Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mule Mania

It's mule mania around here these days!!!

She might be wider than she is tall

Uma is now a year old, along with Pax. I don't know her exact birthday, but I figure she is just about the same age. I need to re-measure her, but last I checked she was hovering right around 32". Admittedly she still seems EXTREMELY small to me. I thought she would grow a lot more than she has! Pax is 14.1 now and Uma can still walk underneath her with ease, and regularly does. She is still my wild child - still flips out when you catch her, still like to rear and thrash around when you do something new to her. Someday, you little monster... someday. 

Lendri girl has really stepped up to the plate recently. Since she was from the kill pen I don't really know her history - all I know is that she had marks on her face like she had been wearing a halter. I think she knew how to lead at least, but was mishandled. It has taken her about four months, but some kind of switch has gone off in her head that has made her into a nice domesticated beast instead of a wild freaking animal. 

Don't mind her sunburned little eyeballs... admire the clip job!!

She got her first ever full body clip a few days ago (minus belly, face, and legs - she let me clip her belly but my clippers died halfway through. I'll finish it later) The first time she saw and heard the clippers, she went absolutely bananas and had a panic attack at the end of her lead line. The second time, she let me bodyclip her all over, even in her tickly spots. Definitely the best 1st time clip of ANY equine I've ever done! She never moved a muscle - as soon as she realized it was not going to hurt her, she stood completely still. That's that excellent mule brain for you. 

Her white eyelids and white nosey were getting sunburned even with her regular flymask, so she got the upgrade to the most expensive mask on my whole property - the Cashel Crusader with special mule ears and long nose. It's a weanling/small pony size, and it's a tiny bit big, but the mini size would likely have been way too small. 

Now she looks like Frank from Donnie Darko

She is long lining well. She steers decently (mostly), has a really solid whoa and stand, and doesn't mind me behind her at all. 


I think she won't be difficult to break to drive anymore. I thought she was going to be super hard and complicated - but now that she has decided she likes me well enough and that I can be trusted, she's willing to try for me. Which is pretty typical mule!

Because I am a hoarder masochist crazy person bleeding heart, I decided some time ago that if I saw another really special tiny mule, I would bring it home. I have no want, need, or space for any bigger animals but these tiny ones are like potato chips. If I had a whole barn full of them I would be a happy kid!

I had specifics for what I was looking for. Uma is tiny, so tiny stupid that I don't even know that she will be big enough to cart my butt around. Lendri is about 41" - about 2 inches taller than the maximum height for VSEs at driving shows. This will put us at a disadvantage unless there are small pony divisions - otherwise we have to compete against 14.2 ponies and how can you win in timed events against that? She is four hands smaller than they are!
So I wanted something bigger than Uma but still under (and, close to) the 39" cutoff. I wanted young but old enough to start training. I wanted a cute mover. I also wanted a crazy color but, as long as it wasn't boring mule brown I didn't really care.

This is what I found.

She is a 2 year old, 34-35", bright red dun molly mule. And she is wild as a March hare.

She has never been handled before Friday. We got a halter on her in the portable corral, before she put her neck through the bars and literally dragged the entire thing all the way across the yard with us grimly hanging on.

She thrashed so hard that she gave herself a literal eye ulcer from where the halter caught her eye. It sucked. A lot.

With a LOT of effort, we got her on the trailer, where I promptly tied her and left her for the ride home. I would never do that with a wild horse but mules are different. They don't freak out about pressure like horses do and I find that teaching them to tie before teaching them to lead goes better.

And, I wasn't disappointed this time either - when we got to the vet, my new little mule surprised us all by leading out of the trailer, into the barn, and into the foal stocks. She let the vet do everything without fuss. Although she did twinge at her shots but eh. She even loaded back onto the trailer easily. And unloaded and led like an angel to her small catch pen. From feral to halter broke and leading in a few hours! And she taught it to herself.


She is awfully cute isn't she? She can really move too. Although, may just be the fact that she desperately needs her feet done. She bit me when I touched a leg though, so she will need a lot of work. She has shown that she is quite willing to use both feet and teeth to defend herself. I can't blame her for any of it - she just doesn't know that people are nice yet.

Strapped in for eye meds

Since she has the eye ulcer she needs to be medicated 2x a day, which is super fun for a feral mule. If I strap her spend with two ropes, she stands fine for her meds. She has also decided that carrots are great, and comes to me to get them. 

She is already showing more curiosity and interest in me than either of the other two did in this timeframe. She is also sassier than them both and I think will have more fighting instincts that they do. Which, is both good and bad really... Could go either way!

I named her Sriracha. Pretty sure it's perfect.


  1. haha I laughed at the strapped in photo! Typical mule face!

  2. She looks like so much fun. Hopefully she hits the height sweet spot you are hoping for. I wish my mini donks were a smidge bigger... especially the 30"

  3. You pick the best names. She is a little firecracker!

  4. The name is so perfect! I love your tiny mule herd.

  5. She's gorgeous - you've a whole range of zonks & mules in a variety of sizes and colours now!

  6. that is the absolute most perfect name ever.

  7. She is so cute! And I absolutely love the name. Spicy and sweet! You have quite the adorable herd.

  8. Love her name! Cha cha cha, Sriracha!

  9. Love the name you've chosen!

  10. You can never have too many mules!

  11. Love all these cuties! We are thinking of adding a third equine to our herd, and I want something small to reduce grazing pressures on our small property. I am leaning towards a mini, pony, or small mule. Any reason you have gone for mules over ponies or minis? Just curious. :) I am not interested in driving really. Maybe fun in hand stuff though!

    1. I think it just depends on your wants and needs and likes. I LOVE donkeys and LOVE mules, way more than I love minis and ponies. I think longears are fascinating, challenging, and hilarious all the time. I'd go with donkeys but I want something with more athleticism - hence the mules, they can be just as sporty as horses. In my experience, donkeys are the most fantastic little companions ever - they are docile, sweet, scary smart, and hysterical to be around. You have to find a good tame one though, and manage them differently from horses, so pasture may not be the best option. Another thing to consider is your established herd - not all horses will tolerate minis, donkeys, or mules, sometimes they freak out and either run off terrified or try and kill the tiny beasts. I have a very social herd that gets along with even the tiniest of my mules - but not all horses are that way. Mules and donkeys think very differently from horses, so be prepared to deal with a tiny Einstein if you go with one of those!

    2. Thanks! I worry about my colt wanting to play too roughly with something so tiny. I think I would really enjoy a mule/donkey personality. Would definitely like something that could hang out in the pasture with the horses so will have to take that into consideration too! :) Oak, the haflinger, is a bossy grouch so not sure how he would take to a little one either. So much to consider!

    3. I LOVE my donkey! He is the best companion animal ever. :D I don't think you could ever go wrong with a donkey.

  12. I love the newest member of your herd. She seems smart enough to learn quickly, but spicy enough to make it interesting. Good luck with the new mule!

  13. She is so cute and I LOVE the name :-)

  14. LOL! I cracked up as I read what you wanted and what you found. That is soooo typical. She's adorable though and it sounds like she will work out perfectly. You have a magic touch with crazy equines so I'm sure she will be amazing in no time lol. In fact I wish I could send my donkey to you so you could tame him. :)