Meet Wilma who lives at Hurfords on Trow Farm; she is modelling one of our bespoke donkey shaped rugs which have been made in collaboration with Countrywide Equestrian and are available to buy for your own donkey through their website.
The coloured binding denotes the different sizes; red is the most common size here at The Donkey Sanctuary and measures 52" (130 cm). There are 8 sizes available, in 3" increments, ranging from 40" (100 cm) to 60" (150 cm).
Development of bespoke donkey rugs was necessary as pony shaped rugs do not fit donkeys very well. Donkeys have narrow shoulders, chests and necks compared to ponies and our older donkeys also have narrow hind quarters; pony rugs tend to slip and rub, leg straps also rub the donkeys’ sensitive skin between their hind legs.
When designing these rugs we made sure that the front section did not hang down to the donkeys’ knees so that they could move their legs easily (see the shaped front section) and the adjustment buckles on the chest have quick release clips. The crossing belly straps and shaped tail flap ensured that the rug does not slip and meant that we did not have to fit leg straps. The neck section has fleece lined elasticated top and a Velcro fold over flap. The fabric is light weight, water proof and breathable and is available in a light weight cotton lined rain sheet or in a quilted rug suitable for a clipped donkey to wear, or for a very elderly donkey that finds it difficult to move around and feels the cold.
You might have noticed the bespoke donkey-shaped head collar Wilma is wearing with the matching lead rope; these are also available from Countrywide Equestrian and fit the donkeys perfectly.
I am delighted to see these new additions which help us to look after the donkeys on our farms in the UK, Continental Europe and Ireland.