Donkey Riding Rules & Regulations
Donkey Riding Rules and Regulations
Are the donkeys insured?
Yes. Our donkeys are licensed and insured to work at planned public, private, corporate and charity events, as well as in schools and churches etc, as long at it is safe and suitable for the donkeys and public. Blackberry donkeys provides a risk assessment, a copy of their licence and public liability insurance documentation, prior to each event.
Do Blackberry Donkeys have a licence?
Yes. Blackberry donkeys hold a current 5 star Licence, issued by the Local Authority and their vet. Blackbery Donkeys are inspected under the animal welfare laws and hold a current 5 star licence, for the highest possible donkey welfare standards. The yearly inspection not only assesses the donkeys, but also the premises, saddles, tack, stables, grazing and training area, fields, mode of transport, disease control precautions, as well as the knowledge and qualifications of the license holder. (Licence No. HART/RE05). As part of the law, random checks are made throughout the licensing period. Teddy has his own Keeping or Training of Animals for Exhibition Licence, for which there is no star rating available, but
he still receives the same star treatment as his bigger donkey companions.
Is there an age limit or weight restriction for riding donkeys in the UK?
Yes there is. Blackberry Donkeys provides rides to children aged 8 years and under only, with their
smallest ridden donkey Matthew, carrying children 6 years and under. There is also a maximum
rider weight of 7 stones in weight for the larger donkeys and 5 stones for Matthew.
Please do not feel offended if you child is not able to ride due to their age or weight. Donkey
welfare is a priority.
Do your donkeys trot and canter whilst giving rides?
No. Our donkeys are never asked to trot or canter whilst giving rides,. They have been specially chosen for their calm and loving natures and are only required to walk steadily when being ridden. This is not a regulation, but Blackberry Donkeys team of donkeys have been specially trained to walk calmly with their young riders.
Are your donkeys always led?
Yes. Our donkeys are always led by a member of the Blackberry Donkeys team. Our donkeys are led from their headcollars. This is a comfortable way to lead them. Their bridles fit perfectly and look pretty, but are just for show.
How often are the donkeys and their tack checked?
Blackberry donkeys prides itself on keeping it's donkeys in top condition. The donkeys are checked and licensed on an annual basis by the local authority and a qualified vet, but they are checked daily by Marie to ensure they are always happy and healthy. Their tack is also checked annually during the inspection, but is always checked prior to every use, to ensure that any signs of wear are spotted and dealt with immediately.
How often can donkeys work?
Blackberry donkeys generally work one or two days per week, usually for up to 2 hours, (during term time). During the holidays, the number of working days may increase and during the Autumn/Winter months the number of working days decreases. Blackberry donkeys always have water freely available at events and are given adequate rest/food breaks. Our work is also weather permitting. The donkeys comfort is always our priority. Sunny days are welcome but we always carry a large gazebo during the summer season, to allow the donkeys to have a drink or rest in the shade, should they wish to do so. Our visits generally last 1 to 2 hours.
Donkeys, like riding school ponies are allowed by law to work 6 days per week with one full days rest and can work up to 6 hours per day, providing they have appropriate rest, food and water breaks, however, our donkeys are never required to work this many days or this many hours, with our donkeys averaging 2 hours work per week.
Does Teddy have a licence?
Yes. Teddy is also inspected by the local authority and their vet and has a Keeping or Training of Animals for Exhibition licence, which enables him to visit care homes, hospices and schools etc for donkey assisted activities.
Do the donkeys like play at home?
Yes, absolutely, they have play time every day. The team of seven donkeys all have access to 14 acres of varied grazing and shrubs, (divided into smaller fields), that enables a variety of environment enrichment choices, which along with activities and toys, ensures that these donkeys have ample opportunity to express natural behaviour in a herd, which is important for their mental health and well-being, and happiness.