Our donkey, Madelaine

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Sep 14, 2020
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Posting a photo of our inherited donkey, Madelaine. :) In my wildest dreams, I never imagined owning a donkey, The Black Stallion? Flame the Island Stallion? Misty of Chicoteaque? Snowbound? Sure! Madelaine..not so much.🤣

She is about 36” tall at the withers and is now about 19 years old, having been with us about 7 years now. I’ve Googled donkeys, looked for articles, and asked questions of our vet and farrier. I’ve learned a bit but have no idea how to really work with a donkey, other than to give them time to absorb info and to keep things short.

Maddie is lovable and gentle. She hates winter, loves the sun, likes to be brushed, and doesn’t eat any sort of treat known to man, but does enjoy her hay time.
Would like to do more with her and am considering the book, Trickonometry.

Does anyone have any advice on this? Would I approach this as I would with a horse?

I know donkeys perform many jobs so it seems like a possible activity?

Thank you!
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She's adorable!
I find patience and positive reinforcement works best with my donkeys. They like to have time to figure things out and make sure they want to do it. Reward even the smallest try and she'll be willing to do more. Her not eating treats will make your life a bit harder, you have to find what she really likes, scratches? You should both have lots of fun with trick training, unless she thinks it's a waste of time and you're a stupid hoomon for trying it, it's a donkey thing. 🤣 🤣
Thank you HersheyMint! Now that we’ve lived with her, it is hard to imagine her not here!

Marsha, yes! She does very well with our gang of 5 minis and they seem to accept her without any fussing. Perhaps because she is such a pacifist, they don’t know how to pick a spat with her! She doesn’t bite, kick, threaten, and I’ve never seen her pin those lovely long ears back.

Thank you Taz for your great input! You remind me that pats, scratches, and hugs are also a viable reward. She loves a good neck scratch, so I could be more deliberate about cause and effect when working such as a walk or at grooming time.
Also..... 😂 she may already have me pegged as a stupid hooman!🤣

Will buy a copy of the trick book and let you all know how we do....or don’t 😂

Thank you, Kelly! Madelaine agrees with you! 😍
I love her coat. I have wanted a Mini jack for a while. Maybe someday.

On the treats, I have had ove 20 miniature horses and Neve give them treats to eat. The treat I give my horses are hugs, head, neck and back rubs. when I lead them up and down my drive in my wheelchair telling them to walk, trot, stop, gee, haw and back all with praise and more hugs and rubs seems all the treats they need. I have had visitors try to give them an apple and they don't take it.
Hi Dickel! You have had your hands full! Thank you for sharing your reward system. You have certainly accomplished much with your horses without edible treats.

A great reminder that being positive and loving are the best treats...animal and human! Since Maddie isn’t interested in treats at all, will work with her love of a good neck scratching!

Thank you minihorse! ☺

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