After some little time and only one response to my article/request for info
about the rental of ponies/donkeys for assisting small kids along a trail hike
with the grownups, here's an outcome. Mark Traband suggested to me that I
look up a retired equine specialist, Dr. Arden Huff, from Va Tech who has long
specialized in the activity of trail-riding mules. I attempted to find this
gentleman in the local New River Valley without success. If he's out there
despite my best efforts to locate him, my best goes out to him!
A local home inspector, Doug Mauer, suggested that I check with Dorie Dell
Stables (I hope I have the spelling right). On speaking with someone there on
the phone, I'm to consider that there may be little likelihood of satisfying
my hopes since the cost of liability insurance is so high relative to current
demand for such pony/donkey rentals. That person suggested that I look into
Walnut Spring Stables, even though she believed they had recently discontinued
My experience with Walnut Spring Stables was to listen to their answering
machine message (which suggested the possibility of "pony rides"), and leave
a message with request for return call. There has not yet been a response...
My husband, John, and I, are looking forward - hopefully by this
July/August - to moving into a setting where we will be able to stable our own
donkey and/or horses. I suppose we will need to be contently patient until
Here ends my promised summary. Many thanks for your help.