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Ever wondered how donkeys are trained to long rein or to pull a cart?

Some of the donkeys at the donkey assisted therapy centres and at Slade House Farm are trained to draw carts.

Long reining and driving are great activities to provide enrichment for the donkeys as well being a very effective way to keep them physically and mentally fit so they can carry out their donkey assisted therapy work better.

Sian from our donkey assisted therapy in Manchester with Harry

Educating and caring during 'motivational' Spanish zoo visit

On day three of my visit to Spain, Andrew and I visited Cordoba Zoo where we were met by Ana who leads the donkey assisted therapy project supported by Jose and Cristina who are all employed by The Donkey Sanctuary.

Our collaboration with the zoo and the local university makes the project possible as the behaviour, animal care and assisted therapy students all volunteer regularly which enables the team to deliver safe riding and cart ride sessions.

oo director Manuel Majo greets The Donkey Sanctuary staff

A trip to Spain: discovering the work of El Refugio del Burrito

In my role as General Farms Manager (UK) I visit the farms in Devon, Dorset and Derbyshire on a regular basis and pass on good ideas from one Manager to another.

Last month I had the opportunity to visit our two sites in Spain with Andrew Judge, European Operations Manager.

Firstly, my visit took me to Fuente de Piedra and Spain was delivered some lovely warm weather for my visit. Fuente is open to the public and is situated about one and a half hours drive north of Malaga.

Donkeys at El Refugio del Burirto

Foal gets a helping hand

Andy told me the tale of Cameron's birth which I felt shows how lucky we are to have someone of Andy's experience on our team. Without his help this gorgeous foal and her mum could have died.

Both the Vet and Andy Cockburn, Farm Manager at Brookfield Farm, felt that the time was close for Cameron to give birth; her udder was full of milk and the position of the foal had changed.

Cameron with her new born foal

Donkey-shaped head collars

I am delighted to announce that we finally have donkey-shaped head collars for our donkeys. When I first joined The Donkey Sanctuary in 2001 I asked why nobody had ever developed a “donkey-shaped” head collar, it has taken a long time to achieve this goal.

Light blue donkey-shaped head collar

Development of donkey shaped rugs

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).

Wilma wearing donkey rug

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