Is a Mare Mule or Horse Mule Better For You?
A lot of folks I know that have experience with mules prefer mare mules over horse mules. A mare mule is a female mule, also called a “molly”. A horse mule is a male mule and is also called a “john” mule. It gets even more complicated with donkeys so let’s save that for another day.
In general, a mare mule is a little less, shall we say, “mule-y” than a horse mule. She will often be a little milder-tempered than a male mule. While the horse mules are down on their knees in the pasture, pinning each other to the ground, the mare mules might just be playing tag. As my buddy Ronald Hudson says, mare mules are less prone to “beaten and a’bangin'” than horse mules.
Mare mules have a reputation among old-timers for being a little easier to handle than horse mules. When I look at the mules that my friends Ronald Hudson, Wayne Hussey and Kenny Tyndall use, most of them are mare mules. They say they’re just a bit easier to work with.
Polly, the mule I traveled across America with for the “Lost Sea Expedition” public TV series was a mare mule. Brick, the mule I rode from North Carolina to Virginia and back with my wife Julia, was a mare mule. I like mare mules.
Looking for a Mare Mule
When I started looking for a second mule to ride from North Carolina out west, I only looked at mare mules. There wasn’t much on the market. I looked at mules that were too fat and mules that were too long and mules that were too small. All of them were mare mules because that’s what I wanted.
Six weeks before I left on my trip, I still didn’t have a mule. Julia heard of a nice one close by. I didn’t want to look at it because it was a horse mule. She said it might be worth it. We went for a look.
He ended up being fantastic and I bought him. His name was Jethro. I renamed him. That’s how I ended up with my mule Cracker. He took great care of me on my trip from North Carolina to Idaho and I love him.
So much for hard and fast rules.
Let me Give You a Heads-up About the New Book
I’d be happy to let you know when the new “Trash to Triumph”, the book about my trip from North Carolina to Idaho comes out.
Just type your email address into the box below and I’ll take care of the rest.