Is It True – Mules usually only let one person ride them?

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Question from Pam – Is it True Mules Usually Only Let One Person Ride Them?

I have heard this several times and my mule seems to be better when I ride him but he is my first so I’m not sure.

My answer:

Each Donkey, Horse and mule is unique. Mules are 1/2 donkey 1/2 horse they can have more attributes from the horse or the donkey or swing in and out depending on the human, stress, environment changes huge circumstances can change everything for the equine. What do you mean only let one person ride?  What does the mule do when another person rides?  Need a bit more details to try to help you understand the mind of your mule.

Pam and Jethro her mule

Photo: Here is Jethro, one of the loves of my life.

Remember The best mules are used for tour rides in the Grand Canyon as they are smart and sure-footed 🙂

The Donkey, horse and mule will test the rider and follow our emotions if we are nervous guess what they are nervous the equine is the mirror of the human owner 🙂 The mule can have more attributes coming out of the donkey and or the horse depending on the environment and what is being asked. This I know for sure the donkey, horse and mule learns best from the human who they respect and have a relationship with if the donkey has any fear whatsoever from the new environment or the human ‘”introversion can step out and this does not mean they are stubborn just nervous or scared.”  The donkey can pretend to not remember how to do things with a human not respected, or a human pushing too hard, inflicting pain and suffering.

I am a Parelli home student and love the fact that they do not focus on the breed horse, mule or donkey they focus on the personality and teaching the human how to read the equine in order to teach them what they wish them to do. Parelli teaches us humans how to teach the equine (horse, donkey, mule) based on their unique personalities at home and at new places as just like us people animals have default personalities and when stressed another personality. The friendly game and taming is the first step to training horses, donkeys and mules. Our Mammoth donkey Rio has been trained in Parelli by me. When my husband asks him to do a few of the 7 games sometimes Rio will pause and act like he does not know what to do. My husband understands the 7 games and can patiently get Rio our Mammoth donkey to get back on track. We must remember the human needs to understand how to ask the equine to do things, a rider that has no idea how to ask the equine to do things can confuse the horses, mule or donkey or cause fear meaning; introversion not moving feet and extraversion moving the feet. I am interested to understand what you mule is doing when another human attempts to ride him/her. Is he naughty, (moving his feet when not asked) or introverted (meaning not moving his feet)? Do you understand the mules personality? What is your mules name. Love to see a photo. Do you have more than one equine? I may have some ideas to help you along with this little obstacle.

Pam’s Response

He is really calm with me but when someone else tries to ride he gets irritated and nervous.  Enough that I usually have the person get off and say “he is just a one lady type Mule”.  This may totally by more my problem than his. I’m kind of seeing that as I type this.  I get really nervous when someone else rides him. OK this is my problem. LOL 13 hours ago·    I have only had two people try to ride him and both times he was just “nervous”. Pulling his head up and his body language changed. Both times I was holding him. I have had several people Mules were known for this so maybe I just expected it so it happened. I love the Parelli method you are talking about. Are their tapes available?

My Answer

Parelli has a 30 day free program.  Look for the 7 games and the horseanlities stuff.  I am a student and can not teach but I love to share information. Go to to see the 30 days free and look me up and say Hello.

Learn the 7 games and learn what his personality is to help him. Sounds to me like you love him and you are extremely worried for him. Good for you! I do not let anyone ride my horse she is my horse and when she has held another rider I was with her as it was to learn basic dressage something I have no experience with. If you truly want him to be able to carry other humans you can do it. The humans need to learn how to help him along when he is nervous sounds like he has more left brain extrovert horse attributes in his personality than the donkeys introvert personality. I can not tell you from this e-mail. This I do know if you do not want him to carry other humans he will not do it. If you want him to carry another human he can learn to do it. Your training, energy and plan is all he needs to be setup for success. Send me a photo of your mule would love to see him.

If you go to Parelli for the 30 days free look me up I am on Parelli connect 🙂  One more idea – Have you tried the Dr. Cooks bittless bridle or the Parelli rope halter for walking next to him and letting him carry a rider?  Our Mammoth donkey has been trained to ride with no bit using the rope halter and the bittless bridle they work for mules, donkeys and horses.  Sometimes new riders get scared and pull on the reins pulling on the mouth so best to remove the bit.  I am excited to see what you do with all this new information.

GOD bless you and your family two and four-legged!


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