You Don’t Start at the Top

You Don’t Start At The Top

It’s proven, mules mature physically and mentally at a slower pace than horses do. However, being hybrids, it is also proven they are smarter than both their parents. Yes, that means they are smarter than the horse (a given, because horses can be forced or bossed around into doing a task) and they are smarter than the donkey, who is a thinking machine in their own species.

So, while some mule owners get impatient about the training process, that is when the roadblocks start showing up in their schooling efforts.

Everyone wants to be at the top. The time and effort put into the equation may cause some people to give up. Because with time and effort, you will make mistakes. You have to make mistakes, in order to learn. You might make a career change and try something new, or you may become hard on yourself for not making accomplishments at the pace you so desire.

And, slamming someone for their own mistakes is not a part of the working solution. This is so unsettling to me, because as humans, we tend to resort to using cheap tactics by becoming “Keyboard Karens.” I don’t dare let my mules have access to the computer, because they do know so much! Being assertive is one thing, but becoming a Keyboard Karen is not cool at all.

With all kidding aside, as humans, we can get better at our work…provided we learn from our mistakes. Quite simply, if we don’t learn from our errors, lessons are repeated until they are learned! That’s the Karma wrapped up in the Universe. It’s a big world out there and the Universe is endless.

As trainers or instructors in the mule industry, we don’t start at the top. At times, we will fail. We desire to show our best videos and photos that make us look like mule superstars, never do we show our bloopers. Dang! That opens the gate for “Keyboard Karens” to cut us down! Which brings to my mind the real fascinating stuff to this article.

Mules don’t take to internet bullying tactics. They have no interest in “Keyboard Karens” and they don’t show off muscle or “strength” to impress themselves or in an attempt to get outside approval. Mules comply to their barnyard rules of conduct, known as the pecking order. In this scenario, size doesn’t matter. The 2,500 pound draft mule is generally easy-going and follows through with the herd boss. What matters is the herd will stick together; this makes the herd structure stronger and well protected from predators. Stick with me, there’s a lesson here: mule trainers, instructors, and riders with integrity, show respect for other trainers/riders and offer assistance where needed. They won’t slam others and they show a high regard for others wherever their journey takes them.

As a side note: you can talk bad or take a slam at them from your keyboard as often or long as you want on social media. You know what? You just made an ass of yourself. And yes, the pun is intended. (wink.)

The Naked Truth About Mules & Donkeys

Mule myths and untruths regarding the mule and donkey are dispelled, offering a thorough explanation of the origin and the true logical answer. Logical training methods are explained to develop the mule into a safe and willing partner on the trail. Quirks explained the mule’s perspective from his world, in full color. Available in paperback and Kindle download. The Naked Truth About Mules & Donkeys: Myths, Legends & Falsehoods Revealed: Roberts, Cindy K: 9781542984935: Books

Thinking about owning a wonderful mule or donkey? Do you want an inside look at those loving and very capable long ears February 25, 2017 Have you ever contemplated the facts versus fiction on mules and donkeys? Author, Cindy K Roberts writes not only about her involvement but also shares other skilled mule owners and trainers’ hands-on experiences. You will find many owner testimonies and gorgeous photos of beautiful mules and donkeys that debunk those “falsehoods”! A highly recommended read for a comprehensive guide to the inside of those wonderful mules and donkeys.

  • Title: “The Naked Truth About Mules & Donkeys”
  • Author: Cindy K Roberts
  • Publisher: Every Cowgirl’s Dream
  • Color: Full Color
  • Availability: Available on Amazon
  • Key Points:
    • Myths and Facts: The text presents various myths and facts about mules and donkeys.
      • Myths:
        • A mule or horse cannot buck if you have a piece of broom handle clamped down under their tail.
        • Mules will hold a grudge.
        • A mule won’t hurt himself.
        • Mules will kill your children.
        • You can’t overload a mule.
        • Mules can’t compete at Mounted Shooting.
        • Mules won’t neck rein.
        • The only way to talk to a mule is to curse at ’em.
        • A mule picks you (when buying) and if he doesn’t, you are really in for it.
        • A mule will wait ten years to get even or kick you.
        • Mules are not fast.
        • Mules don’t have a heart like a horse.
        • Mules do not need shoes.
        • Mules are sterile.
        • Mules aren’t forgiving.
      • Factual Information:
        • The book provides an inside look at mules and donkeys, debunking common misconceptions.
        • It includes owner testimonies and gorgeous photos of these animals.
        • Recommended for those interested in understanding the truth about mules and donkeys.

Results from Web:

  • Author’s Perspective: The author, Cindy K Roberts, shares her own experiences with mules and donkeys.
  • Other Owners and Trainers: The book also features insights from other skilled mule owners and trainers.
  • Debunking Myths: The text aims to dispel falsehoods and myths surrounding mules and donkeys.
  • Comprehensive Guide: A highly recommended read for anyone interested in learning more about these wonderful animals.

Summary: “The Naked Truth About Mules & Donkeys” provides factual information, owner testimonies, and beautiful photos to debunk common myths and offer a comprehensive guide to understanding these remarkable creatures. 🐴🐾

How to Measure Greatness

Greatness: The quality of being great, distinguished, or eminent. Dang! Double Dang! I had to leave the mule corral on this one, Do you realize if mules focused on developing greatness, they would be unstoppable? That would keep me in the bleachers for a long, long while. This is what I found in how we, as humans, measure greatness. And interestingly, I also found some of the same qualities in mules:

  1. Authentic – A hybrid is a hybrid, so that clarifies a mule is a mule.
  2. Brave – typically, mules are going to save their own ass, however, there is one mule that comes to mind that rode into danger. General Crook and his mule “Apache” captured the great warrior Chief Geronimo.
  3. Decisive – Once a mule has made up his mind, there is no changing it.
  4. Goal-oriented – This is a good one. Eat in the pasture all night under the moonlight, chase a coyote out of the pasture, play with the cows if they are around, head to the water trough in the morning, roll in the dust and bask in the sun during the daylight.
  5. Humble – If anything, you will learn to be humble when hanging out with mules.
  6. Inspiring – This is where your true test of character will come in. You have to be able to inspire mules.
  7. Justice – A mule will teach you this from day one. Remember, the punishment must match the crime. All mules are different as are their sensitivity levels.
  8. Listener – Mules are great listeners.
  9. Motivating – Mules will teach you motivation. You will spend a lot of time thinking of ways to “convince” or convey a new thought or task to your mule. It’s their job to question your resume or sales pitch. Your mule wants to know why he should hire you? If you can motivate mules, you are doing well at achieving greatness.
  10. Encourage – Mules require this encouragement thing. Keep moving, increasing and growing, and pioneering new frontiers.
  11. Trustworthy – No doubt about it, a mule requires all humans that come into their domain to be trustworthy. They know deceit when they see it, coming from a mile away.
  12. It takes a confident and good mind set to work through challenges that will come along in your equine training program. And, working with mules will no doubt, make you into a better person. The kind of person that has a deeper understanding in how mules and donkeys think. You will have respect for those you work with and will develop a better temperament… and that my friends, is the path to greatness.

Know Where To Hang Your Hat – Status Is Everything

An interesting concept is status. Mules being as independent as they are, know where to hang their hat. They mingle, hang out, and move around in the paddock and pasture, to where it benefits them. They figure out herd dynamics quickly and make it all happen for them. For the mule, it’s all about him or her. Mules get this. They get the status thing and use it to their advantage. Dang! How cool is that?

So, where you hang your hat, is crucial for mental and physical health. So yes, status is everything.

Understandably, prolonged periods of feeling like you’re low status can thus lead to illness and depression. If your serotonin remains diminished for a long enough time, you’ll also become angry and may even feel the urge to violently lash out at others. This is not cool. You really need to take a time out and hang with the mules.

So, this status thing…unfortunately, there is a fair share of unscrupulous “business people” that muddy up a sector of the mule industry. This is nothing new, so watch yourself.

Just as you have an ingrained desire to seek status, others do too, and part of that drive is to connect with high-status people. As your confidence grows, your network of friends and peers will reflect as being positive growth. Remember, status isn’t just about looks or wealth, so this isn’t a purely superficial attraction. Both men and women want to befriend and partner with a guy who brings all kinds of valuable things to the table, whether that’s intelligence, wit, loyalty, or skill; everyone wants high status and hardworking people on their team.

And the mules; don’t want a deadhead on their team or a troublemaker. They go by their rules of conduct in the pasture and around the barn. Mules are good about the status thing. I admire mules that can detect dishonorable intentions faster than the stagecoach that left the depot.

Running an equine business is a challenge. Just remember, developing status leads you down the trail of success; to making new friends, finding romantic partners, and building a rich social network.

And that is why I like working with mules. They will teach you to look deep into your heart and soul; they will humble you and allow you to have a deeper understanding. That’s the deal breaker right there. I think I will hang my hat, right here.

Just about everything you need to know about mules…

On the trail, I meet a lot of riders who tell me they want to buy a mule for trail riding, hunting, packing, etc. Here are some of the things I find myself saying to them on a regular basis.

1. Mules will always keep you humble.

If you have a big ego and you end up buying a mule, your ego will be knocked down a few notches. Does your mule load into every trailer, no matter what, and do you like to boast about it? Do it in front of someone you just met and watch in disbelief as your mule suddenly forgets how to load. They will take every opportunity to make a fool out of you, so you better have a good sense of humor since you will be the brunt of all their jokes.

2. Mules will always keep you safe… if you can stay on their back, that is.

A lot of people have the misconception that a mule being their 1200-pound babysitter will keep them from all harm. The thing is, mules are very smart and have a great self-preservation instinct. They DO NOT in any circumstance want to get themselves hurt or to put themselves in a situation where they could die. They will keep themselves safe, whether you’re on their back or not. That includes jumping 30 feet sideways at a potential mule-eating bush or bolting away at a dead run from an angry water bottle/bicyclist/plastic bag/dog/whatever else could kill them. If you have a really good seat, you may not get hurt, but if you’re a rider getting back into the sport because you’ve been hurt/lost your confidence/lost your stirrups and confidence at the same time, you might be unpleasantly surprised.

A horse will jump off a cliff for you, but a mule will watch as you go plummeting off the edge while he’s sitting high and dry.

3. If you end up getting a mule so you have a pack animal that you can use for hunting, you might be disappointed when that said mule is petrified of the smell of blood.

Some mules will pack anything, some mules will lose their minds when they smell blood. Yes, most of them can be trained eventually to get over this but for the guy/girl that only rides twice a year: one to leg their horse up for hunting season and two for the actual hunt, you might be very frustrated and let down and you might even lose your cool so much that you will have the urge to hunt your mule instead of that deer.

4. Mules are not stubborn.

They are extremely smart and will a lot of times outsmart their owner. If you own a mule you will constantly have to be one step ahead of them and constantly be in a state of trying to outsmart them. It’s like conquering a video game, mastering an instrument, or something of the sort to me. Once you figure one out, each one will be easier and easier.

They keep me thinking and always impress me when they outsmart me.

5. Once you figure out your mule and your mule figures out you, you will realize why so many people have mules.

They become extremely loyal and trustworthy and their personalities are so enjoyable. Their surefootedness and brains under saddle will ease you even in the trickiest of trails. They will keep you laughing and bring a smile to your face even if you’re having a terrible day.

This is a post that has been shared on social media by Cross Country Equine.

Mules, Coffee and Oatmeal Cookies

Mules, Coffee and Oatmeal Cookies
Mules, Coffee and Oatmeal Cookies by Cindy K. Roberts

I am proud to release this book, it was fun to write and there are heartfelt stories about my experiences with mules, horses and donkeys over the years. Every mule fart has been documented, including mule cocktail recipes along with my tips on mule care products. 167 pages of shenanigans that will tickle your funny bone! It is available now on Amazon Prime at this link:


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