Tips For Tack For My Texas Donkey
What to feed a donkey?
Begin With The Best Information
This book is well-known as the very best all-around book about donkeys. It was written by a very dear family friend, Betsy Hutchins, founder of the American Donkey and Mule Society, a worldwide registry.
This is a nice looking, effective, affordable bridle that is easy to adjust for all sizes. I really like the extra long, soft reins. They are easy to hold and provide just the right amount of "giddy-up" when slapped gently on the donkey's rump.
This is a really high quality, secure feeling bareback pad. It has a waffled interior that grips the donkey's back comfortably, and the micro suede surface provides good grip for the rider. The brown is really beautiful and leather-like. It comes with a fleece covered 30" girth.
I got this pony girth for my standard donkey's size. It fits perfectly and gives the already versatile Reinsman bareback pad even more flexibility and potential use.
Is It Hard To Care For Donkeys?
Taking care of a pet donkey in a small Texas town is quite a bit of work. My eight year old pet donkey, Ray, lives in a small lot near my home. Sometimes he spends a few days in my yard and helps me with the grass. Most days, he can be found staked out somewhere around the neighborhood grazing in vacant lots. Ray is a popular donkey about town, and he frequently has visitors who take his picture and make much of him.
Do Donkeys Make Good Pets?
Lots of people ask me this. The answer is, donkeys make good pets for people who know how to take care of horses and donkeys. A donkey is not a dog. It requires lots of space, grass to eat, hay, grain, hoof trimming, exercise, fly repellent and more. You must be bold enough to handle a large animal with confidence, or your donkey (or any equine) will run all over you, and you will have a very hard time.
Is Riding A Donkey Fun?
Honestly, I haven't ridden a donkey since I was a teenager - until today! Recently, when I have taken Ray out of his lot to groom him, walk him around the neighborhood and stake him out to graze, I have had the strong urge to hop on him and ride him to our destination. The trouble is, I really don't know much about his past training. He is gentle and cooperative, but he can also be headstrong. I am not foolish enough to just hop up on him without someone strong and steady on the ground. That's where our farrier, Rick, came in handy. He is very quiet, confident and experienced and agreed to help me find out if Ray is ridable.
What Kind Of Donkey Saddle & Bridle Should I Get?
Because I don't intend to ride a lot, I decided to get simple, inexpensive, high quality tack. I chose a Reinsman Tacky Too Bareback Pad as my donkey saddle and a Mustang training bosal, which is a natural bitless bridle. I ordered the items from Amazon, and they arrived right away. I am extremely pleased with them. The pad is brown micro suede, and it looks and feels just like real leather. It sits securely on Ray’s back, and it does not slip or allow me to slip at all.
Although, both items were large for Ray as-is, it was easy to burn a couple more holes in the nylon headstall of the bridle using a heated awl (or you could use a heated nail). The girth of the bareback pad was too long for Ray, so I ordered him a 15" pony girth, which made it just perfect. Once I had everything adjusted for him, I tacked him up and let him get used to everything with short, riderless walks around the neighborhood every couple of days for a week.
I am incredibly pleased with all of these versatile items because I can use them easily with my standard donkey, but if I get a larger horse, pony or mule later, they will fit. I think this was a truly excellent purchase.
How Was The First Ride?
Our farrier, Rick, came by today and we saddled Ray up and just took him for a walk around the neighborhood. He kept one ear cocked back and one forward letting us know he was paying attention. After a little walk, I mounted up for the first time in 30 years, and Rick walked us in figure eights, over little ditches and other small obstacles as I reined. Ray seems to know a little bit about neck-reining and a little more about plow-reining. He was kind of nervous, but overall he did pretty well.
We spent about half an hour with him and will work with him a couple more times. After that, I think I will be able to ride him around the neighborhood a little bit! You may think a middle-aged woman riding a spotted donkey around a small town neighborhood looks funny, but I don't really care! I know you're just jealous!
Copyright:SuzanneBennett:March 18, 2013
Ray Is A Professional Companion
Update On Riding Ray...
Actually, I eventually gave up on riding Ray. He doesn't seem to know much of anything about being ridden, and he's not at all enthusiastic about learning. Now his main job is just to stand around looking pretty and to keep my mule, Rojo, company!