Sunday, October 16, 2011

Never Too Old To Learn New Things

As a lifelong horse owner, I never paid much attention to donkeys.  I guess I just assumed they were just like horses only too small to ride and with those funny, long ears.  Cute, but what would I do with one?  This summer though, my wonderful, new, young horse (Tessa) was badly injured by another horse (Sprinkle).  Sprinkle was having problems with her endocrine system.  This wreaked havoc with her hormones, causing extreme aggression towards other mares.  These two horses had lived together peacefully for over a year so Tessa and I were both caught completely by surprise.  The end result was that poor Tessa wound up with 3 fractured vertebrae.

My vet and I tried everything we could think of to get Sprinkle's hormone problems straightened out and I think we helped but I never was able to put these two horses back together.  Sprinkle belongs to a friend of mine and I finally decided that she just couldn't live here anymore (a whole separate story).  She has gone to a new home with an older mare (my old retired mare Suki) who is so dominant that Sprinkle doesn't dare attack her.  However, this left Tessa all alone.

Enter the donkey, Emma!

It is still uncertain if Tessa will ever be rideable again but I wanted to give her the best chance at healing and I just wasn't ready to find another horse.  I decided that I would find a cheap, harmless companion for her till spring when I would reassess everything and make a new plan.  I figured that I could find a good home for the donkey if I didn't need her anymore and in the meantime Tessa would be happy and safe.  Well, the happy and safe part worked out just fine but no way is Emma ever leaving here! 

I have learned in the last weeks that donkeys are very definitely not just like horses.  They could actually be even better.  Who knew?!


  1. ", harmless companion..." and then along came Ramsay! Oh dear! But what an experience you've had with your little herd!