We have four donkeys here at Wise Ass Acres. Three will be coming on our trip with us in the Spring 2015. Meet our Wise Asses:
Charlie (Will be six in the Spring gelding): Our most trained, most spunky and smart donkey. Charlie rides and packs. Charlie is the donkey who is most likely to lead the others through scary situations, as not a whole lot scares him. Traffic, noises, bicycles, kids…no big deal! He is incredibly intelligent and finds ways to “get my goat.” In fact, getting a goat is the reason we have Charlie. He was bred locally in Mancos Colorado by Charlie Goff (now deceased). His owners offered him to me when they saw him pick up a goat and swing it around in the air! Charlie was not destined to be a guard donkey. However, he has made a wonderful riding donkey and safe pack donkey. He is the first donkey I had ever trained and continues to teach me new things about donkeys every time I am with him.
Darlin (Six year old mammoth jennet): Darlin came to us from Montana by way of Utah. She is a beautiful, young and spirited jennet who has a complex feminine personality. By complex I mean that if she disagrees with me spending time with Raymond she might give me the cold shoulder! She is sometimes moody and sometimes very sweet. We are still figuring each other out! Darlin is trained to ride and is very green. She is surefooted!! We have put the pack saddle on her and panniers, lash cinch and rope. She hasn’t worn them on a trail yet. She is still getting desensitized to sounds and movements, as she is very sensitive to her surroundings. She is our tallest donkey, at a little over 14 hh. She is probably one of the more interesting equines I have met in terms of her personality, and I look forward to getting to know her well!
Raymond (7 year old mammoth gelding): Raymond (Or Raymons as Wolf likes to call him), is a short, stocky mammoth gelding. He is our newest herd member and came to us from Edgewood Longears Safehouse in Mew Mexico. We adopted him after meeting him and seeing that through his shy façade he was actually a kind and curious individual. Raymond is my husband Wolf’s donkey, and is helping him through his PTSD. Raymond and Wolf are developing a special connection and trust as they get to know one another and work with each other. Raymond started out not trusting us much and running away when we would approach with a halter. Through training and lots of positive enforcement he is now halter trained, wearing a pack saddle with panniers (no weight yet), and going places in our trailer. He is also getting better about having us handle his feet. He had his first trip through downtown Cortez and did great with traffic and noise. We think he might be a good donkey to be hitched to Charlie during the trip. He likes to follow Charlie.
Grandma Tilly: Tilly is our herd elder. She is probably close to thirty, although it is impossible to tell as she has nearly no front teeth left! Tilly came to us Thanksgiving 2013 in a blizzard. We didn’t see her as she is white! We found her on the road outside our donkeys’ paddock in the morning and saw that she didn’t look well. Her owners came and got her but later on that week she jumped a cattle guard (with foundered slipper feet) and made it clear she wanted to live with us. Her owners sold her to us for a dollar. She has since recovered from her founder and although she is almost blind, almost deaf, arthritic, and toothless, she is doing well and is happy with life in general. She lives in a paddock with Darlin, away from the boisterous boys. She will not be coming with us on our Donkey Trek as she is too arthritic. She deserves to spend the summer hanging out keeping our friend’s horse company and getting brushed and pampered!