Why Every Horse Farm Needs a Donkey… or Eight

Let’s be honest, horse owners are, what’s an acceptable way to phrase this, eccentric. The creatures are costly, they deliver a fair amount of bruises, and many have attitudes that can rival a three year old being denied candy at a carnival. Not only that, but the owners are willing to live in barns in 100 degree weather, and they consider it fun.

Don’t fret, there is no judgement here. Takes one to know one, and all that. Personal experience is the best way to understand the true depths of insanity that horses bring their owners. Especially that of a competition rider. The intense stress that pulses from within, beginning with bathing the night before until winning names are announced, would have the average person clutching a brown paper bag. Or, since its 2021, listening to recorded meditations in their safe space.

Ah, digression, another fickle beast. Save the pain of cuddling a hay bale and buy a donkey. (Unless, of course, sharing a stall with horses brings joy. Then, by all means, continue in this way.) While donkeys and horses have quite different personalities, they make amazing companion animals. Many high strung horses have been known to form faithful bonds with miniature donkeys. They eat the same foods, don’t take up much space, and for the most part have exceptionally sweet and affectionate personalities.

 

Even if a companion isn’t needed on the farm, add a bit of extra sass to the daily routine with a few of these delightful animals. Watch as pairs groom each other, simultaneously scratching and nibbling their partner’s neck, and chase each other back and forth across the fields. As legend has it, Chrysippus, a Greek philosopher, found his donkey so amusing he died of laughter while watching it drink wine and eat figs. Who wouldn’t want such an enchanting critter to be scattered around their pastures.

However, a warning here is necessary. While most miniature donkeys are sociable and cuddly, there are exceptions. Velvet for example, a beautiful gray, is quite a bully. She is rude to all those around her, and often throws temper tantrums with vicious little nips. Also, she will sit on people when they least expect it. Yes, sit on them. A large ass (pun intended) cutting off the circulation of limbs that get crushed beneath a surprising amount of weight.

Though Velvet is a delightfully feisty miniature donkey, quite literally fighting others to be the center of attention, her small size does not allow her to be an ideal candidate for protection. Cute and loveable are a miniature’s forte, but the guardian role is best left to either a standard or mammoth. These larger sizes, combined with their natural dislike for canines, make excellent candidates for keeping smaller animals safe.

Whether it be for companionship, herd protection, or for pleasure, a donkey should be on every farm. The Sassy Ass came about through a Christmas gift, and a few surprise pregnancies. What was meant to be a maximum of three donkeys morphed into eight. Hopefully it ends here, and doesn’t become a nineteen and counting type of situation. Hard to tell though, absolute adoration for these little creatures settles in startlingly swift. Preventative measures must be taken.

 


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