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Home > General > Can You Ride a Donkey Like a Horse? Key Differences & Expert Tips

Can You Ride a Donkey Like a Horse? Key Differences & Expert Tips

Boy Riding a Donkey

Donkeys and horses may look similar, but they are two completely different creatures. That said, they share a lot of similarities when it comes to how you ride them.

So, can you ride a donkey like a horse? The answer is yes! Donkeys and horses have similar anatomy, so they can be ridden in much the same way. However, there are some key differences you should be aware of before attempting to ride a donkey. Read on to find out more!


Explanation of Donkeys and Horses

Donkeys are a type of equine animal that is typically smaller than horses. They have short legs, large, pointed ears, and a thick coat of fur. Donkeys usually aren’t used for racing or other sports like horses. Instead, they are often used to carry goods and materials in some parts of the world.

On the other hand, horses are a type of larger equine animal. They have long legs, smaller ears, and a thin coat of fur. Horses are often used for racing and competitive sports, but they can also be trained to do work like pulling carriages or working on farms.

close up of miniature donkeys
Image By: cctm, Shutterstock

Tips for Riding a Donkey

When it comes to riding a donkey, there are a few tips you should keep in mind. First and foremost, don’t expect the same performance as a horse—donkeys are generally slower and less agile than horses.

You also want to make sure you use a saddle specifically designed for riding donkeys since they have shorter backs than horses. Also, take your time getting to know the donkey you’ll be riding, as it can be skittish and need to trust its rider.

Remember that donkeys typically require gentler handling and training than horses do—so make sure to go slowly and treat them with patience and understanding.

Differences Between Riding a Horse and a Donkey

If you’re used to riding horses, then riding a donkey should come fairly naturally. However, there are still some differences that may surprise you. Here are a few tips for riding a donkey like a horse:

farmer taking care of donkeys
Image By; BearFotos, Shutterstock


Donkeys tend to be more stubborn than horses and usually require more patience. So make sure you give your donkey plenty of time to get accustomed to you before hopping on its back.


Donkeys also have smaller strides than horses, so it may require more effort to keep your donkey at an even pace.

man riding a donkey
Image By: Javad Esmaeili, Pixabay


Donkeys can walk, trot, and gallop just like a horse, but they have their own unique version of each gait called a pace. A donkey’s “pace” is actually faster than a horse’s trot, so you’ll need to use a bit of extra strength to keep your donkey at the pace you desire.



two boys riding a donkey
Image By: Helge Wengenroth, Pixabay

Is It Easier to Ride a Donkey or a Horse?

Riding a donkey is certainly possible, but it will require patience and practice. With enough time and understanding, riding a donkey like a horse can be just as enjoyable. However, if you’re looking for an easier riding experience, then a horse may be the better option for you.

How Much Weight Can a Donkey Comfortably Carry?

Adult donkeys can comfortably carry up to 100 pounds of weight, including the rider and saddle. However, it’s important to note that this is based on the size and condition of your donkey. Make sure you consult a vet before placing too much strain on your donkey.

And if you have a mini donkey, they can usually carry up to 50 pounds, so you’ll want to be extra careful not to overload them.

Ultimately, donkeys are resilient animals that can make for great riding partners if you take the time to understand and care for them properly. Just remember these tips, and you’ll be able to ride a donkey like a pro in no time.

Tips to Provide the Best Care for Your Donkey

As the proud owner of a donkey, your priority should be to provide the best care possible.

Here are a few tips for doing just that:
  • Feed your donkey regularly and make sure they have access to plenty of water
  • Have regular vet check-ups to ensure their health and well-being
  • Provide shelter from the elements, such as wind, rain, and sun
  • Make sure to groom and brush your donkey’s coat regularly
  • Monitor your donkey for signs of any health issues or injuries that may require a vet visit

Similar to caring for a horse or any other animal, caring for a donkey requires attention and dedication. But if you do it right, you’ll be rewarded with a loyal and fun riding companion.



Can you ride a donkey like a horse? Yes, with enough patience and practice. Remember to take your time getting to know your donkey and follow these tips for providing the best care possible. With that in mind, happy trails and safe journeys.

Featured Image Credit: Halil İbrahim Özcan, Pexels

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