Got Donkeys In Your Life?

28 Mar
Got Donkeys In Your Life?

Melody Kissing Rio

Donkeys Can Be Slow To respond, Slow To Move

“Donkeys need us humans to become a person with a plan, most importantly a human the donkey can respect while having no fear. A human trainer using 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 do donkeys learn different from the horse? 

“Donkeys must be tamed before teaching them any task; riding, leading, picking up the hoof, taking a walk on the lead, and more.  Horses prefer this method too!  Please 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.”


Donkeys being trained successfully require a safe, fair, loving home where they feel their human partner is the leader of their herd.  Donkeys have a very difficult time learning from a stranger or doing anything for a stranger without their human leader helping.

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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 legged human, I think it don’t say it and yes I am a donkey whisperer for humans too.  :)

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. 

What is the three-second rule?

Wait for the animal to make a mistake and correct the mistake within three seconds without abuse but always staying safe as safety is number one.  If we wait more than three seconds the animal has forgot what they did wrong and can not learn the correct behavior.  People need boundaries too, I  have learned it is best to make a correction with another human within three seconds not wait six months or even a year to tell another person about our personal boundary.

Donkeys are visual learners:

If you bring a new donkey into your farm let them have time to soak, stand back and watch you clean the feet of your honor equine, ride them, brush them, you get the picture.  Donkeys learn by standing back and watching our Mammoth donkey RIo learned to open the door simply by watching me and my husband open the door and shut the barn door.  Use this training tool to your advantage.

Taming a new donkey:

I am a home study student of Parelli  I always start out with the friendly game, rope halter, carrot stick, no abuse.  I place the new 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.  If the donkey will not catch me I wait, sit down read a book and eventually the introverted donkey will come up to me. After I have established that I am no threat to the donkey then I can move on to the next step.

With the rope haler on I begin by saying whoa in a small space, rub their face, try to stay calm and keep my emotions in neutral, tie them up so they cannot move to start this taming as most not all donkeys can be introverted; and then all of a sudden they 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 and study the left brain introvert and right brain introvert as this program will explain the psychology of the equine in great detail.  Mr. Parelli started out with a mule so he truly understands the patience, consistency, time and all that is needed to be successful 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

All equine can sense who is a good human and who is a bad human (abuse and natural techniques) when the donkey, horse or mule is afraid they do whatever it takes to stay safe.  I highly suggest any person who is new to training donkeys, mules and horses pick a tamed, not abused equine first. Remember all equine need a buddy to live with for their health and safety and donkeys are most happy when living with another donkey and horses are most happy when living with another horse.

Why Do I Love Donkeys and Mules?

Donkeys do not freak out or go right brain on adrenalin very often as they are seriously into counting every calorie, donkeys have a high self-preservation skill.  Donkeys can think all of the time no need to get in a hurry as they understand mistakes happen when they get into 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) 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 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. A human who will SLOW down and wait another day for training,wanting the relationship to blossom more than teaching the task.   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 Miss Lily is a quarter horse but she has some speed in her kinda like a sports car, not for everyone but exactly what I needed to get my life back on track she is a natural leader and if she was a wild horse 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. Miss Lily is a lot of horse and she is always pushing the boundaries and then finally she can stop and think and go to work, in the wrong owners hands she could become a very dangerous horse. 

When I think back to all the abuse I have seen of donkeys, horses and mules 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 you are missing out”  Donkeys are good for us humans who work too much, speed around too fast in life as they make us slow down,  Donkeys help us humans live on Donkey Time, enjoy the moment GOD has placed in our life as we will never have this moment again.  The donkey, horse and mule is a healer and is used for post traumatic stress, physical therapy, and emotional wholeness. 


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 (right and left) 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 chsoe the equine they did not choose you, you are the smart human, you can do this!

Remember to end the short training session (no more than fifteen to twenty 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.  Yes, but 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 with long ears


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 and be grateful for everything Jesus Christ has given you to steward over.  Life is a gift and we must cherish each and every moment.


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.

Dogs and Donkeys

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-legged!




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3 responses to “Got Donkeys In Your Life?

  1. Donkey Whisperer Farm

    October 7, 2013 at 10:27pm10

    Reblogged this on Donkey Whisperer Farm Blog.

  2. gilliestabrett

    March 22, 2015 at 10:27am03

    This iß all really interesting! I have had a little to do with mules but very little with donkeys. Fascinating!

    • Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC

      March 23, 2015 at 10:27am03

      Thank you for reading my blog and thank you for the lovely comment, I enjoy meeting the people who read my blog.


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