MULE: horse dam/donkey sire
HINNY: donkey dam/horse sire
HORSE or JOHN: male mule/hinny
MARE or MOLLY: female mule/hinny
MINIATURE: 36″ and under
SADDLE: bred from riding type mares
DRAFT: bred from draft type mares
Mules are sterile and cannot reproduce. However they are anatomically normal and males must be gelded.
Mules are a “made-to-order” breed of livestock. These fine animals can carry you safely on a trail, pack in the high country, compete in the show ring or pull logs and other equipment.
Mules are popular for many reasons. Pleasure riders find that mules are smooth to ride, sure-footed and careful. They have great physical endurance and soundness, which enables them to work to a much older age than horses.
Mules have wonderful personalities, a high level of intelligence and a strong sense of self-preservation. What is sometimes characterized as stubbornness is simply the mule’s ability to think for itself and make decisions for its own protection and the safety of its rider.
The mule combines the best features of both of its parents. From the donkey sire, the mule gets intelligence, ease of keeping, sure footedness and longevity. The mare usually determines the size of the mule, its length of stride, style and conformation. Although sterile, all male mules and hinnies should be gelded.
The Canadian Donkey and Mule Association classifies mules according to height: 14.2 hh and under, and over 14.2 hh.
Mules come in a variety of colours and sizes ranging from miniature to saddle and draft types. The type of mare that is selected to produce a mule is very important. From the mare, the mule usually inherits most of its athletic abilities, which could include jumping ability, “cow sense” and reining ability, as well as outstanding endurance capabilities. Mules bred from rising mares usually make excellent saddle mules. Draft mares produce larger draft type mules that are valued as packing, driving or work animals.
(This information is courtesy of the Canadian Donkey and Mule Association)