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Miniature horses vs. miniature donkeys

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  • Miniature horses vs. miniature donkeys

    I just love mini horses and donkeys and always am tempted to get one! For those of you that have these breeds, what are the pros and cons? Which are preferred?

  • #2
    My pasture is basically my yard, my equines have access to walk right up to my back door if they want to. With that being said, I had a bottom of the pecking order, full sized gelding pastured with a full sized donkey Jenny, and a miniature donkey Jenny.. The miniature Jenny has had a lot of hands on activities all throughout her life (She was 7) but let me tell you, she was a royal pain in the butt.. lol ... She would beat up the other Jenny and my poor gelding, and was very insubordinate anytime I tried doing anything with her as well. I ended up rehoming her due to how mean she was to my horse and other Jenny. Now on the other hand, the full sized Jenny has had next to nothing done with her, she was just used as a protection donkey, and she's the sweetest girl ever. We did have to get some training done so she will pick up her feet and I am still nervous going into the stall with her but overall she is a very well behaved girl.

    Last year I had to put my full sized gelding down and my full sized Jenny was literally trying to dig my horse up. She had totally stopped eating, was very depressed and wouldn't stop trying to dig. So I had to do something and quick. I had seen a miniature horse gelding advertised by the Arcadia Auction people so I decided that was the solution and thought he would be a perfect companion for her... Well I couldn't have been more wrong. This mini horse is a royal pain and is extremely mean to my Jenny, He's very food aggressive and defiant. When I feed them their hay, I divide it into 5 or 6 piles so that she has a chance to get some. Well that doesnt help, he chases her from pile to pile, kicks her, bites her, etc.. A few nights ago, a friend of mine brought their very large horse over and he's in the back part of our pasture, separate from my 2. The mini literally tries climbing the fence to get to the big horse. He runs him off from his food, forcing me to have to feed him way away from the gate so the mini cant run him off.. Yesterday, my husband had lost a piece to his flash light right out the back door so we had flashlights searching for it. My Jenny had walked up to us and was simply standing there watching us quietly. The mini horse, for no apparent reason, walks up and head butted her, then turned and kicked her and bit her twice on her side, ran her off from watching us, then walked away himself. I can't stand him.

    Im sure that there are nice mini's, whether it be horses or donkeys. Different animals have different personalities, the whole nine yards, we know that. But from what I have read and been told, most mini's, horses and donkeys, are defiant little creatures that are usually very mean.. My standard donkey Jenny really isnt that much bigger than the mini horse, not as big as you may think, so in my opinion, you should consider maybe rescuing 2 standard Jennys. The relationship with them is like no other, they are the sweetest ever. When I arrive home at any time, no matter where my Jenny is on my 5 acres, by the time I turn off my truck, take off my seat belt, and get out of the truck, she is already right there waiting for me to get out of the truck. But when we had the mini, she was total opposite (the mini).

    I could go on all day long about the why's or hows of my opinion, but I guess what it boils down to is what you want. I hope this helps! Feel free to ask any questions, I dont know if I can answer them or not but i can try!


    • #3
      Thank you so much for your detailed history with both. I definitely don't want to experience what you've been through. And yes, I've heard minis can be rotten. But your photos are beautiful! I'm still "on the fence" about this subject, but appreciate the input.


      • #4
        I would go for a standard donkey, but get them young. Most are about 9-11 hands, so they are small. You can purchase one locally or adopt a wild burro. The wild ones mostly run small, but I've seen large standards, too. Paying more for a mini is pointless, IMHO. Even a small standard donkey can do a little work, such as pulling a cart or carrying a small pack. Minis have more health issues and cannot do as much. You could even adopt a donkey from the BLM. The basic price is $125. Some on the internet auctions are halter trained in prison programs prior to auction. They had several available right before Christmas that were pack saddle trained. They all looked like very nice animals and the prices were somewhat high for a burro, but low compared to what you would pay locally. Local donkeys are typically unhandled, unvaccinated, ungelded, and untouched. BLM burros are fully vaccinated, gelded, and many are halter-broke (it will say). Keep checking back on this website for the next auction. At the bottom, it will say when they will bring the animals out here for delivery. You don't have to pick them up from Arizona, lol!

        A donkey is a great addition to any farm because of their great personalities. They require a different kind of training, but once they get something, they are awesome. They act more like dogs than horses. They can be very loyal and attached to you.

        If you buy one locally, be wary of ungelded jacks. Also, avoid a certain horsetrader in Citra because his animals have lice. If you want a jack, get a weanling and geld him at 6 months, before behaviors begin. You really take your chances buying locally, unless you get someone who has to part with a beloved pet donkey.

        Jacks have huge personalities. Jennies are more reserved and shy by nature, but are also characters. Our jenny is best friends with our (dehorned) female goat. They are the clowns of the farm. She's our third donkey (the first two were jacks). Our jenny is 18 months old and will probably top out at about 11 hands. We will teach her to carry a pack when she is about three, but not load it with any real weight until she is four. Donkeys have a long lifespan and are slow growing, so no weight bearing until they mature.
        Last edited by Little Cow; 02-08-2018, 03:15 PM.
        Does working cattle count as playing with your food?


        • #5
          Thank you so much for being so informative, i do appreciate it. I will update as to my decision.


          • #6
            Oh wow. The next internet adoption starts on Tuesday. Delivery is to Gainesville, GA in April. You have to download and fill out an adoption application, but it doesn't take long. The only donkey, so far, is 13 year old jenny (she is probably pregnant). She would be a handful. The Arizona ones aren't up, yet, so they might still have some donkeys. Check back on Monday, if you are interested. The Mantle Ranch BLM Mustangs have great descriptions. Looks like they are halter broke. The older Mustangs might be on their last auction, They get three tries before they can be sold off through a dealer very cheap.
            Last edited by Little Cow; 02-09-2018, 10:23 AM.
            Does working cattle count as playing with your food?


            • #7
              I have 2 minis and have had other minis in the past. I LOVE minis. They are all characters. I have not found them to be nasty at all, unless they have not been trained or worked with at all. Minis are little horses and must be treated and trained just the same way. I'm sure donkeys are the same. I find minis are sensitive and curious and smart and VERY easy to train. Donkeys are harder to train because they have to have everything explained to them in a way that makes them want to do it. It has to be their idea to work. I love to drive my minis. My minis have never been defiant, or obnoxious, even when babies because I worked with them to teach them not to be, just as we work with young horses. Sure they can be feisty when young and untrained, just like any other critter, but it's not really their nature. I think minis are fun, fun, fun, but I have worked with a few donkeys for driving training purposes and I don't find them as much fun. Perhaps that's because I like a little perk in the step and most donkeys (unless foals) don't really present that. That's just my experience.


              • #8
                There are more donkeys on the auction site. One is six months old, but taller than you are probably looking for.
                Does working cattle count as playing with your food?