Any tips on working with a mule foal?
Miranda is a sweet heart she was halter broke on day one feet worked with from day one leading is going well she however likes to sneak up on you from behind and bump you sometimes she's moving pretty fast and bumps you I must add she has never offered to kick or anything like that the normal baby nips yes but we are working on that so any tips on her respecting my space she does this to the other horses too and they cant react because mama will whip their butts so they tolerate it unless mama is out of sight. She will be 2 mths old next week do I just treat her like I would a horse foal or do I consider the donkey half?
No idea about mule foals, but just had to check in and say she's CUTE:D
My dad is a mule guy, has ridden and trained mules for years and mostly does everything the same as you would with a horse. You just have to remember that mules have a different mindset and have a strong sense of self preservation, they tend to take their time and check everything out before making a decision to do something or not. They can't be forced into doing things and sometimes take a little longer to make a decision to trust you. All in all they are very smart and learn very fast. So my opinion is to train the colt just like you would a horse colt but also be aware of the slight differences in horses and mules.
As soon as I saw the thread title I was going to ask for a photo, but you already gave us one :D she is gorgeous!
Though my own experience of mules is limited to a handful here and there, the bumping seems common and would logically come from the donkey side correct.
The difficulty is in reading it because it can have several meanings. It can be territorial sure, but also it helps the donkey to develop balance and is a common form of communication in the group.
What is her reaction if you interrupt her? Ie if you wait until you know she is coming from behind then suddenly spin 180 and stamp the ground say?
In terms of handling I would treat her as a horse but just remember they think a little differently, and also remember that horses tend to push with their shoulder whereas donkeys are much more head on. (like humans)
She bumps wanting attention lol she is a love bug esp when she see's someone else getting attention never mind I just spent half an hour loving on her I might try the turning around on her and kind of spoiling her game. I know what you mean by them needing to take things slowly she was fun to train to lead. tried the butt rope that wasnt working but I did gain ground by pulling and as soon as she took a step I instantly released pressure she caught on to that in one lesson now leads like a pro. I just want to nip the bumping because I dont want to have a full sized mule bumping me or my daughter. She is a funny little thing bounces around like a deer and her talking is pretty funny to hear.
I've never owned a mule, but dang I want one now! She is so darn cute :D
She is cute I was lucky enough to catch her birth she came out and those ears were glued back then as she dried they popped up one at a time the cutest thing I have ever seen.
You have to train a mule like you should train a horse.
No shortcuts, no force. Patience will be tested! Mules don't do anything they don't want to do, so you have to make them want to do what you want them to. This can take some real skill from the trainer. Mules sour quickly and never forget if you let them get away with something! Give them an inch and they take several miles.
Basicly, show up with your best horse training skills, add a dose of patience, and take it as slowly as you need to.
Mules are a LOT different. They are a LOT smarter and have a lot more 'reasoning' power. I love them.
NEVER let a mule make a mistake. NEVER let one bolt and pull away from you -- their necks are incredibly strong and a mule that learns to bolt is VERY hard to 'fix'. They are sooooo much smarter than any horse, that you cannot make any mistakes or they will 'jump' on that mistake immediately -- if not sooner.
I have always done my groundwork a lot differently. I could care less if one longes, but I want instant 'turn and face me' manners any time I tug on the lead-rope. I want a very good back up and a very good yielding of shoulders and hind quarters very early in the training work.
If you miss any of these lessons, they really come back and bite you in the you-know-where.
They sort out the true trainers from the trainer wannabes real quickly.
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