October Mule Newsletter

October is National Fire Prevention Month. Change your smoke alarm batteries – carbon monoxide alarm batteries
and CHECK YOUR BARN! Inefficient or faulty wiring can cause a fire. Fire tips: Clean those cobwebs out and do not let empty feed sacks pile up. Do not store paint or flammables in your barn or hay shed. Last but not least, do not let your mules play with matches.

Happy Birthday to country recording artists Alan Jackson & Jeannie C. Riley and the Queen of The Cowgirls – Dale Evans.

October 26, is National Mule Day! 

Celebrate with your mule and buy him a sarsaparilla! Read the mule facts.

  • Mules were used for packing missiles into the mountains of Afghanistan from 1979-1989 during the war against the Russians. At that time, the United States was giving aid to Afghanistan and shipped mules from Dallas, Texas to the Pakistan border. Hub Reese of Galatin, Tennessee was the main supplier for shipping pack mules to Afghanistan. Many mules were killed in the mountains as a result, but they were helping Afghanistan during their time of need.
  • Mules possess a keen sense of awareness to them. They are able to scent water for more than a mile away. They can detect danger from enemy attack simply because they can feel vibrations from the ground through their feet. They have superior hearing. This is why they are beneficial to third world nations.
  • Mules require less feed as compared to a horse of the same size. Generally, a mule will eat/require 30% less feed, so it is economical to keep a mule. They will not overeat and founder as horses will. To “founder” is a critical health condition as a result from overeating fresh, lush pasture or feed. Usually a horse is useless after foundering themselves.
  • Mules are sure footed and are able to travel through rocky and intense terrain where a horse is unable to go. Think of it as having four wheel drive in your equine machine. 
  • A good mule is going to cost more, however they never lose their value and you cannot always replace a good mule. It takes time to train a good mule that is confident in his work. When purchasing an equine for trail riding and you are thinking of that four wheel drive option, you better go for it, reach deep into your wallet and buy a decent mule. If you buy from a reputable dealer, you should be able to get one that comes with a warranty too.
  • Mules are calculating creatures. They are extremely smart. They see the world in black and white. You have to be direct in your communication process with the mule, as you don’t want to bore him. If a mule refuses to do a task, it is for a good reason. 
  • A mule cannot be worked to death like a horse can. The term “stubborn as a mule” is not really a true statement. Mules that have been trained properly will respond favorably and do the requested task. However, many people, especially horse people, do not know how to train a mule. That is why there are mules that have “quirks”....because a mule never forgets his experiences. A smart mule trainer knows this. That is why it is important to teach things to your hybrid properly. If you are unable to do this, then you are better off sending your mule to a professional and reputable mule trainer and pay the price. 
  • Mules are judgmental animals. They will not tolerate ill treatment. Badly treated mules usually end up at the sale barn, because they have a bad attitude. Mules are not forgiving like horses are. Many ignorant people have been killed by “outlaw” mules. You see, owning a mule is comparable to being married. You would rather have a good marriage and enjoy your time spent together. The same concept holds true for your mule. Mules know if you like them or not. You have to develop a friendship and bond with your mule first before you are able to work together. And if you do not allow this to grow into a true friendship then you and your mule can get into some nasty disagreements, which can easily lead to you divorcing your mule...and I have seen some really ugly mule divorces over the years.
  • It is common for mules to stay in the same family for many years. I met a mule that was forty one and never was sold. He remained with his original family and the great grandchildren were now riding him. A decent mule makes a wonderful baby-sitter for young children.
  • Mules cannot be forced into doing things they do not favor. That’s a trait in the mule that most people fail to honor.
  • Mules have to like what they are doing, or they simply will not do it. Quite simply, it has to be their idea. Otherwise, they will continually “scheme” and act up to avoid doing something they don’t like. Inefficient trainers that attempt to use force on these animals, soon develop dangerous habits and that is how you create an outlaw mule.
  • Mules cannot be forced into doing things they do not favor. That’s a trait in the mule that most people fail to honor. Mules have to like what they are doing, or they simply will not do it. Quite simply, it has to be their idea. Otherwise, they will continually “scheme” and act up to avoid doing something they don’t like. Inefficient trainers that attempt to use force on these animals, soon develop dangerous habits and that is how you create an outlaw mule.

To appreciate the mule's mind and athletic ability, take time out to learn about his parents, and you will find that you still don't know all there is to know about the mule. A friend recently confessed that she did not become a better parent until she bought her first mule. She said she learned everything about her kids by getting to know her mule. Pretty clever.

I have a strong desire to understand the mule and his point of view...I respect his independence. I believe they are complex creatures that are often times misunderstood. Remember to look into their heart and then proceed to move forward with this though: Mules are individuals. It is vital to understand their distinctive personalities. Designing an effective and humane training program for your mule will help you to develop a partner for life.

MULE TRAINERS send your bio and summary of your training philosophy to be listed on the Mule Trainers page on WWW.EVERYCOWGIRLSDREAM.COM    Click here to view the page FIND A MULE TRAINER.



Farmer John was injured when a truck hit his pick-up, and he filed a lawsuit against the driver who hit him. When the case went to trial, the truck driver's big city lawyer questioned farmer John."After the accident, did you not say to the sheriff's deputy, 'I'm fine'?" asked the lawyer. Farmer John answered, "Well I'll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule Bessieinto the...."

"I did not ask you about your mule," the lawyer interrupted, "I asked you about your statement to the sheriff's deputy. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine'?" Farmer John answered, "Like I was saying, I loaded Bessie into the trailer, and I hitched it to my pick-up truck...."

The lawyer angrily turned to the judge. "Your honor, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the sheriff's deputy on the scene that he was just fine. Now, many months after the accident, he is trying to sue my client. If his case is not a fraud, he should be able to answer my question with a simple 'yes' or 'no.' Please tell him to simply answer the question."

The judge, somewhat curious about the mule, responded, "Let's hear what he has to say. If he doesn't get around to answering your question, we'll deal with it after we find out about Bessie."

Farmer John thanked the Judge and proceeded, "Well as I was saying, Bessie was in my trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge truck ran the stop sign and smacked my truck. My pick-up went into the ditch, and the trailer tipped over. I could hear Bessie moaning and groaning, and I knew that she was in a bad way, but I was hurtin' real bad and I couldn't even move. Then, the deputy came, and he could hear Bessie, so he went over to her. He looked at her for a moment, then he took out his gun and he shot her right between the eyes. Then the deputy came across the road with his gun in his hand, looked at me and said how are you?"

Race mules were staying in a stable. One of them starts to boast about his track record. "In the last 15 races, I've won 8 of them!"  Another mule breaks in, "Well in the last 27 races, I've won 19!!"

"Oh that's good, but in the last 36 races, I've won 28!", says another, flicking his tail. At this point, they notice that a greyhound dog has been sitting there listening. "I don't mean to boast," says the greyhound, "but in my last 90 races, I've won 88 of them!"

The mules are clearly amazed.  "Wow!" says one, after a hushed silence. "A talking dog." 

MULE FOR SALE: contact Rose Miller rosemiller@mtecom.net about this mule!

Gaited 15 2 h black 11 year old mule for sale. Mr.
Magic is his name. He came from AK where he was ridden a lot.  NO BAD HABITS, is good for everything...vet, shots, farrier, etc. he is personable.

Contact Rose Miller - mule is located in Arizona.

Has your relationship with your mule gone sour? As the song plays, "Nothing as cold as ashes after the fire is gone..."  Does this describe your mule's attitude toward you?  To improve your relationship with your mule and strengthen the bond, here are some tips that will help you to understand your mule:

Mules are thought provoking creatures.  That means they are as clever and witty as compared to children.  Like children, mules will think of ways to GET OUT of the lesson/task at hand.  Like children of all ages, they are easily bored;they are smart and do not wish to be bored by stupid humans.  If I had a mule's brain, I certainly would see the world in a different perspective! 

The best approach that I can do while training my mules is to play mind games with them.  Interacting with your mule inside a round pen or corral is an excellent place to start.  Crossword puzzles are not needed, but we will start with a colorful ball.  Mildly kick the ball around in the pen to create an interaction with your mule.  Do not spook your mule, you simply want to kick the ball around as though you are "inviting" the neighbor kid to come out and play with you.  Your mule should show interest.  Your mule may be apprehensive at first, but will come around to accepting the ball moving around inside the pen.  The goal is to encourage the mule to play with the ball and push it around.  If your mule is not interested in the ball, then bring out another item from your giant mule toy chest and begin with it.  Squeaky toys are good play toys to use.

As you can see in the above pic, this mule is very startled about this new object that makes noise.
This particular mule was nervous and lacked confidence, she had no trust in her handler. 
Whether you want to boost your mule's confidence or develop a stronger bond with your mule, you can work on these issues and more by using the exercises in the book,

Confidence Training for The Western Saddle Mule by Cindy K Roberts.  To get more info click here - you will be glad you did!

I will leave you with this thought provoking quote:

"My dear, I don't care what they do, so long as they don't do it in the
streets and frighten the horses." ~ Mrs. Patrick Campbell

Thanks for putting up with me.
~Cindy K Roberts

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