Mules a viable work “horse”

MATT BARTMANN

Still enjoying green grass thanks to recent rains, three grazing mules take a break to see if the photographer might have a treat for them. He does not.

Mules, being the offspring of a donkey and a horse, exhibit good qualities of both parents for their intended use as work animals. Smaller size and appetite, endurance, health and longevity from the donkey parent (usually the male), strength, intelligence, disposition from the horse parent. And they have big ears.

Mules can reproduce, but the odds of a successful pregnancy are in the ballpark of having a winning lottery ticket.

MATT BARTMANN

 

1 Comment

  1. Hi Matt. Great photo! Just a couple comments about “smaller size and appetite, endurance, health and longevity from the donkey parent (usually the male), strength, intelligence, disposition from the horse parent.” Mules aren’t always smaller. Some that result from draft horse X mammoth jack crosses are as large as drafts. Because the mother (the dam) MUST be a horse to produce a mule, it is her size that most determines the size of her offspring. If a horse stallion is the sire and the dam is a donkey, the offspring isn’t called a mule but rather a “hinny” (they more closely resemble a horse and are often thought to be weaker than mules, but???). As far as intelligence coming from the horse, donkeys are actually smarter than horses. Therefore, mules are also smarter than horses. People often call donkeys and mules stubborn. No, they’re just smart enough to outsmart humans when situations call for it! Mules are also extremely adept at holding grudges.

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