Horse and Donkey are Different Species? Interesting Facts You Should Know

Horse and donkey

When you watch Horses and Donkeys together, they surely look like a family. There are also some significant differences between them.

Horses are stronger and faster than Donkeys. You can ride comfortably on the horse but not on a donkey. Donkeys are more famous for lifting twice their bodies’ weight; this is not possible for horses.

Donkeys are smaller than horses in size, and they can’t run faster like a horse carrying a rider. Donkeys are more good at walking long-distance with carrying a big weight. Let’s find out more interesting facts about Horses and Donkeys.

Interesting Facts about Horses and Donkeys

Horse and Donkey are Different Species

We will show some Interesting Facts about Horses and Donkeys which also include the physical differences and similarities.

Horse and Donkey are Different Species?

Yes, horses and Donkeys are entirely different species, but they come from the same Equidae family. Horses and Donkeys belong to the same genus called Equus.

What makes Horses and Donkeys different

There are many physical differences between a Horse and a Donkey. Horses have a long face, long tail, small ears, and run very fast, whereas Donkeys have small faces, long ears, a small tail, and flatter back.

Horse and Donkey are Different Species

Horses are strong and fast animals. They had been used in wars in history and nowadays for games like polo and horse racing. On the other end, donkeys are small and not-so-fast animals, and they are mainly used for labor work like carrying weights. Although Donkeys are more intelligent than horses still it will be easier to train a Horse than Donkey.

Who is Smarter Donkey or Horse

Donkeys are smarter than Horses. Donkeys are intelligent animals, and they don’t scare easily like horses. Donkeys have solid memory; they can remember challenging routes and other animals for years. Donkeys are portrayed as dumb animals because they are peaceful and work as labor. Other animals like horses run when they are scared, and the Donkeys tend to stand still in that situation. Therefore Donkeys are called stubborn.

Are Donkeys faster than Horses?

Horses are definitely faster than donkeys as they are tall and have big legs so that horses cover more area in each step. According to Guinness records, horses’ fastest speed is 70km/h, and Asian Donkeys can also run at 55-60km/h speed, but most domestic donkeys can only at 45km/hr. When we talk about stamina, it all depends on the situation, like horses can run fast for short distances, and donkeys can walk for long distances carrying heavyweights.

In some situations, Donkeys can run at 65km/hr, which means they can compete with a racing horse. But most times, Donkeys don’t like to run faster; they always prefer to walk slowly.

Social Animals

Horses and Donkeys are both social animals. They love to interact with other animals and humans. When an animal is friendly with others that means, they can be very good pets.

Can a Horse and Donkey mate

Yes, Donkeys and Horses can have babies. A male donkey and a female horse can have a mule. And a Male horse and female donkey can have a hinny. The male donkey is called a jack, and the female Horse is called a mare.


The Horse has 64 chromosomes, and the donkey has 62, and the mule ends up with 63 chromosomes. Because of this odd number of chromosomes, a mule cannot have children. Mules get 32 chromosomes from Horse and 31 from donkeys, and they can neither be male nor female because their body is not able to produce sperm or eggs.


The mules are strong as horses and intelligent as donkeys. The Donkeys and mules are often called stubborn that is, they are very calm, and most time, they just stand still. If you work with patience and kindness, they will surely fulfill your wishes.

Can you Ride a Donkey

You can ride a Donkey, but it is not that easy because donkeys are mainly famous for transportation. You should remember if the donkeys are less than five years old, then the only child should ride them. Donkeys below five years can only lift 20% of their weight, so you should also keep this in mind.

But if you are an adult and want to ride a donkey, make sure the donkey is also an adult because small or average can’t lift that much weight. Donkeys are gentle and calm animals, and you have to make them comfortable to enjoy riding.

If you brought a new donkey, before riding on him, first train him and make him comfortable.

Why Can Horses and Donkeys Mate?

Horses and Donkeys almost look the same physically. They also evolve from the same Equidae family; that is why it is easy for them to breed when Horse and Donkey produce a beautiful animal that looks like a half donkey and half horse.

As we already told you, when a male horse and female donkey mate, they have a hinny. When male donkeys and horses mate, they produce a mule. The mules and hinny are unique animals because they have an odd(63) number of chromosomes. 

Can you Ride a Mule

Can you Ride a Donkey

Mules are hybrid animals that are always compared to horses. You can ride a mule as you ride a horse, but there is some difference. If you are going on the mountain way, you should always prefer mules as they are surefooted and they don’t panic easily as horses.

Mules are much safer because they always follow all your orders and also have an excellent self-preservation instinct. Mules are more like pack animals, so you can also work with them on farms.

Are Mules more intelligent than Horses

Mules are more intelligent than horses; for example, the horse will fill their tummy while feeding or drinking water, whereas the mule is only drunk or eat what is required. Mules are quick learners, and they learn good or bad things equally fast. One thing about mules is they care for themselves; therefore, you cannot overwork with them.

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