Dear Mr. Rawles,
I have a question that I have not found addressed on SurvivalBlog. I am a small-statured woman (5’5″, 130 lbs.) living in the desert southwest. I have a retreat that I am currently stocking, and am beginning to think about livestock (aside from chickens and goats, which are a given). While most of my peers keep and ride horses, I’m considering burros instead. My reasoning is that they are already adapted to an arid environment, can forage more easily, are hardier than horses, and are less expensive. They can also be used for packing or pulling equipment. Finally, because of my size, riding one should not be an issue for me.
I also wanted to say thank you for your web site — I’ve found it to be invaluable. My heart goes out to you and your wife at this time. – E.
JWR Replies: The Memsahib and I have had a couple of donkeys, over the years. We primarily kept them as guard animals for our sheep. They do a great job of that, and when properly trained are fairly docile packers, although –as with all other equines–no two personalities are alike. They are also very thrifty to feed, compared to horses. (A horse eats, well, “like a horse!”)