Special Sub-Topic: The Marvelous Mule
|The gender of the parents isn't important when referring to a mule or a hinny.|
False. Traditionally, gender is important when a person talks about the product of a horse and donkey. The mule is a product of a mare (a female horse) to a jack (a horse for the mother and a donkey for the sire.) A hinny is the product of a stallion (male horse) to a jenny (a female donkey.)
While some people refer to all horse and donkey crosses as mules, a mule and a hinny are two different creatures.
|Are there any records of mules giving birth?|
Yes. While it doesn't happen very often, a female mule can sometimes reproduce. Only a molly mule (also known as a mare, or female mule) can reproduce, for unknown reasons. Most of the foals resembles their sires more than their dam. There is one record of a hinny reproducing-a hinny gave birth after being covered (bred) by a jack (donkey) in China.
|Can a mule come in every color a horse can?|
Yes. A mule can come in every shade a horse can, including solid colors, such as chestnut or black, to loud colors, such as pinto and spotted (Appaloosa.) They also come in shades a donkey comes in, which are usually different shades of dun and roan, and different types of loud colors.
|Can a mule be trained to ride or drive?|
Yes. Some people prefer to ride a mule instead of a horse for several reasons. A mule will not do something that might injure it, whereas a horse will (usually) do everything in its power to obey the rider. When a mule is stubborn, it's usually for self-preservation.
|A mule must be horse (14.2 hands or above) sized to be considered a mule.|
False. A mule can be any height, including miniature and enormous! If you cross a miniature horse to a miniature donkey, you're going to get a miniature mule. Many mules are crosses from draft horse mares to a mule jack, which makes for a good, strong, large mule.
|Which American President acquired two Catalonian donkeys from Spain, which he then used to produce some of the first mules in America?|
George Washington. George Washington saw the value in the mule market and tried to act upon it. Unfortunately, at the time, Spain prohibited the acquisition of any Catalonian jacks. Two were sent to George Washington as a gift from the King of Spain. However, one died in transit. The other, a jack named "Royal Gift" went on to create many, many mules.
|Can a mule be gaited?|
Yes. If a jack is bred to a gaited mare (such as an American Saddlebred or a Peruvian Paso), the resulting mule might be gaited. Gaited mules are prized, just like their gaited horse relatives, for their smooth gaits and easy ride.
|Which of these does not describe a mule?|
It usually has small, very refined ears.. Most mules have a straight back, a sparse tail and almost nonexistent withers (shoulders.) They also usually have larger ears, which resemble a donkey's more than a horse's. It's said by the British Mule Society that a mule is an animal with a horse's body and a donkey's extremities.
|Do mules sometimes require different tack (harnesses or saddles etc) than horses?|
Yes. Some mules require different types of tack because their body shape is very different than a horse. The build of a mule is different, especially when looking at the back and sides. Because of these differences, sometimes the saddle and other tack must be made for a mule. According to "http://www.saddleking.com/mule.htm" : "The biggest difference in a mule bar is the rock is taken out of the center of the bar because most mules have a straighter back than a horse. Not all mule require a mule saddle though. I have a lot of mules using different width saddles because they have more stock horse confirmation than mule."
|Which of these will a mule NOT excel in?|
They can excel in everything. The mule can excel in everything that a horse can. They're used for trail riding because of their strong sense of self-preservation. They're used in eventing for show jumping, dressage and even fox hunting. They're also used in farm work, such as plowing. They have stronger constitutions than a horse, and can work longer and harder than almost any horse, but quicker than most oxen. That's one reason they were prized on the wagon trains to the American West.
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