Packing in on mules and horses

Bought the book as a refresher (took the class several ears ago). Smoke Elser is awesome. He his a wealth of knowledge on wilderness packing and an entertaining …


Are mules better than horses for packing?

Surefooted. It’s not a coincidence that mules are favored over horses for packing or riding in mountainous terrain. That’s because the mule has a reputation for being more surefooted than his equine cousin. His feet are smaller and more upright than those of the average horse, which contributes to his surefootedness.

Can you ride pack mules?

Mules are great for packing and can be good for riding but it’s hard to find a good riding mule and they usually have one slow gear and a grudging trot, so don’t expect speed.

What is mule packing?

A pack mule will follow a horse or another mule almost anywhere. While some pack horses have a tendency to daydream and step off the trail, pack mules know exactly where they are going to put down each foot. Pack mules carry a load without a lot of swaying and lunging.

Why are mules better for packing?

It’s the burro blood that makes mules an ideal pack animal. Unlike horses, burros are fight, not flight, animals. They have small, strong hooves that make them surefooted on the trail, and thick hides that resist saddle sore and wither problems.

Are mules safer to ride than horses?

Mules are often considered superior to horses when it comes to trail riding—there’s nothing better for riding in the steep mountains. They are more sure-footed, tend to be smoother gaited and because of the aforementioned self-preservation and less flight response, some consider them safer than horses.

Why use a mule instead of a horse?

Mules have inherited the best qualities of both, being larger and faster-moving than donkeys but less picky about food and stabling than horses, and cheaper to keep. They will pull a cart or carry packs across their backs, and can be ridden.

Are mules harder to train than horses?

For the largest part, there is absolutely no difference in training a mule than training a horse.

Are mules stronger than horses?

Mules are smaller and stockier than horses, but tend to be much stronger! The most distinctive difference between mules and horses is the mule’s status as a genetic hybrid.

How long are mules rideable?

Mules Live Longer than Horses. There are cases of mules living to 50 years old. It is not unusual to ride a mule well into its 20s.

How do you pack a horse?


When you’re out packing with horses you’ll need to have a means to secure your animals for the night. The safest way, is to tie your horse on a high line. This way your horse can move around a bit without getting tangled or banged up on a tree. It’s also the least damaging to trees.

How much weight can a mule pack?

“U.S. Army specifications for pack mules state that ‘American mules can carry up to 20 percent of their body weight (150 to 300 pounds) for 15 to 20 miles per day in mountains,’” Wickler says.

How do you tie a pack mule together?

Do mules get jealous?


1. They tend to be insanely jealous. Yes, horses can be attention and affection hogs, but mules will actually get so jealous that they’ll pout if you ignore them or attack their herd mates hours later in fits of rage if you give more attention to someone else.

Are mules good pack animals?

Pack mules are sure-footed, patient and perfectly happy to plod along anywhere in a line of animals and they recover quickly from a day’s hard work. Those are important traits for a pack animal. Sure footed is required of horse or mule when a trip on mountain trails is on the schedule.

Do mules get lonely?

They can become friends with horses or other farm animals, but should never be kept alone, as they will become very lonely and anxious. Donkeys and mules are often said to be stubborn.

Do mules guard livestock?

“They are very effective guard animals, as long as the mule is trained to be a guard animal.” However, mules come with their challenges as well. Their brays can be loud and irritating to neighbors, and that same instinct that drives them to kill coyotes can also cause conflict between them and, say, a family dog.

Are mules prone to laminitis?

Grass Founder, also known as laminitis, is a painful and potentially harmful hoof condition that can affect any and all equine, including mules and donkeys.

Is a mule smarter than a horse?

Mules are reputed to be more patient, hardy, and long-lived than horses, and are described as less obstinate and more intelligent than donkeys. …


Are mules high maintenance?

Mules are equine animals like horses, so caring for them is almost the same as caring for horses. However, mules are often smaller and require less food than horses. The basics of mule care extend from feeding and grooming to exercise and health care.

What is a jack donkey?


Jack: A jack is a term for a male donkey. Jenny: A jenny (or jennet) is a term for a female donkey.

Are mules aggressive?


Many reports from preliminary data gathered from handlers and veterinarians claim that mules display aggressive behavior, and in many cases, it has become nearly impossible to work with these animals to even perform the most basic husbandry or veterinary procedures.

Can mules gallop?

They CAN and DO gallop – when they feel like it, and especially in play. Mules are more horselike and gallop more readily, but a donkey can be trained to canter or lope under saddle.

Do mules spook?

Mules don’t spook easily. Even if they do, they just stop and refuse to move forward. Horses, on the other hand, when unnerved by terrains or heights tend to buck and gallop away, often losing their footing and throwing their riders off balance.

Can two mules reproduce?


Mules can be either male or female, but, because of the odd number of chromosomes, they can’t reproduce.

Do mules try to mate?

Also, keep in mind it’s likely that more mules may be fertile, but we commonly do not attempt to breed mules. Mules and hinnies that have foaled in the past were bred to jacks (male donkeys).

Are mules easy keepers?

We feed the same amount to foals that are growing as we do the animals that are older and have average use. Mules are generally easy keepers and the 2 cups of oats is primarily for animals who live in a colder and harsher climate and who tend to lose weight in the winter.

How much is a mule worth?

Depending upon a number of factors, mules price ranges between $1000 to around $8000. Young unbroken mules are cheaper than the rest. A buyer can get a strong healthy mule within the range of $1000 to $3000.

Why are mules better than donkeys?

Pound for pound mules are also stronger than horses and with better stamina and agility. They also are superior to donkeys in that they are typically much larger than donkeys, so the overall weight they can carry is greater.

What age can you break a mule?

Mules will follow a strong leader and can be very easy going if you make instructions black and white. They will not follow you if are inconsistent in your directions. Foundation training should start at two-and-a-half years of age to prepare the mule for working once the leg joints have closed.

What is a pack ride?

1. pack riding – riding with a pack. horseback riding, riding – travel by being carried on horseback.

How far can a mule go in a day?

about 20 miles a day

Mules tended to have more stamina than the horses. Mules could travel about 20 miles a day. They also were more surefooted in treacherous climbs due to the fact that, unlike a horse, they are able to see where they are placing their hind feet..

Is 250lbs too much for a horse?


If you weigh 250 lbs or more, you can still enjoy horseback riding as long as you ride the right horse. The safety of the horse and rider should always be the priority, so it is important to find the right horse breed that can heavy riders.

How much does a 15 hand mule weigh?

can weigh from 50 to 2,000 pounds. Mules can be lightweight, medium weight, or even—when produced from draft horse mares—of moderately heavy weight. Typical C&O Canal mules weigh around 1,000 pounds and are around 15 hands high (about 60” or 5 feet).

How do you pack a horse’s wall tent?

WALL TENT. I fold my tent into a rectangle, put it in a rectangle tent bag and drape it over the pack saddle extending about 18-24 inches on each side. I then put a lash cinch around the tent to secure it.. No chance of the wall tent causing a problem during a long pack.

How do you break a mule?

Do mules love their owners?

Besides, Do mules love their owners? They are very loyal. Once they bond to you, they act more like a dog than an equine. They holler when they see you, come running for affection and can be turned out loose on the property without wandering off.

What are the disadvantages of a mule?


5 Disadvantages of Mules Mules do have a different mindset. Although they are not as stubborn as the stereotype, they think more like a donkey than a horse. Horses react. Mules take initiative, and this can make the transition from working with horses to working with mules difficult for a rider and handler.

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