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little cow

Donkey Training

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Our little Rosie donkey is almost two years old.  I am taking her for walks and exposing her to as many things as possible to prepare her for an obstacle course event in November.  There will be a practice session in late October.  It's fun to work towards a goal.  She will be a little small for me to ride, but we will use her for kids and as a pack donkey.  She needs two more years to mature before she can carry any weight, however, so this is our fun in the meantime.  She still spooks a little at new things and she just got over her nipping issue, but, overall, she is doing well in her training.  Donkeys are very different than training horses.  You are on 'donkey time' when you work with them.  They like to ask a lot of questions when you work with them.  Once they get it, it's solid.  No drilling them or they get bored.  There are no round pen shortcuts or cute devices.  Just time and patience.  It's a bit like teaching a gifted kid.

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Very much like teaching a gifted child! I have a mini, Ginormous (Norm, like in Cheers-Hi Norm!). He is 1 year old and 27". He is a mess on wheels but is a pure joy to interact with.

So far, Norm ground ties and lays down, leads, loads, is good with his feet, baths, is mostly house trained and is great with people of all ages and sizes, etc. I am working with him to stay with me when I ride but he is really not interested so it has been challenging. I would like to be able to take him to the mountains when we go but he will need to be reliable and stay with me off lead.

Is Rosie food motivated at all? Norm is not and can take em or leave em! He is attention motivated so I just have to make sure to give the correct attention at the correct time to reinforce the behavior I want to see in him.

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Norm sounds awesome!  He sounds like our first donkey.  The jennies are different than the jacks.  This is our first jenny.  They are more reserved than jacks.  It took longer to get her to meet new people and she is more wary of new things.  

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Norm is awesome. I need to try and get some pictures here. He is such a wee little thing and such a big presence!

 

Norm's dam and sire were just the opposite. The jenny was super friendly and loved everybody and the little jack is quite reserved. Unfortunately Norm's dam died about a month ago. I am not sure what happened as she belongs to my MIL and they did not disclose what happened, only told us she died.

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Overfeeding is a common killer of donkeys.  I've heard the mini donks are bit trickier to manage. I've only had standards or large standards.   It makes sense since mini horses are a little tricky.  It's really hard to feed donkeys without them developing fat pads.  You want to give them good stuff, but it's deadly.  Ours gets coastal hay and a handful of senior feed for morale.  The horse and pony get orchard hay, which is too rich for donkeys.  

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On 9/19/2018 at 5:20 PM, little cow said:

Overfeeding is a common killer of donkeys.  I've heard the mini donks are bit trickier to manage. I've only had standards or large standards.   It makes sense since mini horses are a little tricky.  It's really hard to feed donkeys without them developing fat pads.  You want to give them good stuff, but it's deadly.  Ours gets coastal hay and a handful of senior feed for morale.  The horse and pony get orchard hay, which is too rich for donkeys.  

We are pretty careful about how they are fed, none are fat or have any fat pads except Jerry and he came that way. Norm gets grass hay, no feed a the moment. I was feeding him a small amount of mini horse feed as he was weaned a little early IMO at 4 months but I have stopped that. He is pretty fit, wrestles with Smokey all day every day and gets to run around after me and my husband on the weekends.

22 hours ago, jubal said:

kdrown, do you still have that wild colored donkey or mule?

Which one? I have several at the moment: an almost snowcap blanket app, Freckles, an dun app, Stupid and a spotted mule out of a 1/2 arab mare and a frosted spotted jack named Havoc. Those are probably the wildest colored ones. I'll have to see about some pictures!

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Yes, pictures please. I think it was an app but I don't remember exact markings. It was the first app mule I'd ever seen.

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post-52231-1241674748.jpg

Freckles, he is 20-something this year, 24 I think/

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This is Norm and my husband. Yes, he is standing in my kitchen!

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Havoc last year. He has faded out some but is still pretty striking.

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With his dam at about 3 weeks old.

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Stupid

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Any of these look familiar?

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It might have been Havoc as a foal. I guess I could look up your photos from years back. Thanks for posting. I like mules but I know the mule personality and mine would clash in a training situation. The foal in the kitchen is priceless!

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