WHY a Donkey Harness?

So, you have a donkey and are shopping for harness. There are so many options out there in the harness world but not too many that seem to made JUST for donkeys. Is this truly important? Can I use a horse harness on my donkey? What about a collar? Is there is a special collar for donkeys?

These are just a few of the questions I get on a weekly basis from people who are interested in driving their donkeys.

The short answer is YES. Yes, it’s important to look for a harness that is designed just for donkeys. YES, we have those here at Chimacum! YES, donkeys need a differently shaped collar than horses do. And YES, Chimacum has those as well!

Why do donkeys require their own harness, designed just for them?

Because they aren’t horses. Since they aren’t horses they aren’t shaped like a horse. Horse harness may work in some cases but typically only after lots of adaptation. It’s just easier to start with a harness designed to fit all the intricacies of the donkey body.

**This all applies to mules as well! There are some mules that look more horse-like and others are shaped more like their donkey dads. Our donkey/mule harness fits them well straight out of the box as well.

A few things that are different with a donkey harness:

  • You will receive up to 3 different sized girths. We understand that donkeys can dramatically change shape as the year goes on. So we are trying to cover your bases year round.
  • Donkey bridles are designed for long ears, who have longer cheeks, wider brow bands, and more narrow noses than horses. We can also make a buckle poll, so you can unbuckle the bridle at the ears, drop it behind and then re-buckle. This is nice for those long ears that have become sensitive to having their ears crammed into horse shaped bridles.
  • The turn back straps will have many more holes punched to accommodate the different length of backs.
  • The breast collars are also a little different since donkeys often have very narrow chests. We will also work with you, if our regular breast collar isn’t working, to custom make you something that will work. I have found that the SuperFlex style breast collar does work well for the donkeys. They are so soft and conform to their shape beautifully, when you are using a horizontal line of draft. You can learn more about line of draft here: Collars, Line of Draft, Balance of Draft.
  • The collar and hames style collar will be shaped just for the donkeys and mules. They tend to be a little more narrow than the horse collars. So if you are ordering a collar and don’t choose a donkey one, please make a note to us during check out that you are ordering for a donkey. Otherwise your collar may not properly fit!

As with all of our harnesses, measurements are so IMPORTANT! We do need measurements for every single type of harness ordered. You can learn more about measuring here: Size Charts

We have a great measuring video on our YouTube channel:

And another about measuring for a collar:

As for the donkey harnesses… most of them can be found within the harness product. We have organized our harnesses in groups. The ComfyFit harness has all the sizes from Mini through Draft, Horse, Donkey and Mule in one product. You can find that here: http://chimacumtack.com/product/comfy-fit-harness-standard-mini-draft/

Our Farm/Work style harness can be found here: http://chimacumtack.com/product/farm-work-harness-mini-draft-2/

The Parade Harness can be found here: http://chimacumtack.com/product/parade-harness-donkey-mule/

The MaraFUN harness can be found here: http://chimacumtack.com/product/marafun-harness-mini-small-pony/

If you have any questions about harness or measuring please don’t hesitate to email me at marketing@chimacumtack.com or give us a call at 224-HAR-NESS (224-427-6377).


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