Information on mules.

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by Lileon Bierman, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Lileon Bierman

    Lileon Bierman Full Member

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    Hello fellow horse lovers,

    I would like to ask those that own –and ride Mules, some questions. I have ridden and worked with only horses for several years and feel I am ready to move on to my next project, whether it be a horse or other equine.

    I took my time to put these questions together, so if it takes you a while to respond I won’t mind. Please also, don’t feel rushed. Better a well-informed reply than a hasty one. More often than not, I prefer to have as much information as possible, before I make a decision, therefore have put in as much research as possible as I could without actually having access to a Mule. I don’t mind learning, but would like to know what to expect at least and am now asking experienced Mules owners for advice and further information that I otherwise cannot obtain from the internet.

    Although there are further questions I would like to ask I will not, however, question their ability and athleticism because I have seen what they are capable of.

    From your experience:

    1. What is the temperament –disposition of a Mule in general?

    2. What is the best horse breed and donkey cross for a Mule to be a hard-worker, yet friendly, well-mannered, docile and calm under pressure?

    3. Which breed crosses would provide a Mule with hardy and easy to care for hooves that WON’T require shoes? I’ve heard Arabians are a good option –is this true?

    4. Are Mules really more prone to kicking and biting than horses, or is that just a spoof legend someone came up with? One lady mentioned that they don’t kick more than horses do, but are more accurate. What are your thoughts?

    5. Do Mules ever suffer from separation anxiety like some horses do, or are they fine being ridden out all on their own with only a dog for added company? This is a must-know for me because I do deal with horses who are sometimes anxious and often it becomes an unpleasant ride.

    6. Is it possible to ride Mules bareback?

    7. How do Mules respond to pressure and release as compared to horses? Is it the same? Is it different? Do they respond better? How responsive are they in general?

    8. When buying tack, what suits Mules better? Is there something specific I need to be looking for? Would stock saddles work, because that is what I prefer?

    9. What age is a good age to buy a Mule that is experienced, but has room for further learning/training. I am happy to go as young as twelve years of age from my experience with horses and depending on the animal, would go as young as ten. But specifically for Mules, I would like an experienced suggestion.

    10. How comfortable of a mount is a Mule? Is it bumpy like Donkeys or smoother like horses?

    11. Are they good with beginners and amateur riders? I would like to know if it would be possible to use them for the purpose of schooling.

    12. What is your experience with a Mule’s fight or flight response –how bomb-proof are they? I’ve heard they just stand and stare thinking about it. What would you say?

    13. Are they fine around motorbikes and other noisy machinery?

    14. How do they deal with other equines? Are they submissive or dominant?

    15. Are they good with floating and other confined spaces that may require them to stand still for a length of time?

    16. How are they with farriers?

    17. Are there any health issues common to Mules that might not be common to horses? For instance are they prone to arthritis or unsound joints? How do they cope with things like colic –is it common like it is in horses?

    18. Are they prone to injuries? If so, which ones are these I should look out for?

    At the moment, these are all the questions I can think of asking. There may be more that come along the way, but for now, these should give me quite a lot of insight. If there is anything you want to add, that I may not have asked about, please feel free to do so as I am happy to receive any information I can get my hands on right now.

    Thank you kindly and in advance for all the information.

    Have a lovely day!
     
  2. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    I started working with my Uncle when I was 12 to learn to ride and train horses and I didn't feel experienced enough to train or handle a Mule until I was almost 50.

    Now, why do I say this? Because mules are WAY smarter and WAY better at evading training techniques than horses are AND, it takes ONE wrong cue to train in a SERIOUSLY BAD habit into a Mule, and YEARS to train that bad habit out of them, that is, IF you can train it out at all.

    So, no, you are too young and green of a horse trainer to attempt training a Mule.

    Ask @ equinitis what happened with her Mule Stupid, that she tried to train. Stupid is a really cute pasture pet and will probably be one for the rest of it's life due to just a couple mistakes she made with her.

    Keep training horses. Ride older broke to death mules and once you get really, really adept at training horses, then try Mule handling.
     
  3. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Puddincup, GONE ROPING and mooselady like this.
  4. .Delete.

    .Delete. Senior Member

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    I've always wanted a Mule too, but I don't have enough confidence in my own abilities to train/maintain the training on a mule. If I were to ever get a Mule I'd probably pay top dollar for an extremely well broke one that's a saint & can deal with my ignorance. Even then...idk.

    Like Mane's said, you can unknowingly ruin a mule. Trail and error isn't an option.
     
  5. Faster Horses

    Faster Horses Senior Member

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    I've also wanted a mule, but wasn't sure I had the patience.

    God heard my prayers and gave me a tough kiddo who tries my patience at every turn.

    By the time he's 18, I'll be ready for a mule. :rofl:
     
  6. Lileon Bierman

    Lileon Bierman Full Member

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    Although your input is appreciated -I was just asking some questions. Sorry, not sorry, if they sounded too similar to one another.
     
  7. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    Pardon? what do you mean "Although your input is appreciated?" I hope you weren't referring to Manes input there...she has shared with you a lifetimes worth of info in a few short paragraphs...you want better input, go buy a book.

    What do I know about mules? Cute as all heck, and too **** smart for me.
     
  8. Lileon Bierman

    Lileon Bierman Full Member

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    I do appreciate the input she gave me, I do, but the way I interpreted it -the way she wrote it made it sound like she was profoundly irritated with me. And if it comes down to buying a book... I will.
     
  9. Friesiangirl

    Friesiangirl Senior Member

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    You don't need to buy a book.
    You need to intern under someone who trains mules for a living and has the experience.

    Mules are more likely to become aggressive and dangerous than horses. They will stand their ground more often than not - that's where the kicking thing comes from. They don't kick to get you away, they kick to kill. You can't bully a mule, but a mule sure can bully you.

    Mules are like the blue heelers of the horse world. They've always got some sort of stink eye, want to know what's in it for them, and are typically one person animals.

    If you are EVER unfair, or even mildly inconsistent, you will not have any luck with a mule. They need expert trainers and handlers and will outsmart most anyone. I've been on some horses that were always trying to outsmart me. It's quirky and fun for about one ride but day in and day out it gets old. You can't ever "relax" on them.

    I consider myself a decent horse trainer. Not amazing but good enough to get any horse thru pretty much. I don't work with mules. I love them, but I am not good enough for them. I would do them a disservice.
     
  10. Shmee

    Shmee Senior Member

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    FYI, manes is a pretty direct person. Having been on this forum a while, I did not sense profound irritation in her responses. They were just straighforward.
     

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