Mother Nature made them this way. Decisive on their likes and dislikes, they are judgmental animals. You might say they view things in black and white. Either they like it or they absolutely don’t. It’s not that the mule has ESP or can read your mind, but he is very good at reading the situation. And a mule isn’t going to work at something that he doesn’t like. Now that you know this, try not to be a knucklehead when working with your mule, whether it is a new task you are introducing or just spending time on the trail.
Mules are sensitive; they have a keen sense of smell and acute hearing and they are athletic like his horse mother. The thinking side of the mule comes from his father, the donkey jack. This is what makes this hybrid a unique animal to work with. Their high sense of self-preservation is what makes the mule an excellent trail partner. They certainly won’t allow them to be in a situation that could cause them harm.
Comfort is everything to the mule. They will not tolerate ill-treatment or endure incorrectly fitted tack, saddles, or a saddle pad that does not allow for good wear or comfort. Behavior issues will quickly develop if the mule is in discomfort or suffering from pain. A mule that is experiencing discomfort may toss his head, try to rush downhill, buck, kick out, move sideways, gape at the mouth, or even rear. See? This is more valuable information you now know…so try not to be a knucklehead when saddling or trying out new gear on your mule. Keeping your tack and gear clean is ideal and of course, you should adjust it several times during your ride, be aware when your mule gains/loses weight, and take notice of hair density…it’s not rocket science, but you are dealing with an animal that is smarter than you (and me) so, try to keep up.
If the mule’s negative behavior escalates, a vet or massage therapist may be the answer.
If you are needing to find an answer to your situation I am glad to talk with you. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.everycowgirlsdream.com/store.html