|Welcome to the wonderful world of donkeys, mules and more!|
The mule is a hybrid cross between a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare). Mules possess hybrid vigor, and although they are sterile, they are still fully functioning males (horse or john mules) unless castrated, and cycling female mules (molly mules). The mule inherits his incredible strength, intelligence and surefootedness from the donkey jack, and his beauty and athletic ability from the horse. The hinny (hinney)—or reverse cross between a stallion and jennet (jenny)—is also a mule. Other hybrid crosses include the donkule (mule + male donkey), jule (mule + jack), hule (molly mule + stallion), zebrass (zebra + ass), zedonk (zebra + jack), zorse (zebra + stallion) and zony (zebra + pony). The mule will exhibit the flight reflex from the horse or the freeze reflex from the donkey, depending on the situation.
Mules come in as many different sizes and colors as horses, donkeys and ponies (this also includes palominos and buckskins). Longears’ sizes range from miniature donkeys that are 36″ and under to Mammoth donkeys that are 56″ and over. Miniature mules measure 50″ or less at the withers. Saddle mules come from a wide variety of the larger pony breeds, all saddle horse breeds and some draft horse breeds, such as Belgian, Shire or Percheron mules. They range in size from 50″ to 72″. When breeding for mules, choose the type of mare that excels in the equine event you want to pursue. Appaloosa, Quarter Horse and Paint mules are good for versatility, while you may prefer something with more speed such as the Thoroughbred, or more endurance such as the Arabian. Choose the type of jack that best compliments the female’s conformation and possesses the desired thickness of bone. Mules are commonly used for driving, packing and as hiking companions.
Are you confused yet? I’ve created the Lucky Three Ranch website for all those who love horses and ponies, but would also like to know more about mules, donkeys and other equine hybrids. For those of you who are thinking of buying a mule or donkey, you’ve come to the right place! And we invite you to peruse our website and explore career opportunities in mule, donkey and horse training, breeding, equine showing and recreation. This is a place for the equine community to come together, to share and learn from each other, and to have a lot of fun in the process!
Best Wishes & Happy Trails!
Meredith Hodges is a judge, Animal Inspector and Representative of the American Donkey & Mule Society.