Mule: The Egyptians are the first known group to make reference to the domestication of the mule, the animal was also the mount of choice for the kings of Israel, prized above the horse.
Throughout history they have been in servitude to man. They have pulled farm equipment, such as steel plows, and have fed our nation.
The south would not have been able to thrive with the cotton fields if it had not been for the use of Jacks and hinnies. Farming, coal mining, along with gathering timber, could not have been done without them.
The Borax twenty mule team is one of the most memorable icons of the American West, between 1883 and 1889, the teams hauled more than 20 million pounds of borax out of Death Valley. They have been labeled "stubborn" for centuries, but it is really only an abundance of common sense and a strong, since of self preservation that might make them inclined to resist. Being more surefooted than a horse, they are the favorite mount for tourist riding along the trails in the Grand Canyon.
A mule is the offspring of a male donkey (a jack) and a female horse (a mare). A horse has 64 chromosomes, and a donkey has 62. The resulting offspring will have 63. They can be either male or female, but because of the odd number of chromosomes, they can't reproduce. Hinnies are just the opposite, a stallion horse crossed to a donkey jennet, they are considered less valuable as workers. Highly intelligent, both are tough, adaptable, tolerant, and loyal.
Today you can find them at breed events, stock shows, under saddle, in harness, cutting, roping and even dressage. The standard size of a mule is 40" to 48" to the wither, however the mammoth jack can be over 56" at the wither. A foal named Idaho Gem was born at the University of Idaho on May 4, 2003, he was the first member of the horse family to be successfully cloned.
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