What is the difference between a donkey, a mini donkey, a burro, an ass, and a mule?
Donkey, ass, and burro are the same animal.
The original name for donkey was “Ass” which evolved in Europe from the original Anatolian or Middle Eastern word, possibly Sumerian, “ansu.”
“Burro” is Spanish for “donkey.”
The word Donkey possibly originated in Spain from the word “dun,” which means dull grayish-brown.
A male donkey or ass is called a jack, a female is a jenny or jennet and a young donkey is a foal.
A mule is a crossbreed of a male donkey and a female horse resulting in a sterile hybrid.
A mini donkey is short (no pun intended), for Miniature Mediterranean Donkey, Sardinian or Sicilian donkeys originally from the islands of Sardinia and Sicily in Italy. They are not bred down, they are naturally of smaller stature than their larger donkey brethren.
Frequently Asked Questions
Payments, Cancellations, and Rescheduling.
What is a Jerusalem donkey?
Almost all donkeys have a cross on their back and all four of our donkeys are mini Jerusalem donkeys. The dorsal stripe runs down from between the ears to the tip of the tail and a perpendicular line crosses through the dorsal stripe draping down over the shoulders. The term "Jerusalem Donkey" is derived from the legend that the donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem was cast with the shadow of the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
“The little donkey so loved the Lord that he wanted to help Him carry the cross.
But alas, he was pushed away.
The sad little donkey waited to say goodby until nearly all had left.
As he turned to leave, the shadow of the cross fell upon his back and shoulders.
And there it has remained, a tribute to the loyalty and love of the humblest of God’s creatures.”
Excerpt from “The Donkey’s Cross.”
Will the donkeys be allowed onto the grounds or in the venue?
The Half-Ass Adventures mini donkeys participate in parties, weddings and affairs of all kinds at the majority of the vineyards, wineries and event venues in our service area. They have attended many indoor events. We are happy to confirm with your venue about allowing the animals indoors. For indoor events, they wear non-slip hoof boots so not to scratch floors. The animals are gentle, easygoing, obedient, friendly and very well-behaved. We’ve never had an issue with the animals at any venue.
Are the donkeys cleaned for the event?
We provide venue delivery of bathed and brushed donkeys(s) 45-minutes pre-event to prep and adorn, as well coordinate with your event planner and/or bar manager and beverage servers.
What happens if, um, “nature calls?”
Donkeys wear ‘Bum Bags,’ aka: ‘donkey diapers.’ In the rare cases of accidents, donkey waste clean-up is prompt and efficient. Working horses and donkeys that are used in public settings, every kind of equine creature, from police horses to horses that pull carriages in metropolitan parks, and even our donkeys wear these to limit and avoid manure droppings on roads, sidewalks, lawns and elsewhere.
How long is a mini-donkey appearance?
Up to a 90 minute appearance at the cocktail hour until guests are seated for dinner and the donkeys become superfluous.
How are the donkeys controlled at the event?
For a single donkey appearance, there will be two handlers. For appearances of two, three or four donkeys, there will be one handler per donkey.
Do you sell wine, champagne, beer or other beverages?
We do not sell alcohol. The venue or client provides the wine, champagne, beer, soft drinks, ice, and glasses and cups. Alcohol is served from the panniers (packs/baskets) by the venue or retained event service staff who are 21-years of age or older.
But, can you sell/serve alcohol from the panniers (packs/baskets)?
If your event has a cash or self-service bar aspect to it, then any venue with an alcohol sales and service license can sell and serve any alcohol (beer, wine, Champagne, Tequila, etc.), beverages from the panniers/saddle bags/baskets by qualified venue employees who are 21-years of age or older.
How are Beverages Served?
Beer and wine service may be self-serve or we will gladly work with the venue/guest-provided professional server(s). Half-Ass Adventures donkey handlers will gladly monitor and assist in calling out replenishing of alcohol inventory levels during the event and may assist in service at the client’s request.
Our staff is TIPS Certified. (Training for Intervention ProcedureS - https://www.tipsalcohol.com)
How are the donkeys adorned/decorated & how are the handlers dressed for the event?
Standard wedding decorations are plastic floral bridals, crown, tail and tack decorations in primarily white, with accents of red, yellow, orange and blue are included. We don’t recommend live flowers and plants, because mini donkeys eat live flowers. Custom signage and religious, ethnic or themed adornments and colors are additional by quote. Handlers are dressed in either Half-Ass Adventures western denim attire, for more casual affairs, or male and female handlers are dressed in formal black slacks and jackets with white collared shirts for weddings, galas, etc.
Can we pet, photograph and interact with the donkeys?
Donkeys are incredibly docile animals. Yes, you can pet, photograph (including flash photography), and pose for photos with the animals. The Half-Ass Adventures donkey handlers will gladly help set up staged photographs for your professional photographer and interact with and answer all questions from your guests.
Can we ride the donkeys or sit on their backs and pose for photos?
No, these are mini donkeys and their total weight capacity for their panniers is a maximum total load of 40 to 50 pounds depending upon the size and weight of the animal. And that includes all of the donkey tack gear, panniers, and beverages. In reality, a donkey can only carry about 20% of its total body weight efficiently and effectively. And, no, sorry, no kiddy rides.
The whole 'beast of burden' legend of the donkey being able to carry huge loads for long times is just that; a legend. The last thing anyone wants is a overloaded cranky donkey at your party. And, regardless, overloading a donkey is cruel and inhumane.
Is Half-Ass Adventures insured?
We carry $1 million in liability business insurance.
Are the donkeys well cared for?
Veterinarian Health Certifications are current and well maintained. USDA Animal Welfare Act (AWA) Certification and Licensing is not required for horses and donkeys, but we maintain, manage and treat our mini donkeys as if it was.
We've ordered the donkeys for the event, so what can we expect? What's the routine for their appearance?
The most important thing for us is getting the donkeys as close as possible to the venue and having enough space to prepare them for their gala performance.
Therefore, we always arrive 45-minutes before showtime, usually earlier, to coordinate with your or your event planner.
Parking and Donkey Access to the Venue:
We need to legally park a full size Toyota Tundra pickup truck with a 15’ horse trailer as close as possible to the preferred venue or property entrance.
We require ample room to dress and prepare the donkeys.
We’ll move the truck and trailer for your other guests once we have the animals ready for their grand entrance, therefore we cannot afford to be blocked in by other vehicles.
Please be mindful that we do need room to work and we can’t afford to have the truck, trailer and donkeys blocked in… The last thing we ever want to do is interrupt your party by asking you to page your guests to move their vehicles out of the way of the donkey’s transportation.
If we have to park far from the venue, additional set-up time and walking the animals to the party over additional distances could impact the donkey’s appearance time.
We have an excellent working knowledge of just about all the venues in our service area. When it comes to private venues, such as residences or estates where we have no familiarity, please forewarn us about tight courts and steep driveways and potential overhead obstructions.
We cannot back a horse trailer up a steep and narrow ½-mile drive, unhitch a stuck trailer and just swing it around, or be surprised by a combination of soft sand on a rutted dirt road that’ll rattle and stress the animals.
We’ll look up all the properties on Google Earth to determine access, but we do not survey all properties in advance.
If we have concerns and questions about access, we require you please provide either photos or videos, or both, of the property access so we have a clear understanding on how to successfully and safely gain access and egress.
We will make every effort to work with you and the venue owner to gain access to the venue property. If we cannot get to the venue due to access or parking restrictions and obstacles, we reserve the right to leave for the safety of our animals, equipment and personnel and you understand and agree to forfeit all monies and no refunds will be issued.
We most always have all the appearance details worked out long in advance with you and your wedding or event planner.
We can have the animals stationed at the entrances to greet the guests and they can pick-up their drink or we can walk the donkeys through the party for meet-and-greet drink service.
We are happy to pre-coordinate with your photographer and/or videographer to assist in staging the best shots of your guests with the donkeys while staying completely out of the way and out of the frame.
Donkeys are very gentle and docile and it’s easy to get them to cooperate in posing for pictures with a little coaxing and bribing with carrot sticks, apples and their other favorite treats.
Payments, Cancellations & Rescheduling: Payments: We accept all major credit cards.
50% deposit of the order total is due at the time of booking.
75% deposit of the order total is due no later than 30 days in advance of the event.
Balance due for full payment is required 1 week in advance of the event.
We can auto schedule all of these credit card payments.
This is where we highly stress to all of our clients the need for Event Cancellation Insurance.
30 days or more in advance of the event will receive a full refund.
29 to 8 days in advance of the event will be refunded 50% of their total deposits on account.
7 days to 1 day in advance of the event will be refunded 25% of their total deposits on account.
Cancellations on the day of the event will forfeit all monies on deposit.
Day of the event cancellations will not be rescheduled with any credit for payments already received.
Client Cancellation Terms:
Half-Ass Adventures Cancellation Terms:
In the unlikely event Half-Ass Adventures must cancel the reservation, a full credit to the client will be issued within 48-hours of us notifying you of our need to cancel.
Client Rescheduling Terms:
30 days or more in advance of the event will be rescheduled at a $50.00 administrative fee if the rescheduling date is available.
29 to 8 days in advance of the event will be rescheduled at a $100.00 administrative fee if the rescheduling date is available.
7 days to 1 day in advance of the event will be rescheduled at a $200.00 administrative fee if the rescheduling date is available.
Rescheduling requests on the day of the event will only be considered with ACT OF GOD documentation (primary participant or family member death or major injury/illness, venue fire/calamity, etc), at a $200.00 administrative fee if the rescheduling date is available.
Natural disasters, such as forest or wildfires, earthquakes, floods, and blizzard condition-like snowstorms, affecting our operational area are excluded.
Rain, fog or unusually inclement temperatures, such as heat, are not acceptable rescheduling reasons.
If the requested rescheduling date is unavailable, Client Cancellations Terms, above, apply.
How do I book the Donkeys?
Call telephone: 209-260-6996 or submit a request through our contact form below and we will call you by the end of the business day to discuss how the Half-Ass Adventures mini donkeys can add fun and flair your affair.