You will need a headcollar and a leadrope. For most standard sized donkeys (10hh-11hh) the headcollar should be either ‘Foal’ or ‘Shetland’ size (these are standard sizes in UK horse equipment). One that adjusts on the noseband is best. A nylon headcollar is fine (and cheap!) but never leave it on in the field as it will not break if the donkey gets caught. Either remove the headcollar, use a leather one (which will break) or one of the special synthetic ones designed to ‘give’ if they get caught up.
Bridles are only needed for riding and driving, although most people use one for showing inhand. See the relevant ‘Doing Thing’ page for specific details on these – but in general anything pony shaped will not fit. You will probably need a ‘Shetland’ size, but with the browband swapped for a ‘Cob’ one. For riding saddles, pack saddles, harness etc. see the ‘Doing Things’ pages.
Rugs - You are unlikely to need a rug but if you do want one, make sure you either get one made specially for donkeys or a ‘pony’ one in a style that you know suits a donkey’s shape. Usually, donkeys have far smaller necks than ponies so even if the rug fits elsewhere it will be very sloppy round the neck and drag on the ground in front of them. For rug suppliers, see our ‘Useful Contacts’ page. You may exceptionally need a New Zealand or turnout rug – designed to keep the donkey dry in the wet. Other types of rugs include stable rugs , ‘fly sheets (to help alleviate midge problems) plus all sorts of rugs to keep your donkey clean and smart when travelling to and from shows. Rugs are usually bought by length – so measure from the mid-front of the chest (where the buckle to do it up is) right along the donkey’s side, parallel with the ground, until you get to the end of it’s hindquarters level with the top of its tail.
Grooming kit - The basics are a hoofpick –one with a stiff brush incorporated is very good, a brush that gets the mud and tangles out, a soft brush and probably a sponge to wipe them down /clean eyes etc. I find a rubber ‘finger’ pad very good at removing mud from ‘knobbly bits’ like legs, and a dog ‘slicker’ brush 9the sort wit ha pad of tiny pins) excellent at general ‘hair and mud removal’ grooming on big body areas – but be careful not to scratch too hard. Personally I would never use a tail comb on a tail – I use a human hairbrush so as not to split the tail hairs.
Buckets for water and food are necessary (these might get thrown around as play things so consider unbreakable ones), Mucking out kit (depends on your type of bedding as to exactly what type of fork / shovel you need) a wheelbarrow and broom to sweep up. A ‘mucking out skip’ (large bowl) is good to just pick up the odd poo in between full mucking out.
First aid kit. - I always keep a poultice handy – useful for abscesses in feet plus a million other things (including splinters in humans!), some general lint dressing to cover any wound plus ‘Vetwrap’ or similar self-sticky bandaging tape. An antiseptic to wash out wounds, and some general antiseptic cream to put on the odd knock. Further than this usually means you’ve got a vet involved. Flyspray - Very useful to have during the summer months. Some can last for weeks, some need re-applying every day – so make sure you buy the type you need.
Sunblock – only if your donkey has hairless, white or pink bits(e.g. their nose) – which can easily get sunburnt. I personally use high-factor waterproof (designed for children!)