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Tips for training Pony Mule to drive

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  • Tips for training Pony Mule to drive

    My Faux Grandson (neighbor "kid" < 33yo) just got a pony mule.
    She is 5, guesstimated 36".
    Former owner only had her for year & kept her in a fenced yard - think suburban backyard.
    I met her Sunday & OhEmGeeeee! She is a sweet thing
    Nuzzled my hands, checked my pockets for treats & let him trot her up & down the aisle of his barn.
    She had a brief Mule Moment, did not want to go back in her stall, but was easily persuaded.
    I may be in LUV
    He said she already calls for him & what I heard was neither bray nor neigh, but somewhere in between.

    FGS drives Roadster & Pleasure Hackney Ponies, so I'm confident he can get her longlining, but after that she is totally Not-Hackney in movement.
    I am campaigning to have him take her to the young Mennonite guy who has restarted & broken ponies for him before.
    With the caveat that he ask if the guy has worked with mules.

    I have mule riding friends who have advised that Mules do not think like horses & can bear a grudge.
    Plus side is if Mennonite guy pisses her off, HE will be the one targeted for revenge.
    But if she does not go, any tips for breaking her to a cart?

    My intuition says she has the temperament & I'd like to have her get a good start.
    I admit to Ulterior Motives
    FGS most likely will not drive her as she is soooo not his style.
    Which leaves {Surprise!} ME as a possible driver.
    Admit I have already pictured her put to a wee Merchant's cart for a Commercial Class
    Flower Seller? Delivery of ???
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

  • #2
    No suggestions as I've never worked with a mule, but I am so jealous!

    Rebecca

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      RMJacobs Introducing Lucy:

      http://i.imgur.com/6qzR1o9.jpg

      We are going to the Topeka auction Tuesday, and may be stopping at the Mennonite guy's farm.
      I will be planting the Lucy Seed if we do.
      As Kathy Bates (Towanda!) said:
      "I'm older, smarter & have more insurance" ​​​​
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

      Comment


      • #4
        Isn't she adorable! Is her dam a Hackney pony? Hard to tell from the front but she looks more refined than most pony mules I've seen.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've never trained a mule in any way but I did train my standard size donkey how to drive and when I bought her at age 3, she had never even had a halter on her. What she did have was 3 years of being a pet and loved on which created a base of trust. I also trained one of my miniatures how to drive and he took to it easy peasy, total saint

          Lucy looks perky and has a kind eye! The "donkey" side of the mule will appear if Lucy isn't sure of something, they will stop and wait.it.out. until they have an all clear. They AREN'T going to let themselves get hurt which is exactly why mules are used on the ride down into the Grand Canyon.

          What I found with my donkey is that they don't need and won't like endless repetitions of something. Your driving the donkey and want to work on flexing at the poll, softening the jaw on a circle at a trot, well, you are going to get 3 or 4 circles then move on to something else and maybe revisit it again in 15 minutes. Donkey's laugh at the Warmbloods down in Wellington being drilled and drilled. Donkeys.don't.drill.

          Think of it like this: Donkey's are like kerosene, it takes a LOT to make them explode. Horses are like gasoline, way lower flash point.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            "Donkeys Don't Drill"
            Got it!
            Thanks SLW
            I will pass that info along.

            Toblersmom No info re: Lucy's breeding, but her coloring & base-narrow front end do say "Hackney", don't they?
            She is also very sweet-natured (so far) despite spending a year being taught zip.
            So fingers crossed she takes to harness.

            Sounds like we both won the Mini Lottery.
            Another friend has a Work in Progress mini she is trying to train to drive.
            "Trying" is the keyword here, as 4yrs later still not finished.
            But she is a One Size Fits All & has other not-100% broke drivers, so......
            ​​​​​​​
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

            Comment


            • #7
              2DogsFarm, she is absolutely adorable. And her coat and refinement remind me so much of Crackers, my beloved Hackney pony. I think you guys are right about her breeding.

              Rebecca

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Probably Hackney or Modern Shetland in the mix.
                Now let's hope I'm good on the ''tude - or lack there of.
                AND on being able to take the lines
                *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                Comment


                • #9
                  This website has some information about the differences between horse training and training mules and donkeys. https://www.luckythreeranch.com/luck...ng/mule-facts/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Videos; https://www.luckythreeranch.com/luck...ning-tips-all/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Accepting that the mule is smarter than you is key!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        skydy Thanks for the links

                        Wanderosa
                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                          skydy Thanks for the links

                          Wanderosa
                          You're very welcome. I hoped the links might be helpful. I found the differences between training horses, mules, and donkeys, very interesting.

                          I know absolutely nothing first hand about donkey or mule training. I just remembered seeing the website and thought it might help.
                          Ms. Hodges (whom interesting enough is the daughter of Charles Schultz, creator of the cartoon "Peanuts") is somewhat local to me and has a good reputation.

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