Equine Cheatsheet & Other Fun Facts 



How many longear terms do you know?

Equus asinus
the Latin name for donkey

the Spanish word for donkey

a male donkey

Jennet or Jenny
a female donkey

the offspring of a female horse and male donkey

Molly mule
a female mule

John mule
a male mule

the offspring of a female donkey and a male horse

the offspring of a donkey and a zebra.

Mules, Hennys and Zedonks are hybrids and are almost always sterile, which means they cannot reproduce.

Donkeys and mules

Donkeys and mules are often said to be stubborn. This is not true. Donkeys and mules are very smart and cautious and like to be safe. They are apt to respond differently than horses when they are afraid.  Horses take flight when faced with a situation that they perceive as dangerous. Donkeys are likely to do just the opposite. They will often freeze instead of bolting or running away. A donkey or mule will often stop and think about what is scaring them, trying to figure out the safest way to handle the situation.

Jacques and his “bedroom slipper” ears. 

Rescued by Turning Pointe Donkey Rescue, Danville MI.

The Poitou Donkey

The Poitou donkey breed originates from the Poitou region of France, about 300 miles south-west of Paris, and has a thick, matted and tangled coat.

The adult male Poitou is called a baudet (pronounced ‘bo-day’) while the Poitou mare is called an ânesse.  By 1950 there was little demand for the Poitou, either in France or abroad. The mule could not compete with the agricultural machinery, and mule breeding stopped providing a living for the breeder. The effect on the Poitou was catastrophic. Some breeders sold or killed their herds. The Poitou donkey had become an endangered species.

Only 20 years ago the Poitou donkey faced extinction. Thanks to the resolve of local and national associations to meet this challenge, the support received from other regions in France and from abroad, and finally to the policy of la SABAUD and the dedication of its officers, this ancient breed has been saved.

American Mammoth Jackstock

Our Winston, rescued by Ark Watch Foundation, is an American Mammoth Jackstock. It’s one of the largest breeds of Donkeys in the world. Introduced in America by George Washington the breed got it’s start to fulfill our agricultural needs.

Because of their genteel nature and individual personalities Mammoth Jennets and Geldings make truly wonderful pets and are especially suited to being around children. Their protective natures make them useful as livestock guardians or foal and stable companions. Recreational trail riders are discovering Mammoth donkeys can make excellent mounts when trained. Others are discovering the enjoyment of how easily they adapt to driving. Across the country breed shows have been established to promote their versatility and beauty.

The Ass which is the correct term for donkey, burro or Jackstock has its own branch on the equine family tree. There are many differences between donkeys and their horse cousins. Their vocal qualities for instance, that base tone Aw-EE, Aw-EE bray is one of several forms of communication. The length of the ear on a Mammoth can reach almost two feet is an easily recognized characteristic trait. Their massive head blends into a strong neck. Lacking a true wither donkeys have a straighter back and a little different shape to the croup and rump, minus the heavy muscling found in a horse. The tail has a tasseled switch on the end and shorter hair. The manes are often clipped short as the hair is too stiff and upright to lie over.


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