Dog Forum banner

I'm Training a Formally Abused Sicilian Donkey

5458 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  cos
I've been called upon my expertise to train a formerly abused, neglected and semi feral Sicilian Donkey.

I have been training competitive horses and riders for 4 years, competing competitively for 11, and riding for 16. I have two of my own Sicilians, and a good friend of mine was at her wits end. She's been trying to halter train her donkey for 1.5 years with no luck, can't get near her. This donkey was previously abused, and when she got her, had been wearing the same halter for five years which had grown deep into her coat. They had to wrangle her to get it off.

She made a post on Facebook about re homing her, so I offered to do some training for her so she could keep her beloved furry friend. She adores this donkey, and has literally tried everything to no avail.

So today I went out to see what I could do.

At first, the donkey was running, kicking, turning her hindquarters around at me. But it didn't put me off. I have "one of those" donkeys too :p

I slowly began to build her trust. And this is what came out of it.

My friend hasn't been able to get a rope near her since she brought her home, and by the end of our session, I had even rubbed it on her back :D

Donkey's training will continue with me weekly, and owner has homework from me daily!
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 5
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Absolutely love the photos.

Even though I don't know a lot about horses in particular, I do think that with all animals that have fear issues that came from abuse, is it just takes quiet patience - one can't get into a rush to achieve a goal...such as getting a halter on a horse, or getting a fearful dog to eat from your hand.

Also, I noticed you kneeling. I think that's a great tool in working with fearful animals. In kneeling you are making yourself 'smaller' and thus less threatening.

I don't know if your friend tried that, or caught on to those things on her own, or if you had to explain them, but I hope she will make more progress in the coming year than she has had in the past year and a half. It's great too, that rather than just give up, she reached out for help, and might be seeing some new approaches towards working with fearful equines.

And last but not least.... That donkey is Sooo Cute!

I love that the horse in the background stuck around for almost the entire thing. Nosey bugger!
  • Like
Reactions: 3
Just PLEASE be careful around the donkey, they have lonnnnngggg memories, don't turn your back too soon. I think it's outstanding you progressed as far as you did, amazing...but please be careful....things happen quickly...
Thanks guys!

Yes, I'm quite aware of donkey memories :p

The hw I gave the owner is going well apparently. I'm going out on Saturday again. See how she did over the week!
  • Like
Reactions: 2
I love that the horse in the background stuck around for almost the entire thing. Nosey bugger!
HAY! Hey, I can do that! I can have treats now?! :D
  • Like
Reactions: 3
You blummin superstar you !!! i adore donkeys, keep up the great work x
I didn't know donkeys are so small. She's cute :)

I hope you and your friend succeed in her training and care!
Its great you are training her, hope she is doing well.
Oh my god, that is the most adorable donkey I've ever seen aaa

I bought a skinny little pony at the start of this year, starved and terrified of people.
He wanted nothing to do with me at first, but I brought out a chair with his food every day and sat just watching him while he ate until he got used to my company. Now he comes up for cuddles and scratches all the time and lets me halter him with no problem.
Rescues are certainly worth it, good luck with your cutie.
From the first picture to the last, you can see the amazing improvement. I'm proud. Keep us updated.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Seeing this kind of things makes me want to be an animal behaviorist! Cutest donkey ever and you're wonderful for helping her :)
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.