Donkeys can be slow to respond, slow to move, and require a trainer that they respect and they have no fear of, a human trainer that has a creative and innovative plan to make things interesting. Donkeys get bored much faster than the horse and their ability to learn is different from the horse or mule (1/2 horse 1/2 donkey.
How is this learning for donkeys different from horses?
Donkeys being trained successfully require a safe, fair, loving home where they feel their human partner is the leader of their herd. Donkeys must be successfully tamed before teaching them any new task i.e., riding, leading, hoof picking; be patient and remember you are on Donkey Time “kinda like living in a vacation place like Hawaii life is easy and slow in Donkey Time.”
People make jokes all the time to me about donkeys “oh your little or big ass” I am quick to reply “Ass is reserved for the two leg human I think it don’t say it” and yes I am a donkey whisperer for humans too smile. Learning how to train a donkey really helps with the humans in our life that can be an ass as it requires patience, love, boundaries and understanding, I like to say give everyone the three-second rule to correct the behavior in a fair and practical way no abuse, this works on humans who step over boundaries too.
Taming a new donkey:
I use Parelli ”friendly game”, rope halter, carrot stick, no abuse put the donkey in a small space, talk calmly to the donkey, look to see if the donkey will take a piece of apple or carrot. A donkey scared to death will not eat and this is a warning sign to proceed with caution in taming this donkey remember to keep your face away from their hips, rear as donkeys can kick side ways like a cow. I begin by saying whoa in a small space, rub their face, try to stay calm and keep my emotions in neutral, place the rope halter on, tie them up so they cannot move to start this taming as most not all donkeys can be introverted; standing still and scared to death or can get aggressive when scared i.e., kicking, striking or running off with the human. Donkeys are very physical equine it is important to remember any kind of equine (horse, donkey or mule) can be dangerous you must take responsibility for your actions. I have learned that most tamed donkeys want their loving time first, scratching, rubbing, talking to them and they love a healthy treat i.e., 1/2 green apple a couple of pieces of carrot. Learn parelli as they explain the psychology of the equine and Parelli started out with a mule so he truly understands the patience, consistency, time and all that is needed to be succesful with donkeys, mules and of course horses! I personally am very grateful for the Parelli home study and I am sure all equine (donkeys, horses, mules) are grateful too as I have seen and heard of some very horrific training techniques for donkeys, mules and horses. Humans are natural predators and when they are afraid they do whatever it takes to stay safe and sometimes this training can back fire and thus all the training programs available to try to help the human with their equine and dogs.
Why Do I Love Donkeys, Mules & Horses?
Donkeys do not freak out or go right brain on adrenalin very often as they are seriously into counting every calorie and self-preservation with the benefit to be able to think all of the time no need to get in a hurry. Donkeys are usually “not always” introverted thus people call them stubborn (some horses and ponies act this way with boring work and no motivation, inspiration opportunities) and they stop moving their feet, sometimes they just lay down. The need for a great leader is evident in these equine! The key to success in training an equine is a human who wants to be a partner to the equine and a human partner who has empathy and works hard to inspire and connect with strong safety boundaries, this is when the relationship blossoms. As Parelli says “when you take off the halter all you get is the truth” if your equine leaves you or will not come in to you this is a sign of a relationship problem.
Why do I love horses?
Horses are majestic and fast, my horse Lily is a quarter horse but she has some speed in her kinda like a ferri car, not for everyone but exactly what I needed to get my life back on track she would be considered the leader of a wild herd of horses and she would fight to the death to stay on top. This is her personality and well it’s mine we are truly mirrored together and I understand her needing to move her feet and run and buck get the endorphins pumping as this is my personality too. Lily is a lot of horse and she is always pushing the boundaries and then finally she stops and goes to work, in the wrong owners hands she could become a very dangerous horse.
I have always been in love with the horse since I was a little girl, their ability to move their feet and perserve thru their smell senses, strength and speed is exhilarating to me. My mare Lily brings me back to my beginning as a youngster as I could escape and ride off with my horse and a friend or just me and my horse. Horses are not for everyone that is for sure, people do need to be aware that choosing the right equine is essential (some people would work better with a donkey), some people should not ever be around any equine as they have no empathy. All equine can learn to become great partners depending on the personality of the human and the personality of the horse and the type of training the human wants to invest in the relationship as great things take time and hard work.
When I look on the web at how equine have been treated it makes me want to cry! Most donkeys are thrown in a pasture with a horse as a pasture mate and well that’s it. I say “Your missing out” Donkeys are good for us humans who work too much, speed around too fast in life as they make us slow down, I call this “DONKEY TIME” and enjoy the moment GOD has placed in our life “the donkey, horse and mule is a healer and is used for post traumatic stress, exercise and emotional wholeness.
It is my goal and I do this for free via the world-wide internet at WWW.DONKEYWHISPERER.COM to try to create hope, innovation, leadership, creativity and most important a change for the donkeys, mules and horses. I do this by sharing information for free to help their humans understand what the donkey, mule or horse needs to feel safe and stay in a safe partnership with their human partner.
I share my personal life to try to help people understand donkeys, horses and mules can learn and not only learn but become a partner with you, if you get thrown off and the equine is connected they will not run off and leave you they are connected to you, this is truly a gift from GOD. We hope you follow along and watch as Rio our Mammoth donkey turns 5 this year and observe the journey Rio and Scott take as they start riding as partners in our arena. Rio is still growing and his bones will not be completed fused and grown until he is 6 years old and this is why Rio is still doing mostly ground work as we want him to stay healthy and continue to live in optimum health. We purchased Rio at 9 months old, he could barely walk on the line, drug Scott along in the beginning but things changed really fast. It is truly a wonderous thing to watch these two guys connect as they are both learning and listening to me guide them along their journey. I call this training a partnership 49 and 51 partnership and this can slide back and forth with the human always staying safe; clear and consistent leadership for the equine. Teaching the two of them (Scott & Rio) is challenging but oh so rewarding. Perhaps you are wondering if Parelli training works for horses, donkeys and mules? I am here to say yes!
Short training Video of Rio & Melody - before the semi truck accident
Please remember to keep your training sessions short, drilling does not work with equine especially the donkey as they will stop trying. Always teach both sides of the equine (horse, donkey & Mule) and remember just like people one side is easier than the other. Try to set the equine up for success so if you are training something new don’t drill and go back to something the equine has mastered and end the training session with the equine succeeding never the opposite.
Please consider another way to train your equine! Stop getting disturbed by your training with your equine break the negative cycle and provide the equine with a successful training class “set them up for success” you can do it! Remember to end the short training session (no more than 10 minutes per task) with play time something the donkey, mule or horse has mastered and enjoys. A small bite of green grass helps on the way back to the barn, trailer, stall etc as you are connecting with your donkey. I know you are saying they have feed in the barn yep but don’t you know that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and this is an opportunity for you to do something your equine wants to do, get a few bites of green grass just a few minutes of your time really makes the relationship stronger. Donkeys demand a connection to learn and horses dream of this kind of training. Donkeys are not horses so please don’t try to make them into something they are not “old cowboy” training does not work for donkeys. It is much easier to attract a positive result with honey than vinegar and this works with people too; family, business, work, neighbors, give it a try to remember to be grateful for everything in your life to Jesus Christ our Lord and savior.
Parelli works for donkeys, mules and horses as they understand how to teach the connected riding and psychology of the equine. Just like people have personalities equine (donkey, mule & horse) have horsenalities as Parelli says “pick your equine carefully”. Another important consideration is taking your donkey for walks of grazing allowing them to take a bite here and their with you walking next to them. Please remember “Donkeys hate dogs instinctively dogs are predators plan to make the training successful when de-senstizing them don’t let the dog chase at your equine ever. Your carrot stick from Parelli works great to keep the dog in their space if they move in too close to the equine as it just takes one kick and the dog is dead, no do over.
Please remember with GOD driving your life in Jesus Christ name your opportunities are infinity! Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. Proverbs 4:23 NIV
GOD bless you and your family two and four legs!