What's New: donkeys

All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘donkeys’

First Time Donkey Owner?


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:


Save Your Ass Needs A Forever Home

After graciously housing the rescue for over 15 years Ann and Jeff are ready to have their property back and enjoy a peaceful retirement together. We have also outgrown our home and need more space so that the rescue can stretch its legs and expand. If you own a property or know of someone who may have the perfect fit.

Click Here To Read More

What’s New At The Rescue?

We have a full house right now of rescues and are currently housing 15 equines, and have quite the waiting list to come in. It’s very important to us to keep a manageable amount of animals as to not take on more than we can care for physically and financially. That being said there are always the unexpected vet bills and animals who come in with unknown behavioral issues that need training. Right now we have 3 animals in training with us that need some help before they’re able to be adopted.

If you’d like to read more about their stories and see who’s available you can do so by clicking below.

Available For Adoption

Save The Date!

June 3rd we are having an Open House from 11am-4pm. We will have light refreshments, snacks and our kissing booth will be set up with a long ear or two for smooching.

You can RSVP through our Facebook page under the events tab.

Our address is 23 Saw Mill Rd South Acworth NH 03607
Hope to see you there!

Bringing home donkeys for the first time can feel daunting. But we’re here to give you all the info you need on bringing home your first pair of donkeys.

Read Full Article

Breaking HAPPY News!


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:



Very Happy News

We always look forward to receiving mail this time of year, when the thoughtful cards and happy news seem to outweigh the bills. Today was the most spectacular mail day and the timing could not be more perfect as we go from the dark, toward the light.

In today’s mail, we got the OFFICIAL letter from the IRS saying “We’re pleased to tell you we determine you’re exempt from the federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501 (c)(3). Donors can deduct contributions they make to you under IRC section 170. You’re also qualified to receive tax-deductible bequests, devices, transfers, or gifts under Section 2055,2106, or 2522.”

Huge thanks to all of you who believed in us, in our sense of integrity and transparency throughout what was a huge, emotional ordeal for us.

Our beloved treasurer, Jean Marie Cross Nichols along with the help of her bookkeeper friend is mostly responsible for making this happen, they put so many long hours into sorting all the paperwork. Thank you both for all of your hard work!

Love and light,

Ann, Hannah, Elise and Jean

Is Your Donkey Cold??


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:



Blanketing Donkeys

Many of us New Englanders are already feeling the effects of the cooler temperatures, the shortening of days and the frost on the pastures in the morning before the sun comes up.

There’s been quite a bit of debate online about whether or not donkey and mule owners should blanket or not blanket their long eared family members. So we wanted to share our two cents on the topic to hopefully shed some insight to donkey owners.

The short answer to a complicated question is, it depends. It depends on where you live, how cold it is, how wet it is, the age of your donkey, if they have cushings disease or any other types of illnesses, etc.

What we normally hear is, “But my donkey gets so fluffy why would he need a blanket?” But the truth is your donkeys fluffy fur does not have the density or insulating properties that a horses natural coat provides. Not only that but donkeys lack the oil horses have in their coats that act as a natural water repellent, which in turn keeps their skin dry. This is also why horses have that sweet horse smell that we all know and love, and donkeys do not. (Sorry donkeys.)

Donkeys descend from desert species, they use dust and sand as a way to “bathe” themselves. Since it doesn’t rain often in the desert, donkeys have not evolved to have oil in their coats to protect them from our freezing rain, sleet and snow that our northern winters bring. Mixing a lack of a waterproofed coat, plus a lot of extra winter hair without insulating properties and wet weather- is a combination for a very unhappy donkey, and can sometimes even be a death sentence for an immune compromised or older donkey.

Some may say “but my donkey never acts cold!” Donkeys have evolved to freeze (no pun intended) instead of having a flight or fight response like most mammals. Donkeys stop and think through problems or how to respond to a stressful situation. Which is why they’ve unfortunately gotten the notorious title of being “stubborn.” Most donkeys will not show when they are sick or not feeling well until they are in the later stages of their illness. Which is why it is so hard to tell when they are having a bout of colic or are injured. It’s their instincts way of protecting them from being eaten by predators. Pretty fascinating, but not great for the people who love them and want to know when they’re not well.

The bottom line is, just because they survive the winters or always have without being blanketed, doesn’t mean they are thriving and comfortable. This goes especially for the ones who are getting long in the tooth, are sick, injured, have cushings disease or thyroid issues. These donkeys are more vulnerable than a younger, healthier donkey and need an extra layer or two to give them a hoof up this winter to keep them cozy, safe and comfortable.

The bare minimum they should have is a 3 sided shelter that is deeply bedded with pine shavings, and cleaned daily. I would go a step further to say that warm mash soup made up of a handful of timothy pellets with their loose mineral supplement would also go a long way.

Please don’t take what we’ve said here today and use it as a blanket statement! 😁 Use your discernment and go based on the weather and your donkey. Each donkey should have a few different coats, a rain sheet, and a few coats from 200g- 800g insulation.

Other Blanketing Tips

-Blankets should be checked daily to make sure there are no rips, tears or dampness under them.

-Clips should always be clip side facing in toward the donkeys body.

-Donkeys should be groomed at minimum once a week with a ‘slicker brush’ to ensure their skin is still getting some air, so dead skin is being removed and to check their body condition.

-Blankets need to be washed and re-waterproofed every year. You can find waterproofing spray online or at any tack shop that sells horse blankets. (We like scotch guard)

-When putting on a blanket start fastening buckles and clips from the front to the back.

Have trouble fitting your donkeys for blankets? Bray Hollow Farm in NY makes blankets specifically for ponies and donkeys. If you’d like to check them out you can click the link below to check out their website!

Bray hollow farm.com



This year we have taken on more senior animals than we ever have before in a single year. We are always happy to take on the equines who are at the last stages of their life and require a little extra TLC. Ann and I are both suckers for a grey faced sad eyed long ear. However so deserving these animals are they almost always require extensive care, vet work, and farrier work to make sure that they are able to be kept comfortable. We’ve had to let go of two friends at the end of October. As hard as the decisions were, we are honored to be able to give them that last gift of letting them go with peace and dignity.

As many of you are aware Whichahpi our Medicine hat paint horse had X-rays done of his spine. We found out that he had some more serious complications going on than met the eye. We decided the kindest thing to do was to let him go. We said goodbye to our friend on October 24th.


Harley came to us just a few short months ago underweight, confused and sore. Harley gained a significant amount of weight while he was with us and made three other friends who were his herd companions.

Harley was loved by every single person who met him, and he loved all of them back. He started to have trouble getting up from his naps the last few days until one morning when he could not get up no matter how much he tried. We called our vet and gave him some pain meds while we waited. He did finally get up but we still had our vet out because something was still very off with him and I just did not have a good gut feeling.

After an examination and a few tests it was determined that he was in heart failure. We decided to let Harley go.. our vet estimated Harley was at least in his late 30’s.

We are absolutely gutted over these losses.. The rescue feels so empty without him and Whichahpi. I don’t think a day will go bye where I won’t think about the animals we’ve had to let go.

Thank you to all of you who donated towards his arthritis medication, grain bill and care. It truly made a difference in his time with us and he was able to be comfortable and pain free in the end.

Rest easy buddy you are sorely, sorely missed.

Due to fundraising being so low, and having spent a very large amount of money on so many seniors this year. We are going to be more careful of the ages of animals we take in. It is not sustainable for us to take on so many seniors who are not adoptable. If we continue to do so, we will cease to exist as a rescue.

Sometimes folks are in denial about how old their animals are, sometimes they are not truthful with us when surrendering, and sometimes it is passing the buck. We LOVE the seniors but are not set up as a sanctuary. It’s not fair to us or our supporters to keep enduring one heartbreak after another. Some day in the future I would like to have a set up for the older donkeys with special needs. But that is quite a ways down the road.

Thank you all for reading this far and for your feedback every newsletter, it and you are so appreciated and valued by all of us at SYA.

Wishing you all the best,


Take Me To The Shop!




MULE CROSSING: Equine Behavior: Look Who’s Talking! Part 1


By Meredith Hodges

What kind of equine handler are you? When interacting with your Longears or any equine, are you an observer or a participant? Are you fully aware of the reasons for your equine’s behaviors? Behavior in general is most often motivated by a stimulus that elicits a response, yet the early years of physiological development are most dependent on heredity. Heredity includes not only physical characteristics, but mental, emotional and instinctual behaviors as well. We are taught that if an equine’s knees are beginning to fuse, he is ready for training. Is the animal really ready for training just because his knees are beginning to fuse? Physical development is called maturation, and we often determine the equine’s capabilities by maturation alone, with no consideration for the whole animal.

The mule inherits its incredible strength, intelligence and freeze reflex from the jack, and its athletic ability, beauty and the flight reflex from the horse. Some of these characteristics are physical, while others are instinctual, but each contributes to the animal as a whole being. Mental and emotional personality traits are not as easily defined in animals, since they do not speak the same language that humans do. So it makes sense that the equine is often first regarded as a large and potentially dangerous “beast.” In the past, those men who overpowered the “beast” and gained control were revered by others for their ability, no matter how cruel the approach. Because of the vast difference in size, man was viewed as the underdog and his conquests were celebrated.

Characterology, man’s first exercise in psychology, is based solely on casual observations of the personality and individuality of a human being. This is how man initially perceived equines as well as himself in the early days of psychology. The evolution of man’s understanding of himself is not that different from his understanding of equines. It began with casual observations. The equine was first regarded as an animal to be feared because of its potential to do great damage to a person’s physical being. However, no regard was given to the horse’s propensity toward timidity and vulnerability as a prey animal. Man eventually got close enough to the equine to realize there was far more to learn than what he could simply observe. Characterology has been found to be as unsatisfactory when describing the whole human as it has turned out to be with equines.

We’ve learned, through observation, the behaviors the equine will exhibit when left to its own devices in its own environment. In a herd of wild horses, the stallion is king and there is only one mature stallion per herd. He may allow other young stallions to stay to the outside of the herd, provided they show no aggression. But if they do show aggression, the two will battle it out until the weaker one is either run off or killed.

The actual leader of the herd is the most dominant mare in the herd, called the “boss mare.” When the stallion signals danger, it is this mare that will lead the herd, while the stallion generally brings up the rear. During estrus, the mare cycles every 21 days during the warmer months of the year. The mare accepts the stallion for only seven days out of the 21-day cycle. The stallion may cover her several times during that period and will do the same with the other mares in the herd. Not all mares will accept the advances of the stallion at certain times and, because they are as different as people are in their genetic makeup, not all of them will become pregnant every time.

When it is time for the foal to be born, the mare will go off by herself to birth the foal and then return when the foal has gained enough strength to run with the herd. Equines will always show aggressive behaviors in a herd. It is their nature and they learn their place (“pecking order”) within the herd through this process.

Donkeys are a little different in their herd behaviors and, although they do have a “pecking order,” they operate more like a family and it is not unusual to see multiple males in the family herd. Donkeys have a freeze reflex instead of a flight reflex and will stand their ground before wasting energy in flight. Donkeys seem to be loving and affectionate creatures at first glance, but they can be a formidable rival to most any other animal. In certain situations with a well-planned psychological approach, donkeys can make good guard animals for the very same smaller animals that they might otherwise chase.

Being a hybrid, the mule possesses behaviors from both the horse and donkey. It is in the mule and donkey’s nature to chase smaller animals such as dogs, cats, goats, etc. When supervised, they can be taught not to attack smaller animals, but if left alone, it IS in their nature to run these animals down and they will often kill them for sport. This is not seen as often in the females (it depends on personality as well), but it is still present and should be heeded.

A mule will pin its ears when it is concentrating very hard and when it is following you and wants attention. Mules and donkeys are basically very friendly and rarely lay their ears flat back in pure anger like a horse will. When they are angry, you will know it. Scratching in different areas will produce different results. If you scratch their jowls, for instance, they may perk their ears forward, but when you rub their forehead, they will lay their ears back. If you scratch the insides of the ears, some will like it and tilt the head sideways with quivering eyebrows while others will jerk away at your impolite intrusion.

Donkey jacks really should not be allowed to roam with the jennets and/or mares and pasture breed since they can get angry at the drop of a hat and kill a weaker animal in an instant. It is even more dangerous to leave jacks with foals and horses (they will go after adult horses as well!). Mules, being half horse, will usually only chase other horses if they are smaller or if they are males. Since their dam was a female horse, they will often unintentionally harass female horses, but unless the mares are smaller or weak, the mules will do little damage and are more likely to receive a smart kick to the chest for their insolent behavior. Horses have a flight reflex when they feel threatened…the donkey has a freeze and prepare-to-fight reflex…and mules can go either way depending on the situation.

All of these characteristics are part of the equine whole, but they do not explain who the horse, donkey or mule is as a personality. Most characteristics are a means by which we can judge predictable behaviors that would be considered normal. People possess predictable behaviors that do not change and are valuable in profiling. Profiling enables one to establish a base from which to begin to determine a positive plan of approach that will elicit a positive reaction with any given person. The same is true in the development of the human/equine relationship. But Characterology was not a scientific approach, so man continued to find other ways to investigate and challenge his knowledge of himself and the equine.

Phrenology followed and was regarded as a true science, putting forth the idea that personality was comprised of “faculties” that were housed compartmentally in the brain. Therefore, an individual’s personality could be identified by the shape of his or her head. These same scientific observations were also made in reference to the equine.

At first, Arabian horses were thought to be silly and difficult—not the ideal mount for the common man. Later, the intelligence of the Arabian was discovered and explained by saying that, because the Arabian’s eyes are set lower in the head and the forehead is broader than most other equines, there is more brain space in the skull. This is also true of most mules and, particularly, Arabian mules. Once man believed in the equine’s intelligence and had a scientific reason for it, training was modified and approached a little differently. Man was then able to learn even more about the horses he was training. It wasn’t long before man discovered that this didn’t always hold true and there had to be more to consider when assessing the whole human being and, consequently, the whole horse.

The idea that body type could reveal personality type evolved from man’s belief that certain personalities were characterized by certain body types. Man applied this knowledge of psychology and behavior to equines, and then made generalizations about certain breeds of equines according to their body type and temperament. For instance, the solid body type and quiet temperament of the Quarter Horse denoted a capable, willing and even-tempered personality, while the more lithe body, tall stature and flightiness of the Thoroughbred yielded a personality that was more suspicious, aloof and, sometimes, difficult to train.

Much time has passed and man has learned that there is a lot to consider if we want to manage our equines in a healthy way and accomplish even the most basic performance with them. In the past, the prevalent belief was that, if you had a reasonably large patch of grass with a fence around it, you could have a horse. We now know it takes a lot more than this! Stay tuned for Part 2 of Look Who’s Talking, when we further explore the equine personality and how to develop the best relationship you can have with them.

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2011, 2016, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All rights reserved.


CROPTrailRidingCheleyretreat8 17 2010 295CC

MULE CROSSING: On the Trail with Mules


By Meredith Hodges

With the hectic schedule of spring and summer slowly tapering into fall, thoughts of cool, refreshing mountain streams, the sight of a massive bull elk, or the quiet majesty of the rugged mountain peaks on a relaxing trail ride, mountain hunt or pack trip begin to ease their way into our minds. What better time to share with your mule or donkey? What better place for him to show you what he was born to do? A mountain trail ride or pack trip are both perfect ways for you to get to really know your Longears and strengthen the bond between you.

Mules are remarkably strong and durable animals, making them excellent mountain partners. The cupped shape of their hooves allows them to track the rough mountain terrain with much more surefootedness than their counterpart, the horse. A mule’s superior intelligence and strong sense of survival help him to carefully negotiate the placement of his feet, insuring the safest ride possible. This is both important and comforting to know when heading for the mountains. The mule’s strength and endurance are sometimes unbelievable, but always dependable. On a hunting trip, he will take you through rough mountain terrain for days then pack out the “elk of your dreams” with the greatest of ease.

Around the campfire, he is wonderful company on those lonesome mountain nights. His blatant curiosity can make for some fun—and funny— situations, and his loving ways will win your heart. But first and foremost, he is a reliable companion when the going gets tough.

A few years ago, some close muleskinner friends of mine decided to take a hunting trip into the Rocky Mountains. Packing in, the weather was beautiful with warm temperatures, calm breezes, and not a cloud in the sky. After setting up camp and tending to their horses and mules, the hunters set off tracking elk. Hunting was good, but after a few days, the evening brought with it an unpredictable snowstorm of incredible intensity. The hunters crawled from their tents the next morning to discover their camp buried in more than four feet of   snow!

With no chance of the storm lifting, the hunters packed up what they could on their horses and mules and quickly got under way. Since time was of the essence, tents and much of their gear had to be left behind. As they left the campsite, the snow deepened and the terrain underneath was steep, rocky and treacherous. They had gone only a short distance when the snow became so deep and the terrain so hazardous that the horses refused to go one step farther. Anxiety was high when the horses could not blaze a trail out. The hunters were worried they wouldn’t make it off the mountain alive.

In the face of this great danger, my friend asked his trusted mule, Goliath, to break trail for the others. With slow, careful, deliberate steps, this well-trained, loyal mule led them all down the mountain to safety. Once there, they freed their trucks and trailers, which were buried in snow, loaded them up, and made their way back to the lowlands to safety. The storms on the mountain worsened and it was spring before the hunters could return for the rest of their gear, but they were eternally grateful to Goliath the mule for leading them safely down the mountain!

There are many stories like this one, where mules and donkeys have emerged as heroes in precarious situations. However, if you prefer not to take risks like my hunter friends, there are other less daunting activities you can enjoy with your donkey or mule.

Why not take your longeared companion along to the mountains for a hike or a picnic? He would thoroughly love just being with you in those beautiful surroundings. While you walk the trails, enjoying the marvels of nature, your donkey or mule can carry the lunch essentials. While you enjoy the wildflowers or try your hand at fishing a mountain stream, you can be confident that your Longears will enjoy the peaceful solitude and be able to stay out of serious trouble at the same time.

If you question taking excursions such as these with your longears because of a lack of training, there are fellow Longears lovers who can help you. All over the United States, excellent mule trainers are available to help beginners. A Longears lover once told me that his love for burros and mules began years ago when he found Dusty, a three-month-old wild burro caught in a blizzard. He took her home and cared for her, and, a year later, he entered her in the National Western Fall Classic Donkey and Mule Show. He and Dusty were awarded the title of Reserve Champion Donkey of the Show! Ever since, he has sought to help others enjoy Longears and horses in any way he can. In addition to breaking and training wild mustangs at his Medicine Bow Stables, he has included free clinics for burro owners to teach them how to handle and care for their animals.

Getting proper training for your donkey or mule can only enhance your relationship with them and in turn, they will enrich your life. This fall, why not take the time to really get to know these remarkable animals by letting them share in the fun, be it hiking, hunting, packing, or picnicking. The life you enhance may be your own!

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2010, 2016, 2021, 2022 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Welcoming New Arrivals 🐴


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:


 Welcoming Fern

Welcoming our newest member of SYA, Fern.

Fern was bailed from auction by another rescue who kindly quarantined her and gave her a safe haven at their rescue. She unfortunately is completely feral and petrified of people. Giving where she came from I can’t blame her one bit, she came from one of the worst kill pens for animal abuse and torture that we know of. She is safe now and will be treated with the kindness and the respect she deserves.

Fern has already realized that she is in a safe place. Her “bubble” when she first arrived last Monday was 20 feet. She would bolt away from any of us and stare back at us with wide eyes. Just one week later thanks to the help of Laura, Lauren and one of our training volunteers, Mike Fern let me sit with her while she ate her dinner on Friday. Creating positive associations right off the bat is so important. She sees people- good things follow. A history of  positive reinforcement and she will be our best friend hopefully soon. The more time I spend with her the more I see that she is just scared but also very curious, you can tell she wants to be helped and loved. It will not be a quick process but we are here for her and we will stick it out with her until we have earned her trust.

Volunteer Mike Dunham sat outside her pen for close to an hour in 90 degree weather last week and Fern just hung out with him. Until she decided to lay down and take a little sun nap in his presence. How sweet is that?

Two other new arrivals at the rescue, Athena and Apollo.
Athena is a very sweet grey mare, and Apollo is a stout little intact jack. After Apollo is gelded and has a behavioral exam he will be available for Adoption. His gelding date is September 24th. Apollo is 4 years old and a very active guy who will need to be adopted out to a home with another donkey gelding who likes to play.
Athena needs to continue to eat her groceries before she will be available for adoption as well. She came to us about 200 lbs. underweight and with a critically low Vitamin E level, which will need to be rechecked in another 60 days.
It’s been 5 weeks since their arrival and both have shown to be outstanding citizens, who love to be groomed and loved on. Athena is just a little over 15 hands and is just a baby at 3 years old. She has been learning ground manners while she’s been with us and  is an incredibly smart gal, and a quick learner.

Esme and Hojo are a very sweet miniature pair of donkeys who are here at the rescue with us due to their owner passing away. It’s always very sad when this happens but we are happy to be here as a safe haven for people’s donkeys, to ensure they continue to get the care they need and deserve. Hojo especially was very depressed when first arriving, we believe due to the loss of his owner. Hojo was also severely underweight due to his lack of grinding surface with his teeth and ability to chew hay. While Esme was dangerously overweight due to eating all of Hojo’s meals.

Since being here for over three four weeks now Hojo has gained an appropriate amount of weight, and Esme has lost quite a bit just by running around her dry lot with her friend. Hojo does have Cushings disease and is going to be put on medication to help manage this. His feet are also in rough shape due to the cushings, but we believe will continue to improve over time.
Both Esme and Hojo have had their dental, vaccines and their first hoof trim. Both these two cuties are senior donkeys in their 20’s and will be looking for their retirement home to love and dote on them. Both are great with kids and love ear rubs, to be groomed or to just sit and be talked to.

Welcoming Travis and Betsy! These two came from a neglect case in NJ where a sanctuary who was supposed to give them refuge, left them without adequate food or water. They are safe now and will be given the care and attention they have always deserved and needed. Both of them have had their hooves trimmed and will be seen by our vet before the end of the month. Travis, the Appaloosa pony is completely blind as far as we can tell and will most likely need at least one of his eyes removed surgically. Betsy is Travis’s seeing eye mule. She is very underweight and was very scared upon arriving, but has settled down very nicely. Betsy needs a dental exam/float, to be dewormed, and needs some serious groceries. We will also have her vitamin E levels checked as well since she’s having a hard time gaining weight. We suspect this will improve once her teeth have had some TLC. Once Travis and Betsy get healthy and sound they will be available for adoption. We realize they will probably be here quite a while due to Travis’s blindness, so we welcome anyone who would be willing to sponsor their stay with us. ❤️


Donkeys and Mules for Adoption

Merchandise Shop


MULE CROSSING: Differences Among Horses, Mules and Donkeys


By Meredith Hodges

After discussing this with my veterinarian, Greg Farrand from Fort Collins, Colorado, we both agree that since horses, mules and donkeys are all equines, it would be difficult to make any distinction among these three types of animals with regard to their vital signs: pulse respiration and temperature. They would all fall within the designated ranges below that are excerpted from my book, “A Guide to Raising & Showing Equines.” The only real differences would be with regard to each individual equine and not among groups of equines. There has not been any credible scientific study to be able to differentiate the different types of equine groups in this manner and I would venture to guess that it would be the same with all equines, including zebras and hybrids. Therefore, I believe that citing the vital signs ranges would be appropriate, but not citing medians (modals).

  1. Daytime rectal temp mule foal/yearling 37.5C-38.5C normal range
  2. Pulse at rest – adult mule; normal 26-40
  3. Pulse at rest foals 2-4 weeks; normal range 70-90
  4. Pulse at rest mule 6-12 months; normal range 45-60
  5. Pulse at rest mule 2-3 years; 40-50

Actual differences would be as follows:


Reactive-Flight reflex

Fragile health

More bulk musculature
(like a weight lifter)

Awkward on uneven ground

Round platter-type hooves

Longer slope to shoulders and hips

Limited stamina

Energy waster

Forgets what he learns

More reactive than intelligent

Neigh – exhale

64 chromosomes

Self-preservation not strong

Tolerant of humans

Expensive to maintain

Can have excessive vet bills

Constant hoof management needed

Cannot see their hind feet

Can only kick forward and Backwards

Colors strictly defined within the breeds

Mature at six years

Will fight if entangled

Low level training goes quickly,
but not necessarily remembered

Upper level training improves
generally at the same rate


Thinking & Reactive-freeze/flight reflexes

Tougher/more resistant to parasites
and disease

Predominantly smooth muscle with
some bulk (combination of
smooth & bulk muscle)

More sure-footed than a horse

Oval, narrow, more upright hoof
structure than a horse

Steeper shoulders and hips than horses

Incredible stamina

Energy conserver

Remembers everything he learns

Very intelligent

Neigh-bray or combination
thereof – inhale and exhale

Generally 63 chromosomes

Strong sense of self preservation

Suspicious, but very
affectionate toward humans

Cheaper to keep – more durable

Fewer vet bills

Tougher hooves – less management

Can see their hind feet

Can kick, forward,
backwards and sideways

More variations in color
contributed by both parents

Mature at eight years

Will wait to be rescued if entangled

Low level training take more time

Upper level training goes faster


Thinking equine-freeze reflex

Same as a mule (genetic contribution)

Predominantly smooth muscle

Most sure-footed

Oval, narrow, more upright
hoof structure than a mule

Steeper shoulders
and hips than  a mule

Virtually intolerant to stress

Most energy conserver

Remembers, but only
complies when he wants to

Most intelligent

Bray-inhale and exhale

62 chromosomes

Ultimate sense of

Generally, very affectionate
toward humans

Cheapest to keep – very durable

Least number of vet bills

Toughest hooves – least
management needed

Can see their hind feet

Same as the mule

Less variations in
color than the mule

Mature at eight years

Will break loose or wait
to be rescued if entangled

Low level training takes
the most time

Not necessarily interested
in upper level training

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2014, 2016, 2019, 2021, 2022 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

WN DonkeySinking 003

MULE CROSSING: Donkeys: The “Sinking” Reflex


WN-DonkeySinking-001Donkeys have a lot of behaviors that owners might find strange. One of these is dropping their spine, or “sinking,” when you put a hand on their back. Not all donkeys will do this, but many of them will, especially when they are young and or haven’t been handled routinely. I’ve personally had experience with donkeys sinking to the point that they’ll go down to the floor on their knees and bellies. You may also commonly recognize this behavior in cats and dogs.

In order to understand what’s happening, it is important to understand the intervertebral equine anatomy. “Intervertebral” refers to the opening between two jointed vertebrae for the passage of nerves to and from the spinal cord. When a foal is first born, their bones and cartilage are soft and flexible, and their nerves in these areas are hypersensitive —especially over the spine.



A foal that has not had the benefit of imprinting will be much more sensitive and generally reactive to touch than one that has been imprinted. Imprinting begins to desensitize nerve endings throughout the body wherever the animal is touched. However, the primary focus when imprinting is usually on the head, neck, ears, around the eyes, mouth, and down the legs, with only a passing swoop over the back and croup. Thus, the back does not get as much desensitization during imprinting and is largely ignored until grooming comes into the picture, and later, tack and equipment.

WN-DonkeySinking-004As the foal ages, muscles begin to develop under and around the nerves thanks to ongoing exercise. When muscles get harder and toned, though still maintaining their elasticity, they put pressure on the nerves from the inside of the body. You will start to notice that the foal that used to “jump” out from under your touch is now increasingly tolerant, and his reactions are not as abrupt and overdone. Foals that are more active in their exercise tend to be less likely to sink their backs, as their hardened muscles have begun to desensitize the nerves to some extent. Softer, untoned muscles do not affect nerves in the same way, so less active foals will usually have a more drastic reaction to touch.

With the right kinds of controlled passive leading exercises, the foal’s body can grow properly, conditioning muscles symmetrically and allowing the body to develop balanced equine posture. This conditioning allows for efficient movement, maximum blood circulation, internal organs working as intended, joints bending correctly, and nerve impulses firing in an unobstructed and healthy manner. When the animal is not exercised with good postural balance in mind, his way of going can be compromised. Though his unbalanced movement may not be apparent to the untrained eye, it can still produce pinched nerves and pain. If you have an animal that sinks to your touch, it is up to you to determine whether the reaction is a case of sensitivity due to minimal touch, or a more serious case of pinched nerves.

WN-DonkeySinking-005You can help desensitize your equine in a healthy way by continuing to imprint throughout the training process. Don’t just limit imprinting to a birth exercise, but pay attention to every phase and opportunity for touch. When grooming with the shedding blade for instance, pay special attention to the pressure over different places on your equine’s body. You can apply more pressure to fatty areas, but be sure to lighten up over the bony areas, as it can cause pain. Too much pressure over the spinal nerves will produce the sinking effect. When using your brushes over the body, be sure to use short flicks instead of long strokes. Short flicks induce more passive pressure over the nerves, which not only removes dirt more efficiently, but also provides more endurable pressure over the nerves that will eventually minimize your equine’s sensitivity. With these careful and detailed practices, the sinking effect will soon disappear.

These kinds of initial training practices will greatly enhance the training experience for both you and your equine. All behaviors, bad or good, arise from the way you do things with your animal, and you will only gain his trust when you make him feel good. When he feels good, his behavior will be good. Preparing him properly before asking him to carry tack and equipment, and later, a rider, will make the process much easier for him to accept, and will avoid the adverse behaviors and even painful or severe consequences that can develop without proper preparation. Be patient and always take the extra time to do the little things that will enhance your time together. It will be well worth the effort!

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2016, 2020, 2022 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Spring


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:


Happy Mud Season!

It is officially false spring in New England! While we are itching for warmth what we are getting is snow and ferocious winds. Soon the sun will be shining and the daffodils will be peeping out of the ground. The donkeys have already started to enjoy more daylight hours by playing ‘dead donkeys’ in the pastures. We are just as excited for longer, warmer days ahead of us. Ears the latest news..

New Kids in Town

The month of March seems to be flying by and spring can’t come fast enough for us and all the animals at the rescue. We have been soaking up all of the warm days as have the animals, who frequently have been playing dead while napping out in the middle of the fields.

We have some new faces to introduce as we’ve had an influx of owner surrenders again the last month almost close to what happened this past fall. We believe this is due to the price increase of gas, feed, shavings and hay that are most likely going to continue to skyrocket.
Due to this we can not take in anymore animals until a few more go to their new homes, we are expecting to have more room mid to late April if all goes as planned with adoptions.

Violetta and Dusty

Violetta is a new owner surender who is with us due to no fault of her own or her owners. She was and still is so dearly loved. Our long time resident, Dusty who has been with us for almost a year now has bonded with Violetta and they are now inseparable! This is fantastic news as they’ve both already been adopted and will be going to their new home together in Rhode Island Mid April.
Some of you may remember the infected access Dusty had surgery on last fall when she was returned to the rescue. She has fully recovered and has received a clean bill of health from our vet. Dusty and Violetta have a long life ahead of them and are going to have a great life with their new family.

NuNu is another donkey who has been with us close to a year now due to some issues she was having with her feet and her body condition. She is now on the up and up and is a much happier, healthier donkey! Since NuNu has been here she had not bonded with any other single donkeys, until this month when we picked up a plucky 3 year old fellow named Martin. Martin and NuNu bonded almost immediately, greeting one another with enthusiastic and long brays. They have been inseparable since. Marty and NuNu are now a bonded pair and will not be separated. They both enjoy sunbathing in the sand, playing and chasing one another in the paddock and sharing their breakfast. What is not to love about these two?

Both Marty and NuNu are the only two animals we currently do not have any current adoption applications. If you are interested please shoot us an email.


Spring Fundraising Online Auction
April 3rd – 10th

We are having our annual online auction this year though Facebook, to see updates and the rules to the auction please like and follow the auction page by clicking the button below.
This is one of our biggest fundraisers and helps pay for everyones spring shots, vaccinations, dentals and deworming programs!
Every year we have tons of fantastic items donated. This year we have an array of especially interesting donkey collectable items, even we have never seen before!
So join in the fun, get competitive and get ready to bid for a good cause!

Open House
Mark your calendars! For the first time since 2018 we are finally having another open house! We are very excited to announce that our open house will be held on June 25th 2022! We are beyond excited to see everyone in person again

Saying Farewell


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:


Saying Farewell..

We hope everyone and their animals have been faring well through the crazy mood swings of mother nature this winter. Here in Acworth NH we have been battling the frigid temperatures, where we have had weeks on end of below zero temperatures. For us at the rescue it has been brutal. Brutal on us and our bodies, mentally, and of course for the animals in our care who are always our first priority.

Last Monday while doing morning chores and check ups we noticed one of our newest rescue additions, Andele was acting off. As most of you donkey lovers know, when a donkey who is stoic by nature seems off something is very wrong. We called our vet immediately to see Andele the mini donkey.
After examining her and doing an ultrasound on her intestines it was clear she was colicing but nothing that was a clear sign it couldn’t be fixed. Our vet took a quick blood test to see if she had any kind of infection going on in her body. This determines the severity of the colic. She did not have anything major going on.
Our vet then tubed her, which is where a small tube is placed up the donkeys nose and into their stomach to give them the fluid they need with electrolytes to hopefully clear the colic and get them hydrated.
In addition to this we gave her some IV fluids and some pain killers to help with her discomfort.
On the second day we came out to do chores, to Ann’s mule flat out laying down in her pen. Again we called the vet immediately and she came out to treat Gertie for colic.
For four days straight our vet came out every day to check Andele and Gertie and to administer medication and tube/ give IV fluids. We made mashes for them every day at least 3 times per day.
Andele seemed to be doing much better, she spent Thursday morning out in the pasture walking around with her companion Wally. she laid in the sun, wandered about in the woods and explored the snowy field together with her buddy.

Gertie also spent part of Thursday seeming to feel a little better, so we let her out in the pasture with her companions Sprocket, Gusto and Slick. (Her goat, horse, and mule companions.) It was good for her to get out and walk about while we observed her to make sure she didn’t eat anything bad for her.
Gusto and Slick put on quite a show for Gertie as she watched them on the hillside next to the barn. Both Slick and Gus kicked, galloped, bucked and tore up the field as the sun set behind them. My sister who had come to help with Gertie’s care watched with me in amazement as we both cried. Animals always know when something is askew. I think we all knew at that moment that that was their way of saying goodbye.Im not sure if any of you have seen the classic movie black beauty or read the book. But it was almost exactly like the ending of the movie where they ‘danced’ to say goodbye to one of their friends. What a privilege to witness.

That evening we said goodbye to Gertie and Andele as we released them from their earthly bodies, and ended their suffering. The colic they were battling was too severe and we did not want them to suffer any longer.
We know we tried our hardest with both of them, and they were so loved and adored. But somehow it does not ease the ache in our hearts that their absence has left. I don’t think I will ever see another sunset and not think of our sweet Andele and Gertie.

Andele’s vet bill alone added up to over $3,000 which we were able to pay thanks to all of your support, from buying things from our shop, to sending donations large and small it all makes a big difference. Thank you all so much.

We are heart broken over these unfortunate events but the rest of the animals at the rescue still need to eat and chores still need to be done morning and evening every day rain or shine. Thank you all for your ongoing support, and helping us to change the lives of donkeys and mules, even when sometimes we have a few very bad no good days.

Stay warm, spring is just around the bend!

Hannah and Ann

Gertie, Ann’s affectionate mule watching Slick and Gus run around in the field as the sun goes down.

Andele with her companion, Wally walking around the field enjoying some space and exploring.

1 Copy

MULE CROSSING: Reflecting On Longears


By Meredith Hodges

The contributions being made by mules and donkeys today are more numerous than they have ever been before and we should give thanks that we still have these Longears touching our lives and making them full!

When the age of automation arrived, many mules, donkeys, and horses were put out of work. Mechanical alternatives were taking their places in the fields, in the coal mines, along the canals and even in the mountains. Horses made a somewhat smooth conversion of use to modern day recreation, but it was not as easy for the mules and donkeys. The history of mules and donkeys was never that well documented. Literally thousands of books have been written revering the horse for his contribution to the building of great societies and cultures. However, a lot of the things attributed to the horse were actually done by mules and donkeys! It does not surprise me that by 1966, mules and donkeys were on the decline. Their uses were no longer critical to development and growth of society.

In 1967, concerned Paul and Betsy Hutchins founded the American Donkey & Mule Society, designed to spark the fires of interest in these longeared animals. The A.D.M.S. quarterly journal continues to remind the American public of all the extraordinary things that had been accomplished in history by donkeys and mules. They plowed the fields, pulled the covered wagons and worked in the coal mines. They pulled barges on  the canals and packed munitions for the military. They built the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Wild Bill Cody rode a mule named Mouse that put General Custer’s fancy Thoroughbred to shame over long distances and rough terrain. The crowned heads of Europe rode mules as a statement of class and Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a small and humble donkey! Although the horse was revered and given the credit, mules and donkeys were always right there, too – strong, steady and humble!

Thanks to Paul and Betsy Hutchins, we have been reminded of Longears’ great legacy and there are those, including myself, who would find a way to appreciate their efforts and would help to make donkeys and mules an important part of modern-day society.

The American Donkey & Mule Society today offers a wide variety of programs that include Longears of all sizes, breeds, types and uses. The A.D.M.S. journal is still published quarterly and is growing with the industry, keeping folks abreast of new and innovative uses for the Longears of the future. It serves as a record of accomplishment. The A.D.M.S. registry ensures a more traceable ancestry than has ever before been possible. Many different A.D.M.S. award programs insure that outstanding individuals are recognized for their diverse accomplishments, and books and literature have been compiled and made available to anyone who wants to know more about these unusual animals. A.D.M.S. has inspired the formation of local clubs and groups that share in this interest and the result is evident in art, jewelry and other Longears products and events. The A.D.M.S. has given our children an alternative in equestrian sport that is interesting, challenging and unique in spirit.

Mules and donkeys are becoming the equine of choice in many areas today. The California Sierra Nevada Pack Stations are populated with mules trained to take tourists on pack trips through the scenic mountain areas. The only equines safe enough to carry tourists down the steep rocky trails at the Grand Canyon and at Molokai are mules! Hunters are using mules as riding and pack animals due to their incredible strength, endurance and intelligent nature. They can handle rougher terrain and adverse weather conditions better than can the horse. Donkeys are finding new uses in guarding sheep from unwanted predators. Mules and donkeys are used in handicapped riding and driving programs, and molly mules are being used for embryo transplant. Third world countries are being educated in the care and feeding of their donkeys and mules to enhance economic growth. Mules and donkeys have even become viable 4-H projects for young people who enjoy the challenge. We are finding that there are actually very few things these longeared equines can’t do!

Skeptic that I am I have always attempted to find the limitations of these incredible individuals. Here at the Lucky Three Ranch, we continually challenge our mules and donkeys with new and innovative tasks. They have continually met these challenges with success! With each new success, our mules and donkeys have brought many new and wonderful friends into our lives, making life full and very rewarding. To this day, I am still amazed when an animal has met his challenge and accomplished what I have asked. I suppose part of me would still like to believe that if they could have done all these things, then they would have already been done. But I can see now that that isn’t necessarily so. Need has a lot to do with it. No one ever NEEDED an upper level Dressage mule before! But I did!

Lucky Three Sundowner worked at Third Level Dressage after winning the World Championship in Reining at Bishop Mule Days in 1984. He exhibited play patterns that evolved from his training that would undoubtedly contribute to his success as he moved into Fourth level Dressage. His crazy play patterns looked very much like the Spanish Riding School of Vienna’s, “Airs Above the Ground!” Lucky Three Mae Bea C.T. clearly showed that you can do a variety of things well on a mule – whether it was against horses or other mules and with, or without the bridle!

Mules give new meaning to the word VERSATILE! That is not to mention that they can be a loyal friend and companion as well when trained correctly. Then there was Little Jack Horner who defied all the laws of “Donkeyhood!” He was accomplished in Western Performance classes including Reining and Gymkhana, Driving and Obstacle Driving, Second Level Dressage and he jumped in formal hunter style over four feet in exhibition at Bishop Mule Days and got a Specialty Award for his effort. He was the sire of some of the most athletic mules in the world today.

Since we have yet to find any serious limitations in these Longears’ ability, at the Lucky Three Ranch we concerned ourselves with documenting these three unique successes. Training Mules and Donkeys: A Logical Approach to Longears is a book documenting the training techniques we have used that led to the ultimate success of our mules and donkeys. It will was first released in May 1993 and was revised in 2013. As far as I know, it is the only book of its kind with training from foal to adulthood and has subsequently been supported by more books, DVDs and television shows and our extensive and comprehensive website at www.luckythreeranch.com. The intent is always to help mule and donkey enthusiasts to get the best from their animals and to avoid the common pitfalls that would sour an otherwise stimulating and rewarding experience with Longears. It just goes to show that MULES CAN DO, AND DONKEYS, TOO! Seeing IS believing and dreams really CAN come true!

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 1991, 2016, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This Week’s eNews: TAKE ACTION to protect global burro populations!


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We wanted to share some recent updates about roundups, happy endings for rescued burros, and two actions you can take to help protect both wild horses and burros and global burro populations!

Help Ensure Congress’ Final Spending Bill Includes Funding for Fertility Control!

Recently, the Senate Appropriations Committee joined the House in allocating $11 million of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s Wild Horse and Burro Program budget towards a comprehensive fertility control vaccine program for wild horses.

This was a huge victory, but our work is not over! Congress must now negotiate a final Fiscal Year 2022 spending bill, and we need your help to ensure that it includes this $11 million of dedicated funding for fertility control vaccines. This is a critical step toward curtailing the brutal helicopter roundups that are so costly to American taxpayers and the wild horses and burros we love.


Help Stop the Donkey Skin Trade!

Each year, millions of donkeys are brutally slaughtered for the production of ejiao (eh-gee-yow), medicinal gelatin that is made from boiling the skins of these animals. The U.S. is the third largest importer of ejiao in the world. The donkey skin trade is now decimating global populations as well as harming the impoverished global communities that rely on them for survival.

Luckily, the Ejiao Act was recently introduced in Congress to ban the knowing sale or transportation of ejiao in all interstate or foreign trade. We need to speak up for all donkeys — including our federally protected wild burros! Please take a moment to ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Ejiao Act!


Devil’s Garden Roundup Wrap-Up

The U.S. Forest Service ended its controversial roundup of wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in California’s Modoc National Forest in October, resulting in the permanent removal of 506 horses. During the month-long operation, five horses died — a tragic fact that was unknown to the public until AWHC persisted in getting the information from the Forest Service.

In our most recent blog, AWHC looks at this disturbing situation and the Forest Service’s continued lack of transparency and intransigence in refusing to implement humane fertility control. Read the in-depth piece below.



Two Burros and Their Forever Home

Photo by Carol Lollis for the Daily Hampshire Gazette

Recently, AWHC’s Program Specialist Mary Koncel welcomed two adorable rescued burros, Huck and Puck, to her home in Massachusetts! Huck and Puck had a long journey, from the deserts of Nevada, to being adopted through the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program, to a kill pen in Oklahoma, to finally getting the happy ending they deserve in Massachusetts! Read their story below.


Thanks for taking action!

— AWHC Team


ZeePhotosRobin2 10 22 13 1 E1632002288219



By Meredith Hodges

Donkeys are indigenous to desert areas that are often extremely hot or extremely cold. They are tough, surefooted due to the unique shape of their hooves, resistant to parasites, and disease and can withstand wide variations in climate. They require very little to survive and actually prefer the wide variety of brush and weeds that occur naturally in the desert with one of their favorite foods being dandelions.

Donkeys possess an incredible hair coat that does not shed off completely like horses do in the summer months. In their first year, a young donkey will keep his thick hair coat throughout the summer and won’t lose most of the hair until August.

In August, he will not have the thick hair coat, but will retain some longer, wispy hair unlike the horse. This thick hair is meant to insulate the foal against extreme heat and cold until he is able to develop enough body fat to help regulate the temperature throughout his body. It will stay thick inside the ears and will protect the donkey foal from parasites, bugs and severe trauma.

In one short month, the young donkeys will begin to grow back their thicker, winter under-coat in September in preparation for the cold.

As the donkey ages into the prime of his life, he has a covering of body fat to help keep his temperature insulated and the thicker hair is no longer as long and shaggy. Of course, there are some breeds of donkeys that will grow more thick hair than others, but the shaggy hair as an adult is generally reserved for the French Poitou Donkeys.

As the donkey gets to be over 25 years of age, he will begin to grow thicker hair year round to compensate for his loss of body fat due to old age.



When we show our donkeys, we body clip them, but if this is done, it is imperative to blanket them if it gets too cold and provide a light sheet during the cool summer nights.

Understand that they now no longer have the PROTECTION of their unique hair coat. When traveling, donkeys will sit back in the trailer and can rub themselves raw during the ride, especially if they have been clipped. When unclipped, the hair coat will keep this kind of damage to a minimum.

If your donkey does get these kinds of sores, they can usually be healed fairly quickly with a daily application of Neosporin ointment (Photo below was taken one week later). Note that when you clip, there is also the consideration of sunburn.

If you clip your donkey for show and need to haul any distance at all, you should protect his precious rear end by using a blanket or sheet secured over the hind quarters. The best course of action is not to body clip your donkey at all if you do not show. Remember, he’s a desert animal and Mother Nature has already provided him the protection that he needs against the elements.


To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2017, 2018, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


ChasitysChallenges Arrival4

Chasity’s Challenges: Chasity’s Arrival at LTR



With the empty stall and run next to Wrangler, we now had space to consider getting him a new companion. I checked with a friend in Oklahoma and we found Chasity! What a lovely “Lady!” My friend said she was a really FORWARD moving jennet with a lot of independence and enthusiasm. We thought she would be the perfect companion for Wrangler!

Chasity was delivered on 3-30-20 and the introductions began while she was in quarantine in a space where she could see Wrangler, but they could not reach each other.

They played with excitement back and forth along the fence line for a bit!

Then Wrangler had to come to me and tell me and Chad all about what a beautiful girl he had found! He was SO EXCITED!!!

Then Wrangler returned to the fence where they ran back and forth together for quite some time!

They were clearly VERY interested in each other! Love was in bloom!

Chasity does have issues, but will be fed and maintained the same way we do with all of our equines. Many feeds can cause hypertension in Longears (and horses, too!) and an inability to focus for any length of time.  Mules and donkeys require a lot less feed than horses because they are half donkey and donkeys are desert animals. Too much feed or the wrong kind of feed and you run the risk of skin irritations, abscesses, colic, or founder. The formula for our oats mix  fed once a day with grass hay morning and evening is very simple and produces amazing results.

Depending on the individual, we feed the average sized equines (13 hands to 17 hands) 1-1/2 to 2 cups of oats mixed with 1 oz. of Sho Glo by Manna Pro and 1 oz. of Mazola corn oil. Draft animals (over 17 hands) get twice as much and the minis get 1/4 (small minis under 36 inches) to 1/2 (36 to 48 inches) cup. We monitor weight gain and loss by decreasing and increasing the their hay intake and turnout time. A maximum of 2 cups of oats for an average sized animal (usually during the winter) is all they need. We give them oats as rewards from a fanny pack around our waist during their lessons when they actually need the added energy. The oats must be broken open in some way (crimped, steamed, rolled, etc.) as equines cannot digest whole oats. A neglected animal with coarse hair will show a drastic difference in the hair coat within four days. This feed and exercise program together will make a dramatic change in the overall body shape within six months!

If you alter or modify this regimen with other products, you will not get the same results. I make sure the equines have free access to a trace mineral salt blocks (red block) for their mineral needs. We worm with Ivermectin paste wormer in January, March, May, July and September and break the cycle with Strongid in November. When regular worming is done, the Ivermectin will kill tape worm larva, so they cease to be a problem. We vaccinate in the spring and give boosters in the fall. Consult your veterinarian to know the types of vaccines you will need for your specific area. I never feed Longears (donkeys, or mules, or even my horses) any pre-mixed sweet feeds, or excessive alfalfa products. I feed pelleted Sho Glo because it is such a small amount and provides adequate daily nutrition. Feeding larger amounts of dehydrated feeds and supplements can increase the risk of choking. You cannot add enough water to prevent them from sucking fluid from the digestive tract. Equines, and particularly pregnant equines, should not be turned out on Fescue grass. Our pastures are brome and orchard grass which seems best, although Timothy and Coastal hay are okay for Longears if this grass mix is no available. Pregnant equines we feed grass hay only from six weeks before foaling to six weeks after foaling after which their oats mix can be resumed. 

Chasity will be kept in quarantine with no direct interaction with the other equines for 30 days.

Then, she will be kept in a stall and run right next to Wrangler for evening feedings, overnight and for morning feedings for one week before they can go to turnout together in the same area. Feeding in a smaller, dry lot, or stall and run, and monitoring turnout has several benefits:

  1. Each animal can easily be checked daily for any injuries or anomalies. It promotes bonding.
  2. Each animal will not have to fight for his food, can sleep uninterrupted and be more calm and refreshed each day.
  3. You can do turnout at specific times for grazing during the day, and bring them back easily each night because they will know their oats are waiting for them. When you feed the oats mix in the evenings, it makes it easier to call them back from shortened pasture time in the spring (they have to work into extended pasture time slowly and over several weeks).
  4. You can monitor grazing intake so there will not be over-grazing. This minimizes the risk of colic, or founder (Longears should not be on pasture more than five hours a day, and only one hour a day for minis, starting with shorter periods of time in the spring).
  5. The smaller area affords you a confined space for beginning training, so there is no need to chase or be interrupted by other animals.
  6. Your animal will be more apt to come to you easily to be haltered after their morning feeding of grass hay for their lessons only when they know you have fanny pack full of oats for them. You should only need to call them from the gate and never play chase!
  7. ) Having this definite routine lets your animal know what to expect and discourages adverse behaviors.  If you are inconsistent and break the routine, the results will not be the same.

Chasity is a bit suspicious, awkward and unsure of things now, but we have no doubt about her easy adaptation to our program that will increase her confidence, promote good health as her postural core strength evolves and solidify her new habitual way of moving and resting.

Two more ANGELS among us!


The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:


It’s been a long, hard few weeks, and we are so grateful your support allowed us to help with some very challenging situations.  Thank you are two very small words that mean so very much.


We wanted to share Katie and Heidi’s story sooner, but due to their condition, it felt like we needed to wait until we knew more.  It’s only been a week, but it’s a hard story to tell.
AAE was contacted in early January 2020 by an older woman asking if we could take their mini donkey and two goats because she and husband were getting older and “selling the farm”.  She said the donkey, Katie, was older and tiny (28-30″) w/a lil arthritis….and the goats were mid-teens, older and a lil arthritis, but they all got around fine.  Sadly, there was no urgency communicated.  It seems AAE always has a full house, so we couldn’t help in that moment.  When it finally seemed like the load was lightening in early March, we coordinated a pick-up.  We learned one of the goats passed the week before, apparently victim of a predator.  What should have been a routine intake turned out to be a very heart-wrenching surrender.

When we arrived, we found poor Katie emaciated beyond imagine; she was down and lethargic and looked as if she was dying at that moment.  She was a bag of bones and couldn’t get up.  Her head hung low, her ears were flat, and her tongue hung from her mouth.  Her coat was so long and thick, it masked her bony frame.  There was literally, hardly any muscle anywhere on her body (e.g. hips, neck, cheeks, etc.).  Heidi, her lil goat friend, must have been eating all of Katie’s food.  She was beyond plump, but extremely arthritic.  Through some gentle urging and support, Katie got up.  Heidi, too.  We had to usher each of them to the transport van, then lift each of them in.  Thankfully, we were not far from home, but it seemed like the longest seven mile drive.  Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center was called as soon as we got on the road, and they arrived about 10 mins after we got the girls unloaded and in a stall.

It was a sad scene as we watched; the vets were very concerned about Katie’s condition, and Heidi, too.  After initial evaluation, Katie got fluids, a small dose of pain meds, and blood was drawn.  Heidi got some pain meds for her arthritis and other meds to help her, too.  We needed blood results before we could really evaluate Katie’s chance for recovery.  While waiting for blood results, we started Katie on a very slow refeeding program giving her very small amounts of an alfalfa pellet mash every four to six hours.  She was interested, but it didn’t seem easy to eat/swallow, though she tried.  It was hard to know if she was simply weak from starving, whether there was an underlying cause, or both.  Quite the opposite for Heidi, she was on a similar diet, but for opposite reasons.  Eating came quite easy for her.
Katie’s blood results were poor, indicating refeeding syndrome.  Considering her geriatric condition, emaciated, arthritis, blind, neuro issues (droopy tongue), diarrhea with crusty poop smothering her hind end, mats, lice, pressure sores, few very sharp teeth, and an apparent history of foundering, it was amazing she was alive.  She should have been done long ago, but somehow, she had brief moments of “I want to live”.  She smiled with her perky ears.  She played with her food bowl and water bucket a couple times.  She’d try to follow you out the stall door.  She’d nudge up against your knee.  But most of the time between those moments, her head continued to hang low, her ears flat, and her tongue hanging lifeless from her mouth.

Though it seemed grim, she deserved a chance.  She had been fed hay and cob, but due to the condition of her mouth with only a few remaining teeth, and sharp at that, she was unable to process that feed.  Katie had moments of wanting to eat, wanting to drink, and she was able to get up on her own, though not easy.  She tried, and we held onto hope.  We tried to make her as comfortable as possible, clipping her crusty hair (which she actually enjoyed), and she loved the brush.  Removing the old, dead hair only revealed more of her bony frame.

After 36 hours, another blood sample was drawn.  Some values improved, but some got worse.  Sadly, over the hours, her spirits were up and down.  After 72 hours, the down was outweighing the up.  She was losing her interest in food and water, and as much as we wanted her to fight, it hurt too much to ask her to keep going.  Without a doubt, it would be a long road ahead, and with all her body had been through, it didn’t seem her lil’ body could hang on so long.  After another 12 long hours with no interest in eating, and it seemed she was tiring of the fight, we helped Katie across the Rainbow Bridge.  Heidi, the brave and stoic friend, was in a very painful condition, too.
The two girls arrived together, and they crossed together…together forever, pain free.
Katie was a remarkable example of incredible resilience, and absolute forgiveness.  She should have hated humans, yet Katie was the kindest, sweetest, most gentle soul I have ever known.
RIP sweet girls. We miss you and wish we could have known you much, much longer!
Two more recent stories…


February started relatively quietly until mid-month.  We took in four minis from an elderly owner that was struggling with chronic health issues and he was no longer physically able to care for them.  Their story is still unfolding.  A little over a week later, AAE got a call about another horse in dire need of help.  All other avenues had failed this poor girl.  Sadly, she had an eye issue she’d been dealing with for at least a year and a half, and she was not thriving.  After some urging, the owner surrendered the sweet mare.
We call her Hope because we have so much hope for her.
Hope is another incredibly kind soul.  We picked her up (she loaded without hesitation) and transported her directly to Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, even though it was Sunday.  Rightfully so, she was hesitant to have anyone on or near her left side, though by the time she settled in the clinic, she must have known help had arrived.  Hope weighed in at 750 pounds.  Not a lot for a horse her size (~15.0 hh). She also has an abundance of melanomas around her rectal area, on tail, and the corners of her lips; however, none were open, draining, or otherwise appearing to be an immediate issue.
After initial evaluation, Hope was scheduled for eye removal surgery the next day. More graphic photos.  Surgery revealed a melanoma behind her eye.  It was partially removed; however, some of the tumor had infiltrated muscles and nerves.  Dr. Errico removed what he could without causing further damage.  Hope was slow recovering, but after her second night in the clinic, she was ready to transfer to AAE.
Hope loaded into the trailer at night and hauled like a champ. Once back at the barn, she looked forward to a yummy mash for dinner.  By morning, relief and relaxation were setting in.
Within a couple days, there was light in Hope’s eye, and she was very much enjoying the attention. Her bandage came off, and the relief was obvious.  Hope continues to heal, swelling is reducing, and she’s enjoying plentiful food.  This gal is obviously so very grateful for the help.


A few days of relative quiet (how quiet can it be with 50-ish horses onsite?), Saturday morning came in with a bang.  Our Shift Leader arrived to find our dearest donk, Mabel, trying to deliver a foal.  Sadly, she stood there with the amniotic sac hanging from her vulva and a partial placenta on the ground.  Not good.  Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center was on the way.
Mabel came to AAE in August needing help w/severe fly allergies causing enormous open lesions on hind her legs. She was afflicted with the same issue the prior year and thanks to tremendous care by Dr. Stolba, she recovered then, and she was on her way to recovery now.
Mabel was accompanied to AAE by her two-year-old (intact) Jack, Max.  We were told that they had been separated for quite some time, and there was no chance she was pregnant. Well, guess what? Wrong. The extra weight she was carrying recently was not from the plentiful food she was been given at AAE.  It looks like Mabel came in 6 months in foal.
After initial exam, sadly, baby was lifeless and not where it should be.  Extensive efforts were made at AAE to remove the baby; however, no luck.  Mabel was prepped for transport to LBEMC for further treatment, and hopefully not needing a c-section to remove foal. Mabel’s good pal, Hardy, watched with obvious concern for his gal pal.  He would have ridden with her if you could.
After further unsuccessful efforts to remove the foal, Mabel was anesthetized.  Her hind end was hoisted in a last attempt to remove the foal.  If the docs did not succeed, she would need a C-section.  The sedation and re-positioning worked.  Baby was successfully removed. It was a little guy, preterm at about 280 to 290 days.  We named him Maddox.  Actually, for his “age”, he was quite large, and as sad as it is, it seems this might have been a blessing in disguise.  Can’t imagine Mabel trying to deliver him with another 45-60 days of growth.  Mabel took a while to awake from sedation, but when she stabilized, she was escorted to the clinic “suite” for a day or two of pampering.
After two nights of observation and monitoring with some pain management, as well, Mabel was ready to come home.  Everyone was beyond thrilled and relieved to have her back.
Though Hardy was elated to see his gal, she was not so enthusiastic, understandably so.  It’s been about 10 days and thankfully Mabel is recovering well.
We’re terribly sad Maddox didn’t survive, but so grateful Mabel survived this ordeal.
Early Bird Pricing $40
(ticket prices go up April 1st)!

This is a super fun event that includes
a BBQ dinner, Live and Silent Auctions, Music and Dancing!
Funds raised at Boots & Bling supports a large portion of AAE’s annual budget ensuring we continue saving and serving horses and humans throughout the year.
Boots & Bling and AAE need YOU!
There are other ways to help and support AAE!
Sponsor our BIG event!
Event SPONSORSHIP  and TABLE  SPONSORSHIP options are available!
If you would like to sponsor this event or want more information on sponsoring, please contact BandB@allaboutequine.org
If you would like to donate to our live and silent auctions or want more information on donating, please contact Dani@allaboutequine.org All donation are needed by 4/10/20

We’ve Extended Our Hours!

Check out our facebook page for pop-up hours and specials!

Friday thru Monday 12p to 4p

Tuesday & Thursday 2p to 6p

AAE Used Tack Store is at
4261 Sunset Lane
Shingle Springs, CA  957362


If you’d like to donate tack or join the volunteer team at the store, please send us an email.
Remember to select All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc. as your charity of choice,
AmazonSmile donates to AAE with every purchase, at no cost to you!
This is a FREE and EASY way YOU can help raise funds for AAE.


As many of you know, we have a continuing need to expand store hours.
Fence cleanup day.  Help us remove old fencing and get us closer to moving some horses!
Perimeter fencing should be done in a couple days, with only tying up the loose ends.
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Work 9a to 1p
We will be pulling out old t-post fencing with a t-post puller tools (we have four), wood posts with the help of a tractor, and winding up all the old wire and stacking it where others can get to it later. The material will either go to recycle or may even be re-sold for crafting/rustic art.

Please bring: Heavy work gloves (leather), Water/Drink for yourself, Hat, Boots and long pants

We will provide: T-Post pullers, wire cutters, hammers, screw drivers, and extra gloves.

Please RSVP via email to Jean if you can help.

You are welcome to bring a family member or friend to help as long as they are over 16 yrs of age. Please let Jean know so we can be sure we have enough tools.

Any questions, please ask Jean.

We need more help staff the store on Wednesday afternoons, 2p-6p, can you help?
We would also like to expand our daily hours.
Fri to Mon 10-12 and 2-6.  With enough help, we can split the shifts, 10a to 2p and 2p to 6p.
Likewise, Tues-Thurs, we’d like to add 10a to 2p.
If you’re interested in helping with tack store activities (e.g. cleaning donated tack, researching/pricing, organizing/merchandising, blanket/tack repairs, picking up tack donations, helping customers, sharing AAE info, admin support, and more), we need you.
Current store hours are Fri-Mon 12-4p, and recently added Tues/Thurs hours 2-6p.
We can always use help during any of the current hours, too.
Please email us if you are interested/available Tues, Wed, or Thurs afternoons, 2-6p.
If you are available to help with administrative activities, we are creating admin hours in the office at the store.  We have a variety of administrative tasks we need help getting done.
Please email us if you are interested/available Tues, Wed, or Thurs afternoons, 2p-6p.
We have kicked off our Boots & Bling planning for 2020.  The event has included a catered BBQ Dinner, DJ Music and Dancing, Live/Silent/Dessert auctions, a special fundraiser, and line dancing with instruction.  We need help in most areas for planning for this event to make sure its a huge success for AAE and our horses.
Please email us if you are interested in helping with Boots & Bling.
We meet once a month until the event.
Maybe you’d like to help around the barn, but don’t want to work directly with the horses,
or you don’t like to muck?
We could use some daily to weekly to monthly help cleaning and organizing, whether it’s the feed room, the meds room, the office, the tools, groundskeeping, painting shelters, monitoring the fencelines, dump runs, tree trimming, coordinating vehicle maintenance, or a zillion other things.
There’s so much that needs to be done, and we can use extra hands to help keep things looking nice and clean.
Please email us if you are interested/available during regular barn shifts,
Mon-Sat 8a-noon, Sun 9a-1p or afternoons 3p-6p.
Daily Horse Care, especially pm shifts (Daily 8a-12p or 3p-6p)
Used Tack Store Support, all areas (Fri – Mon, 12-4p, possibly T, W, Th 2-6p)
Barn/Facility Maintenance
Foster Homes, Long-Term Foster/Sanctuary Homes
Capital Campaign Support
Board Members
Grants – Writing and Research
Volunteer, Project, and Activity Coordinators
Outreach Activities
Youth Programs
Therapy Programs
Veteran Programs
Special Projects
Admin Support
Social Media
Media and/or Photo Librarian
More, more, more
Interested in volunteering or volunteering in other areas?

Employers Match Donations, Does Yours?

Hey volunteers!
Did you know YOU could earn grant money for AAE from your employer just by volunteering?
Many Employers offer money when their employees volunteer.  Here are a few examples:
  • Intel

    provides a $10 grant to a nonprofit per every volunteer hour by an employee, and matches funds dollar for dollar up to $5,000 per employee or retiree.

  • Microsoft provides a $17 grant to a nonprofit per every hour volunteered by an employee.
  • Apple provides a $25 grant to a nonprofit per every volunteer hour by an employee, and matches funds dollar for dollar up to $10,000 per employee.
  • Verizon provides a $750 grant to a nonprofit when an employee volunteers for 50+ hours.
  • State Farm provides a $500 grant nonprofit when an employee volunteers for+ 40 hours.
  • Others top 20 matching gift and/or volunteer grant companies include
    • Starbucks 
    • CarMax
    • Home Depot 
    • JP Morgan
    • Chevron
    • Soros Fund Management 
    • BP (British Petroleum)
    • Gap Corporation
    • State Street Corporation 
    • ExxonMobil
    • Johnson & Johnson
    • Boeing
    • Disney
    • Google
    • Merck
    • Aetna
    • Dell
    • Outerwall (CoinStar and RedBox) 
    • ConocoPhillips
    • RealNetworks
    • Time Warner and subsidiaries
    • AllState
    • and more
Check with your employer.  You could help purchase our next load of hay!

Save Your Ass Rescue Newletter



The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:


What Does It Take to Save Your Ass?

It seems as though the hot topic on donkey groups in social media is: “What do I feed my donkey?” We get asked about donkey nutrition a lot so we would like to share a little bit about what it takes to rehab donkeys and mules in need from a rescue’s perspective.

As a rule donkeys are very easy keepers because they are browsers, which means they require walking long distances for very little food. A lot of donkeys in the US are overfed, which is just as negligent if not more so than a donkey coming to us underweight. There are a large number of risks when a donkey is overweight; their liver or kidneys could fail, they could become hyperlipemic, they could founder, and/or get laminitis. It is more natural for a donkey to be thin than it is for a donkey, who is desert species, to be fat. Over the years we have had to euthanize animals due to complications from obesity. If you are reading this and thinking “oh my gosh my donkey is a chunky monkey!” don’t panic, you’re not a terrible donkey owner! We are strong believers in meeting people where they are. We can’t be upset with people who simply do not know. That’s why we are writing this and constantly trying to educate people on proper donkey welfare.

If you would like more info on getting your donkey to a healthy weight, visit https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/what-we-do/knowledge-and-advice/for-owners/feeding-your-donkeys The Donkey Sanctuary is great resource for donkey care!

We do all the major medical and behavioral procedures for the donkeys and mules that come in so when they get adopted they have the best possible start in their new life. When you adopt a donkey or mule from us, all the routine care has been done so the new owner doesn’t have to worry about anything besides bonding with and enjoying their new long eared friend/ friends. Secondly we do this so the new owners are aware of what they are getting into ahead of time. This is very important to us as Ann and I are animal owners ourselves, and we understand that one has to be practical when it comes to adopting a large animal into your care! It can be overwhelming for first time owners so we do our best to give them and the adoptee guidance in the right direction.

We have talked a lot about our process of taking in animals so I’ll keep it short and sweet. When we take in a new donkey or mule we let them settle in first and foremost. When we feel they are stable enough and not stressed or anxious we have our veterinarian out to give them a health check up. This includes getting their routine vaccinations, dental exam/ dental work, and if any abnormalities are found we have blood work and/or tests done.

Then we call the farrier to have their hooves trimmed and get them on a schedule for every six to eight weeks.

Since a lot of animals come to us in varying conditions, we mimic the environment, and feeding care they have been getting in their previous home, to reduce stress related issues such as colic. Once they are settled in we make a feeding plan for them depending on their condition. Typically this consists of switching them over to a mineral supplement. We use California Trace mineral Supplement, and first cut hay in slow feeder hay nets. Donkeys need to be fed small amounts, frequently.

Since we are a non-profit and are always in need of donations we believe it is important to share with our amazing supporters where your donations are going, transparency is very important to us.

This is what it costs us to take in a pair of standard donkeys from the time they arrive at the rescue until the day they are adopted. This is a generalized tally as it would be totally different for a 1200 lb. 30 year old mostly toothless draft mule! We had quite a few of those those in 2019. A pair of standard donkeys if healthy and trained, stay at the rescue an average of 3-4 months before being adopted. What do you think the total cost of their stay which includes all their routine vet work, vaccinations, dentals, health check ups, health certificates, having their blood sent out for a coggins test, worming, hay, supplements, a salt block, shavings and farrier trims, would be? This does not include emergency vet calls or medications that they may be on. For two standard size donkeys who are here for four months, the cost for us to get all of their routine care done is $1,158.08! If you’ve seen our adoption fees, you know that we do not make money from adoptions. The adoption fee helps us, yes. Our primary goal is to get the donkeys and mules healthy and happy, and making love matches between long ears and humans; which makes it all worth it.

Raise a glass and toast yourselves, you amazing ass saving supporter!

We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts, and we wish you all a wonderful new year full good health and happy brays.


Hannah, Ann and the SYA Team


Click here to see our animals for adoption!

Hobie and Walton Update

Hobie, the once wobbly little donkey is feeling fierce and full of life as of late. If you are in the pen with him, he is sure to follow you around, right at your heels. His favorite thing to do is to is sun bathe when the sun is just right in his stall overhang, and of course, breakfast.

Walton has also been full of life lately and was allowed access to the big field to play with his next door pasture mate, Vinny. Walton took advantage of all the space and trotted the entire perimeter, and then cantered back to all of his friends. He had a blast! Where Walton once had cuts, and open festering wounds, he now has new healthy skin with little baby hairs growing in. <3

Some of things we are in always in need of to continue their healing process can be found below.

-Chopped Alfalfa
-Vitamin E (Elevate)
-Purina Senior
-Hay nets with 1&1/2 inch holes

Thank you all for your kind thoughts for these two amazing equines!

“We should never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.”

-Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Save Your Ass Rescue Newletter



The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

A little bit about us..

I have never been happier to see a year come to an end. 2019 has been the most difficult year for Save Your Ass Long Ear rescue since our inception as a non-profit in 2007. At this time last year, I was recovering from a broken leg and messed up ankle.
This is when my friend, and most amazing employee Hannah Exel, stepped up to the plate. She has not backed down since. Hannah has been an animal lover since her childhood; nurtured at the knee of her grandfather Elbridge Bellows. His love of his draft horses got and kept Hannah especially interested in equines.

The “manure hit the fan” in April when we took in six sick donkeys which changed our workload dramatically. Hannah went into overdrive. She worked, and continues to work closely with our wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Kristen Clapp and super tech Remington Morancy, in keeping on top of what animals need and setting up appointments to make sure those needs are taken care of. Hannah is no stranger to hard work and totes hay bales and snow plows driveways and paddocks, and feeds the rescues and cares for them 5 days out of the week. She has become a fencing wizard, ensuring all animals are safely confined within beautiful, straight fence lines. It has been an amazing experience for me to see this young woman who came to work at SYA in 2015 blossom and become a real force to be reckoned with. I am proud that Hannah is not only a valued board member, but Shelter Manager, and has gotten the positive reinforcement bug big time and has become a phenomenal trainer. She is taking Ben Hart’s training course and will be starting Dr. Susan Friedman’s LLA class this month. I would not have made it through this last year without the knowledge that she had my back. The trust and friendship that has developed between us really came into the forefront in 2019. We are in this together.

I also want to thank the wonderful volunteers who help us out in so many ways. We would not be where we are today without the help of Joan Gemme, Andria Elliot, Pamela Kissell, Mike Dunham, Pamela Simmons, Logan, Jennifer Molnar, Regina Molnar, Johnny Carroll, and my amazingly supportive, fun loving B.O.D.; Hannah, Elise Paffrath, JoEllen Barton, and Jean Cross. Hannah’s fiance’ Trevor Allen, and my most amazingly supportive husband Jeff who had no idea what he started when he got me a donkey for my birthday close to thirty years ago. Lastly, but certainly in no way least; YOU!! Our SYA “family” who have been over the top with your support; both emotional and financial this year. Asking for help is very hard for me and I have hated to have had to have done it so often. You folks stepped up big time!!

Hannah and I are very grateful to you all. Best wishes to you all for a healthy, happy, peace and loved filled 2020.


Hi everyone this is Hannah chiming in as a PS!
I am going to share a little bit about Ann now..

Heres a little info on the Founder of Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue; Ann Firestone. Ann has always loved animals ever since she was a very young age, she used to rescue squirrels, chipmunks, and other small injured animals that crossed her path. Being an animal lover one of her favorite books was Brighty of the Grand Canyon. Since that book, she always wanted a donkey of her own. Ann got her first donkey in 1990. Be Bop a Lula was her name. A small brown miniature donkey with tiny little legs and sweet soft eyes. Ann and Jeff, her husband brought her to their home in South Acworth and their long journey of donkey rescue began!

She took in many other animals people couldn’t take care of anymore, mostly donkeys as you could probably guess. Being a Vet tech for many years she knew how to nurture them to health and either re-home them or keep them as part of her family.

The Rescue has been ongoing since 2006 but officially got the 501c3 status in 2007! Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue was born! Ann and the rescue have adopted out on average 30-40 animals per year, that means SYA has adopted out roughly 400 donkeys and mules, (and one miniature horse) in 13 years! She has been many things over the years, a certified dog trainer who is dedicated to positive reinforcement training, a Vet Tech, a licensed wildlife rehabber, and currently the Co-Founder and President of SYALER. This year has honestly has been a crapshoot. If not for our supporters being so generous the rescue would not still be here.

We have been working double time this whole year just to catch up and to keep the rescue going. I am fortunate to be able to go home from all the chaos at the end of the day and on weekends, but Ann is in it 24/7. I have never met some on who gave so much of themselves and their life to saving animals.  Often times Ann is up late replying to emails, sending thank you notes, and filling orders, she works very hard to keep this whole thing going! She is an amazing person who deserves to be recognized but would never mention any of this herself, so here I am!

Happy New Year to all,

Hannah Exel


SYALER eNewsletter


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

July, 2019

Ears the news…


I apologize for the lapse in newsletters. For those of you who do not visit us via FaceBook, you don’t know what has been going on here so I will begin with an update.

In April we took in six donkeys from a sale barn who came to us very, very ill. Our vet prepared us for the fact that they might not all make it. The donkeys  were diagnosed with  influenza and another virus. One of them, only a baby herself, aborted her foal. Two weeks after that the mules who were not even near the donkeys, came down with strangles. (The donkeys did NOT have strangles) The whole farm was put in quarantine. We beefed up our bio security big time; hazmat suits for all, foot covers, gloves, bleach to clean EVERYTHING anyone touched. Foot baths outside every entrance to every barn, and a change of suits; clothing EVERY time we changed locations.

I am happy to report that the donkeys have all recovered. After being brought up to date with vaccinations and having their hooves, which were in horrid condition trimmed they will soon be ready to be adopted.  We have negative test results on three of the mules, and two more will be tested next week. Hopefully they too will have negative results and be ready to go to new homes.

This ordeal has been incredibly stressful emotionally. It has seriously impacted our financial footing as well and it’s not over yet. We have incurred close to 9,000 in vet bills. We have been blown away by the amazing generosity of our loyal supporters.  If not for this wonderful group of people I don’t know how we would have made it through this. I don’t have the words to adequately express our gratitude.

I would be remiss if I did not thank our amazing vet Kristen Clapp and uber technician Remington Morancy; they have been phenomenal. Thanks to State Veterinarian Steve Crawford for working with us as well.  Of course super star Hannah Exel stepped right up to the plate and did whatever needed to be done. The help of our part time worker Kim Nelson and our Farm Fam pal Pomme took a bit of the load off as well. Wonderful SYA  volunteer Pam Kissel willingly dressed in hazmat gear to make sure all the animals got groomed and some cuddle time.  Those suits are like a wearable sauna. NOT FUN.  In the thirteen years of running the rescue I have never had to deal with anything like this and hope to never have to again!

I hope to get back on track with regular newsletters.




President & Shelter Manager



SYALER eNewsletter


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

April 19, 2019


Ears the news…

I apologize for the lapse between newsletters. It’s been a rough winter. I recently lost my first donkey Lula at age 28 . That was a tough one for me. Jeff got her for me as a gift and we brought her home in the back of a van when she was 16 weeks old.  It is because of Lula that I began to reach out to other donkey owners, read everything I could get my hands on about donkeys and their care, their nutritional needs, behavioral needs, and what it takes to start a rescue. The rest is history.

We have taken in a lot of animals with medical issues, those needing a lot of “fattening up”, and those with severe hoof issues.  The weather has been challenging as well. Thankfully we are finally getting some warmer, sunny days and  life is looking a bit more optimistic.

We have recently said farewell to two of our devoted board members, Joan Gemme, and Jean Cornish. They will be missed. We wish them well in their new endeavors. Thankfully Joan will still be volunteering to help with the auction and side projects for which we are very grateful!

We are in the process of looking for a new treasurer for the BOD as well as someone gifted in the art of fund raising. If you or anyone you know might be interested please let me know.

We currently have several adoptions pending and several in the works, just waiting for i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed. Shadow will be going to a wonderful home where she will have the company of many other donkeys of varying sizes. Sol and Luna will be going to their new home next month, as hopefully will be Ruth and Ezra.  We have people interested in Molly and Shadow, so hopefully all will be in new, loving homes before long. We love having them here but it is no substitute for being doted on by forever owners.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for the adoption of Manny and Sibley as well.

We are having our annual Open House on May 18th this year and hope to see you there! It’s a fun day to hang with the animals, other like minded folks, share food and a good time.  It will be held from 11:00 to 4:00. Please join us and bring your friends!

I would also like to publicly welcome’s our newest employee, Kim Wilson who now works weekends. I get a day off!!  Kim is a hard worker with a wonderful sense of humor; paramount for this job, and a great love for the animals.  We are happy to have her on board!

I will do my best to get back on track with the timely writing of this newsletter.



President & Shelter Manager



SYALER eNewsletter


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

October 26, 2018

Ears the news…

What a difference a day makes….waking up to snow on the ground was a surprise. The donkeys and mules were lined up so their bodies were like solar panels; all soaking in the warmth as the sun rose in the sky.

I am happy to say that in the twelve years I’ve been placing animals through the rescue, only twice have I had to reclaim animals from the home in which I had placed them. Since close to 400 animals have been placed in homes in that time frame I am able to take it in stride, though I cannot say it does not bother me greatly. Upon doing a site visit to a home which agreed to make changes necessary to provide what two draft mules would need recently, we sadly found that not only had the changes not been made, but the animals condition was not acceptable, so the decision was made to take them back. This is not a pleasant experience for either side. Although unpleasant I will do what needs to be done as I am first and foremost an advocate for the animals in my care. I will work with potential adopters by offering advice, suggestions, and even hands on help if needed, but if adopters are not going to abide by the rules and regulations stipulated in the adoption contract they sign, I will do whatever is necessary for the wellbeing of the animals. Thankfully this does not happen often as it very stressful for all involved. I am happy to say the two we brought back are doing well and are ready to be adopted.

We have quite a few animals available for adoption right now. The two draft mules who came back are a sweet bonded pair. We have several donkey pairs as well as two single mules. All of them would be very happy with a family to dote on them. I love having them here but know they will be so much happier with their own people.

I am looking forward to attending my sixth annual Donkey Welfare Symposium at UC Davis Vet School next weekend. I love the opportunity to be around like minded people who want to learn how to best care for their animals. The chance to learn from veterinarians, equine dentists, farriers, behaviorists many of whom work in third world countries on the donkeys there is an amazing experience. It’s a blast to hook up with friends whom I see only at this venue, once a year.   I will get home and have a couple of weeks to prepare for Equine Affaire which is another fun gig to look forward to and at which I hope to see a lot of you.

The water heaters have been pulled out of storage and electric tea pots at the ready for preparing hot mashes as the weather changes. I hope all of you and your long eared buddies are having a wonderful fall and that the winter will be kind to us all.



President & Shelter Manager








Page 1 of 3123»