Always a Journey – Trimming Donkey Hooves

As most of you know, we care for horses and donkeys here at Lucky Glider Ranch. Unlike horses, most donkeys have a real aversion to having their feet messed with. Special care has to be taken in preparing and dealing with donkeys for this frequent event. The highlights:

  • There are three approaches to trimming donkey hooves: Untethered / No Sedation; Haltered & Cinched; and Finally with Sedation.
  • In the wild, donkeys knock-off a lot of hoof material with all the running and climbing they do. Domestic donkeys; however, need their hooves trimmed every 12 weeks on soft ground, and twice a year on rocky ground.
  • It is not a best practice to hobble or hog-tie a donkey to trim its hooves. These methods cause a lot of trauma for the donkey and you can get hurt trying to constrain them this way. It’s better to hire a farrier and bring a vet along if you need to sedate a donkey.


The first step in trimming a donkey’s hooves is to corral them and get them in a confined space so they don’t run away. If you’re lucky, as with our Jenny’s, you can calmly approach them and simply pick up their legs and get to work. If you’re dealing with rowdy Jacks, the vet will sedate them a little so they stay calm. To keep fidgety donkey from moving around, you can harness them and loop a lead over a post and cinch their waist.  


The second step is to use a hoof knife to carve out any dirt or mud away from the frog and any material stuck to the inside of the hoof wall. Then, it’s simply a matter of clipping ecess material off of the hoof along the edges and then filing them smooth. A cooperative donkey will work with you to get this done in about 15 minutes. A rambunctious donkey may cause you to spend upwards of 30 minutes or more.


If you are interested in making a ranch visit to see how this is done up close and personal, just let us know and we will let you know what the trimming schedule looks like this Fall and Winter.

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