Pferdeoase (“horse oasis”) is a farm located in Ebendorf in the Weinviertel that takes in sick and abused equine and rehabilitates them. The farm also offers horse riding, horse rental and housing, play days with the animals, birthday parties, and donkey trekking. (Note: Not all of the equine living there are being rehabilitated. For example, several horses and donkeys were born there.) It is a 45 minute drive from Vienna and well worth the drive.
My family did the donkey trek and it was one of the most fun days that we have had in Austria. We were greeted warmly upon arrival and once every one else arrived, we got an introductory speech on the logistics for the day and safety considerations. When I signed us up I mentioned that our German was not that great, so the woman who ran the farm made it a point to come over to us and repeat everything in English to ensure we understood what was going on. The group then headed to the donkey paddock to get our donkeys.
Generally there was one donkey per two people, but since we had young children we were only given one donkey to walk. Once all the donkeys were put on their leads and introduced to their walkers, we were off… kind of. The donkeys were very excited at first and ran for about 10 feet, then stopped to eat some grass. They then walked another three or four feet, then stopped to eat some more grass. And so on for the duration of our four and a half-hour walk.
The donkeys’ unhurried pace was a relief to us because it ensured that our children would not get worn out too quickly. There were other children doing the trek and all the kids had a great time chasing each other through the corn fields while the donkeys were snacking. None of the other adults seemed to mind the pace, either, as everyone was chatting, taking pictures of the beautiful countryside, and overall having a great time.
The cost of the trek included a picnic, and we stopped about halfway through the walk for lunch. The farm provided sandwiches, apples, and cold drinks for everyone, and additionally a candy bar for each of the children. We had been told that the children were allowed to ride the donkeys if they wanted to, and after lunch all of the kids ended up on the donkeys’ backs for the trek back to the farm. The donkeys didn’t seem to mind, so long as they got their grass to eat.
When we returned to the farm we returned the donkeys to their paddock, then were invited to sit down for some coffee and cake. The farm also had a snack wagon that sold things like sausage, langos, and (most importantly to us) cold beer. After half an hour of relaxing, the owner of the farm then gave us a tour of the farm. She introduced us to all of the horses, told us the stories about some of them, and allowed us to walk around the horse paddocks and pet the horses. All in all, a great day!
for more information:
- Visit the farm’s website.