The British mules are highly intelligent animals that do require some knowledge before handling them appropriately. Although they can be really stubborn animals, once you get their trust, they will be more than affectionate and loyal to you. You can teach them many things, even some things that horses cannot learn. But in order to do this, you must know how to act and handle them properly, as it is all about getting their trust. Therefore, this is a very useful guide for newcomers who want to have a mule for themselves!
They are highly-sensitive animals
First of all, you must know that these creatures are really sensitive and that they can understand a lot of things. Still, this does not mean you can handle them harshly, since you will not get anywhere with that attitude. When you are showing something to a mule, be patient, as it may happen that it does not understand at first. The last thing you would want to do, if it does not understand at first, is to yell or God forbid, punch/kick it! This can only produce the opposite effect (stubbornness) that will not lead you anywhere. So do know it will study your moves and requests thoroughly to try to understand you. Therefore, having patience for their sensitive nature is a must if you want to have a good mule.
Use humor and never try to deceive it
Believe it or not, they do understand humor! When you are using humor, they start feeling more relaxed and open to you, while the aggression and raised voice only produce the contrary effect. Use the humor in any situation you can – act like a donkey and you will get something in return. Also, never try to deceive the mule as it can become confused, even scared. That could lead to potential problems (stubbornness again) like that famous kick that we have seen on TV! Be sincere and honest and you will get the love and confidence!
Be polite as they understand you
Use “I will not do that if you do not let me to cuddle you with” instead of “Will kick you if you do not do this”. Their brain somehow recognized the positive tones and being polite with your requests is something that could give you positive results. They just like to be treated like a normal being, so avoid hatred, aggression or shouting. The more patient and polite you are with them, it is likely that you will achieve success and gain trust easily.
The science has gone far, and there is a ton of material that explains their goofy nature that we can see sometimes. Ask the professional breeders to share some tips and knowledge with you and spend time with your mule. They like your companion and will be your best friend if you handle them properly. Sometimes may not be easy, but arm yourself with a lot of patience and politeness and the success will be visible!
In some parts of the world mules are used for betting much like horse betting in the UK.