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Old 10-26-2013, 06:44 PM   #1
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Default The Mule Thread

Today we adopted Sugar Lilly and Daisy May. They are 6 and 5 year old Hinnies. Hinnies are just the opposite of standard mules they have a horse stallion for a sire and a mare donkey for a dam. Mules favor their mothers so our girls are more donkey like. They stand about 14 and 13 hands tall and have very sweet personalities. There's a lot of work to be done both with training and with getting them up to snuff physically. They are terribly thin and wormy and their hooves have been neglected. It will take time and patience to get them into top form but we're determined to make that happen. The worming process began today plus they are getting much higher quality hay. Hinnies are better suited to foraging like donkeys and for us that's a really good thing. We still have a ways to go to get our pastures into shape.

We have so much to learn!
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:54 PM   #2
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Congratulations, BG!!

Looking forward to pictures of your new girls. Love their names --- Sugar Lilly and Daisey Mae

Temperament wise, are they pretty easy going?

Always glad when someone adopts of critter who's in need --- It's a win-win for everyone.
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
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One of the most important things we are learning is how to trim hooves. Horse hooves are trimmed differently than mule hooves but the basic principles are the same:



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Old 10-26-2013, 11:31 PM   #4
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Congratulations to all of you. You and Max have a lot of work ahead of you. As well as love. Good health to all. Animals and people.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:36 AM   #5
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I hope you like growing and washing carrots .

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Old 10-27-2013, 11:17 AM   #6
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They do like carrots and apples and celery.... They DON'T like goats and dogs. Very impressive! If you've seen that "mule kills mountain lion" video you've got an idea.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:06 PM   #7
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Round Pen Training

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Old 10-27-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:51 PM   #9
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Dually Halter

http://www.montyroberts.com/shop/equ...dium-with-dvd/
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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I don't necessarily agree with this fellows techniques but there are good things to be gleaned from these vids.





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Old 10-27-2013, 03:57 PM   #11
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I like this attitude:

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Old 10-27-2013, 04:10 PM   #12
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Our mules need a lot of hoof work. I certainly hope they will have a better attitude than this donkey but this series of vids has given us some good ideas:






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Old 10-27-2013, 04:22 PM   #13
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BG - what's the typical lifespan of a well cared for mule? I know nothing of the mule world.

And your girls are gorgeous.
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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Spicy May, Sugar Lilly and Max
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File Type: jpg DSCN0755.jpg (208.0 KB, 41 views)
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:06 PM   #15
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Mules can live 30 years or more! These girls are 5 and 6 years old so its really important to handle them properly as we train them. It's said that mules never forgive and never forget.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:46 PM   #16
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Ain't they the cutest girls?
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:18 PM   #17
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They're going to be a handful.

They're really underweight. You want to beef them up before winter, but not so fast that they colic, and NOT before they are educated. Any diet that puts weight on a horse or mule makes them "hot" - very, very, difficult to handle.

Worm them. NOW. Bots and tapeworms. They look wormy to me. Float their teeth - a vet will do this. If their hooves are bad their teeth are likely worse. If their teeth are overgrown they can't chew right. Have the vet give them a good general health check. Unfortunately with horses/mules that are neglected and underweight there's often internal damage that needs to heal with a good diet and perhaps even meds, before you see their bones fill out and their coat get shiny.

Meanwhile, they need to be schooled. That is #1. Do NOT neglect that part because a smartass equine can be your worst enemy. Do you have a clear area - a ring about 100' wide - where you can get them out on a lunge line? That would be my first order of business with them. Start a daily routine, say 8 am every morning get out there and give them each 30 minutes on a lunge line. Teach them to walk with you in halter, not to pull, then have them walk and trot on command. Do you have a friend with horses? Lunging is very simple but the girls will likely try to throw a lot of grief your way just because... mules are more devious... uh, conniving... uh... more intelligent than horses, which really isn't saying much, except when it comes to the human/animal relationship. It would be good to have an experienced person start them just because they will likely throw all sorts of stuff your way to prove THEY are the boss, not you, as soon as the training gets serious. Stomping, head throwing, peeing and pooping, lunging at you, balking, escaping, rearing... pick one or all, the person holding the line and whip needs to know how to react properly.

You've had your first frost, right? If they don't have fresh growing pasture, I would feed them Lucerne hay (that's alfalfa, it's like jet fuel). Start with about 1/2 lb of hay per 100 lbs body weight and increase the amount each day until they can't eat it all - you want to see a little left over in the morning. They'll need 24 hour access to pasture or hay. Suppliment with feed - if you have a feed store nearby they should have a weight gain feed. If the feed doesn't have oil in it (some don't because it can go rancid quickly) add about a cup and a half of vegetable oil to the feed. Just dump it in the bucket with the grain and pellets and mix well.

btw, if you bring them warm cooked oats with chopped carrots or apples on a cold winter morning, they will love you forever.

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Old 10-27-2013, 08:16 PM   #18
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They're beautiful girls, BG!

Yes, maybe a wee slim, but they seem to have sweet dispositions, with the way they come up to Max (That is you hubby - yes?).

Getting them healthy and trained is important, but I think they're also hungry for affection and attention and will repay you a thousand fold in the process!

Good for you guys!!!

You just want to rub their muzzle -- it looks so velvety
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:17 PM   #19
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Thanks fb! Great advice. Yes, they definitely need to put on weight and we wormed them yesterday. They will be on a regular worming program for certain. We haven't gotten a hard frost so they still have pasture. We've got them on good feed and high quality hay. The oil suggestion is a good one. They definitely need it. Today while we were brushing them we made sure to do a lot of work down their legs and around their feet. They took it very well and I feel certain we'll be picking up feet shortly. We'll work into light rasping and then into shaping. Our plan is to start with halter and basic ground work awhile before we start lunging. I'm experienced with lunging, have done some gentle breaking and training for both cow work (penning/sorting) and trails. When I was a kid my grandfather was big into buggy ponies and so I've had a taste of that. We have a lot of support from our horsey friends, thank goodness! Definitely we'll have them checked and their teeth evaluated.

Thank you for your insight!! We hope to use this thread to 'blog' our progress and keep up with information gathered. Neither one of us has worked with mules so this is going to be a real education. We're really looking forward to the experience.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:44 PM   #20
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Same here - as you get to know your girls, it will be interesting to read about their quirks in personality & see photo updates. I'm dying to hear about their training progress.

Oh hell, who am I kidding - I want to see a photo of Max on a mule!
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:28 PM   #21
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To tell you the truth Sue, I'd like to see me on on a mule too. But it's going to be a few years yet before either of these girls are ready to haul my but around. But I'm sure there will be pics of that most momentous of occasions.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:48 AM   #22
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Glad to hear you have horsey experience and knowledgable friends nearby. All that's left is work, lol

I ran off before thinking about the vegetable oil... start them slow, about 2 Tablespoons at first, or it will just run right through them. I'm not sure of the price, its been a long time since I had any hooves around the house, but check your feed store for (having a senior moment right now... I want to say Abilify but I know thats not it) an easily digested musc building supplement that is better than kitchen oil... I think Purina makes it. It does begin with an A... AMPLIFY! that's it. Purina Amplify.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:37 AM   #23
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Abilify might help if the mules are depressed by all that love...
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:49 AM   #24
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.. and its not "musc" building either... it's muscle building.

I really shouldn't post before 6 am. zzzzz
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:50 AM   #25
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I rarely get a chance to razz you - you'd better believe I was going to jump all over that!
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