Can a mule overtake a horse?

Mulis are the better horses

This is how a mule is created

Something fundamental: Mulis are not a donkey or horse breed, but a cross between species. The cross between donkey stallion and horse mare is called a mule, if the mother is a donkey and the father is a horse, it is called a mule. Mules and mules are collectively referred to as mules, but the two species differ from one another. Foals are always strongly influenced by their mother. This means that mules tend to be more like donkeys in their behavior, mules more like horses.

Mulis therefore have characteristics that suit donkeys as well as horses and therefore result in a very unique species.

Depending on what you want to use your future mule for, you choose the parent animals. There are very large and strong mules from draft mares, sporty mules from quarters or PREs, or even small mules that arose from ponies.

Ferdinand is a mixture of donkey and Ardennes.

The character of the mother mare is very important for breeding: As already explained above, foals are strongly oriented towards the mother, this also applies to behavior. In addition, multi-foals are much more independent than horse foals. A shy, difficult pony mare and a donkey stallion would probably produce a rather useless mule. That is why it is extremely important to have an affable, affable character in both parents. However, if you have a pretty, sociable mule, you can no longer breed with it, because mules are sterile. This is due to the different number of chromosomes in donkeys and horses.

Because they know what they are doing

Mulis are often said to be stubborn, lazy, or stubborn. Why? Because they know better! Those who only have horse experience are used to leading their horse confidently even over difficult passages. Horses often try to please people and people and therefore also get into situations that they are uncomfortable with. Mulis pay attention to their people very sensitively, so that at the slightest doubt that we two-legged friends do not want to go any further or even tear themselves away.

These four agree: Afra, Bubblegum and their riders Melanie and Julia.

Pretty clever - and a pure survival strategy. This behavior also has to do with the fact that there is no ranking among mules. Although they live in a federation, each animal is responsible for itself and must therefore scan its surroundings at all times in order to feel safe. That is why it is not enough to just clarify "who is the boss" (this theory is also outdated with horses anyway), but you have to prove yourself over and over again as a reliable leadership character.

Not designed for mules

The bad reputation that mules sometimes have can largely be traced back to our riding culture in Germany. The type of riding training in conventional stables (too fast, concept of "dominance") cannot be transferred well to a mule, the keeping in boarding stables can cause problems and the equipment tends to weaken. There is a kind of motto that mulifriends like to quote:

"A mule has to be trained as one should train horses."

That means consistent, fair, friendly, goal-oriented. Every little uncertainty is directly acknowledged by the mule, while horses are often even more gracious and easier to convince. There are also a few things to keep in mind when it comes to keeping them: Since mules do not have any ranking among each other, horses are quite confused with the behavior of their new friends. They can also jump extremely high - which dissatisfied mules like to use to eat on the other side of the fence again. In addition, they urgently need opportunities to wallow, because they love to do that and often.

If you have everything under control with your mule, it could only fail on the saddle. A traditional "horse saddle" is unlikely to fit because horses have wider shoulders and curved backs. Due to the narrow forehand, the straight back and the very pear-shaped belly, ready-to-wear saddles often do not fit. Depending on the mule, even the best saddle will slide forward, which is why you often see them with a back piece that prevents this. The best thing is to get a saddler who already has mulier experience, then you can save yourself a few problems.

Visit to Albmuli

At Julia Kr├╝ger's farm, we learn even more about the special animals. For many years she has been offering trail rides on mules as well as trekking, ground work courses or leadership training. In the film, Julia tells you what else makes a mule and how you can win over the special animals: