More about donkeys in Tuscany

Sweet go-getters

Patient, beautiful, eager to learn, loyal, independent, strong and very smart. In short they have a complete personality. We can go on all day long mentioning the positive qualities of our favorite animal, the donkey.

The reputation that donkeys are self-willed animals has to do with their intelligence and cautious nature. Unlike horses, donkeys are not flight animals. Therefore, they cannot be goaded if you want to drive them in situations where they see danger. This stress is more likely to increase their stubbornness. Once their trust has been won, they will show their kind and docile nature.

Donkeys have a shoulder height of between 95 and 140 cm. Their body size means they are easily accessible for children. The large head with large ears and friendly eyes appeal to children.

Another benefit of donkeys is that they like roving for a long time. In addition, they have great endurance and sure footedness. Hence the saying: "A donkey does not hit the same stone twice." A donkey who walks on a rocky road and hits a stone with his front leg will never hit the same stone with his hind leg! That is a plus on mountain trails.

We use donkeys of the "Amiatino" breed from the south of Tuscany of which only a few are left. They are relatively large donkeys with grey fur and a black cross on their shoulders. Their body is lean and muscular with short, sturdy legs. They are stable and docile walkers, ideal for long treks.

In earlier days, they were used in the hills by loggers to bring the wood to the villages. They also brought water from the springs to the villages. Because donkeys don't like negotiating steep and rocky paths, these routes from the springs and the valleys to the hilltop villages were created by the donkeys. Later the roads and paths were paved and houses were built around them. That is why it is said that the street plans of the old Tuscan villages were actually made by the Amiatini donkeys of the past.

Did you know that…

  1. donkeys are curious
  2. a donkey has a gestation period of 11 to even 14 months
  3. a donkey is stronger than a horse of the same size
  4. donkeys have a good memory. Even after 25 years, they can recognise places and other donkeys.
  5. donkeys think independently. They ponder and make their own decisions based on safety.
  6. donkeys have patience with children and are extra sweet to them.
  7. donkeys can live to be up to 50 years old.

Donkeys of the Santa Barbara stables

We hebben 12 ezeltjes op de manege. ’s Winters staan ze allemaal samen in een groot dennebos. ’s Zomers staan ze per twee in een paddock of zijn ze onderweg. Elk dier heeft zijn eigen karakter en bijzonderheden. Diaspora en Camelia: doorzetters en beste vriendinnen, Carolina: allerliefst en gevoelig. Zij waren de eerste drie ezeltjes die we hadden. Paola: wijs en ervaren, Fiamma en  Stella: grappig en schalks, Selvaggia en Penelope: jong en speels, Otto: sterk met een goed karakter. Asia is de oudste ezel, haar houden we voor het gezelschap en korte wandelingen. Martino en Moira zijn de jongste dieren, ze werden op de manege geboren in 2018. Nu worden ze volop getraind om te wandelen in de natuur. Daar houden ze erg veel van! We houden rekening met deze eigenschappen bij het toewijzen van de ezels aan een groep of familie om een zo goed mogelijke match te bekomen.

Donkeys in the Nete Valley (Belgium)

NGO Ezelskruid organizes beautiful day trips in the nature reserve in Belgium. For anyone who wants to take a test trip or who is nostalgic to the donkey tour in Tuscany!