Mule sounds and gaits - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-04-2013, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Mule sounds and gaits

Hi everyone:

This is the city slicker (sometimes horseback rider who took 'Horsemanship' in college many moons ago) who comes here for help with facts about horses etc. for her historical novel, On the Edge of Sunrise (which just got picked up by an English publisher-yea!). I am now working on the mystery sequel set in late Ancient Rome and Gaul. So, there is a lot of horseback riding and travel.

My question today is about mules. In my story, there is a servant who is approaching an inn on a mule (he fell behind his master's traveling party to do something and now he is rejoining them).

I want to signal his approach and I don't know how to say in words the mule making a neigh sound. It can't be 'Hee-haw' ...the mule hee-hawed... ? Also, I want the mule to trot-- Is this correct? Do mules trot like horses? How do they move faster than a walk?

Please remember I'm a city girl, especially if these questions sound real dumb. LOL

Thanks,
Cynthia
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-04-2013, 05:49 PM
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Not sure about the sounds, but mules have all the same gaits as horses, so yes, trotting is possible.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-04-2013, 06:23 PM
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It's called a bray just like a donkey.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-04-2013, 06:40 PM
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Yep, mules trot, and a mule's noise would be called a bray. :)
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-04-2013, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Mule sounds and gaits

Thanks all!

Your quick reply and information has helped me a lot.

Cynthia
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-10-2013, 05:56 AM
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I have a 2-week old mule at present (and growing rapidly), and he makes the weirdest noises when he tries to reply to his mother's neighs. It's like he wants to copy her, but he can't (bc he's got different vocal chords) and he makes these groaning noises. Nothing like a donkey, although it may be technically a bray.
With regards to your novel, my husband says that mules are largely silent animals, so if your fictitious mule just pricked up his (considerable) ears and broke into a trot, I reckon that would be fine, too.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-10-2013, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondre View Post
I have a 2-week old mule at present (and growing rapidly), and he makes the weirdest noises when he tries to reply to his mother's neighs. It's like he wants to copy her, but he can't (bc he's got different vocal chords) and he makes these groaning noises. Nothing like a donkey, although it may be technically a bray.
With regards to your novel, my husband says that mules are largely silent animals, so if your fictitious mule just pricked up his (considerable) ears and broke into a trot, I reckon that would be fine, too.
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That's very useful information for me as well. It just occurred to me to check on when mules were first bred. My story is in late Ancient Rome (AD 450). A historical writer has to be so careful about things like this. I might have to switch to donkeys but I think there were mules back then. ?? LOL
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-10-2013, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinzia8 View Post
That's very useful information for me as well. It just occurred to me to check on when mules were first bred. My story is in late Ancient Rome (AD 450). A historical writer has to be so careful about things like this. I might have to switch to donkeys but I think there were mules back then. ?? LOL
I did a fast check. You guys probably know this, but I posted it for all to see.

Why Were Mules More Popular Than Horses in the Ancient Mediterranean
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-10-2013, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondre View Post
With regards to your novel, my husband says that mules are largely silent animals, so if your fictitious mule just pricked up his (considerable) ears and broke into a trot, I reckon that would be fine, too.
A trainer that used to teach at my barn would bring her mule for lessons, and we quite frequently heard him braying. I assume they're prone to vocalizing more when away from their herd/in unfamiliar places, like horses?
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-19-2013, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondre View Post
With regards to your novel, my husband says that mules are largely silent animals, so if your fictitious mule just pricked up his (considerable) ears and broke into a trot, I reckon that would be fine, too.
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Tell this to my mule lol! She is a very very vocal animal.
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