Category Archives: Humor

Why You should have a Donkey.

As most of you know, I adore my elegant and supersweet donkey, Norma Jean.  She is delightful and highly intelligent – she has her own FaceBook page!

But alas, many of you wonder why anyone would have a donkey…

Well, in honor of NJ, I am reposting this story today.


If you have the space and ability, get a donkey!  Donkeys Rock!  Here’s why:

  • PROTECTION:  A donkey hates canines or anything that enters their pasture.  Therefore, if you have a coyote, ground squirrel, neighbor dog, wild pig or any other kind of critter roaming about, your donkey will deter them.  They will also go after the family dog, too, so be careful of that.  However, your dog will get trained in a hurry, believe me.
  • INTELLIGENCE:  A donkey will be the smartest equine on the place.  If there is a noise or danger, the donkey will stand and face it to determine the defcon level.  (A horse will flee, as we all know.)  The donkey will make a solid assessment and then tell the rest of the herd.  After a while, they will look to the donkey when they are frightened.  Yay!  Less horsey mayhem.
  • HEARTY:  A donkey is a very hearty animal.  You have to feed them quality food, but you feed them less, they rarely get sick or have foot issues.  They DO founder and don’t let anyone tell you they won’t.  So, be careful with treats and really green grass.  But generally, they will stay healthier than horses under the same conditions.
  • SURE FOOTED:  Oh my gosh, a donkey can walk a tightrope.  If you have an odd pasture with an odd shape that needs trimming, use a donkey.
  • GREAT TEMPERAMENT:  A donkey is quiet by nature. They are really sweet and have very tender, velvety soft muzzles.  They can take a tiny treat from your hands without touching your fingers.  They are adept.
  • GREAT HEARING:  Big ears.
  • GREAT PEACEKEEPER:  A donkey will bite anybody who is fussing for no reason.  They just want everyone to keep the peace.  They are great with Shetlands (no easy feat…) and rowdy youngsters.  But, donkeys are small so if you want a “rowdy youngster helper” for bigger youngins, get a MULE.
  • GREAT LESSON FOR KIDS:  Horses don’t take to donkeys at first.  Donkeys look and smell different.  Those ears are very funny looking.  But, eventually, the donkey will rule.  A good lesson about staying true to yourself.
  • INEXPENSIVE:  Donks are easy to come by and don’t need much unusual care. They work really hard for their keepers and are eternally grateful. And, they need homes.

I have had Norma Jean for 14 years.  I got her when she was 2.  She keeps the Shetlands in line, teaches the babies and has charmed the most snooty of my horses. She did founder when a neighbor kept feeding her sweets through the fence, but has since fully recovered.

A photographer took this photo of her and it was in his gallery showing. She’s almost famous!

And, the best story of all…  Aladdin, in his younger years, would terrorize Norma.  I didn’t know what to do.  A friend suggested a horse psychic she knew to speak to him.  Couldn’t hurt, could help so why not…

The psychic spoke to Aladdin.  According to her, Aladdin just couldn’t tolerate Norma.  She was too odd and smelled funny.  He wanted her OUT of his property.

The psychic was very clever.  She told Aladdin that donkeys are the smartest equines and Norma could really help them if he buddied up with her.  She could alert him of marauding animals, she could probably open any gate and she was the most brave of all.  After a few minutes of this, Aladdin told the psychic that he would give it his best shot.

The psychic left.  And, the next morning, Norma had somehow gotten into Aladdin’s pasture and was eating WITH HIM out of his grain bowl.  And, they have been best friends ever since.  (For real.)

Now, I’m not saying that the psychic actually spoke to Aladdin or whatever… I’m just telling the story…    ;)

Donkeys Rock!  A great addition.

Here are a few links to donkey rescue facilities as well as a link to the BLM for a wild burro. Although it is indeed easier to adopt a well adapted and often handled donkey from a sanctuary, if you feel you have the skill for a wild burro, BLM donkeys are brilliant, really.

Let me know your donkey stories!

Oh, and the braying, well, they only bray when they have something important to say…


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I thought Finn was a Tennessee Walking Horse but he is really a Blackberry Pointer.

I love blackberries and blackberry jam, don’t you?

Luckily, (or unluckily – depending upon your infestation)  blackberries abound in our neck of the woods.

We don’t have any on our property (Yay!) but the rampant bushes exist all around outside our gates and on the trails.


Many moons ago, I taught my previous and recently knighted trailhorse, Aladdin, all about blackberries.  We’d hunt them on trail rides and he would wait quietly as I scooped up the most sun warmed morsels for him to slobber up.

Aladdin, being the mannered and gentlemanly gelding that he was, always remained patient and accommodating during our blackberry hunts.  He would let me mount and dismount as often as required in order to find the exact right berries for our consumption.

Since this was such an enjoyable experience for us, I thought it would be a bonding opportunity for Finn and me.

So, I taught him about blackberries.

That was my mistake.

The luscious berries


Our first foray into blackberries was quite simple.  I told him Whoa.  I got off.  He stood there while I picked a few berries.  I ate one and made the “ummmm nom nom” sound.  He pricked his ears.  I offered a luscious berry to Finn.  He sniffed it and looked at me. I told him to “go ahead”.  He sniffed and then gently pursed his lips and picked up the berry between them as he continued to train his eyes on me.

“You’re OK, just eat it!”, I said.

Finn:  Are you sure?  It smells kinda sour…

Me:  Yes!  Eat it!  You will love it and beg for more.

Finn (drooling a bit now with the berry still between his lips):  What if I hate it?

Me:  You can spit it out.  Besides, this will be a very fun thing we can do together.  Berry Hunting!

Finn:  I’m a horse.  We don’t hunt.

Me:  You will once you taste one, now EAT IT.

And, he did.

That was the start of the problem…

His first, tentative bite.


We need an intervention.

Finn is hooked on blackberries.

As soon as I take him out of the trailer, his eyes start searching for the bushes.  He races along the trail, running up to any bush that might contain a blackberry.  Then he pleads with me to get off and feed him.  If I say NO, he pouts.  He refuses to  move.

He believes he needs blackberries to survive.


Although Finn allows me to mount, he is jittery.  He needs his fix.  The smell of blackberry is in the air.

Along the trail, he concentrates on nothing else except where he will find his next juicy bite.

He knows the best bushes lurk in the partially sunny areas.  His favorites are the berries that are back off of the trail.  Those are less dusty, more pure.

He searches and motors forward without a thought on how his single-mindedness is ruining my ride.  He doesn’t care.  He doesn’t notice.  It makes no difference how his berry fixation is hurting me.  He continues without even a glance in my direction.

Once he spots a bush, he rushes towards it.

My pointer horse…


Finn inserts himself into the middle of the bush and demands that I find him some berry.

He points his muzzle where he thinks the berries might be and waits – ears twitching.

If I don’t dismount, he turns to look at me.  “Well??!! – Get off and get me someadat!  Now!”

I watch as Finn starts his ‘Stevie Wonder Head Bop and Weave’.  He swings his head back and forth, trying to anticipate which of my mounted hands holds the berries.  He continues to fidget and weave.

I tell him that I have no berries.   Finn becomes obviously agitated.

“How dare you!  I carry you all around.  The least you can do is get me some BERRY!”

So, being the indulgent trail rider, I dismount.

I carefully make my way into the very prickly bush that now is grabbing at my tights claiming, “I got you!  And I plan to destroy your best riding pants!”

I cringe.  Yet, I continue.

I feel Finn’s hot breath on my neck…

This is his Stevie Wonder bob and weave…

I look around for the most purple of the berries.  I need the most sun drenched and ready to fall morsel for my dearest.

But, it appears I am taking too long with my decision.

Darling Finn is becoming increasingly more agitated.

“Aw fur criminy sakes, just pick the darn thing wouldja?!”

Finn pushes in and tries to nibble the bush himself.

He jumps back, “Ouchy crapola!  OK, you do it – just do it faster!!”

Finn doesn’t care about my well being.  He just wants his fix.  Clearly, I’m riding with an addict.

I reach into my pouch to try to distract him from his addiction with a Blueberry Chia bar.

He takes it.  He eats it.

And then demands more berry.


My hand, stained with berry juice, reaches into my pouch to try to distract him from his addiction. I offer him a Chia bar…



I tell him that this berry is his last.

“Enjoy it.”

Finn:  “Sure, sure, anything you say… just get me my berry.”

Me:  Why do you insist upon berry?  What does it do for you?

Finn:  “When I eat berry, everything is peaceful.  The juices flow down my throat and sooth my mind.  The sugar courses through my veins and I fell like a superhorse!  I feel I can do anything!  I need it.”


I look upward towards Aladdin and shake my head.

What have I done…

My berry stained hand reaching into a prickly bush as Finn’s nose looms closely… GIMME!


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