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Author Topic: Gaited Mules????  (Read 3174 times)
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« on: March 02, 2005, 09:07:30 PM »

I know, I know, this is a gaited HORSE forum but does anyone have input on gaited mules?  I'm kind of interested in them but I have no idea what they are like. Are they as stubborn as they say?  I've heard they are not as 'herd bound' as horses. I'm thinking of breeding my Mountain Pleasure mare to a mammoth jack.

Love to hear some pros and cons.

« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2005, 10:57:36 AM »

Hi, I have been somewhat interested in breeding my Peruvian mare to a gaited Jack.  That almost always produces a gaited mule.  I have not ridden one, but may go to see some at the Bishop Mule Days that is the last weekend in May.  If I am lucky maybe I can ride one?  Bishop is in Calif. and I live about 3 hrs. drive from Bishop.  It goes for a whole week, but they have gaited mule on the schedule for either Friday or Sat.  
Try doing a search for either "mule" or for "long ears".  There are breeders that specialize in breeding gaited mules and have gaited Jacks (donkeys).  Some are even 15 hands and the offspring are usually larger than the average of the mare and Jack.  Hope this helps.
I have a friend with a non-gaited mule but he is paint and very pretty.  Good sized too.
See ya,
Sherry in CA
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2005, 01:15:26 PM »

I think it's a great idea.  Gaited mules are in high demand & run pretty high in price.  Your chances of getting gait are certainly much higher with a gaited Jack.  Yes, mules are different in demeanor than horses.  I haven't ever had one, but most folks who have had them say they aren't so much as stubborn as real thinkers; they tend to be pretty independent (hence why they MAY not be apt to be herdbound), and that you train them  slightly differently than horses (ask not force).  You should really look at the reason why you are considering this, and if you really want that outcome.  Do lots of research into mules; maybe watch the RFDTV program on training mules if you can.
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2005, 05:22:57 PM »


I am thoroughly impressed with my Annie's Fannie. She is a TWA/SSH Crossed with a Jack, Gaiting fool.

She is a bunch stronger than my 16 hand TWA Gelding, easy to teach (but also is quicker to learn bad habits as well) new things to and just is for the most part a simple joy.

My experience is, if you want a gaited mule get a good one so that you are not discouraged. Owning mules is not for everyone. I raised her and I am the first thing she saw and her Mom was a place to go get milk. I am her director.

The first hours she was born she was in a halter, on a lead gaiting, and in and out of the trailer. NO PROBLEMS THERE

BUT, The second day she discovered that she was stronger than I was and that is where her Mom came in handy. I just let her help drag the little brat in and out until she learned for herself that it was just easier for her to walk in than to be drug in.

When she was older she yanked back ONE time and learned if she yanked hard enough that there was not one thing we could do about it.See, Bad habits are learned one time with a mule. Well that problem is fixed now (a chain across her nose had to be added for awhile).  But read up all you can about Mules before you get one OR raise one from scratch.  That helps a bunch.

What impresses me about Fannie the most is we can climb straight uphill for a mile in 90 degree heat and the horses will be covered with foam at the top and she HONESTLY has not even broke a sweat. Plus then there is the fact that she really believes that she is my sweet baby and every mule person that sees her sure does want her as she really is a beauty. Then there is this point, whenever she hears my voice she is trying her best to climb over a gate just to be near me. She always greets me at the gate when everyone else could care less. We had a dog chasing a foal in the pasture last spring and 2 year old Fannie was doing her best to cremate the dog to save the little foal. The dog ended up the loser and I have not seen him back around since.

You can see her on our saddle site in the mule saddle section. She is a dandy and I would not trade her for anything but don't allow me to sway you at all. Go mule shopping, but be darned careful not to buy anyone elses problems. Mules are harder to teach, but THEY NEVER NEED REMINDING OR RESCHOOLING like a horse. ONCE they learn it, it stays forever.. but then I would also like to add... accidently teach them a bad habit and see what you get too.

« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2005, 11:09:28 PM »

I had the opportunity to train a mule awhile back.  She wasn't gaited but still a mule.  She was only about 14.2, but stronger  than any horse her size.  She took more persuading than a horse, but once she got what you wanted, it stuck. When I say strong, I mean breaking three curb chains on her hackamore because she wanted to go in the other direction. The leather really wasn't thick enough, so I stuck to nylon everything with her.

Also when I got her for training, she was half wild, wouldn't even let us touch her, and four months later she was saddle trained. Certainly taught me a lot about all equine members.
Rob and Annabelle
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2005, 08:20:09 PM »

Hi, I ride a Walker Mule. She the greatest animal I've ever owned. But a mule isn't a horse, no more than cat is a dog. When you teach a horse, they get it, but then you need to repeat it over and over to make it stick. Not with a mule they may be slower to get it, but when they do they got it for life. Around here the riding shuts down when the snow get deep. Your first ride in the spring on a mule is just like the last ride of the fall, hard do do that with a horse. Rideing a mule is like riding with a good friend. Not a boss and servant. The mule will listen and do all you ask once it trusts you. Until you establish that trust, your mule will hesitate and check things out for it's self. Once it know it's safe it will do what you ask. In time it will do all you ask without hesatation. You'll go farther faster by patiently encouraging your mule than you'll ever get trying to force it. It can be the greatest experience you'll ever have with an equine. An experance you'll never have with a horse. The secret to a great mule isn't nose chain, curb chain, stronger rope or crueler bit. It's patients, careing and love. It's worth ever effort.

« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2005, 08:38:30 PM »

Thank you everyone for the replies.  Loved the stories.
I still havent found gaited jack but I am working on it.  I hope my picky mare will stand for him. She can be a piece of work when it comes to breeding.  And thats with one of her own kind!!!
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2006, 10:18:28 AM »

Just to let you know that your mare most likely will not care for the jack the first time she is bred to him. We have been breeding gaited mules for 20 years, and unless the mare has been raised near a jack she will think he is a monster. The first time we breed a mare we usually have to hobble the mare, but after that they have all been wonderful to work with. It also helps if the jack is a gentleman too. Good luck!
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2006, 11:37:26 PM »

I haven't posted for a while, it's great to see all the posts about gaited mules.  We raise ours from our MFT mares and our gaited jack.  He's sorrel with light points and we bought him from the 85 year old nephew that the late Ben Czeschin raised.  Ben was well known in mammoth jacks bred for smoothness and breeding for saddle type mules.  If any of you have access to some old Mules and More magazines, there are a lot of articles on the Czeschin jacks.
Our mule foals sell fast, much better than the horses. They would sell even better if they were older and broke well but we can't seem to hang on to any of them that long.
After 8+ yrs of raising them, we finally kept a couple, TJ is a black bay john that will be 15.2 to 15.3 hands or better and Tessa, our amber champagne mule who is a coming 2 yr old that will be like her mom, stout as a QH and about 14 hands.  
Another thing to note about mules is that they are not usually started under saddle until 3 or 4 and there is a huge change in their maturity in body and mind about age 4 or 5

Five Hills Farm
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