Riding Mules





There are hundreds of breeds of horses - pony breeds, Quarter Horses, Arabians, Thoroughbreds, Percherons, Gaited horses, and so on.  There are several types of jacks that sire mules as well.  Miniature (up to 36"), Standard (36-49), Large Standard (50-56") and Mammoth (56" up).  But each of these classes has individuals of different bone, body and disposition types.  To get a nice trail riding mule, one might breed a quarter horse mare to a mammoth jack, whereas if you wanted a smaller, faster, more athletic and finer built mule you could breed to a large standard jack.  Mammoth jacks, who almost always have longer ears than standard jacks, usually produce longer-eared mules as well.  They are a quieter breed of donkey, and their mules are usually more laid back. Whatever you want a mule for, you should be able to find the right combination of mare and jack to get it!


It's pretty hard to beat an older, kid broke mule for youngsters. This is Gussie, owned by Ken Heimendinger, with Allie Stricker on board.

Bob Hall in the Dolly Parton race.  You ride down and get a couple balloons out of a barrel of water, put them in the large bra, and have to run for the finish line in this timed event without loosing the balloons.

At a half hour old, this mule had mama run ragged and both were ready to rest.  This is a registered foundation quarter horse mare, and the mule's sire was a mammoth jack.


An appaloosa mare bred to a black large standard jack produced this loud mule, and an perfect match the following year!  This mule matured around 14 hands, which is big enough to carry a rider all day.  A mule can carry a bigger load than a horse  larger than the mule.


This mule is receiving its 1st Place trophy in a halter class.  An attractive dun or buckskin color with the dorsal and leg stripes, it is usually obtained by breeding to a gray jack with burro breeding and/or a buckskin or dun mare.  TRUE Mammoth jacks imported from Spain many years ago did not carry the dorsal stripe in their background. In the early 1900's yet mammoth jacks carrying a dorsal stripe were not eligible for registration, whereas almost every wild donkey does have that characteristic.  In recent years however, mammoth and standard donkeys have been crossed to obtain a donkey line that's a little more athletic for those who wish to have mules that move out more like some horses.

This fancy baby is out of a palomino quarter horse and sired by a black jack of mammoth breeding.  Click here to see more of Denny Curtin's show mules!

For many years Gussie was a consistent winner at mule shows in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.  Out of a 15 hand Morgan/Percheron cross mare and sired by a 15.3 hand mammoth jack, she is 15.1 and has a wonderful disposition with that cold blood in her.  She has NEVER bucked or ran off even once in her 24 years.  Straight legged as could be, and takes her leads automatically.  Shown against horses in pleasure classes she would win occasionally (really making the horse owners mad!).

This mule and rider Tony Johnson are pretty stiff competition. 


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Unequaled as trail mounts, mules come in every size and color a horse does, and in as many styles.  Mules can be out of any breed mare, from Quarter Horse to Fresian to Tennessee Walking Horse.






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