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Meet Our Breeds: Jack the Mule

You’ve probably read that we make tack for all disciplines and all breeds–we probably should say that we work with more than one species, too.

Jack is hard at work

Jack is hard at work posing for the camera

Meet Jack, the model for our mule bridle.

Mules are the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse, and their body build seems to largely depend on that of their dam. Contrary to popular belief, not all mules are incapable of reproducing–while mule stallions are infertile, there have been limited cases of female mules becoming pregnant and delivering foals.

Mules are an ancient creature, having been bred in Egypt at least as early as 3000 B.C. Because of their structure and toughness, they have long been used as draft or pack animals in various cultures and made several appearances in the Bible, and later proliferating in Asia and Europe throughout history. Mules made landfall in America along with Christopher Columbus and came to Mexico a decade after the fall of the Aztecs. Here, they have proven excellent farm animals in addition to their use as pulling or pack creatures. Mules have marched into war and pulled commercial freight.

Today, mules excel at a variety of disciplines under saddle, including roping, trail riding, barrel racing, driving, cutting, and racing.

Many mule owners report that mules are highly intelligent, sensitive, and quick to learn. They are often praised for their common sense and quiet temperament in new situations, and contrary to the old adage, are not inherently stubborn.

Jack is one of the equids in Asbury University’s equine studies program in nearby Wilmore, Ky. The college’s program offers majors in equine management and equine facilitated therapies.

Your turn: what do you love best about your mule?