Friday, April 8, 2016

Donkey Days 2016

Last weekend was an exciting weekend filled with donkey riding in the annual Donkey Days clinic taught by JoDe Colllins.  I rode a green jenny named Flo, who was a sensitive and willing.  She willingly tried many of the obstacles, even though some were new to her.  As I rode, I noticed that I was better at guiding Flo through the obstacles and asking her to do what I wanted than I had been the last time I had ridden a donkey, which was a year ago.  It goes to show that I have learned a lot in the past year, and that I have really fine-tuned my riding skills.  I was able to keep my hands in front of me, rather pulling them out to the side to turn. This kept my aids more effective.  I also tried to use my leg to ask Flo to do certain things.  Over the weekend,  the other clients and I worked on several obstacles courses.  Since I had practiced some of these obstacles last year, I was prepared to take them on.

Pool noodles
I first rode through some pool noodles.  Flo was hesitant to try at first, but I was instructed to  ask her closer one step at a time.  With donkeys, patience is required.  You cannot force them through something if they decide they do not want to do something, because once they decide to tune everything out, they are impervious to everything.  Flo did not get to this point.  I asked her closer to the noodles one step at a time, until she leapt through.

I next went over a tarp with the same process, and then the cavaletti and a small wooden box,  and finally a ramp. Everyone tried more obstacles on their before we went on a trail ride down a dirt road. On the trail ride, Flo really started walking out, taking huge walk strides and staying near the front of the group. I didn't need to apply leg or really use many aids at all.

Tarp obstacle

Pole bending

 The next day also included a variety of obstacles and ended with a trail down a different road.  It was fun to ride a donkey; they are so very different than horses.  If you would like to learn more about them, look at the AMA website, or you can ask me and I can try to find out the answer.


  1. OMG. That donkey is adorable! It's so cute and fluffy. I'd like to get a mini donkey one day.

    1. I thought she was cute as well! She had fluffy hair in her forehead too, like an alpaca or llama.

  2. Aw Flo is adorable! Sounds like so much fun too!


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