The walking tours are open each day of the year, with or without rendezvous,
but always according to availability. We recommend contacting us by phone or mail before your tour.
- As for all walking tours, but especially as you are accompanied by our friend on four hoofs: quality shoes! (here especially for the small feet of the children)
- Weather-proof closes against the rain.
- Our friends, the dogs, are warmly welcome, as long as they behave respectfully with our other animals in Ménil (birds, donkey and Baya – the dog).
- Regarding the weather we cannot be held responsible for changes of the weather during your tour; nevertheless we are always prepared to pick you up in case it is needed.
YOUR CHILD SITTING ON A DONKEY
It is always your responsibility if your child climbs up the donkey.
Please respect following precaution measures:
- Never fix your child to the donkey.
- Never let the donkey on its own with your child on the back during a stop.
- The donkey always has to be guided by an adult.
- If you discover a barrier or obstacle, take the child off the donkey.
Recommendation for guiding the donkey
A donkey is clever, he will test you: never let him always pick up herbage alongside the way, otherwise your track will take longer than it should….
A soft but determined authority is necessary and the donkey will be a good cooperative partner and not a spoiled donkey that follows its own thoughts. Pull up head, repeat this if necessary and make him walking alongside you so that he is concentrated on his job.
A donkey eats herbage! A donkey needs a lot of herbage, but do not think that he is starving if he picks up all herbage alongside the way. Sometimes donkeys also eat hay or grain. Dry bread, adulterated fruit or also chocolate are only goodies!
A donkey is abstinent, this animal originates from the dessert, but they love clean water (rarely more than 10 litres per day). Offer him water in the morning and the evening and if possible during the track.
THE HANDLING OF OUR DONKEYS
Approach the donkey from the front, speak to him, and do not scare him by abrupt movements or screams.
Control that his hoofs are clean.
Brush him, especially the parts where the saddle and the straps are fixed.
Place a clean blanket under the saddle and control that the donkey’s hair is in the right direction.
Place the saddle correctly on the back right between the shoulders, just behind the withers. The saddle has to be fixed with the straps around the donkey’s belly and has to be tightened just behind the breast bone and not at the sides, this can injure the donkey.
Tighten the strap once (control that it is not twisted), let the donkey move a little bit and then tighten the strap again.
The other straps simply adjusted prevent the saddle from sliding to the front or the back when you climb up or down.
Load both bags of the saddle. It is absolutely necessary that both bags have approximately the same weight. Think of the donkey: heavy or pointed objects must not rub at the donkey’s sides. Think of the centre of the load. Heavy loads have to be packed in the bottom of the bags and the lighter ones on top.
Recommended maximum load: 40 kg (depending on donkey’s job and / or the terrain).
HOW TO GUIDE A DONKEY
You can push a donkey, but never pull! Walk in front of him, the others behind him and nudge him – if necessary – with a little twig.
Never wrap the leash around you hand or wrist, if you have to pull you can be seriously injured.
An adult has to guide the donkey, the leash long enough for the donkey to find its own way.
Pay absolute attention that all children are walking behind the donkey – not on the donkeys back.
Take care of the bags during narrow passages: better take off the bags. Turn around to watch the donkey, to guide and to calm him down.
To slow down the donkey during descents take the leash short up to the halter or even walk just in front of the donkey and form a barrier with your arms for him.
During descents tell him “dou-dou, doucement”, he must not overtake you – otherwise he could slide, he has to withdraw himself.
On the streets a person with a donkey is considered as a vehicle: respect the traffic rules and walk on the right side of the street. Use – if possible – a side-strip to treat the donkey’s hoofs with care, tar is heating up the hoofs.
If you have to cross a river, encourage the donkey and calm down yourself: slowly but surely the donkey will approach the river or jump in – so be careful if you are in front of him! This can be a surprise!
IF THE DONKEY LOPS OFF
Do not chase him, circle around him and block his way. Call him – but do not shout at him. Show him a goody, slowly approach him by saying “ca va – ca va…” and put a leash around his neck before fixing the leash at the halter.
IF THE DONKEY DOES NOT WANT TO MOVE
There is always a reason: is somebody missing? Or is a donkey missing? Is an insect flying around him?
And this thing that is blinking or moving – what is it?
The saddle is sliding down? Is nature calling?
If he is scraping the ground, maybe he wants to roll around – pay attention to the bags – you have to pull up his head immediately.
So watch and listen carefully, there is always a solution – often proposed by the donkey. If not – remember that you cannot pull a donkey; you have to push him and encourage him with a soft voice.
If you make a longer break, take off the saddle – he will be happy and can roll on the grass, have a little siesta, graze a little bit – afterwards he will walk better than before. You should choose a shadowy place with good herbage where the donkey does not feel lost.
Use these moments for checking if the donkeys coat is okay, that he is not injured; if you find wounds, cover them carefully with a piece of tissue, not synthetic and look for the reason of the injury.
If you have to tie the donkey, strictly follow the instructions for the knot – the knot has to open easily for you not for the donkey - if you have to interfere
- Never tie the donkey near to a step or a hillside – you are risking accidents.
- The donkey is a gourmand – so pay attention to your fingers – feed him open
- Insects annoy him (flies, horse flies,…) – pay attention if he is shaking his head or
stepping with his legs.
- Do not stay behind the donkey while he is eating.
- Pay attention to passing motorcycles, trucks, quads… they are very loud and
scare the donkey. He may try to escape; hold the leash tight and calm the donkey
down. If the donkey is tied if vehicles are passing by or if anything happens that
scares the donkey, go to him, give him confidence and – if necessary – untie him
so that he cannot pull at the leash (risk of injuries).
- Pay attention to dogs: they are no good friends. The donkey can become
aggressive: the donkey can hit the dog with his legs or attack the dog.
The donkey is a gentle animal, but no machine or made out of wood – so look ahead to his reactions and accept them.