I saw a post this morning, where someone asked the question, "mules or horses?" While this is a great question, I just wanted to focus today's blog post on mules and why they are loved by many.
Mules are a cross between a male donkey and a female horse. As with all genetics, one can produce smaller mules, or larger, draft sized mules.
Mules are a hybrid, and are known for being easier to keep than a horse. They are heartier, more surefooted, and have solid hooves that generally don't require shoeing.
Mules are smart, which can be mistaken for being stubborn. (Okay, maybe they're stubborn as well!) A mule won't put themselves in an unsafe situation, nor will they let a human put them in an unsafe situation. Below are some pictures of the mules used in the Grand Canyon.
Mules will not tolerate a heavy hand. There are people who claim a mule's brain is like a file cabinet, and if you mistreat the mule, he will store that memory away for a later date in time, ready to unleash a well place kicked or bite. This paints them in a malicious way, which I don't agree with, but I can appreciate an animal being so smart they refuse to be treated poorly. That being said, a mule will love and adore an owner who treats him with respect and love.
Mules can be looked down upon by some in the equestrian world, but they certainly have won over the hearts of many, and can be seen doing just about everything that the horse can do. While they may not be as explosive out of the starting gate, they can go for a long time, and can tolerate the heat and steep and technical terrain better than most horses. Mules are being used in endurance riding, dressage, jumping, driving, and working cattle. Below are a few more pics of these beautiful long ears working.
Do you have a mule in your life? If so, please share in the comments!