The evil miniature mule! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-19-2012, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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The evil miniature mule!

I'm training 8 mini mules and 2 mini horses. Are 2 years old and were untouched when I first started, they'd kick and you couldn't get close to them (as expected). Anyway, the owner wants them all halter broken. I have 5 halter broken and they were fairly easy after getting their trust and respect. There is a larger solid white mule (I call her Satin). . I put Satin in a run, two stalls on the left hand side, other side is solid wood, then the back is a stall. I close all the doors and get her to go to the gate. I make a small 'stall like' area so it is easier to work with her. Everytime busts out and runs to the back, against the stall. She has gotten to where she charges at me and refuses to stop and I have to keep the side stall open to avoid getting ran over. When I say charge, I mean a FULL fledged gallop at me and will not stop. She has gotten so bad that it scares the daylights out of me and I really don't like getting in the run with her. My boss and his son helped me out and got a halter on her, but I'm have no clue what to do with her anymore because she is downright dangerous. I know she isn't really evil, but this stare she gives me is quite creepy. I'm starting to wonder if everything is right in her noggin. It could always be she is a miniature, therefore closer to hell But seriously I could really use some other trainers opinions and I'll take any advice. (Note, I've started them all out the same way.)

Mule : Me:
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-19-2012, 02:15 AM
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She probably charges because she knows now that she can move you and intimidate you. Lead horses move lesser herd mates by applying pressure. The lesser herd mate moves out of the way.

Funny enough, I pass a small "zoo" on my way to town. These people collect different color horses (all their horses are a different, odd color). They have a cow, a llama, two minature horses, a mini donk and a miniature pig. While I was passing the other day, I noticed the mini donk mowing down one of the miniature horses. Full out charged it, teeth bared. The mini horse ran away.

Same thing is happening in your situation. The donky is charging, you're yeilding and moving. Not sure if you should do this, but I have done this with similar charging animals and it backed them right off.

Some might disagree with this, but I hold my ground rather firmly with a dressage whip. I let them know I have it (keep it in plain view), and they would decide whether it was worth charging.

If they charged, they'd get a good beating and be sent scrambling back. Some would rethink the charge, not wanting to chance the whip. One or two have actually charged at me anyways, and I let them have it.

Usually once is enough to make them rethink the action. Now I am the lead horse, and you are the lesser herd mate. I sent you away, you don't send me away.

I'm sure there are other ways of doing this. I never really worried for my personal safety because I had a mind set that I was going to go in there and win that fight. But be warned, a charging animal is dangerous and its up to you on whether you want to face this animal the way I've always faced them.

Once you've sent her back peddling, keep moving her. Move her forward from behind. Don't run her around, just walk behind her and wiggle your whip and click at her if she looks at something else or drops her nose down to sniff at something. Just move her at the walk. Raise the pressure if you have to and then drop it immediately after she gives you what you want (walking forward, away from you). YOU chose when to make her stop.

This isn't a highspeed chase. You are simply walking behind her (out of kicking range) and making her walk forward. Again, make sure her attention is on you and she doesn't stop on her own. Then suddenly stop putting the pressure on. Just stop walking and back off. By this point, she should stop and turn to face you.

Whatever way you chose, never go into that run-in unarmed. Take some form of protection with you. A dressage whip. A lunge whip. A cattle prod.

Just joking on the last one.

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post #3 of 18 Old 09-19-2012, 03:39 AM
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What Copperhead said!

Believe me, if he charged a dominant mare like that she'd hurt him a lot more than you can do with a whip. A full size mare quite well could kill him. He's got your number, because you have retreated. Now you have his. Arm yourself and put the little monster in his place.

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post #4 of 18 Old 09-19-2012, 09:32 AM
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Perhaps you should rename Satin, to Satan? I was charged once when I was a kid by thoroughbred who was young and worked in the moment. I learned in time that all it took was a bop on the nose with a hard smack...

However my sister, who was not so fond of horses, was carrying a bale of straw for the rabbit hutches and he wanted it, thinking it was hay. This same horse grew impatient with her love taps on his nose and reached down to take a bite of the straw and actually grabbed her nose and lifted her off the ground a few feet. A nice sized scratch and she vowed to never go around horses again. I think her pride was wounded more than she was...

Just goes to show that you have to show the horse, er satanic donkey, who is boss! Good luck
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-19-2012, 09:38 AM
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Copper is right, you have to speak equus back to this donk when you put her in your place....that's the only way she will understand. If you let her know who's boss in your language, you could do more harm than good.
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-19-2012, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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I'll give the dressage whip a try! LOL sorry, I meant Satan my bad. Since I started moving for her, I've probably made my situation a little harder to correct. I'll get some pictures of her today, she's very pretty. Also, this may be a little off topic but since I am here does anyone know how much halter breaking a miniature usually runs?
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-19-2012, 02:01 PM
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I want pictures of this mini mule

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post #8 of 18 Old 09-19-2012, 03:41 PM
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Is she charging with ears back teeth out and front hooves flying at you, or is she just running you over?
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-19-2012, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Ears back, but no teeth out.
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-19-2012, 07:49 PM
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I just got off the phone with a mule owner, after seeking her advice on your situation RedBlaze. Mini mule or standard mule, the next time she charges you, pull a crop stuck down the back of your pants or up your sleeve and give her one good whack on the may take a few times but the element of surprise is what will make her think twice about charging you again. If she begins waiting patiently reward her with a bite of a tasty treat...should she go back to charging, pick back up on the nose whack. I hope this helps!
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