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January 24, 2005

Training Your Donkey for Hoof Care - Part 4

In part 3 of this series on Training Your Donkey for Hoof Care, you will remember we talked about getting your donkey used to letting you lift his back feet with a thick cotton rope.

Still using the rope, ask your donkey to let you lift his back foot off the ground and then set it back down again. Repeat this several times while lengthening the time you ask him to let you hold his foot up. Some donkeys will get impatient or nervous if you hold their foot up for more than a few seconds at first, but with practice and patience they will soon learn to wait for you to set it down again.

Once the donkey is completely comfortable with that, and no longer hesitating or fighting it, but just peacefully standing there while I lift and hold his foot with the rope, then I will move to lifting his foot with my hand.


First I run my hand down the outside of his back leg from his hip down to just below his hock. Then I gently lift up with my hand cupped around his leg as show in these pictures. With my hand in this position, I can pretty well keep my body out of kicking danger while still lifting his back foot with my hand.


I lift his leg then set it down, repeating the process until he is completely comfortable with it.


Once he's happy with that then I'll start handling farther down his leg, holding his back foot down near the hoof, and eventually rocking and tapping his hoof in preparation for actual hoof care. Take things slow and easy so that you can build your confidence as well as your donkey's confidence along the way. If you are relaxed and your donkey is at ease with what you are doing, it will be a much more pleasurable experience for both of you.

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at January 24, 2005 10:27 PM


I just stumbled upon this article. Is it possible to still access Parts I, II & III?

Posted by: Lisa at January 25, 2005 11:01 AM

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for your great question. Yes, it is possible to view any of the past articles we have posted on this website. I just posted a new article with instructions on how to find past articles in the archives - http://longearsmall.com/mt/articles/mall/archives/2005/01/how_do_i_view_p.html

If you need any additional help figuring out how to find the article(s) you are interested in, please let me know, and I will be happy to help you.

Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the hoof training articles can be found through the instructions I mentioned above, or you can access them directly at:
1) http://longearsmall.com/mt/articles/mall/archives/2005/01/training_your_d.html
2) http://longearsmall.com/mt/articles/mall/archives/2005/01/training_your_d_1.html
3) http://longearsmall.com/mt/articles/mall/archives/2005/01/training_your_d_3.html

Kristie Jorgensen

Posted by: Kristie Jorgensen at January 26, 2005 12:24 AM