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Thinking About a Horse. . .at least Someday ;)

Zebra, Horse, Onager , Donkey, Kiang, Quagga Anything in this family

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FoxyLoxy
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Postby FoxyLoxy » Sat Jul 25, 2009 3:26 am

Lasergrl wrote:yeah, my donkey is broke to ride and drive and she HATES doing anything other then eating or being pet. :lol: I might have been a donkey in a past life.


Haha!
How much does it take to feed a donkey? Mine (if I can GET one) won't be working or getting ridden every day (or if he/she is, it will be pretty relaxed) but still multiple times a week. I'm probably going to live in either the American Northwest or else further east in a state like Kentucky or Kansas. . .I think. . .So no super-cold or super-hot climates.

Would a donkey need a stable buddy? Would he/she be happier? Does the size of the stable buddy matter? It's weird, I love Mammoth and Miniature donkeys the most :D !

How much time everyday would be best to devote to giving attention to my donkey(s)? I know that certain breeds of dog should be cuddled less frequently than others (a Golden Retriever loves pets all day, but a German Shepherd might not enjoy the attention the same way).

Do you need donkey-specific saddles and gear due to different spines?

How do you go about training a donkey? Do you reward them with praise? Treats? Neither? Both?
Foxes love gingerbread men, cheese, and Tom Thumbs, if fairy tales can be believed.
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veralidaine
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Postby veralidaine » Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:39 pm

You see, from what I know of donkeys, I wouldn't think of them as affectionate. They seem generally aggressive and more prone to biting or kicking than horses.
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zillahkatz
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Postby zillahkatz » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:01 am

WHOA! My suggestion is to back up! Have you ever ridden or taken lessons? That is the first step. Horse are a huge commitment - both in time and money. They can also kill you. I'm serious. They are not good as "pasture ornaments" and need a lot of guidance and training. I would not trade owning my horse for anything but also grew up riding and have many mentors.

You cannot trim your own horse (unless you apprentice/ go to school for it). It is a science and an art. It would be like giving yourself minor surgery. Most horses in this area (you're in Idaho Falls, right?) absolutely need shoes. It is a far too hard area for horses to be barefoot. AND several prominent farriers are known to say "show me a horse that doesn't need shoes and that's the horse that was born with a saddle on his back".

There are some GREAT books out there on natural horsemanship. My favorites are True Unity by Tom Dorrance, Think Harmony With Horses by Ray Hunt (that's Jarod's grandpa) and True Horsemanship Through Feel by Tom Dorrance.

As far as breeds go, it depends on what you want to do! Quarter Horses are great all around horses and abundant everywhere. I have a Paso Fino cross that I wouldn't trade for anything. My friend, Natalie, has several warm bloods and likes different traits in all of them.

My suggestion is too take some lessons, go riding a lot and see if it's really the committment you want to make. (I spend at least $1,000 in feed a year but can keep my horse for free at my place and have a boyfriend who's a farrier - otherwise it would be much more. This doesn't include owning a trailer or tailer maintenance, owning a goat as a companion animal - horses don't live alone well - and the multitude of fence repairs.)
All said - GO RIDING! Where there'a a will there's a way... :D
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Lasergrl
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Postby Lasergrl » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:17 am

Donkeys are very very affectionate. They can be aggressive, but mainly to stray dogs and sometimes new animals in their pasture. They are territoral. This doesnt usually mean they are aggressive to humans. My donkey grooms me back.


Donkeys almost never need shoes. They have a completely different type of hoof then a horse. They have very hard feet. They dont wear down easiliy so hoof trims cannot be neglected or they grow long fast.
They do need special tack due to the spine. Aussie saddles are frequently used.

My donkeys gets attention every 3 days or so. She is fine with that. She has cows and goats in the field with her thought too. She loves hugs, scratches ect. HATES being clipped and fly spray. She can be a snot when its time to do stuff to her she doesnt like!

Lessons are a must of course. I never took that many. I just ride for fun once in a while, and most often bareback. Never did care how my technique looked to toher, just catch a ride to the back of the property. Donkeys are very forgiving.

There is no problem with etreme hot or cold regarding donkeys. theya re a desert animal so the heat is no bother. The winter is also no big deal, they just get shaggy. I have a run in shed and its more then enough. Equines do not need to be spoiled. Well, some breeds are not very hardy and do need some pampering but those breeds will never live here :lol:

I spend approx $300 on hay a year due to her eating pasture all seasons but winter. Hay here is inepensive but that changes with location. Hay here is $2.50-$3.50 a bale. Donkeys need the lower quality hay like first cutting. Horses generally need the epensive hay as the metabolism isnt as good.
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BB
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Postby BB » Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:17 pm

I agree with both Zillahkatz and Lasergrl.
Bottom line is Horses and Donkeys need some sort of interaction. With horses, if you neglect them, especially not ride them they can become a real pain in the bum.
With Donkeys (even if I see them as workers) Lasergrl pointed out that they are quite happy being in the paddock and aren't as high maintenance as a horse.
I sometimes wish I had a horse again, but then I have a REALLY good look at the cost AND time involved and I decide against it.
Riding lessons or trail-rides are a great start, some horse owners haven't got time to look after their horse so you might find someone in your area and get the experience up first caring for their horse, then you always can decide if it's what you want.

(A car drove past me yesterday with the sticker " Horses are for poor men, I'm poor - and he's got all the bucks") :)
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FoxyLoxy
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Postby FoxyLoxy » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:12 pm

Thanks for responding to my posts, all! It's really helpful to hear from people who know what they're talking about.

I'm thinking that if I ever end up owning an equine, it will be a Donkey or a mule, and NOT a horse. I'll see if I can get into any riding classes again (I've taken a few, but that was a few years ago) and read up on information.
Foxes love gingerbread men, cheese, and Tom Thumbs, if fairy tales can be believed.
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zillahkatz
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Postby zillahkatz » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:54 pm

Mules are WAAAAAAYYYY harder than donkeys or horses!!!! They are not for the inexperienced or even most experienced!!! They can have ornery/ stubborn/ intense personalities. Mules need a lot of attention and very stout fences.

Donkeys are fine if you want a pasture pet but are not useful if you really want to ride. In Jackson we only get one cutting of hay - in the Idaho Falls area people often get 2 cuttings. You have to feed a lot more here because of the long winters. For a horse, you should have 3 tons of hay for winter - at least. This year that means $300, two years ago it was $600. You need another ton for the shoulder seasons. If you keep a horse/ donkey in an area where they eat up the grass quickly in summer, more hay. You get the picture...

I believe if there's a will there's a way. Just do your research. The most fun thing about owning a horse is riding it.
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bajacalal
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Postby bajacalal » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:38 am

$2.50 a bale!

Here, top grade alfalfa is $9.50 right now in my town. Last winter, it was $15. You can get it a little cheaper if you are willing to travel farther, buy in bulk and haul it yourself.

I know someone that has a "pet" horse like you seem to want. He doesn't let you ride him. He could be bred but is not. He doesn't seem to get along with other animals or horses, any gender. All he does is stand under a tree all day. He has things in his pasture to keep him entertained but doesn't seem interested. He will let you pet his nose occasionally. That's about it. I personally couldn't justify the cost but he's makes the owner happy, just to have him around (to talk to when nobody else will listen) that's what counts. It doesn't seem to me like a good companion at all but I'm not that interested in riding or horses. I do understand why some people love it... At least the horse will be happy living the remainder of his life. A lot of people put down horses when they aren't useful. I wouldn't recommend doing this to a horse that it used to riding, I think it would be cruel for it to be bored. This horse doesn't seem to care.
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zillahkatz
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Postby zillahkatz » Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:59 am

The vast majority of horses do not get fed alfalfa hay. In fact, if you fed most horses just alfalfa hay it could make them founder, have kidney problems or worse. The majority of horses eat grass hay. Some people will supplement with alfalfa but that is ONLY for performance horses that are working hard. A Even a horse that takes two riding lessons a week is considered an "idle" horse.
In cold weather, grass hay keeps a horse warmer as it has more carbs than protein. I live where it gets to 30 below. Everyone will tell you that grass hay is best in winter and usually year round. Horses (donkeys, mules) do need a 12 way mineral block. In various areas, certain nutrients are lacking in the natural grasses. Here we need to make up for a lack of calcium and phosphorus in the natice grasses. ALSO - don't confuse a salt block - which are sometimes labled "mineral" blocks (and are often brown) with true 12 way mineral blocks.
Horses are best when used and are not very good pasture ornaments. Llamas are GREAT as larger pets you don't need to ride. So are alpacas.
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suki'smom
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Postby suki'smom » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:47 am

If you are looking into getting a mule or donkey I would look into getting the books and dvds by Meridith(sp?) Hodges. She specializes in the training of these types of equine.
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FoxyLoxy
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Postby FoxyLoxy » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:48 pm

Thanks, Mariah! I'll have to check into that.

Thanks for all the advice from all of you!
Foxes love gingerbread men, cheese, and Tom Thumbs, if fairy tales can be believed.

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