Training a mule.

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by TeeK987, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. TeeK987

    TeeK987 Senior Member

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    My friend just got a 6 month old mule, and wants to train him to ride. I have never worked around mules, but have broke a few horses to ride, drive, and i do training in general.. I really want to help her out by giving her any sort of advice on this. So here it goes.

    Where would you start this this 6 month mule? (not sure if hes even halter broke, havent heard back yet..)

    How old would you start lunging, then saddle and bridle training?

    Some tips to working with a mule in general?!

    Thanks for the advice. Im really hoping the selling will at least give her a referral to a good mule trainer..
     






  2. MuleyGirl

    MuleyGirl Full Member

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    I have 3 mules that I have raised from babies. First off I would say all of the good horse manners and handling is the same for mules as for horses. However, they may try different evasions than a horse, and you will need to think ahead and be more creative when dealing with them. I have used positive reinforcement with all of mine, and it has worked well. Also I would not get in too much of a hurry to get them under saddle, what I found with mine was that they may physically look mature at 3, but their brains probably are not. I am sure that there are some that are quiet and all that, but I have just decided not to start mine under saddle until 4, or when they are mentally ready. They get saddled and bridled and worked on the ground, so they are really ready when you do get on. The first one I started at 3, it was a waste of time, she just was not ready, so I put her back out to grow up some more. I started again under saddle when she was 4 1/2, totally different mule. They all have different personalities, just like horses, just get him out and expose him to lots of stuff, so when you do ride him, it will be no big thing. And they hate lots of repetition, thats when they quit on you, once they have it move on to the next thing.They are smart and learn fast and retain stuff better than a horse.
     
  3. TeeK987

    TeeK987 Senior Member

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    Thanks very much! Thats mostly what i had in mind from watching the mule show on the tv! The stuff they do with them is amazing. The last message i got from her was "I think were gonna break him at 1":eek::rolleyes:

    I want to go to her with as much SOLID info as possible.. I have a feeling this is going to be ridiculous...
     
  4. MuleyGirl

    MuleyGirl Full Member

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    My youngest mule is almost 4, and he is still growing, and he is BIG. Some keep growing until 6 or so, some are done sooner. He mentally probably could have been started already, but he is still growing into himself, so I am waiting. The 2 mollies I have, they both were much better at 4 and 5 than they were at 3. The problem with starting them under saddle too young is that it stresses them, both physically and mentally, and that's where you start getting evasions, and also it just takes a lot more time to get the same things accomplished than it will when they are a little older. There is a ton of groundwork that can be done, and you can grounddrive them as well, pony them on the trail, and get them really ready for when you do get on them. Mules can live longer than horses, so she may have this mule a very long time, so she should make sure she does it right the first time. It is harder to go back later and fix the problems that you may create...
     
  5. PyroTekNik333

    PyroTekNik333 Senior Member+

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    I would really recommend working alongside an experienced mule trainer.
    Mules are tough, they a smarter than horses and remember more and longer than horses.
    There is no such thing as retraining a mule if you don't get everything right the first time, they are very unforgiving IMO.

    That said I would love to own a gaited mule someday (a gelding, named Finnegan. Yes I've given this some thought...) so don't read into this thinking I'm a hater:p:)
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Full Member

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    I had my mule trained at the age of 5. I had her trained by a trusted instructor/trainer because I was first to admit that mule and I did not speak the same language.
     
  7. sorrell

    sorrell Senior Member+

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    some people like to wait until a horse or mule is four or five to train, but I agree that starting now with ground manners, leading, tying, picking up feet, loading on and off trailer, etc. are all useful, even if you don't lounge or ground drive until much later.
    Mules are quick learners and seem to observe human behavior and use it to their advantage sometimes.
    The mules i worked with were more quick to react to things and held a grudge if they felt you were being unreasonable or abusive, so agree with the positive reinforcement over punishment technique to training them.
    their mouths did not seem as responsive to bit pressure, but i started working with them after they had been broke by someone else, so that might have been part of it.
     
  8. TeeK987

    TeeK987 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replys!
     

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