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Country Discussion Topics
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Starting a mule
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Tom A    Posted 03-08-2002 at 05:53:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
OK, got my mule and we love each other. But I'm taking giant leaps backwards in her training.

Before I got her home, I could clip a lead on her and walk her around anywhere I pleased. Since she's home, I have apparently taught her to not be led but I'm not sure how or why. At best, once the lead is on her, she now will walk one step and then stand stock-still. Most of the time, she just stands perfectly still without moving at all. She's not being mean or stubborn--the wife says she looks like she thinks she is doing exactly what I want. Said that she stops as soon as I say 'good girl' after she begins to walk. Tried to shut my mouth, but the best I get is a single step and then standing at attention like in a parade.

Without a lead, she will follow me almost anywhere, just like a big dog. I can hug her, push her around, pick up hooves, or do whatever and she just 'schmoozes' me. But she won't walk on a lead with me.

So all you horse/mule folks, what did I do wrong, and how do I fix it?


Ira    Posted 03-08-2002 at 17:25:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
" she will follow me most anywhere" what else do you need?
Ain't broke don't fix it.

kraig WY    Posted 03-08-2002 at 18:54:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
It isn't the mule, I just don't have the patince or know how to handle them. I'll stick with horses.

I'm kinda partial to the 2 x 4 training method with mules.    Posted 03-08-2002 at 16:02:37       [Reply]  [No Email]

Ole Cuss    Posted 03-09-2002 at 03:04:39       [Reply]  [No Email]

If you abuse a mule, they will remember it forever. A mule will wait ten years to kick you once. (They are like the four-legged version of Corsicans, who say, "If you take 20 years to get your revenge, you've acted in haste.")

LazyHorse    Posted 03-09-2002 at 05:54:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good point Old Cuss. I bought a mule one time that some ignorant bustards had tried to break to saddle by strapping an old saddle tree complete with protruding nails to his back. I bought him because I felt sorry for him. Never could train him to lead or anything because of his prior abuse. If he saw a rope he would let you get just close enough to kick and then be gone while you were nursing the bruises.

LoveLongEars    Posted 06-14-2003 at 06:26:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
The 2 by 4 method of training a mule doesn't even deserve to be called training. It is abuse, nothing else, beating the mule into submission until he is too afraid of you to refuse what you ask of him. But OldCuss is right. A mule is a smart animal, and he will remember abuse for the rest of his life. The mule is not a vengeful creature by nature, but if he is abused, he will wait for a lifetime for the moment that you let your guard down, and then he will repay you for what you have done to him.

Lazyhorse    Posted 03-08-2002 at 08:39:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
The problem with mules is they are very smart, and she thinks she is doing what you want her too.
Below is a link to Meridith Hodges Lucky 3 Ranch. She specializes in training long ears and has both video and printed material. Her programs are featured regularly on RFD TV

Ole Cuss    Posted 03-08-2002 at 12:35:36       [Reply]  [No Email]

Ditto recommendation on Merideth Hodges' training techniques. She knows mules.

kraig WY    Posted 03-08-2002 at 06:17:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Grew up on my uncle's farm. Had tractors for his sawmill and grismill but used mules for his farming. Faught them all the way. My brother got a donkey and wanted me to train it. Wore out a good cow poney dragging that thing around. You can ruin a three point on the tractor teaching them things to lead. But if you have to, go to, they have some good training tapes on training Donkey and Mules. Seen a couple of them and they looked pretty good. Tried some Lyon's tapes on training horses but couldn't get the horses to stand still long enough to watch them.

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