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The Donkeys








Toby is the most gentle donkey.

He came to Clovelly in 1992 when he was only 3 and so too young to work. He is devoted to his best friend Noah who came to Clovelly with him.He follows Noah everywhere but now that he is older he doesn't mind leaving Noah for a  while.

Toby is a very quiet, gentle donkey. He likes people to be quiet and gentle around him. If they are rough or noisy he gets worried and refuses to move.

Toby is the second biggest donkey and very strong. He is easy to ride, likes to canter and is quite good at jumping. He is the local children's favourite donkey for riding out in the woods.


Here he is in his summer coat ready to give donkey rides.

What a handsome boy!

The other donkey is Daniel, our oldest donkeyand who is retired now. This was summer 2007 when Danny was 32.




Age............20     in  2009

Size: 10.3hh (43")

Colour:Donkey Brown with a white tummy.

Born:  Southport

Toby likes to be tickled and scratched and loves being groomed. This is partly because he gets "sweet itch" which is an allergy to fly bites.

When there are flies, gnats and midges about he comes into the stable to get away from them. The cool darkness of our lovely stone Victorian stable is the ideal place for him. We usually bring someone else in too, to keep him company, usually Charlie because he is allergic too.

Toby loves to scratch backs with the other donkeys, particularily Noah and Kiwi. They start at the neck, scratch all the way down to the tail then start again on the other side.



   'Kissing' with Noah

'Kissing' with Kiwi

Toby has learnt to do some tricks.......

He gives a lovely kiss....... He can walk right round in a circle...... And move his back legs round.

He goes back and forward and can count to five too.        What a clever boy!



Here is Toby in is Winter Coat 

at Christmas 2006

He looks very fluffy and cuddly.

Toby aged 7


In 2007 Toby started to have trouble with his eyes, possibly because he is allergic to so many things. He has to have eye drops to prevent him getting infections and he is very good about letting us do it.

Unfortunately his eyes are getting worse and he can't see in the dark very well now.The local children love to ride him so they are all very sad but he is still able to do donkey rides on the lead.


Here is Toby in the summer of 2007 looking very smart in his beautiful summer coat.





And here he is in October..... Hallo Toby !


In Spring 2008 we bought Sinead who immediately made friends with Toby.

She is also a very calm, gentle donkey even though she is only 3.

We are very pleased because she keeps him company and waits for him when he is being slow because he can't see -  which his original friend Noah doesn't do !

In August Sinead gave birth to a foal ! It was a big surprise and a lovely foal - please see Sinead's page for more pictures.While the foal was very young Sinead protected her by pushing all the other donkeys away, including Toby. 

At the end of August Toby seemed to go downhill and in the Autumn he became  ill with emphysema ( a problem with his lungs ). He is allergic to midge fly bites (known as "sweet itch" to horsey people) and 2008 was one of the worst years ever for midges so that may have been the cause. However we do wonder if loosing his friend had a lot to do with it too.

In the Autumn Toby caught a cold and became very ill. He stopped eating and lost a lot of weight and we were all very worried about him. All he would eat was grass from our hands so we kept him going by picking it for him all winter. The vet gave him steroids and asthma drugs which we give him through a baby’s inhaler. 

Baby Kiwi and Toby Spring 2008

Fortunately he came through the winter though finding grass for him was a big struggle in February !
Here he is in March going up to the field with Sinead and her baby.
Now that Baby Kiwi is older Sinead has decided she still loves Toby. She waits for him again and allows him to share her hay which the other donkeys are definitely not allowed to do.
Toby is wearing his anti-fly rug with Osacr's rug underneath because it is still quite cold in March.


In June, Toby is still doing well and is out eating the lovely new summer grass with his friends.We hope he will put on some weight again.He still has his asthma drugs and his inhaler every morning and evening.
However, with the summer the flies return and he  needs protection to avoid setting off his allergies again. We put anti-fly cream and his rug on him and bring him into the stable in the evening before the flies come out. He stays in all night if it is likely to be midgey in the morning and he gets very spoilt with pony nuts and the best hay - but we think he deserves it !
We will certainly do all we can and hope he has a good summer and recovers well.


The Donkeys

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Here is Murray who has adopted Toby for 2011.

Thank you Murray !