Join Date: May 2011
Location: Cortez Colorado
• Horses: 0
Mules and donkeys have a much stronger self-preservation instinct than a horse, so using flight zones to train them just doesn't work as well. I was warned to really research mules before I bought one because you can ruin a good mule easily by treating it like a horse, and that is true!
Mules are way smarter, and really don't get it if you try to drill them on anything. One circle is enough. In terms of teaching them new things, use natural obstacles to make it make sense to them. For instance, teaching a mule to back up is easier if you put them in a spot where they HAVE to back up to get out, then rewarding them.
The reason more donkeys and mules are abused than horses is this: longears have a way of making people feel dumb. Even if you are good with them they'll find your button to push it.
Best advice I ever got about training mules/donkeys was this: Have a VERY good sense of humor...you'll need it. :)
That being said, I love working with longears, so much more rewarding than with horses, and I always always feel safer.