« January 2009 | Main | March 2009 »

February 26, 2009

Palio dei Micci

The Italian "Kentucky Derby" for donkeys?


The Palio dei Micci (donkey race) was first held in 1956, and has become one of the most important events in the province of Lucca, Italy. Eight districts participate in the festivities, which include many actors in splendid costumes and spectacular theatrical performances. The culmination of the Palio dei Micci is the donkey race, a very competitive and long anticipated event.

Read more about the Palio dei Micci at this link: http://www.vacanzeinversilia.com/eng/querceta.html

I don't particularly agree with some of their practices ... using "vitamins" to help their donkeys perform better, and such. But these donkeys look pretty happy, healthy, cooperative, and they can sure run!

Click here to see a video about Palio dei Micci

As described by the poster of this YouTube video:

"In the quiet Italian town of Querceta there's one sports event locals are really passionate about -- the annual donkey race. Rivalry is intense and passions run high. Eight teams compete for the donkey championships. There's no prize money and betting is banned. But locals take it all very seriously and even import donkeys from other regions. 'Donkeys are more intelligent than horses', states trainer Andrea Pollaci. 'With a horse, you can make it do whatever you want but not with donkeys.'"

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2009

Picky Eaters?

So has your donkey or mule decided that certain foods or treats are not edible anymore?

I recently got an email from someone who's young jennet had suddenly decided she didn't like grain anymore. She was eating her hay, carrots and apples just fine, but refusing any grain.


Here are a few of my experiences with picky eaters. If you have a picky eater too, some of these ideas might come in handy.

In the case of this young jennet, I'd probably start with having her teeth checked, especially since she was eating this grain fine for a couple months then decided not to like it anymore. Baby teeth have softer enamel, so can develop sharp edges faster than adult teeth. I had teeth floated on a 9 month old a couple years ago because her baby teeth had already gotten quite sharp along the edge.

There are donkeys out there who have picky tastes while others seem to eat just about anything. I haven't had any turn down plain oats yet, but I do have a jennet who will usually eat grain feed pellets when I offer them, but will sometimes nibble at them and then turn up her nose. I've had two other jennets who didn't like carrots (unless their herdmates were gobbling the carrots up and they thought they were missing out on something). The same two jennets loved grain and apples - just didn't like carrots. Go figure! When I've mixed soaked beet pulp into their diet, it has always taken them a few days to get used to the flavor of the beet pulp. Some donkeys adjust to it faster than others.

A few years ago I had a new jennet that finally seemed to be eating her beet pulp/oats/supplement mix ok. I'd put her in a separate pen and give her the bowl of feed. She'd take her time slowly eating it, but would finish it all ok. Then after a couple months she all the sudden decided she didn't want to eat beet pulp anymore, and she'd get really cranky and pouty if I offered the same mix to her that she had been getting daily for several weeks. If I left the beet pulp out of her mix, she was fine with the rest. I finally figured out that if I put one serving of the mix (with beet pulp) in a larger pan and put one of her herdmates in with her, she'd eat the mix fine because her buddy was eating out of the same bowl and I guess she thought it was ok to eat or that she'd miss out if she didn't go ahead and eat it. If I'd feed her separate from the buddy, she'd turn her nose up at the feed, but with the buddy she'd eat it fine. Once she was back eating it well that way, then I started tying her buddy on one side of the fence, and putting her feed bowl on her side right next to the fence. Then she'd eat it fine - I guess I tricked her into thinking the buddy would eat it too since the buddy was tied up close to it. After a few months of that routine, I was able to gradually wean her back to eating by herself, and then she was fine with it after that. What a process!

She was pregnant at the time, so I wanted to make sure she got all her vitamins and supplements. Maybe being pregnant affected her tastes too? I know she was also the most easily offended donkey I have ever had while she was pregnant. Any little thing I'd do that wasn't to her like (scold her, not present her feed just right, even softly reprimand her for doing something I didn't approve of), and she'd go stand off in the corner, refuse to talk to me, and pout! But once she had her baby, all that moodiness disappeared. Amazing what hormones will do to their attitude!

So I guess some donkeys can have very unique tastes when it comes to their food and treats, and sometimes they can just decide for no apparent reason that they don't like a particular food. But the first two things I'd look at are making sure the quality of the food is good (not moldy or spoiled) and that your donkey or mule doesn't have teeth problems going on.

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2009

Donkey Songs

I think it's time for a few more videos. Here are a few catchy donkey songs!

Irish Donkeys

Or click this link.

Italian Christmas Donkey

I got a good laugh out of a couple of the silly donkeys on this video - especially the donkey watching out of his stall and nodding right along with the music. Too cute!

Or click this link.

Do you have any more favorite songs about donkeys?

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2009

Mule Drawn Street Cars

While we often think of mules being an everyday part of farm and country life a century ago, they were just as much a part of city life back in that day.

Not only did mules pull the farm equipment used in planting, cultivating and harvesting farmland, and used to pull coaches and wagons across country. They were also the "engine" for many city streetcars.

I was reading the news, and ran across this article in the El Paso Times about mule drawn streetcars. Here is an excerpt from the article:

"By 1882, we also had our first mule-drawn streetcar system. Much of the heavy traffic filtered back and forth between El Paso and Juárez, the crossing point being a wooden bridge, built in 1887, at the foot of Stanton Street. Mule cars operated on light, standard-gauge tracks, the mule plodding along at a leisurely pace. And while the wooden cars had no springs, they had slat seats and oil lamps. In winter, wood-burning stoves added comfort."

"During the spring season, with its subsequent dust storms, passengers sometimes had to help push the car over difficult places. Yet, for 20 years, the streetcar system operated without an accident."

"Round trips usually took about half a day, the conductor acting as stable boy, car repairer, as well as father to numerous children whose mothers often parked them inside a streetcar, then picked them up a few hours later when the carriage passed that way again. And why did it take so long for a round trip? Well, the driver was repeatedly obligated to accommodate passengers who wanted to stop and buy a loaf of bread, a spool of thread, visit the butcher, or whatever."

Follow this link to read the rest of the article.

This article piqued my interest, so I started searching for more information and pictures of mule drawn streetcars. Here are some of the treasures I found.

Sulphur Rock Street Car

A mule-drawn street car in downtown Birmingham, AL in 1887.

Streetcar No. 69 being pulled by two mules on the Massachusetts & College Avenues line

Two mules pulling a streetcar that has signs reading "Woodruff Place" and "E. Washington & S. Meridian Sts."

Ontario, CA's Mule Car

Scroll Down to 3rd story titled "Technology leads to demise of Interurban Lines"

The Horse Car Home Page

Here is a fun excerpt from the last link above:

"From 1883 to 1910, an unusual horse car line ran in Englewood, south of Denver, Colorado. A horse pulled a car from Hampden and Broadway up a steep hill on Broadway to Quincy. At the top of the hill, the horse backed onto the rear platform, and the car proceeded down the hill by gravity. This line became a major tourist attraction and was a popular subject for postcards. I understand the car is still on display in the Englewood Civic Center. Similar lines ran in West Denver and Southern California. It is a popular story that when the horses used on these lines were sold to farmers, that they would pull plows uphill, but not down."

Mules, horses and donkeys were an essential part of life 100 years ago.

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2009

Bishop Mule Days Pen Reservations Due By March 1

Don't forget! If you want to reserve the pens you had at Bishop Mule Days last year, your reservations are due by the end of this week (March 1st).

You can find more information on the Bishop Mule Days website at http://www.muledays.org/

After March 1, the remaining unreserved pens will be made available to anyone else requesting pens.

Spring is on its way, and it won't be long until it's time for Mule Days. In the meantime, here are a few fun photos I have taken past years at Bishop Mule Days.




Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2009

Nepali Brick Kiln Donkeys

Animal Nepal has new programs underway to improve the working conditions and health care of the hard working brick kiln donkeys of Nepal. Learn more about them and how you can help!

Or click this link.

Quoting the description on YouTube that accompanies this video, "This video was inspired by the work of Lucia DeVries and others, who have started to organize health camps and other projects in order to help the Nepali Brick Kiln Donkey, as well as other workers in the pits - underage children. These folks are pioneering animal welfare where it dared not go before: into many of the over 500 brick kilns seen belching black smoke throughout the Kathmandu Nepal."

"In addition to these health camps, staffed 100% by volunteers from the community, several organizations are helping animalNEPAL establish a formal outreach program for these animals in need. This outreach program, once funded, will include a pharmacy that provides medicine to kiln owners at reduced cost, as well as a Donkey Refuge Center that will nurse discarded kiln donkeys back to health."

To find out more about Animal Nepal, the services they offer, and what you can do to help, visit their website at http://animalnepal.org/

Or find out more about their Adopt-A-Donkey program at http://animalnepal.org/adoptadonkey.html

Though they may not be commonplace in the developed parts of the world, donkeys are essential in the lives of many who live in third world countries. By providing access to proper medical care for the donkeys and educating their owners about proper care and treatment, you can help not only improve the lives of these donkeys, but also their owners and those who depend on them.

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2009

No Website Yet?

Now you can list your farm or business in our directory on Longears Mall even if you don't have a website yet.

With our new update, you can simply link to your email address instead.

Follow the easy steps to create your listing.

When you get to the box for your Website Address, link to your email address instead by entering "mailto:YourEmail@Webhost.com" instead of a website address. Note: You must include the "mailto:" text right before your email address, or the link won't work.


Or if you don't have a website or email address, you may include your phone number at the beginning of your listing description and put "n/a" in the website box.

With over 4.5 million hits each year, Longears Mall is an excellent place to list your farm or business where potential customers can find it!

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2009

Huge Mule Team

It always amazes me how people a century or two ago used horse and mule power to achieve tasks that are now done with large machinery.

Some of their teams were mammoth in number, yet somehow worked smoothly together to accomplish the task. A while back I posted this photo of a 52-mule team hauling pipe for the construction of the Owens Valley Aqueduct in California.


Imagine what it must have been like to harness and unharness that many mules? And then keep them all in line working together to get the job done? They must have learned pretty quickly where their place was and what their job was.

Here are a couple more large teams that I recently found.

This is a modern day 20-mule team pulling Borax wagons in a parade:

Or click this link.

Here you can see the 20-mule team rounding a corner. Notice how the two teams in front of the wheeler team (team right in front of the wagon) have jumped over the chain and are pulling the chain out toward the outside of the turn? This helps the team and wagon be able to maneuver around a much tighter turn where they wouldn't be able to go if the teams were all just pulling straight ahead. It's quite a sight to see in real life when you watch those two teams jump the chain, then jump back when the road straightens out. They know when the chain starts edging in on them, it's time to jump over it and start pulling out. Pretty smart!

Or click this link.

These may not be mules, but are impressive to watch none the less! This is a team of 48 Belgian draft horses pulling and 30 foot disk. Talk about a lot of horse power in those reins!

Or click this link.

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 06:48 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2009

Royal Robes for Your Longeared Buddies

If you're thinking about clipping your mules or donkeys for show this spring, here's something you'll want to remember.

Here are a couple of my longears showing off their special jackets:


Clipping time can be a fun and exciting time! You're turning your woolly mammoth into a beautiful show creature all in a matter of a few hours. Obviously if you aren't planning to show, it's much easier to just leave them woolly and let them shed out on their own. But if you are going to clip, now is the time to start preparing, and make sure you have everything you'll need when that day comes.

One very important piece to have is a warm horse blanket or two to put on your donkey after he is sheared, so he'll be able to stay warm during a chilly spring night, cold rain storm or late season snow storm.

There are many different kinds of blankets to choose from. Light weight, mid-weight, heavy weight, waterproof, heavy canvas, stable blankets, etc. If you live in an area that gets a fair amount of rain this time of year, you'll want a waterproof turnout blanket. Stable blankets are typically not waterproof, and are only designed for use indoors where the animal won't get rained or snowed on. Heavy canvas blankets usually hold up to a lot of wear and tear, and may be water resistant, but in my experience they tend to get soaked if the donkey is out in much rain.

When I lived in an area with a drier climate, I used this kind unless there was a rainstorm forecasted. Where I live now, we get a lot more rain, so I use the waterproof turnout blankets exclusively. Depending on what the temperatures will be, I will use either a heavy-weight or mid-weight turnout blanket.

But before you can go shopping, you'll need to know what size of blanket to buy. Here's how to figure it out.

Get a flexible tape measure or a piece of rope or string. Measure from the center of your mule or donkey's chest, around along the side of his barrel, all the way to the center of his tail (tape should be relatively parallel with the ground). This will give you a measurement in inches of about what size blanket he'll need.

Here is a short video of how to measure for a blanket:

Or click this link.

I buy blankets that buckle down the center chest, and this allows you an adjustment of a couple inches in size - you can loosen or tighten it to get the size just right.

I also suggest that you make sure your blanket has leg straps. The blanket has belly straps to hold it on. But having leg straps to go around each back leg will do a lot to prevent the blanket from sliding off when your mule or donkey lays down or rolls.

Once you get your new blankets home, let your mule or donkey have a good look at them, and take your time putting them on and taking them off a few times. This will help your longeared buddy get used to their new wardrobe, and learn that it's not a huge monster out to eat them up. Soon enough they'll be looking for you to bring their snuggly blankets out when it gets chilly.

Once you start blanketing them, you also want to be sure and keep a close eye on the weather. Around here it can be frosty outside in the morning, and up in the 60s or 70s by mid-afternoon. If it's going to get warm during the day, you want to make sure someone will be around to take the blanket off before your longeared friend gets cooked!

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2009

The Voice of a Donkey

A special sound, full of love, anticipation, and trust.


I have to say, there's nothing quite like walking into the barn after a long day at work, and being greeted by the longeared welcoming crew. Some let out long and hearty brays to make sure there's no mistake letting you know they're glad you're home! Others give a softer little whispering squeak-squeak, as if to say "please, please come give me a gentle pat and scratch behind my ears."

Whether it's a whisper, a grunt-grunt, or singing out for all to hear, there's no mistaking seeing the joy in their faces and expectation in their shining eyes! They are always happy to see your arrival! That's one of the things I love most about my donkeys.

Or click this link

Or click this link

Or click this link

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2009

Donkey Saddle Girths

Question: I want to rig my saddle cinches as described in this article. What size and type of girths should I get for my mammoth donkeys?

Answer: Usually the donkey's rear belly circumference (girth plus billets) is longer than the front (heart girth) circumference. However, you also have to take into account that usually the rear billets on a saddle are also longer than the front off-billet and cinch strap. So depending on how much difference your donkeys' size is between the front and back, you may be able to use the same size girths on both the front and back cinches. Usually the donkeys require pretty small girths. The size required may vary depending on the way your saddle is made. My Tucker saddle has its cinch rings much lower than my other western saddles, thus requiring a slightly shorter girth.


How old are your donkeys? If they are still youngsters (3 or 4 yrs old), they probably haven't filled out all the way and may need a smaller girth than when they are fully mature. For most mammoth donkeys, I'd suggest starting with a 20" or 22" girth for the front, and probably a 22" or 24" for the rear girth. These are the sizes that I use on most of my mammoth donkeys. The only mammoth donkey who needs a bigger one is my 61" tall gelding. These are pretty small girths - so you'll have to look for them with the pony equipment at your tack store. I usually use a string girth (these are the type pictured in my donkey saddle cinch article). I have found these as small as 22" in pony sizes. I also have a 20" neoprene girth that I use on the donkeys with a smaller heart girth. I bought it from a pony tack supplier on eBay. Both of these kinds of girths have worked well for me.

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2009

Donkeys Can Do!

Enough of reading for now. How about some fun donkey videos?

Ever thought of team penning with your donkeys? Check out these gals!

Or click this link

How about taking your donkey jumping?

Or click this link

Or click this link

Or bareback dressage on donkeyback? This donkey looks kind of small for his rider, but sure has a lot of spunk and seems to be enjoying himself!

Or click this link

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2009

Where is Simon, Sandy?

"Two local women brought a slice of life in the Caribbean to chilly downtown Newburyport last weekend, with their new book about the little donkey that wouldn't quit."

I just stumbled across this story on the Newburyport Current the other day, and learned of this cute children's book by Donna Seim and Susan Spellman.

I wanted to learn more about the book, so looked it up on Amazon.com


Here is their Editorial Review of the book:

Editorial Review from Amazon.com
This story, handed down by word of mouth for many generations, is based on an actual event from the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is set on Grand Turk, which receives very little rain, at a time when there was no running water or plumbing, and donkeys carried water from two natural wells to the people. In this tale, Simon, with the help of his donkey, Sandy, takes water to the people of Cockburn Town every morning. One morning, Simon does not come out of his cottage, so the animal goes to the well, and then to each house. When the children call out, "Where is Simon, Sandy?" the donkey shakes her head and moves on to the next house. When she arrives at the doctor's, the man races to Simon's house and finds him with an injured foot. The children deliver the water each day until Simon is well. The simple folktale style of this story includes rapid plot development and descriptive language. Cultural facts are related through the illustrations, which provide insight into island life. The realistic, colorful pictures capture the emotions of the people and donkey. The author's note provides useful background about the setting and the story, and two maps show the location of the islands. Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA --School Library Journal

Sounds like a great addition to any donkey lover's library! You can order yours today at Amazon.com

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2009

Buying a Trailer - Part 2

Today we'll continue our discussion from yesterday about important points to consider when picking a trailer.


Slant load, straight load, or open stock?

Horse trailers come in a variety of different configurations. You'll find straight load trailers, where the donkeys or mules load facing straight forward into separate stalls, usually two wide. Then there are slant load trailers, where the stalls are at a 45-degree angle to the trailer, with dividers between each stall space. There are also open stock trailers where the trailer is completely open inside with no dividers or maybe just a big gate about half way back dividing a longer trailer into two large areas.

Which configuration you choose will depend on what you prefer, which type your animals ride better in, and whether you also want to be able to haul a wagon in your trailer in addition to the animals to pull it. Most equines ride better in a slant load or loose in a larger area. At a slant angle, they can brace better when you speed up and slow down. When loose in a larger area, they will turn around to find the angle that suits them best, often facing backwards.

My trailer is a 3-horse slant load. The stall dividers are set up so that you can take them in and out of the trailer, so if I am hauling several mules or donkeys that I want to keep separated or keep from crowding each other, I can leave the dividers in between them. Or if the donkeys all get along together, and I want to let them adjust their position a little more, I can take all the dividers out and just hook their halters to ties along one side wall. That way they can move and turn around a little, but the bigger ones won't crowd a smaller one into a corner and they'll all maintain some semblance of order when it comes time to unload them. If you're hauling a mother and young foal you'll also want to take the dividers out so that the foal can be left loose to find a comfortable spot in the trailer or lay down for the ride.

If you want to haul a wagon with you, a stock trailer would be nice. That way you can load the wagon into the front of it, close the center gate, and then load your mules into the back half of the trailer.


Gooseneck or bumperpull?

So do you want a gooseneck trailer or a bumperpull trailer? I guess each have their advantages and disadvantages. A bumper pull can be pulled behind a large van or SUV, whereas a gooseneck would never work with those type of vehicles. A gooseneck trailer hooks to a hitch in the center of your truck bed. This helps distribute the weight of the trailer better over the back axle of your vehicle, and some people find this kind of trailer to have more stability and be easier to maneuver than a bumperpull trailer.

Aluminum or Steel?

Horse trailers come in several different materials. Most are either all steel or have a steel frame with aluminum skin. The more steel, the heavier your trailer will be. This can make a difference in how well your vehicle is able to do pulling it, and how it handles out on the road. Steel trailers tend to be less expensive, and aluminum trailers more expensive. But if you are doing a lot of long hauling, you'll probably really like the lighter, easier to handle aluminum trailers.

Condition of the floor?

One thing you always want to check when buying a trailer is the condition of the trailer floor. Some trailers have metal floors and others have wood floors. Sometimes these are covered with rubber mats, so be sure to pull the mat up and take a good look at the top of the floor, and peek underneath to get a look at the under side of the trailer floor. If the trailer you are looking at has wood floors, make sure the wood is solid, in good condition, and doesn't have any rotten spots. If it's metal, make sure the metal is in good condition, and not rusting through in any places. Make sure the floor is well braced underneath. You absolutely don't want the floor to break through one day while your driving down the road with your mule inside.


Condition of the metal? Rust?

While checking the condition of the floor is vitally important, don't forget to take a look around the rest of the trailer. Does it have wooden side boards? Are they solid and in good condition? Or weak and rotting through? Are metal parts in good condition or is it very rusted? What about the door hinges and latches are they bent, broken, sticking? Some of these are easy to fix or replace, but you'll want to take the work, time and money involved in that into consideration before purchasing a trailer with problems.

Axles, tires, lights, brakes in good condition?

Is the trailer mechanically sound? Are the axles in good condition? Not bent axels? How about the tires? Lights? Trailer braking system? Speaking of trailer breaks - you'll also want to make sure your towing vehicle has a trailer braking control. This unit will apply the trailer brakes at the same time as you apply the vehicles brakes, so even a heavy trailer will slow down with you, and no push your vehicle around out of control. This is an absolutely necessary safety measure, and I believe it is required for vehicles towing trailers over about 1000 or 1200 lbs loaded weight in most states.


Of course is almost always a consideration when choosing a trailer to buy. Trailers with more features will cost more than ones with just the basics. As we discussed earlier, steel trailers are usually cheaper than equivalent aluminum trailers. A used trailer will also be less expensive than a brand new one. Take a good look around and find the trailer that suits your needs and budget best.

Now, happy trailer hunting!

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 05:50 AM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2009

Buying a Trailer - Part 1

What should you look for when buying a new mule or donkey trailer?

Here are a few things to check before buying that new trailer.


Is the trailer big enough for the size or number of mules or donkeys you want to haul in it?

Horse trailers come in all shapes and sizes. The smallest ones I've seen were a one-horse straight load trailer and little tiny 2-pony trailers that were really to narrow and short to even comfortably fit ponies in. I have also seen some pretty long 6 or 8 horse gooseneck trailers. And then there are semi-truck horse trailers. I don't suppose there are many of us who will be buying the semi-truck version, so this discussion will focus on the ones pulled by ordinary trucks and SUVs.

When picking a new trailer, you will want to take into consideration how many animals you will usually be hauling if you only ever take one mule out at a time, you might want a 2-horse trailer - to give a good amount of space to get your mule in and out, and maybe have the extra stall available if a friend ever wants to go riding with you. If your family of 4 always takes your mules out together, you'll need a 4-horse trailer to be able to haul them all.

Besides the number of animals the trailer will hold, you also need to think about how much space each stall has. If you have a big draft mule, or even just an average mammoth donkey, don't buy one of the tiny pony trailers. You might get your donkey's front feet in, but there won't be enough room for the rest of him!

Space for maneuvering at the locations where you will be taking the trailer

Another consideration to take into account when picking a new trailer, is amount of parking and maneuvering space at the locations you plan to take it. If you like to go out to remote trail heads with smaller parking areas, you'll probably want as small of a trailer as will work for your needs. A 2 or 3 horse trailer would be much easier to move around in these tight quarters than a long 6-horse trailer or even a 3 horse with living quarters.


Do you need living quarters?

Speaking of living quarters, that is something else to think about. If you take your mules or donkeys camping with you a lot or go to a lot of shows, living quarters in your trailer might be a nice feature. However, also remember living quarters will add extra length to your trailer and greatly increase the price. If you don't mind tent camping, you will probably be just as at home sweeping out the animal portion of your trailer, putting down a tarp, and setting up camp in there. Or if your trailer is like mine with a small dressing room and space above the gooseneck, you can set up a nice cozy place to stay right in there. Put some foam padding down on the part above the gooseneck, and it makes an excellent bed! This will save you a lot of money.

Is it appropriately sized for the vehicle you'll be using to pull it?

While thinking about the size of trailer to get, you also need to consider what size vehicle you'll be using to pull it. Some larger SUVs may be used to pull a light trailer 2-horse trailer of a couple thousand pounds, while smaller SUVs are entirely inappropriate for pulling that kind of weight. And if you want to pull a mid-sized to large horse trailer, you better plan on using a 3/4 ton, 1 ton, or larger truck. Every vehicle has a towing weight rating, check the rating on yours to know what it is built to pull. Then compare that with the weight of the trailer plus equines, tack, feed, equipment, and anything else you'll be hauling with you. You definitely don't want to pull a heavy trailer with an under-rated towing vehicle. That is just asking for disaster.


Do you have the appropriate driving credentials to haul a trailer of this size?

One last thing to remember when picking out the size of trailer to buy. There is a limit to how heavy of a vehicle, trailer, or combined vehicle/trailer weight you may operate/drive with a standard drivers license. You'll want to make sure the GVWR rating for your trailer doesn't exceed this limit. If you need a trailer or rig that is rated for a heavier weight than this limit, then you will need to get your CDL drivers license. If you are pulled over driving a rig that exceeds this weight limit rating, and don't have an appropriate license, you will most likely be required to wait there until a certified CDL driver can come and drive your rig to your destination. This could be a huge delay and problem for you! Remember, it is based on the weight the vehicle is rated for, not how much it actually weighs.

Tomorrow I'll cover a few more points to consider when picking out a trailer.

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2009

New Mule & Donkey Library

Now it's easier than ever to find articles and information on all things longears.

Have you noticed something new on our Longears Mall home page? I have added a new "Mule & Donkey Library" section on the left side panel of our home page. This section includes links to a variety of different topics in our article library. Click the links to find articles about the subjects that interest you! Enjoy!


If you think of a new topic you would like to know more about, please let me know, and I will research it for a future article on this site! Or if you have written an article that you would like to add to the Mule & Donkey Library, send us an email and let us know.

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 06:15 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2009

Highlights for February

It's February already! Spring is just around the corner.

Here are several of the fun events in our calendar for the month of February.


February 13-15 - Equifest of Kansas

February 13-16 - Rocky Mountain Mule Association Whitney Pockets Ride

February 20-22 - Mid-South Horsefest

While you are browsing through our Longears Mall Event Calendar, you will notices that the events are listed in different colors. The colors specify what type of event it is. Here are the colors to look for when you are looking for your favorite events:

Burgundy = Shows
Green = Rides
Blue = Clinics
Purple = Non-USA Events
Gold = Sales
Turquoise = Other

These colors make it easy to find the type of events you are looking for.


Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 05:56 AM | Comments (0)