History of the Miniature Donkey
The Miniature donkey, also known as the Miniature Mediterranean Donkey or Mini, is a separate breed of donkey, not just a small donkey. To qualify as a mini, the donkey needs to be 36 inches at the shoulder or shorter.
Minis were originally from Sardinia and Sicily, two Islands off the coast of Italy, however very few of them are left there. Their size made them perfect for helping their human counterparts inside buildings and factories hauling goods, and fitting down the tight little alleyways that are prominent throughout Italy. Even though their numbers have reached near extinct levels in their original Italian hometowns, they are thriving in the UK and The United States thanks to responsible breeding programs, and registries.
Minis were first brought over to the United States in the 1920's. When they first came here they were called Pygmy Donkeys. It is not clear when the name was changed to miniature donkey.
Minis are incredibly intelligent and have great memories. In my opinion, they are smarter than horses and easier to train because of their intelligence and memory. They are also not truly "stubborn " like the myth would have you believe. They are cautious, careful, and really think about things before they act. It's because they take this time to evaluate a situation, that gave rise to the theory that are stubborn. Building trust through time and patience helps to build their confidence in you and their environment. Once you build that trust with them, they are more eager and willing to be with you and do what you ask of them. They are also super sweet, caring energetic, playful and sometimes a little naughty. They are more like a dog in their temperament than a horse.
I truly love being around these sweet little energies. Once you get your first mini, I know you will too!