We have a riding donkey. His name is Andy and he will be three this summer. He is currently 55 inches. He isn't broke yet, as he should be 4 before he's actually ridden, but I can tell you what I've found so far....
1. Donkeys are sooooo much calmer than horses.
2. Anything I ask Andy to do, he does. May have to think about it a minute, but he will do it.
3. You don't have to worry about spooking or rearing. Andy does buck when playing, but I don't think he will when being ridden.
I've gotten on Andy quite a few times bareback and just sat on him for a few steps. He doesn't care. My husband is more agile than me and can jump on like an indian does and that doesn't bother him either.
The worse part is finding a saddle that fits for under $1000. Still working on that. They are very narrow and need to have a breast collar and breaching or a crupper.
We had that problem with a Caspian mare - finally used one of the little synthetic saddles that have no real tree in them, and it fitted like a glove. This after paying to have a show saddle made for her that sort of fitted!!!!
You could also try the synthetic saddle with the adjustable tree, you just sort of screw it in and out till it fits, but only at the front. I rode my Donks in pad saddles that I made myself out of sheepkins. Soooo comfy!!(and fitted!!)
Yes, we have several riding donkeys, both standard and mammoth sized. I really enjoy riding them. They have some wonderful qualities, however, one needs to be patient while training them. I enjoy riding my horses too, but the older I get, the more I prefer my donkeys. I would say that if you are into speed, a donkey may not be very satisfying..... donkeys are more into strolling and smelling the flowers than in fast and furious rides.
Oh Hugadonk...I love it and so very true "donkeys are more into strolling and smelling the flowers then a fast and furious ride"! But I do have to say they keep up with the horses on the trails and nope, not one bit spooky.
Do you all know why Donkey's and Mules are called "sure footed"..There is a real reason why they are so sure footed, unlike horses~! I always wanted to take a burro ride into the Grand Canyon~! But there is over a year's wait to get on the ride to the bottom of the Canyon~!
<< But I do have to say they keep up with the horses on the trails and nope, not one bit spooky.
I agree..... they certainly can keep up well..... especially when they "want" to! Ha!
One thing I have especially been pleased with is that they are not as herd bound and panicky when being left behind like a horse does. In fact, most of mine couldn't care less. Overall, even though I still love my horses, I do prefer to ride my donkeys more and more. They are really good for camping out with.
By the way, donkeys are also excellent driving animals. Most are much less inclined to get in a bind than their shorteared relatives.
I think one of the reasons they are so sure-footed is because of their tendency to be very cautious by nature. They always seem to know where all their feet are. They also have smaller feet than horses.
Sorry to say, I don't believe they are using donkeys in the Grand Canyon rides anymore. They have gone to mules since most people are larger than the donkeys could handle well. But when they began that ride, they did use donkeys.
this is true about mules ries into the Canyon.. Ok here is the reason Donkey's and mule's eyes are set a litle further to the sides of there heads and they can see where there feet are...Horses can't see there feet but donkeys can so they can see where they are walking..
We never shoe our donkeys either. However on occasion if we are riding really rocky, mountainous areas we may put Easy Boots on them.
I've talked to a few packers who say they may shoe their donkeys if they are being worked long-term in very rocky country. Others have said that they don't bother shoeing as their donkeys have really good, hard feet.