Miniature Donkey: Hoof Trimming Adventure

One of the things I learned to do this weekend aside from removing a splinter with my teeth, was how to trim donkey hoofs. Miniature donkeys don’t require a whole lot more than love, fresh water, good hay, and the occasional hoof trimming adventure.

Luckily we have MysteryMan’s grandpa to show us how it’s done…

Here’s a hoof that needs trimming:

You start by cleaning out the mud with a pick:

Then cutting back the soft part:

For some reason this part made me cringe. It was also a three-person job to convince Lulu that this was a good idea.


Then filing the hoof down, which was much more like something I could relate to:

The back hoofs required a different stance (to avoid a swift hoof to the kneecap):

We tried brushing them as a distraction because they love to be groomed, but PJ wasn’t buying it.


It’s like donkey torture. Really they are just incredibly stubborn, which means they take after MysteryMan obviously, since I’m always reasonable and accommodating. Ahem.

MysteryMan’s grandpa told us to make sure we “keep the shape” of the hoof when filing. But he also said, “see, this one is a little long in the back.” And I still have no idea how to tell.


So I took a picture of the properly trimmed hoof to use as reference.


My suggestion about hoof trimming with two stubborn donkeys is to have a couple of big guys and some donkey treats handy.

We’ll also be “practicing” weekly by picking their hoofs until they start being a little better behaved when it comes to grooming practices.

10 Responses

  1. whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed over my to-do list I can just remind myself that “pick donkeys’ hooves” isn’t on it. hooray! But truly, I’ve had great results with getting my dog to do things he wasn’t keen on by lots of repitition and praise, so I’m sure it will be well worth it.

    also, I love grandpa’s overalls! they look like just the thing.

  2. Ugh. This brings back such crappy memories of fighting with our horses when the farrier would come to do their feet. Having been squashed up against a stall wall (while pregnant) and hubby being kicked in the chest by a gelding who had a hoof infection the farrier felt we could “work around”…. Yeah right. The vet was not happy with that one. I’m actually thankful I’ve had multiple back surgeries and can no longer ride or I’d still have horses. Which is stupid–given what I just wrote.
    But, on the bright side of things you can get the donkeys to love the hoof trimming by just lifting their feet and feeding them a treat at least once a week. They will actually learn to come to the fence and stand with one foot up waiting for the goodies. I did this with the gelding after the hoof healed. It didn’t make me hate him for squashing me into the stall any less though.

  3. I love that you’re looking for an explanation of the donkeys’ stubbornness beyond that they are donkeys. If they were my donkeys I would spend all my time stomping through fields with them with one hand on their halters, yelling, “Come on you stubborn ass!” and then cackling hysterically.

  4. Donkeys are no different than horses or mules in that you can train them to stand still tied or not and have their feet picked up to be cleaned or trimmed. All of my horses and mini donkey I clean and trim myself both tied and not tied. It is a matter of the person NOT the critter handling the feet and ‘training’ them to stand still. I never hit or yell at them just move their feet. HENCE, I really, really prefer to have them NOT tied when I trim. A few times of circling the animal really fast after they make the slightest move or pull and the animal learns FAST to stand still. BTW, the quicker learner of them all IS the donkey!

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  7. I have two donkeys, one for 21 years and her son 11 years I need to get them to let me look at there feet. I will try the treat . They get treats all the time

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