Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
Ahh Mules :) I love my Moolahay's!
When I was back home in B.C Canada, I lived a hop,skip and a jump from a family who owned over 40 acres of land, with a large ranch on it, where they bred Mules. I was greatly involved with their farm, breeding program and their family. They called me their "Adopted Daughter".
Their Jack was a Mammoth Jack. His name was Cracker Jack. He was a sweet heart for the most part, but you couldn't halter him and lead him around. He'd say "forget this" and do what he wanted. He was a big white fuzzy monster. I adored him, adorable.
He bred to Mares who ranged from 14hh, to 17hh. All they did was throw him out in the pasture with the mares and they allowed Nature to do its job. Trust me, where there is a will, there is a way. They had a few Morgans, a few Tennesse Walker - but majority of their Brood Mare stock were TB's.
Their Mules were sold all over Canada and the U.S.A. Many of them went to Oregon. They were very popular in the Draft Horse and Mule Associations.
I had my own Long Ears, and I spent many summers breaking and training their mules to prepare them for sale. I even Evented a Mule :) It was a blast.
Meredith Hodges is the best person to turn to, she is very knoweldgeable and very experienced. I turned to her many times when I was working with Long Ears.
You have to take a different approach with mules than you do with a Horse. Mules NEVER forget, not a thing throughout their lives. When training and working with a mule, remember that they ask "Who, what, where, when and why?" "Why am I doing this?" You have to let them think it was their idea, not yours. You cannot coerse a mule to do something, if they don't think it is "profitable" for them. "What's the point of this?". They learn very quickly.
An example, when training a mule to tie. I could tie a mule up to the hitching post and leave it there. I would watch closely. Some just stood nicely, but others I've seen get tore up about the situation, pull back and start to struggle. When they would struggle, sometimes they'd hurt themselves. The one's who would hurt themsevles during a struggle would say "oh, well, that was stupid, not doing that again" and after that, they'd stand perfectly no matter where or when I would tie them up. Horses for example, could struggle till they severely hurt themselves, destroyed the area, or even kill themselves. Mules learn very quickly from the experiences.
They are a pleasure to work with, to own and you'll fall in love.
Last edited by MIEventer; 03-28-2011 at 10:31 AM.