Driving Mister Donkey(s) - tips for driving my miniature donkeys?
This spring/summer my new project is going to be getting Chuck and Larry started as driving donkeys. Advice - of all sorts - needed! I do know how to ground drive/long line, but I've never broken a horse (or miniature donkey) to a cart before. I also would love some tips on where I could start looking for used miniature donkey tack. They will need the whole shebang - bridles and bits, harnesses, lines and surcingles - and I still need a cart. Any good resources out there for used mini donkey sized driving equipment?
We use our regular mini horse harnesses for our wonderful heehaw, Prince Harry, who is learning to drive. We did order a bridle made especially for donkeys since the head shape is so different. Harry is calm about being introduced to everything and has been hooked about a dozen times now...he still needs help with consistently going forward. He has only been driven in the indoor...hopefully now that spring has sprung we can get him outside and he will be more forward motivated. Going in circles in the indoor makes little sense to him. If you are interested, I can give you the name and phone # of the gal who made our bridle...she is in Lancaster County, PA, and will ship anywhere.
Both are very cute. My Buster drives. I trained him with help from Barbie Black and he is actually the reason I drive now.
Training donkeys is very different than training horses. They are very smart and I truely believe they are smarter than horses. However, that means they are opinionated. Going around in circles makes no sense to them. I ground drove Buster but never taught him to lunge or long line. I taught all the verbal commands by ground driving.
He also didn't see much sense in going around the ring. However, he loved going on trail drives and on the road. When he was fit from that, I could insist he work in the ring but he still didn't like it. When fit and going, he had 3 trot, backed and did water crossings. He was the Reserve Champion VSE at our Pleasure Driving Show one year when he was seriously in work. He also one the Carriage Dog Class with my fiest. There is a picture of him on the ADS website Carriage Dog show.
When I started driving a horse, driving Buster was slow and trying to do 2 was almost impossible. So now he is mainly a babysitter.
If you plan on driving the 2 as a pair, you want to think about a 4 wheel vehicle instead of a cart. Carts aren't really meant for pairs.
I use a Camptown harness, B size and had a larger bridle made. I used a frontier easy entry cart with him.
I can send you pictures but I don't know how to post them here. PM me and I can attach them to an email.