"How sweet!" Calls a visitor, walks towards the young donkey and caressing the thick soft fur of his forehead. She admires his long ears and is completely blown away by his gentle look. She promptly closed it in her heart.
"Donkeys are partners with whom you can steal horses! "
Who wants to come into relationship with the donkey, will very quickly notice what it means to communicate properly. The donkey will help us to find a common rhythm and to slow down to us. If we succeed, we embrace it and to meet this challenge, we are endowed with a sense of well-being and harmony.
According to Dr May Dodd, donkey therapy promotes the therapeutic benefits for physically, mentally and intellectually disabled patients. It improves communication skills and low self-esteem, and reduces feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Donkeys have the ability to balance and calm anxious, agitated emotions through gentle interaction. They bring mental and emotional calm to physically or psychologically distressed people.
Most domestic donkeys are friendly and docile by nature
Their motivation can be food or social interaction with humans. If they become stubborn we think it is more of a strong inclination of self-preservation. They also quickly learn to avoid frightening or painful situations. They have an intense sense for sight, hearing and smell. Their hearing is superior to humans. When a donkey nuzzles to smell that is to identify whether the animal knows the individual, as to who they know and do not know.
Donkeys cannot see directly in front or in back of themselves, which is why you never approach them without speaking to them first. Generally speaking donkeys are not easily spooked as horses, and tend to freeze rather than flee at a disturbance.
Donkey therapy & the benefits to all
There is much evidence that spending time with animals has a beneficial effect, particularly for the elderly, infirm or those with a wide range of additional needs and disabilities.
We offer a service that works with the individual to assess their needs; from simply meeting the donkeys and grooming them, talking to them and befriending them to venturing out to places they may otherwise not be able to access.
We will also raise awareness of the role of donkeys and their continued importance as beasts of burden in the developing world; and to understand donkeys, their behaviour, needs and welfare. Encouraging compassion and respect for animals, people and the natural world.
Animal assisted therapy for children and adults
Our team of specially trained donkeys offer an outreach service visiting hospices and local residential homes including those dealing with dementia care.
The donkeys prove to be a great stimulation and provide valuable assisted therapy to residents.
The emotional and physical benefits of companion animals are now being established and there is well-researched evidence that shows spending time with animals can have a direct calming influence. The donkeys also love the warmth and affection from vulnerable residents so the animal assisted therapy goes both ways!
Our donkeys and staff offer animal assisted therapy to children and adults who have a range of additional needs and disabilities.
Talk to us about your child’s requirements and we can build a session around them. We are working with children with communication and interaction difficulties such as autism, physical or sensory impairment, learning difficulties, and behavioural, emotional and social development needs.
Our unique donkey assisted therapy for children involves:
- Structured planned rides or cart rides with the most appropriate donkey for each child.
- Outdoor rides when the weather permits.
- Fun games, activities and instruction designed to respond to each child’s specific needs.
- Lots of hands on time with the donkeys including the final thank you and cuddle.
We offer a range of services to our visitors, schools, residential homes and community groups:
- Rides for wheelchair users / handicapped people in a custom built cart!!
- We use this cart and our donkeys to take people to places they would otherwise be unable to access, such as the beach, field and mountain.
- Bringing the donkeys for a visit
- Organising trips in our specially designed cart
- Educating young people about the care, welfare and role of donkeys
Team Building with Animals
Therein lies the challenge and the fun! If you thought other people were challenging to work with well we guarantee you will be working with both sides of the brain to figure out how to make these animals do what you would like them to do! If you thought alpacas, goats, and a donkey were enough of a challenge – later on we will be starting with chickens. Come on and loosen up while the animals teach you a thing or two!