Intelligent Hybrids

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Yesterday two mules arrived at the ranch. One larger mule, the one in the photo above, and one smaller mule, the red one in the other photos. When my 3 year old daughter saw the big bay mule her eye became huge, and she said “That is MY Mule!!”

It is not our mules, and the other mule was more eager to become friends with her. Still, the surprised expression on her face when she first saw them was priceless.

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When Hayley decides that she wants to be friends with an animal, she is very patient. She speaks calmly, or just stand quietly for long periods of time. Eventually they always come up to her, and she knows it. She figured out that this approached works, when I had a very shy Icelandic Horse. She was 18 months old the first time I noticed her carry a tiny plastic chair out in the yard. She placed it next to the shy horse’s pasture, and sat there for almost 30 min, until he came up to the fence, to sniff her hair. These mules where definitely not that shy, but her method surely worked this time as well.

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“In the world of mules
There are no rules.”
― Ogden Nash

Mules are the extremely intelligent offspring of a female horse, and a male donkey.

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Like horses, they sometimes carry a brand, telling where they came from. This is a freeze brand on the left hip.


Becoming friends with a mule.

I’ve met several mules during my travels, but I actually never ridden one. These mules are gaited. I am very curious about what it would feel like to ride one. Is it like riding a gaited horse? Or different? I hope that I get to find out!

Enjoy your day!



PS. Later on she actually got to sit on the darker mule for a few minutes. She did not want to get off!

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