03-12-2013, 10:36 AM
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Hinnies are much more 'horse-like' than mules, but they respond very well to 'restraints' just like mules do.
1) I would first teach her to tie solidly.
2) I would sack her out with a long soft 'scotch rope' that I have made. It is 25 feet long made of 1 inch soft cotton rope that has been un-twisted and re-braided into a soft 3 strand braid. I tie one end around a horse's neck and get them used to the rope everywhere and pick up their back feet with it. This, alone, helps get a lot of them over their fears.
3) As soon as you can handle her feet and legs, four-way hobbles will teach her very quickly that anything you want to do is OK. Hinnies and mules are usually too smart to fight them and you can 'gentle' one very quickly with them. They have the added value of teaching them to NOT FIGHT getting tangled up or in a fence. They just patiently stand there and wait for you to get them untangled.
Hinnies and mules are so much smarter than horses, that they can get spoiled 10X easier. If a hinny or mule steps toward you or moves their butt toward you and you step back, they INSTANTLY think of you as 'unworthy'. You have to portray to them an image of strength and control and they respond by looking up to you as their leader. They do this much more quickly and easily than horses do. Their quick response to restraints like 4-way hobbles is nothing short of 'magical'. I used to demonstrate it to people and the could not believe the instant change in their mule's or hinny's behavior and whole demeanor.
They are almost as bad a mules about learning to pull away with a person in the end of a lead-rope. I always skipped round pen and longeing work with them because they usually just learned to get away from a handler. It is almost impossible to break this bad habit and usually dooms them to having to have a chain on their halter ever after. Restraints just work much better and having them anchored while they are learning prevents HUGE problems.