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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody



I have been looking into horses and horse breeds a lot recently and I was wondering why mules aren't used more often... I know most people think they are ugly, but... they are strong, clever and they seem to be hardy... I am not gonna buy or own any horse soon (not enough money nor experience), but I was considering if later in life a mule would be a good match...



Are there any riders that have experience riding western on a mule and doing trails, jumping, endurance with them?? How do they perform? What would be the benefit of a mule in your opinions? Just really curious to hear any opinions on this matter! :) I would like to try and ride a mule soon (just to experience the difference with a horse), I hope I can find a bigger mule because I am tall... :p (but I don't weigh much though)
 

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There's a decent amount of mules in endurance. One who competed in MN was the top LD placer for our region for a decade until she retired last year, several have done Tevis. I do know the training and mindset are very different. If a mule is done, they're done. They'll stop on the trail and refuse to move another step if they've had enough.

I would love a mule someday. I've looked at a few, what keeps me away is the price. I can get an endurance horse competing in 50's for 2-3k (although I usually buy mine green or yet to be broke for less than $1,000) and any mule I've seen is at least $5,000. The last few I've seen from sellers I trust are over $8,000.
 

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What I know about mules you could write on a postage stamp with a felt tipped pen!

All the people I know who have had real interaction with mules have said there is nothing better than them for work. You just have to understand their thinking.

I have been watching the people in the video below. Mules can certainly go in places a horse could not, well, at least safely.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What I know about mules you could write on a postage stamp with a felt tipped pen!

All the people I know who have had real interaction with mules have said there is nothing better than them for work. You just have to understand their thinking.

I have been watching the people in the video below. Mules can certainly go in places a horse could not, well, at least safely.

https://youtu.be/dkCXk7VNXxg

Yes, I have seen those videos... I live in an area where this isn't immediately possible, but within a 2 hour drive there are possibilities like this. I am planning on taking a trailride on a mule to see how it is. I am just really curious. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There's a decent amount of mules in endurance. One who competed in MN was the top LD placer for our region for a decade until she retired last year, several have done Tevis. I do know the training and mindset are very different. If a mule is done, they're done. They'll stop on the trail and refuse to move another step if they've had enough.

I would love a mule someday. I've looked at a few, what keeps me away is the price. I can get an endurance horse competing in 50's for 2-3k (although I usually buy mine green or yet to be broke for less than $1,000) and any mule I've seen is at least $5,000. The last few I've seen from sellers I trust are over $8,000.

I have seen some for sale in my country (Europe), trained western they were around € 3000-4000 and that is from sellers I don't know and if I can trust them is just the question... If I would ever think of buying a horse or a mule I would be willing to pay to be sure to get quality/schooled. I would also take experienced horse owners with me. But for now I am too broke to own any horse of mule and I need to work on my experience. Maybe within 8-10 more years I can begin dreaming of... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@txgirl Great! I can imagine that they are amazing for trailrides! I have found some companies (2 hour drive) that offer trailrides with mules. I am gonna try this for sure!



@QtrBel I don't know what kind of personality I have, but according to other riders I am extremely patient. :p Maybe a good quality to work with a mule. Haha. :D I can imagine it has to click between the mule and the rider so it can be a great experience for the both.



@QueenofFrance08 Amazing! I did not know this! I have seen some mules doing jumping and all... but endurance? No. Also I don't know a lot about horse sports. I am totally new to this world, but I ride western (and very much enjoy it) and would like to go into endurance. I also like trailriding alot. :) Dressage isn't for me although I would be willing to learn exercises to help my horse build muscle if needed. :)
 

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Mules are fairly popular in my area, although most use them for packing more than anything it seems. I do have a neighbor that has a few and they swear by them, said theyll never own or even ride a horse again
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@csimkunas6


Waw okay! That good, huh? :) I am really curious about the training of a mule. I hope that I can work more with horses to gain more experience. I like training animals (I always have), but since I don't own any horses and have to work for a living I don't have time to hang around trainers and all... Seems to be much easier when you are a horse loving kid/teen that still goes to school and has plenty of free time. ;) But who knows what will cross my path... :)
 

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It's all a personal preference... and in my experience, you either LOVE mules... or you don't. Period. I love them! Like with any species or breed, there are good ones and there are bad ones. And they really don't have to be ugly, but a lot of people think to get a large mule, you need to breed the mare to a mammoth jack, which is not true. The mule foal will generally grow to the mare's size, within an inch or 2 either way. I personally like a pretty head on a mule, so I use a large standard jack with a nicely shaped head... most mammoths have big, coarse heads, which is where a lot of the "ugly" comes from. My current riding mule is 15hh, out of a 15.2hh mare and a 49" jack, and he has a gorgeous head! As for riding, you can do pretty much any type or style of riding you desire by choosing a mule out of that type of mare. For instance, if you want a dressage mule, use a nice warmblood mare... if you want a cutting mule, use a cutting-bred or cowy mare... a gaited mule, use a gaited mare (better chances if the jack is gaited too though)... and if you want a trail mule, use a nice stock mare with a good mind. The possibilities are endless. I highly suggest seeing if you can ride a good mule or 2 first, to see if it's something you'd want. They ARE a little different than a horse... they're generally "thinkers" instead of "reactors." Once you've decided a mule is for you, then you can decide on age/training level. Obviously if you are green, a good, honest, been-there, done-that mule is your best bet. But you DO pay for a good trained one. Mules are more like dogs in that they really need to trust you first, so if you are experienced enough to put the work in, I'd suggest buying a young mule and raising it right and training it yourself if possible. One thing that you need to remember when working with your mule is to be fair and kind... if you screw up, they'll remember it, and if you try to FORCE them to do something, you'll lose the battle. And as the saying goes... "A horse will accept you as boss, a mule wants to see your resume."
 

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There's nothing worse than a bad mule, but nothing better than a good one. I love good mules, but I don't have one currently because A.) good ones are expensive and B.) I board and the farm owner had a bad experience with mules constantly getting out/jumping the fence so does not want one on the place.

There's one place I found on Facebook that has some really nice weanling mules for sale each year. I would love to get one of those sometime. They use registered ranch/cow-type Quarter Horse and Paint mares from good bloodlines with good builds and temperaments, and the babies are NICE. The key to a good mule is to find one by a jack with a good temperament, out of a really nice mare. Mules got a bad reputation for a long time in part because people didn't want to use a nice mare for a mule foal. Use a nice mare, and you will likely get a nice mule foal. There are some really pretty mules out there, and they're worth a lot of money. Mules hold their value better than horses.

I really, really wanted a gaited mule for sale locally... she was big, sweet, good-looking, and out of a Foxtrotter mare and got mom's gait. They wanted a pretty penny for her, and they got it, too.
 

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I've never even met one but one day... One day I will get a mule to train. It's one of my bigger dreams. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Carla M Spikberg



Great advice! I am a beginning rider and I don't have enough experience to own a horse or mule. If I have been riding a few years I can maybe consider buying my own horse or mule... (Or maybe co-owning together with a friend/leasing...)... If I ever buy my own horse/mule I want to be sure I know what I am doing and that I have enough money and time to invest to make it a win win situation for the both of us. :) I never rode one, but I am gonna try soon! :) Also about the training: I generally like to work with a more thinking type of animal (I like training dogs, but I also trained some prey animals and the dynamics are totally different...)



Is that your mule in the picture? That is indeed a pretty one! wow!
 

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@Carla M Spikberg



Great advice! I am a beginning rider and I don't have enough experience to own a horse or mule. If I have been riding a few years I can maybe consider buying my own horse or mule... (Or maybe co-owning together with a friend/leasing...)... If I ever buy my own horse/mule I want to be sure I know what I am doing and that I have enough money and time to invest to make it a win win situation for the both of us. :) I never rode one, but I am gonna try soon! :) Also about the training: I generally like to work with a more thinking type of animal (I like training dogs, but I also trained some prey animals and the dynamics are totally different...)


Is that your mule in the picture? That is indeed a pretty one! wow!



Yes, that is my mule. :smile: He's out of an appendix QH mare.
 

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Like @csimkunas6 mules are popular here, and gaining in popularity. When I was a kid, every **** hunter (and **** hunting was popular!) had at least one good mule.


Why? Because mules can handle terrain horses can't, and their ability to jump and climb is outstanding. They can jump barbed wire fences... which tend to get in the way of a **** hunt.


Folks don't hunt racoons anymore... but they do HOG hunt and the same principle applies - you want a sure footed, athletic equine capable of effortless jumps and traversing some fairly hairy terrain.


I'm seeing more and more on trails now, as pleasure mules/trail riders, and I just recently sold a set of tapaderos to a guy I know - he is about to start a mule colt, and didn't want his boot getting ran through the stirrup and hung up. He has two grown mules, the darkkkk chocolate/black color with the beighy brown noses, just lovely... and he's a member of our local trail rider group. He, and a lot of other people who have good mules... good being the important adjective here... said once you've ridden a good mule, you'll never go back to foolin around with horses.


IDK. I'd love to have a mule, I'd love to have a baby mule on our place and I have fantastic mare who would make a nice baby (Gina) with a mammoth donk, we just have quite enough going on with the horses we have now. LOL


PS. Mules really need different tack than horses. Their backs and bodies are shaped different so there is a difference in a mule saddle and a horse saddle, at least in western riding. Their heads are different, you need different accoutrements to help prevent saddle roll (Breeching... crupper type set up), etc.
 

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I begged BEGGED my grandfather to buy me a mule when I was 12. We were at a horse auction and they had a giant one. I wanted it so so badly. I got to ride it in the sale pen for them, and I fell in love. My grandfather said I would want a horse too.

It is still my dream to have one. I am kind of hoping the surprise baby that we just found out about is a mule. :) She is not a mare I would have chosen to breed, but she is so it has happened and is beyond my control. But if it could be a mule then I would be happy!

A friend has a mini mule and she is wild. I absolutely adore her. So much spunk and sass in that little body!
 

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I begged BEGGED my grandfather to buy me a mule when I was 12. We were at a horse auction and they had a giant one. I wanted it so so badly. I got to ride it in the sale pen for them, and I fell in love. My grandfather said I would want a horse too.

It is still my dream to have one. I am kindof hoping the surprise baby that we just found out about is a mule. :) She is not a mare I would have chosen to breed, but she is so it has happened and is beyond my control. But if it could be a mule then I would be happy!

A friend has a mini mule and she is wild. I absolutely adore her. So much spunk and sass in that little body!

A young lady I met through here, but hasn't been on in quite a while (But we keep through social media) had a 17hh mule! He was a looker! She ended up selling him to a good home and works with a mule and donkey rescue in San Angelo Tx now. I love watching her training (gentling) videos.
 
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