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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2010
    Location
    Northland, New Zealand
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    87

    Default Mules

    Mules are very uncommon here in NZ and the few who are here, are all by small jacks as mammoth donkeys are quite new to New Zealand. I've always been interested in them and am considering breeding one for myself but would love to hear the pros and cons of mules for riding. Would be looking to breed to a mammoth to get size - what sort of mares are best to breed from? And how are mules different to deal with than horses? Any info greatly appreciated
    "A babbler amongst the followers of a pack of hounds is just as great an evil as a babbler in the pack" The Complete Foxhunter 1908



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2005
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    3,974

    Default

    I have an internet friend who breeds and rides mules. They tend to breed smaller mules as both she and her husband are on the small side. They have several mares, the one was a morgan/QH. I'm not sure what the other is. They own their own jacks and the wife plans on training the younger jack to ride. I think in talking to her that the main thing they consider with the mare is a good riding horse with decent temperment. They also have an appy mule that they got from a friend, and a paso x mule they purchased from a breeder. I think one of the differences with mules is that they are not going to be "forced" to do something. May need a little more "out of the box" training rather than a very regemented training program. Of course this is just my preception from things she has said.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
    Posts
    6,213

    Default

    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2010
    Location
    Northland, New Zealand
    Posts
    87

    Default

    Thanks for the links - great starting point! Still love to hear from other mule people please =)
    "A babbler amongst the followers of a pack of hounds is just as great an evil as a babbler in the pack" The Complete Foxhunter 1908



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, California
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    5,004

    Default

    Join the MulesOnly Yahoo group. It's a tremendous resource and the members are all over the world. It's my #1 source for all things mule related.

    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/MulesOnly/

    I have a four year old mule out of a TB mare. I can't speak to what he is like to ride as I am waiting until this spring to start him. Mules mature more slowly than horses so I want to make sure his joints are strong, etc. That being said, I love having a mule! He is smart, funny and so much fun to work with!

    Mules have a greater sense of self preservation than horses do, and cannot be forced into anything, hence the phrase "stubborn as a mule".
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2010
    Location
    Northland, New Zealand
    Posts
    87

    Default

    Thanks jenm - is there any chance you could email me a couple of photos of your mule - I have been wondering about using a heavy TB mare and would love to see what the outcome might be. Will check out the MulesOnly group, sounds like what I'm after. Cheers =)
    "A babbler amongst the followers of a pack of hounds is just as great an evil as a babbler in the pack" The Complete Foxhunter 1908



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,132

    Default

    DEFINITELY find a mare with the BEST temperament you possibly can....the last thing you want is a grumpy mule, BELIEVE ME!

    I would actually suggest hanging out with a mule for a while first, if you can find a situation to do so. They are very different animals than horses, really and truly.

    I too decided I wanted a mule, did all the reading, and actively set out to find one. Despite hearing over and over that "mules are MUCH different from horses" I obviously assumed everyone was crazy and that they couldn't be THAT different. But they really are.

    I bought a mule after my months of research, and he is absolutely the dearest little thing (about 13 hands) and I love him to pieces. He's a big, fluffy, scary-smart dog in a pony's body. But lemme tell you....for the first two months I had him, I hated him. He was a rotten little bugger, and I couldn't make him do something by stomping my foot at him or giving him a smack on the butt with the end of the leadrope. He didn't think so highly of me either. (And, to be fair, he had come out of a neglect situation so wasn't a huge fan of humans in general.)

    After those first couple months though, something just "clicked." He will now follow me around like a puppy, gives me a hearty bray in the morning when I walk outta the house, and is just a friendly little thing. But still...if I've had a long day and just want an "easy" ride....I don't saddle up the mule. And I have a smart horse too, so that's saying a lot!

    Of course, I imagine it's different when you have them from a baby and don't have past issues to deal with. Still though, I recommend finding one to spend some time with before actively pursuing the breeding.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2000
    Location
    passepartout
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    10,296

    Default

    I have a pony Appaloosa mule. While it doesn't sound so great on paper, he is the most awesome creature.

    Good luck with your mule-making.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2006
    Location
    Geneseo, NY
    Posts
    272

    Default

    Go for it, Otterhound!
    Do you have experience with donkeys?
    I've heard mules described as 3 different animals:
    Part Horse
    Part Donkey
    All Mule
    I have a 17'2" hand draft john that I got out
    of a bad situation. I had a mule as a teen & have a very big soft spot
    for them & couldn't talk myself out of buying this big guy for pennies.
    He is so smart & so scared of people, I've gotten some videos & talked
    to some *mule skinners* & made some major break-throughs with him.
    Mostly , common sense equid-ship will work! Your body language is
    important & they do respond well to a Leader! They learn very, very quickly
    & don't need to drilled.
    They want you to be the Leader----
    Good luck!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    7,019

    Default

    Mules are fun, they're bright, amazingly sure footed, have very tough feet and a good mule likes people (especially his people).

    Mules don't kick more than horses...but they are very good at it when they do.

    Mules tend not to like carnivores. Mine has flattened a fox stupid enough to go in his field (and was very pleased with himself afterwards).

    Mules usually need a different saddle tree than fit horses (plus breast collar and breeching to keep the saddle in-place). Although, Passier and Crosby saddles tend to fit mule backs...I ride mine in a Passier.

    Mules are very tough and stronger than horses of the same size. They also live longer...a mule at 25 is comparable to a 15 year old horse. They take heat a lot better too!

    Mules are easy keepers, think pony with long ears. They do best on not much.

    Since they're bright, they hate repitition. Show them, let them think about it and off you go...but let them think about it, you can watch the little wheels turning and the final, "Well, OK then, let's go" and the next time you face the same challenge, no problem.

    They're fun animals and really will bond with you. I call mine and he answers back and will come trotting up when called.

    My guys mother was a Tennessee Walking Horse (he's gaited)...makes for a nice ride.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2004
    Location
    Catonsville, MD
    Posts
    6,948

    Default

    Trakehner, that is one shiny mule. He is turned out better than a number of my family members managed for Xmas dinner....
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2010
    Location
    Catharpin, VA
    Posts
    1,062

    Default

    OMG Trakener I want your mule! Or rather, my father does, he's looking for a gaited mule.

    I don't have much exp with them other than they're hillarious, some horses seem to have toxic reactions to them and remain allergic, and they're generally smarter than me on my bad days. I'm not ashamed to admit it.
    Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
    RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
    RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
    RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5



  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by otterhound63 View Post
    Would be looking to breed to a mammoth to get size - what sort of mares are best to breed from? And how are mules different to deal with than horses? Any info greatly appreciated
    the best info I can give you on breeding mules is two fold...always use short eared black mammoths over 15hh and breed the BEST mare you can find for the riding/sport/thing you wish to do.

    Tamara in TN
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, California
    Posts
    5,004

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by otterhound63 View Post
    Thanks jenm - is there any chance you could email me a couple of photos of your mule - I have been wondering about using a heavy TB mare and would love to see what the outcome might be. Will check out the MulesOnly group, sounds like what I'm after. Cheers =)
    Hi otterhound,

    There are some pictures here:

    http://community.webshots.com/user/LoveMYTB

    And videos here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHRst4bH0ss
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnECaQaWb2w
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls0wr5HAvWo

    His mom is 15'3 and he is about 15 hands at four years old. His mom is solidly built but he is a bit more fine boned. Of course, I don't know what the Jack looked like, so I can't comment on that. I do like the TB cross though. A friend of mine has a mule out of a QH and he definitely got the QH build.

    I got really lucky with this guy. He got his mom's looks for the most part and seems to be a nice mover, also like his mom. Whoever bred my mare sure missed out!
    Last edited by jenm; Jan. 19, 2011 at 02:05 PM. Reason: added info
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, California
    Posts
    5,004

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trakehner View Post
    Mules are fun, they're bright, amazingly sure footed, have very tough feet and a good mule likes people (especially his people).

    Mules don't kick more than horses...but they are very good at it when they do.

    Mules tend not to like carnivores. Mine has flattened a fox stupid enough to go in his field (and was very pleased with himself afterwards).

    Mules usually need a different saddle tree than fit horses (plus breast collar and breeching to keep the saddle in-place). Although, Passier and Crosby saddles tend to fit mule backs...I ride mine in a Passier.

    Mules are very tough and stronger than horses of the same size. They also live longer...a mule at 25 is comparable to a 15 year old horse. They take heat a lot better too!

    Mules are easy keepers, think pony with long ears. They do best on not much.

    Since they're bright, they hate repitition. Show them, let them think about it and off you go...but let them think about it, you can watch the little wheels turning and the final, "Well, OK then, let's go" and the next time you face the same challenge, no problem.

    They're fun animals and really will bond with you. I call mine and he answers back and will come trotting up when called.

    My guys mother was a Tennessee Walking Horse (he's gaited)...makes for a nice ride.
    This is an accurate description of mules. Mine also answers back and runs to me when I call him and it can be heard all over! I love it.
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2010
    Location
    Northland, New Zealand
    Posts
    87

    Default

    Thanks guys - jenm your boy has a great trot! Love the colour of your one trakehner - it's becoming apparent that mules really do come in all shapes and sizes! Do they tend to throw to the mare's type? I have my eye on a mare to borrow, but not too sure how the owner feels about her being bred to a donkey! My feeling is that the mare's temperament is crucially important - I don't want to use one that's just "ok", I want a fantastic nature. Am about to make enquiries regarding the availabity of a mammoth jack here - I know for sure there's one in NZ but there could be more. Will contact our Donkey Society to find out. The one I know of is only 14.2hh and I really want 15hh at least. May have to resort to importing semen. Am going to meet a 15 hh mule next week on my way down to the Yearling Sales (TB). She'll be only the 2nd mule I've ever met- like I said, they're not very common here!
    "A babbler amongst the followers of a pack of hounds is just as great an evil as a babbler in the pack" The Complete Foxhunter 1908



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    7,019

    Default

    Remember, due to hybrid vigor, the mule will usually be taller than either parent.

    A nice warmblood mare can be a wonderful mule maker.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2010
    Location
    Northland, New Zealand
    Posts
    87

    Default

    I think I'm gonna try and find a QH/TB mare, or at least one that type. Temperament will be the most important factor I think. Have put feelers out to see if I can find one to lease for a season.
    "A babbler amongst the followers of a pack of hounds is just as great an evil as a babbler in the pack" The Complete Foxhunter 1908



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2010
    Location
    Northland, New Zealand
    Posts
    87

    Default

    Well so far my search has come up that there is one mammoth jack in NZ - there was 2 but the bigger one (imported from the States) has died but I'm waiting to hear if they have any frozen semen of his. Just as well I'm not in a mad rush for this cos it looks like it's gonna take some organizing! I have found the yahoo mulesonly group and that's going to be really helpful =)
    "A babbler amongst the followers of a pack of hounds is just as great an evil as a babbler in the pack" The Complete Foxhunter 1908



  20. #20

    Default

    Even here in the States the good big mammoths are rare.There are some nice ones in AZ (?)

    Tamara in TN
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



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