Did you know donkeys prefer to ride loose in a horse trailer? Yes indeed donkeys prefer to ride loose in a horse trailer with the added bonus they are safe and much more comfortable. I was really surprised to learn this after purchasing my donkeys as my horse is locked in the front for her safety. Why? She is not a donkey she is a horse smile.
Donkeys freeze when scared so they are safer and more comfortable riding loose in the horse trailer and this helps them find a place to stand and hold their butt against the trailer to balance. Most important consideration is to have a two door trailer in the back to unload them. I highly suggest teaching your donkey to back out of the horse trailer in lieu of jumping out fast. Here is a video of Rio backing out of the horse trailer what a good boy just took a few training sessions to teach him how to do this. Keep one side of the door closed so to keep them calm and backing out slow.
In an emergency situation I wanted to ensure I could get all of them in the trailer fast and by myself. I highly suggest each of you do the same as you don’t want to be training trailer loading and unloading during an emergency. Donkeys freeze when scared!
Six Steps To Successful Trailer Loading of Your Donkey or Mule:
1. Ensure Your Donkey or Mule Trusts You – Taming is number (1)
2. Always load the honor donkey, horse or mule first as Donkeys Are Visual Learners if you load the naughty one first your trailer loading experience will not go smoothly.
3. Plan ahead, practice trailer loading and letting the equine stand in the trailer and eat go no where. After you load them to eat lunch stand on the outside and talk to them let them know they are safe.
4. Practice taking the donkeys, mules and horses for rides, just give them 40 minutes or so of time to adjust to the trailer, get their legs and not have any more stress on them. DO NOT TAKE THEM ANYWHERE AND EXPECT THEM TO GET OUT AND IN until you are sure they understand trailer loading. Just go for a drive a few times, practice getting in and out at home.
5. Remember when driving to accelerate slowly and stop slowly as it is very difficult for the equine to keep their legs on the ground. If you don’t understand have someone drive the trailer and get in the back ride down a bumpy road and see what it feels like for your equine I think you will have a new perspective.
6. Gradually work up to trail walks, yes walking next to the youngster as they are too young to ride and then riding when of age. I think it is safer for older equine to have the opportunity to observe what is expected a few times before riding. We did lot’s of these before Lily and Rio were old enough to ride (preparation) is the key.
7. Another important consideration in teaching trailer loading and unloading; is do not take them out of the trailer when the truck stops wait for about ten to fifteen minutes. If you take them out immediately upon the truck stopping they will expect it and get impatient every time the truck stops. Equine learn from consistent repetition so remember to always be a good leader and have a plan be consistent. When the emergency comes and they all come in life have a plan and be prepared as preparation makes the process much easier on the human and the equine.
GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!