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.  Blackberry donkeys provides a risk assessment and copy of 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..  We were inspected this year under the new animal welfare laws and were awarded a 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, disease control precautions, as well as the knowledge and qualifications of the license holder.

Licence No. HART/RE05.  As part of the new laws, random checks are made throughout the 

period of the licence.  Teddy has his own Performing Animals Licence, for which there is no

star rating available, but he still receives the same star treatment as his ridden donkey companions.

Is there an age limit or weight restriction for riding donkeys in the UK?

Yes there is.  Only children aged 12 years or under may ride a donkey, though

we suggest 10 years or under, particularly for our smaller donkeys, like Hobo.

There is also a maximum rider weight of 8 stones.

Do your donkeys trot and canter whilst giving rides?

No.  Our donkeys are never asked to trot and 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 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 4 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 parasol during the summer season, to allow the donkeys to have a drink or rest in the shade, should they wish to do so. 


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 not required to work this many days. 


Does Teddy have a licence?

Yes.   Teddy is also inspected by the local authority and their vet, and has a performing animals licence, which enables him to visit care homes and hospices etc.