Mule VS Hinny - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 11-04-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Mule VS Hinny

Is there really a difference? I get that one has a donkey mom and one has a donkey dad, but does it really make a difference in the resulting baby? It's still half donkey.

I guess I'm thinking of people, it doesn't matter if someone has a Caucasian mother and black father, or vice versa. I guess I'm just not sure why they have to be separate "breeds."
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-04-2012, 03:29 PM
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From what I've heard, it has to do with how the genes/DNA combine. I seem to remember that a hinny comes out more like a donkey (mentally and physically - I think I've heard that the mental difference part is why they aren't as popular) while a mule comes out more on the horse side of things (aka generally a little more tractable, etc).

It does seem weird though!
I kinda wish hinnies were more popular, just for the sake of knowing WHY they aren't "ideal"... haha

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post #3 of 13 Old 11-04-2012, 03:30 PM
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From what I understand, the Mule is usually larger taking on characteristics of the female horse.

Last edited by goneriding; 11-04-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-05-2012, 08:45 PM
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Wrong and wrong. We have raised both. (Mules are easier to raise. It is harder to get a donkey pregnant by a stallion.)

The mule looks more like a donkey. Mules have narrower hooves, a thinner mane and tail and usually has bigger ears.

Hinnies have rounder feet. You can usually just make a regular horse shoe a little more narrow and it will fit a hinny just fine. They are not a high heeled either.

Hinnies have a more full 'horse-like' tail and usually have a bit smaller ears. Often times they are a bit shorter in the back, too. They just have a little more horse-like appearance.

I have not ever used hinnies as hard as I have mules. I used to pack a lot of mules in the mountains of Colorado and it was incredible what they could carry and where they could go with it. I have only used hinnies as saddle stock, but everyone I know that has used them has said they were not a hardy or as tough as a mule is. I really have not ridden any that hard.

A hinny has a little different whinny/bray sound from what a mule sounds like. It is more like a squeaky whinny where a mule has more of a squeaky bray.

I think hinnies are a little easier to train. I am not ready to say if they are as smart as a mule or not. I have not had nearly as many hinnies but I would have to say that I think mules might be a little smarter and hinnies train a little easier.

I do not think there is much difference in size. Both usually are quite a bit bigger than their donkey parent. I know some people think hinnies have better withers, but all of the mules we raised had good backs and pretty good withers. We did not need a breeching or crupper unless we were going to steep mountains. I used to just un-buckle my back girth and run it behind my mule's butt when I hit an occasional steep trail.
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Last edited by Cherie; 11-05-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-05-2012, 09:01 PM
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I never even heard of a Hinny till a couple years ago when a girl I know got a miniature one to be a companion for her horse.OMG it is so cute!! Yes it seems takes on more of the horse in appearance than any mules i've met.
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-06-2012, 06:07 AM
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Cherie, is there any way of being absolutley sure whether an animal is a mule or hinny based on looks alone, when parentage is definitely unknown?

I've no previous experience with either.





Rupert is very small, 10hh. He has a full tail like a horse, and his mane doesn't grow very long, but long enough to flop over. His face is slightly dished. His feet are not round though, they are more narrow. And he makes a sound like a squeal, followed by some braying/grunting. Almost like this hinny I found on youtube (not mine).


I assumed mule, but maybe hinny?

Last edited by muumi; 11-06-2012 at 06:09 AM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-06-2012, 06:26 AM
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Thanks for clarifying Cherie, good to know.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-06-2012, 08:05 AM
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The one thing present that every hinny I have known had, was the round feet with lower heels than a mule.

The one in the video sure has the smaller ears. I can't see its feet.

The animal in the second photo sure looks like a mule to me. If he has 'U' shaped feet with high heels, I would assume he is a mule.

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post #9 of 13 Old 11-06-2012, 12:51 PM
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I personally like the draft crosses. I think they are so cool looking, such character.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-06-2012, 10:35 PM
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I've heard that it's harder to make Hinny's because of the difference in gestation between a horse and a donkey, it's easier for a mule to stay in a little longer rather than the difficulty or a premature hinny. Of course that may just be an old wives tale - Cherie do you know whether or not that's accurate?

Personally I absolutely love them both! They're so sweet - I love the draft cross ones too GoneRiding ^^
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