Donkey Hooves: Inside and Out
5 disc DVD set

Rehabilitation and Maintenance of Donkey Feet


DVD Outline:

Disc 1) Classroom/Lecture/Discussion

Personality differences between donkeys and horses

  • Curiosity
  • Intelligence
  • Independence
  • Herd differences in the wild
  • Sensitivity to pain
  • Willingness to limp or demonstrate weakness to a predator--helpful and harmful trait

Dietary needs

  • Daily requirements
  • Digestive tract and digestion overview
  • Assorted laminitis triggers overview
  • Mechanics of laminitis overview
  • Mineral balancing
  • Feeding the laminitic donkey
  • Skin, hair, hooves and general health

 Environmental needs--donkeys vs. horses

  • Internal foot development
  • Rapid wall growth
  • Donkey's soles that fail to compact/callus
  • The pound-for-pound tougher nature of the donkey hoof--good or bad in domestication?

Mechanical needs

  • Medial/lateral balance
  • Breakover
  • Heel Height
  • Sole thickness
  • Lamellar integrity
  • Frog size/shape
  • Optimal hoof length vs. neglect

Cadaver dissections--horse vs. donkey

  • P3 size/shape differences
  • Palmar angle differences in relation to the collateral grooves
  • Lateral cartilage size/shape differences
  • Different location of frog corium's growth origin on P3
  • Sole thickness
  • Using collateral grooves to estimate sole thickness/frog thickness
  • Using collateral grooves for M/L balance
  • Lamellar attachment to lateral cartilages
  • Optimizing breakover
  • Wall thickness
  • Bar growth
  • Understanding the donkey's hoof from the inside--out.


Disc 2 Live Trimming--details each trim over 6 months on a donkey with multiple foot problems. On this one case, see Pete deal with:

  • Neglect/excessive growth of every part of the foot
  • "Windswept" foot (one severely flared side, and one 'caved-under' side... the most severe of M/L hoof imbalances)
  • P3/Hoof capsule rotation
  • Distal descent (sinker) reversal
  • Optimizing breakover
  • Heel height
  • How to tell sole from lamellar wedge in the field
  • How to grow out lamellar wedge
  • Wall cracks
  • White Line Disease
  • Deep thrush (frog infection)
  • Collateral groove (sulci) infections

Disc 3 Live trimming--Working donkey with overgrown, laminitic hooves

  • Lamellar wedge
  • Safely trimming an overgrown foot
  • Treating frog infections
  • Reducing an excessively thick, overgrown sole
  • M/L balance
  • Optimizing breakover
  • Heel height

Conclusion--Bonus footage: Wild burros. Unedited sound/video from Ivy and Pete's attempt at following donkeys in the wild. Watch the wild ones:

  • Feeding
  • Nursing
  • Hiding
  • Scratching
  • Fleeing
  • Gathering in the face of danger
  • Setting up defensive tactics
  • Bedding/loafing areas
  • Just hanging out
  • Mountain climbing
  • Just being a donkey in the desert--this footage is not "Discovery Channel-ready" but donkey lovers will enjoy it anyway.

Added 5-30-11. We've had numerous questions about whether this DVD set covers mules: “This DVD set is specifically about donkeys. I should really do a mule DVD at some point, but honestly, some mules have a ‘donkey foot’ and some mules have a ‘horse foot’. Most are somewhere in between, with features from both parents. So if you saw me working on and discussing the anatomy and growth characteristics of 6 different mules, your mule’s foot might still be different. The only way (I know of) to be successful with mule feet, is to become an expert on both horse feet AND donkey feet, so you can then interpolate and understand the mule in front of you. So I do highly recommend this DVD set for mule owners/trimmers/vets/farriers, but sorry, there is not a mule in it anywhere.” Pete