok with it. I was able to touch his face a few times through the hay ring today which is a first in the pasture. Not any long strokes or petting, just a quick and gentle touch on his nose and I gave him release. Then I waited and did it again. I did this a few times until the other horses became curious as to what I was doing at the hay ring and came over to investigate. Then we moved back out to the pasture again. I have gone as far as to sit on the edge of the water trough and read to see if he would come up to me. He gets just so close but won't quite come up to me. The other horses walk right up and try to nudge me into the water! I will keep trying to gain his trust. We will be moving the horses to a different pasture tomorrow so the grass can grow back up in the one they are in now. Hopefully he will follow them there and we will not have to try and catch him. 

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Kdrown, I have spent HOURS over the past several days trying to get somewhere with this little hinny. I have 'closed the gap' with him SOME. But he still will not let me touch him unless it is through the hay ring or gate. I can get maybe 4-6 feet from him and that is his comfort zone. I don't go into his pasture with a rope or a halter, I go empty handed. I have sat in the pasture on several occasions w/ a tablet (silenced) and played solitaire for HOURS just to see if he would get curious enough to come investigate. NOPE! But my other horses think that I have flipped my gourd and THEY keep coming over and nudging me off of my bucket.How long do you reckon it will take to socialize this abandon hinny?  

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Well, you are not putting any pressure on him if you are not making him a little uncomfortable. He has taught you how close you can come instead of you teaching him to come to you. Since he is not curious enough to come to you, you have to work harder!

Walk him down. Keep him away from his herd mates. Pressure him, follow him until he stops and looks at you. He looks, you stop. He looks away or doesn't come towards you, you walk to him again. Rinse and repeat until he comes to you.You may notice he just ravels in a large circle around the horses and does not go too far. This can take hours the first time but you have to commit to it once you start. You don't have to run after him, just keep pushing him away from the "herd". He will eventually ask you if he can come back in. You have to look for that question from him. 

You can keep building on what you have going now, approach and retreat, but it has been my experience this only works so far, especially in a large area, and will not end with you being able to halter him in the pasture. He is not curious enough about you at this point. It might work better once he starts to shed and itch if you can get close enough to scratch him. That is an iffy technique though because it works a lot like a treat. He gets what he wants but you will only be able to touch him when, how and where he wants. 

Got any pictures? He sounds adorable!

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Kdrown, I will get some pictures next time I am out. My husband is the 'tech savvy' person in the house w/ a smartphone. I don't even own a 'dumb' cell phone, I keep killing them (went through 6 in a year) so I just figure my best bet is to stick w/ a landline and a laptop. That way I am not putting them in harms way. 
We are going to the 'Wild Donkey Races' this weekend and when we load up the horses Saturday I will take pictures of Lil' Dusty Buttons (that is what the guys at the Ranch call him). 
I wish that I could spend more time with him but a couple of hours every other day is all I can really do. We have 80+ head of cattle (and growing), 5 horses, a hinny, chickens, 3 dogs, I have a 4 year old, my husband is a pastor and in the Masters Program at TMC University and I am his secretary/research assistant. So I have a FULL plate. I want this baby to be comfortable enough for us to put some hands on care to him, like fly spray, clean his hooves, brush the winter coat off of him, etc... We have had 80degree weather already and the flies are already bad and he is already beginning to shed and get some matted spots. I almost feel like I am neglecting him, but what I do when I cannot put my hands on him? 

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Would things progress quicker if he were kept in a smaller area?  I'm thinking as small as a roomy stall up to a smallish (50x70) corral.

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That is certainly an effective option Heidi. It is easier to get them comfortable with handling in a smaller enclosure.

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Bwahahahaha! I wish I had known that before I turned this little fella our in the pasture! He is now out in an area of about 2-3 acres. I could probably get him to follow one of the horses into the 'tagging pen' that we use to separate the calves and cows out that we are working on that is about 1/4 of an acre. I don't have a large stall only standard horse stalls in the barn (ours are 12X16). 

I guess this is going to be a trial by fire or a trial by error kind of thing! Yesterday I had him taking carrots out of my hand. This is a first most of the time I have to toss them right in front of him a few times before he will come and get a treat from me, but yesterday he was approaching me w/ a little apprehension taking them w/out me having to bribe him with tossing a few out to him first. He will also come w/in 2 feet of me if my back is turned. 

 

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Wow!  I'd say you're making GREAT progress and you may not have to confine him to a smaller area if he's already approaching you and accepting treats from your hand.  Way-to-go, you!

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4 hours ago, Oak's Mama said:

Bwahahahaha! I wish I had known that before I turned this little fella our in the pasture! He is now out in an area of about 2-3 acres. I could probably get him to follow one of the horses into the 'tagging pen' that we use to separate the calves and cows out that we are working on that is about 1/4 of an acre. I don't have a large stall only standard horse stalls in the barn (ours are 12X16). 

I guess this is going to be a trial by fire or a trial by error kind of thing! Yesterday I had him taking carrots out of my hand. This is a first most of the time I have to toss them right in front of him a few times before he will come and get a treat from me, but yesterday he was approaching me w/ a little apprehension taking them w/out me having to bribe him with tossing a few out to him first. He will also come w/in 2 feet of me if my back is turned. 

 

Haha! This reminds of when the kids in school would complain, "He's/She's looking at me!"

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17 hours ago, jubal said:

Haha! This reminds of when the kids in school would complain, "He's/She's looking at me!"

It is pretty funny Jubal. If I am facing him he will not allow me to get much closer than maybe 4 feet. HOWEVER if I turn my back on him he will get w/in arms reach until I turn my head then he either bolts like his pants are on fire and his butt is catching or he turns slowly and walks away like "Maybe if I move real slow she won't see me." I feel so bad for the little guy. The flies are driving him nuts and I can't do a thing to help him. Meanwhile the horses are living large getting sprayed and groomed and this little guy is neglected because we cannot get near him. I am the ONLY one who can get w/in 10 feet of him though so I guess this is progress no matter how slow it is. 

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20 hours ago, Heidi n Q said:

Wow!  I'd say you're making GREAT progress and you may not have to confine him to a smaller area if he's already approaching you and accepting treats from your hand.  Way-to-go, you!

Thanks for the encouragement Heidi. It is slow progress but progress none the less. I will take it as it comes.
We moved Gauge, Buckshot, and Whisp to the other pasture and put Oak and Starla in with Dusty (hinny) and he went BONKERS. Turns out he has bonded with Whisp. Go figure she IS the boss mare. I was going to lead the horses one by one by the pasture they were in to see which one brought him comfort. Took Whisp out first and he saw her and ran right up to the gate and calmed down. Looks like Whisp and Dusty will be inseparable. Put Whisp in with them and Oak started acting the fool and my little mare put the whoop on that big TB. After about 15 minutes of establishing the hierarchy Whisp was running the show.  Oak may have thought that he had upset the balance of how things would run when he got here, but things are beginning to fall into place. I am hoping that with knowing WHO Dusty's horse is that we can now use this bit of information to our advantage. Like if we need to take him out of the pasture and move him to the tagging pen or to a stall, we could maybe get him to follow Whisp. It sounds good in theory but will it actually work when we try to implement it. We will see.  

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Even with baby steps, they are still forward steps that will carry you where you want to be.  I think you've done great with him.  I don't think it will be long before you have your hands on him and he learns to LOVE the attention.

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YEAH! Had Dusty come right up to me today w/o prompting to take a treat from me. Of course he has apprehension and takes the treat and runs but usually I have to really WORK at it for about 10-15 minutes before I can get him to get close enough to take a treat. Not today! We went in after church to get Starla and Oak out to work with them and as the guys were leading the horses up to the open arena (I carried treats with me) I walked up to where Whisp and Dusty were grazing and walked up facing Dusty and extended my hand forward, stopped about 3 feet from him and he took a step towards me stretched out his neck and took it! On the FIRST try! I was able to get him to take 5 more after that over a period of about 30 minutes. Still can't touch him, but he is taking treats out of my hand! YEAH! 

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Progress!

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