During the last few years
the New Zealand donkey population has increased
tremendously. Unfortunately most of these donkeys
are just pets and are not given any training.
There are however, a few dedicated people in New
Zealand Donkey Society who wish to use their donkeys
and have found that their donkeys can do almost
everything a horse can do.
The New Zealand donkeys are quite small, the largest
only reaching just over 12 hands, unlike America,
where the size of the donkey ranges from as low
as 26" for miniature to 16 hands for Mammoths.
Having such a range of donkeys the Americans can
do so much more with them. They can carry adults,
they drive them, indulge in packing and western
riding and they can also jump. They are also used
to breed high quality mules. Both riding and draught
animals, these mules are used in dressage, jumping
Both donkeys and mules need a different approach
to training from that of a horse. They need lots
of short sessions with lots of reward. Many people
think that donkeys are stubborn, but in fact, most
of the time they are displaying an abundance of
commonsense and a strong desire for self preservation
that is often misinterpreted. They have a natural
attraction to humans, and when treated with kindness
and patience become great companions. Donkey classes
will be held at the HORSE OF THE YEAR on Sunday.