ABOUT US

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This webpage is dedicated to a very special advocacy project: -DONKEYTREK- created by the humans and donkeys at Foghorn Farm Donkey Training in Wellington CO. See our website for Foghorn Farm Donkey Training at Foghorn Farm ! You can check out  and “like” DonkeyTrek on FB DonkeyTrek on FB and also Foghorn Farm Donkey Training on FB Foghorn Farm on FB.

Our Mission Statement:
“DonkeyTrek: Trekking for Troops is about advocacy on behalf of both donkeys and Veterans. First, our mission is to educate and advocate about donkey behavior, donkey training, and donkey health. Second, our mission is to promote equine-assisted therapy through showing what donkeys (and all equines) can do for Veterans’ mental health and self esteem.” –Rachel Karneffel, Foghorn FarmJPEG

DonkeyTrek: Trekking for Troops is an advocacy project created by Rachel and Wolf Karneffel of Foghorn Farm (Formerly Wise Ass Acres). Wolf is an Iraq Veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In an effort to help rehabilitate Wolf, both Rachel and Wolf decided to advocate for both donkeys and Veterans through trekking through both wild areas and down highways and through towns, bringing the message of the donkey as a healer.

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Donkeys are THE most abused and neglected animal in the world. They are used or bought and then thrown away like trash often, because people don’t understand their unique needs and incredible intelligence. Veterans are also cast aside after serving faithfully and putting their life on the line. Pairing the two seemed like a logical, if unorthodox way to bring healing to both.

DonkeyTrek 2015 was an amazing experience, and the donkeys touched many lives along the way, especially the life of Larry, a homeless Vet who bonded so deeply with the donkeys that he decided not to commit suicide, and instead found a place to stay with his sister and a job, all so that one day he could have a donkey of his own.

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Wolf and Rachel plan to have many more DonkeyTrek adventures in the years to come, bringing light into a dark world, bringing healing and advocating for donkeys-amazingly sensitive animals who require patience, calmness, and confidence.

IMG_4919About Us:
Rachel and Wolf Karneffel:
Hello, we are the owners of Foghorn Farm! We did a DonkeyTrek in the Spring 2015. We then moved to Northern Colorado and have been doing local advocacy, re-building our lives, and are planning another DonkeyTrek in the near future!

Rachel: Since my husband is a Veteran, and I work in the field of Equine -Assisted Therapies as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor, the subject of healing through working with horses and other equines is very dear to my heart.

I have a degree in Equine Science from CSU and am a lifelong horsewoman with a background in hunter/jumper. I got involved with donkeys several years back when I took on Charlie, my first donkey. As soon as I met him I knew I had something really special. Charlie changed my whole perspective on how I work with equines, and through working with my donkeys and client donkeys I have grown so much as a horse/donkey woman and as a human being. This trip, to me, is about getting to really rely on my donkeys and my husband and myself. That creates a bond that is different than the bonds we form just moving through life at the breakneck pace that is expected of us in this day and age. I am yearning for something different. Along the way I hope to educate, advocate, and most of all LEARN more about what connects us all.

Wolf: I am proud Mayan and Hunkpapa Native American. I am a Veteran of two campaigns, six years service and three deployments. While in service to my country I was a Combat Engineer. I performed route clearance and served as a gunner for all three tours. After leaving the Army I was diagnosed with P.T.S.D. The two forms of treatment that I use are my dog Charles and my donkey Raymond. Raymond, much like me, has issues with trust and is always on the alert. This is similar to two of the symptoms I suffer from because of P.T.S.D. This has allowed me to form a strong bond with him as we teach and train each other. He trusts me to look after his best interests and care, much like the soldiers I led in Iraq. I am trusting him to keep me grounded and help heal me. Together on this trip I know we will form a bond very similar to the brotherhood in service to my country. I look forward to growing with Raymond and to the things he will teach me.

Goofing off at Arches in Moab:

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Doing a donkey Demo/Speech for Mancos School of the West during the Mancos Hot Air Balloon Festival. Darlin had the audience laughing as she made happy faces from having her ears rubbed:

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18 thoughts on “ABOUT US

  1. I found your page and really enjoyed it. I am fairly new to donkeys, having discovered Mammoth Donks about a year ago. I lease a gelding named Justice and ride two others who live with my trainer. Because of my disabilities, I find riding donkeys narrower backs more comfortable than horses . I am trying to bond with Justice but not sure it’s happening yet.
    They really are very different from horses. I would to read more tips on how to speak donkey.

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    1. Hi Lynne! Nice to meet you! It’s great to hear that mammoth donkey riding works for you! I really want to integrate mammoths into my therapeutic riding center that I instruct at. Because they are narrower, donkeys are great for those with tight legs or hip pain. Bonding just comes with time. Donkeys tend to be “one-mannish” and like one or two people exclusively. Soemtimes finding an itchy spot that makes their lips wiggle or bringing out a favorite treats and teaching them how to stretch or bow for a treat will help them bond with you. Donkeys work more off of praise than horses do, and they like it if you make a big fuss out of their little accomplishments!

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  2. Thank you for your views, candor and dear selves in this “about us”…it is beautiful and endearing. I have two sons who did 3 tours of Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan between them. P.T.S.D. is so common upon return, it is sad. Bless the soldiers who put their lives on the line for our safety of we back home. And bless the programs that help therapeutically with PTSD. I raised my children with horses, donkeys and a menagerie of other critters to help them deal with the world around them and to know how to be self-sufficient. They all love animals and turn to them to help heal from the wounds of life…as I do. Bless you for following your hearts, with your donkeys, to make this trek. It will be great fun watching through your blog. Best wishes.

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    1. Thank you to your sons for their service! It isn’t easy being a military family! I met Wolf after he had already done his service so I never knew him before. His service and his PTSD is just a part of him to me. Finding some sort of therapy after being in war is so essential! Animals are so great for that!

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  3. Dear Miss Wise Ass Acres;
    It’s me – Dad – saying “hello” on my visit to your new site!
    Hee – hawwww!
    Nice job on the site.

    Love to all,

    Dad

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So excited to find this! I live in Montrose and have a sweet little, almost five year old standard, about 38 inches tall. He is a companion to my daughter’s QH gelding. We raced him at the Buena Vista Pack Burro race last summer and enjoy taking him out whenever we can. We would love to join you for a hike if you come this way. I am a 4H leader here in town and would love to have my club help you out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Heidi, That would be great! My guess is that yes, we will be going past Montrose or GJ, and would love it if 4H got involved at some level! Even if it is just someone has a place with a corral and water for us to camp out for a night or two that would be great! Or if the 4Hers wanted to come learn about the donkeys and what they can do we could do a little presentation too.

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  5. I saw the write up in the Reporter Herald about the donkey trek. I have a donation jar and have collected some money but I need an address to send it. I am sorry to hear about the mishap with the pit bull and hope that the animals will recover.

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    1. Hi Doris, than you for thinking of DonkeyTrek! The animals are recovering, which is great! If you want to make a donation you can send the money to P.O. Box 1074 Mancos CO 81328. Thank you!!!

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  6. Hi there! Noticed it’s been over seven months since the last post. How has the recovery been? Would love to hear “the rest of the story”.

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  7. Dear DonkeyTrek:

    I am Francisco Javier Navas from the University of Córdoba in Spain. I have read about your work on donkey assisted therapy for PTSD and we are organising an online course about donkeys in my university.

    I would like to be able to send you further information as I think it could be interesting to tell about your project in the course.

    Javier

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