Why do mule halters have chains?

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Why do mule halters have chains?

This is a discussion on Why do mule halters have chains? within the Other Equines forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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    08-02-2012, 11:28 PM
Why do mule halters have chains?

Well, my dad finally broke down and I am getting a mule! I have wanted one for about 7 years, and we always seem to be a horse short while riding.

Anyway, I noticed that a lot of halters marketed to mules have chains underneath. Why is that? I would think it makes the halter have more "bite"...

Here is a picture of what I am talking about. Sorry if it is big, judging size on an iPad is tough lol.http://horseandmulegear.com/products...IMG_0264_2.jpg
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    08-03-2012, 12:11 AM
More "bite" is probably to be expected because it's not just a horse you're dealing with....yano, there's quite a bit of donkey in there ;D
But I would assume that a rope halter would be a kinder thing to do. Put a good-quality rope halter on your arm and tug it down. It's got a lot more "concentrated" pressure and is more effective than a regular halter, and if you put a regular halter it isn't as great feeling....the weight is spread over a larger area and as you can imagine, it isn't going to be as effective as a rope halter.
Anyway, I'd go for something without a chain. Why buy something that will eventually rust and break when you can just get a more effective tool that will last longer?
Anyway, good luck to you with your new mule! Mules are awesome-- I haven't spent a lot of time around them but based on what I've read/heard about them, they are very intelligent.
    08-03-2012, 12:24 AM
For the exact same reason that "mule bits" look like this

Because mules are smarter than horses, that accounts for the stereotype that mules are stubborn. Anyone who uses those bits or those chain halters just doesn't know much about handling a mule. My family has had mules since long before I was born and we've never needed more than a simple snaffle or a regular halter on any of them.

I'm assuming that you'll be getting a mule that's already trained, right? If so, I strongly suggest you get some instruction from the mule's owner (providing they know how to properly handle mules) on how to handle it. If you are looking for a mule that isn't broke, you'll need to find a qualified trainer to work with both you and the mule. With a good natured horse, people who don't know much about training can sometimes blunder their way through without getting themselves hurt or ruining the horse too bad. Not so with a mule. They are quick to take advantage and they learn very fast...both bad and good.
    08-03-2012, 12:42 AM
You should see the mules on the Rogue River Eq team in these parts...Dressage, gaming, equitation, team penning, roping, western pleasure, drill team...I mean, hot ****, talented!!

Oh and I demand mule pictures.
    08-03-2012, 09:58 AM
I can't believe people actually use bits like those! We normally ride in a simple d-ring or loose ring snaffles or rope halters with our horses, and I don't think we would need much more for a mule.. The only problem I could see would be getting a bridle/halter over their ears and keeping the saddle from sliding, but breeching(sp?) could help with that.

The mule will definitely be already trained, I haven't fully started a horse yet(though I have helped a few people do so) so I don't think trying with a mule would work out for either the mule or myself.

I am in the process of finding a trainer and I will pick the owners brain, I normally do when buying any animal. I'm not going to be doing this on my own, but I am sure it will be a learning experience...

That's what won me over, when I was about 9 we saw a mule at a show, and WOW was he amazing! Trust me, there will be tons of pictures! It isn't set on which one we are getting, but I will be sure to post pictureS when he/she arrives!
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    08-03-2012, 11:29 AM
If you need to put that in a mules mouth...wow.
    08-03-2012, 12:36 PM
My husband used to do packing and guiding in the Rockies and some mules had halters like this so they didn't pull and break lines and run off with supplies. Not a nice thing when your way out in the middle of nowhere!
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    08-03-2012, 01:07 PM
They really are not that much more difficult to bridle than a horse, in spite of those big ol' ears LOL. You just have to use a bit more space to get the bridle over the tips of them.

Depending on their individual conformation, you may or may not need a crupper/britchin. I've ridden one mule that didn't need anything to keep the saddle in place and I'm riding one now that needs both britchin and breast collar. Of course, it would be a different story if I had a saddle with a mule tree in it, but I don't so I just make do with what I've got.
    08-03-2012, 05:18 PM
That does make sense, so the lines don't break. I am sure being up there WITH supplies is tough enough, someone probably wouldn't last too long without supplies in the middle of the Rockies!

I know they have bridles made for mules, with a clip-on crown piece to the side. I bet that would make bridling a lot easier lol! Do brow bands make it any harder to bridle?

Do you prefer a crupper or a britchin? If I understand correctly, cruppers go under/around the tail and connect to the saddle where britchins are kind of like butt straps, with it wrapping over the top of the rump and connecting to the saddle in several places?

What exactly are the differences in a mule saddle and a regular "horse" saddle? Is the tree wider??
    08-03-2012, 05:39 PM

They have a great pic if the difference in trees. Can't figure out how to post it here LOL!
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