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MeadowRidge Farm

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I mentioned in a post about starting a topic on training and tips with donkeys. So, lets hear what works and dont work for you.

Training Tip #1~ TRUST, oh yeah...we have to start out with the basic.
All donkeys need to earn your trust. Once they have your complete trust you will find out that training will go so much smoother and faster. Always keep your hands low when you are working with donkeys, if you raise your hands above there wither area..you will be coming across as aggressive to them. They will fight you so much more in the training. You will have to prove to your donkey you have all the time in the world..you will never LOSE YOUR TEMPER, OR GIVE UP. (wow~ that was so easy to type those words, but actually dong it will be a good test of your patience
and there will be days you want to scream! ) Donkeys will test you every step of the way to see if you really are in control of yourself when you first start, and how and what you will do, that is why it is so important to never lose your temper or give up. If you do it will make the training process of a donkey be that much harder. If there are really getting to you...just go and tie them up for littlebit and relax, rethink what your doing and go back. Donkeys will know when they have you upset, and then they will test you that much more. Donkeys do not have the same responses as a horse does. They need to know what your asking them to do will NEVER EVER hurt them. Once they learn it they have it downpat..they also dont have the flight response as a horse does. Start out with short lessons and make them fun, always end on a positive note. I dont give treats while I am working with them. (not until I am done with there lesson and they are back in the dry lot)I am sure you all know :DOH!
that you only have a 3 second response to react to your donkey if he has done a NO NO. (kick, bite or run you down
) A good stern voice ...really meaning it ~~is usually enough. I also dont use a nylon web halter, (the flat web kind) for some reason it must be too easy on donkeys mine dont respond good with them. I use a rope halter with knots on it, (Only for training otherwise mine dont wear a halter) That has made alot of differance with some of my harder to work with donks. Just take everything in tiny baby steps and you will have a well trained donkey. DONT use a poll rope if you have no experience with one..they can kill a donkey. All you seasoned donkey/mule/hinny owners lets keep adding our training tips to this to help out the new ones on here who are having problems.

Corinne
 
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Emily's mom

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I'm ashamed to say that my donks are not lead line experts....we are slowly working with the leading.

This is my project...my 15 year old " horse expert" thinks I should be tapping harder with my whip to get them to move...but I prefer to just tap. And last night when Hubby and I were doing our lesson, we each take a donkey, we hardly had to tap them I was so excited that they just followed along. We keep our lesson to about 15 minutes, and lots of shoulder scratches and good boy/ girl, no treats
.

Does this sound like we are on the right track?

I guess there is no new tip in here just my input
 

MeadowRidge Farm

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Sounds like your on the right track. I dont use whips with any of my donkeys or horses. Even baby steps can be a training work in progress... I use alot of good girls (boys) and scratches also, but in the end..make sure its always on a positive note, I do give them animal crackers or a treat. Isnt it a good feeling when your donkeys are learning..and your training them all by yourself. Corinne
 

ponyarab

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I am working with my little jack on trotting beside me as I am going to show him and I am using clicker training with him so he does get treats and this is working well. You can also go to Meredith Hodges web site and read her articles on training mules and donkeys as she has over 30 years of training them. Her web site is http://www.luckythreeranch.com/ and I know that she gives treats.
 
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krissy3

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When I moved to Switzerland last year a 30 year old Donkey was handed to me. He was living with a farmer and spent a lot of years living with cows , pigs , sheep etc. He was very sad , and angry when he came to our pasture with the 2 mini shetland ponys. We had a difficult time understanding eachothers needs, and building trust. (he use to chase me and knock me down with his big head) I have now earned his trust, and he is like an old boyfriend. I dont ask much of him , and he just follows me around and listends to what i have to say, he is an excellent listener. He is very jealous and doesnt like it when I brush the others, he breys when he hears my footsteps, and you cant hide anything from him, especially a wormer. Willy can unlock stall and barn doors with the key, and likes to have his face rubbed. Is this sounding familiar? the otherday I found an old harness bridal and bit , he ran to me from the pasture and wanted to try everything on...I couldnt get that bridal over his big ears, do they come without the brow band? Well I believe he pulled a sled at one time , I bought him a shiney new bit , and we will see how he ground drives....Willy is a huge pain in the neck...but I love him like he is my child.
 

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