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Author Topic: Mules  (Read 1212 times)

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Offline No_Dude

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Mules
« on: August 12, 2018, 08:34:07 PM »
Any of yall ever had mules? I have a donkey, but he is too small to pull logs around, someone told me to get a mule and let him pull logs to his hearts content. Anyone ever done it?

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Mules
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 09:50:14 PM »
   I have a 600 lb mule named Blackjack and bought a custom made set of harness for him. I tried to use him to pull a roll of fence wire to the top of the pasture I was extending. When it got steep he would stop and look back and my then teenage son and I would roll or drag the wire 5-6 ft then tell him to go. He would till he got the slack out and stop again. When we finished my son said we did not need the mule as we did all the work. The next time I tried to use him to drag a dead deer out of the woods. First he got startled and ran circles and tied me to a dead dogwood like a cowboy getting burned at the stake. I got free and he broke free and ran down the hill with my deer bouncing behind him. I thought I was going to have to shoot him to get my deer. He finally got hung and I got my deer and have not tried to work him since. He is just our pet.


 Blackjack waiting for another treat.

   I did have a man bring in a pair of Belgian mules in 2 years ago and dragged
some big poplar logs out from the holler behind my pasture. He and the mules knew what they were doing and it was a thrill to watch them at work.


 
  Experienced muleteer and a team of good mules who knew what they were doing.

   Before you start I'd go find an experienced mule expert and get him to show you the ropes. I don't think it is something you are likely to learn on you own without a lot of grief in the process.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline No_Dude

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Re: Mules
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 08:45:31 PM »
Hahaha, sounds about on par with mules. It would be something I think that would be more for the fun of it if I were to do it, but who knows a pair may turn out to be worth their weight in logs.

Offline dustyhat

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Re: Mules
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2018, 10:43:33 PM »
Good mules are a absolute joy to watch. have never owned a pair but have watched them work. the last ones i worked around ,the guy in the woods would hook them and tell them to go,never touching them again, they would go over the hill to the log yard by themselves where the guys wife was setting under a shade tree reading a book, she would see them coming and would get up and unhook them and say go ,and back up the hill they went to be hooked again. and the most amazing part was when they got snagged on a rock or root they knowed how to get loose, backing up from left to right till they got unstuck good mules are amazing animals. but take lots of training and patients. and never get excited with them or they will get excited.  
Running a custom built stationary bandmill with a slightly modded four cyl jeep go devil engine.

Offline No_Dude

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Re: Mules
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2018, 02:08:04 AM »
Sounds about on par with everything I've heard. Seem's like it would be awful handy to have one around to move 8 footers around the yard from lug pile to mill if you didn't have everything all side by side, and don't have a tractor like myself.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Mules
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 09:58:22 AM »
   I had always heard experienced horses and mules would haul logs by themselves with a handler at each end hooking them up and disconnect at the final landing. Around here the terrain is real steep and one safety feature was called a Gee hook. When the mule got on a slope too steep and the log started sliding and uncontrolled slide down towards the mule the handler would yell "Gee" (Right if I remember correctly) and the mule would step to the right and the log would automatically disconnect and slide past the mule. A big log could easily break the leg of a mule on our mountainsides. When working alone if the mules felt slack on the log they would automatically step to the right and the log would disconnect and slide past.

  Ernie, the man with the team of mules I hired, pulled the first big log out of the woods and when we got on a side slope the log rolled and almost pulled his team over. After that he pulled the logs out to a landing just short of the side slope. Next he took a small log top about 6" in diameter and 15' long and chained with a special loop that just pulled it tighter against the sawlog the more the mule pulled. This worked like an outrigger and when we got on the steep side slope the log might slide a few inches but did not roll. At the bottom of the hill he disconnected from the sawlog and hauled the outrigger log back up to the next log.

 I will find the post and add it here. 
WV Logging with mule -What a day (Warning long post with all the gory details) in Sawmills and Milling
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline maple flats

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Re: Mules
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2018, 05:00:07 PM »
Never worked a mule, but For 6-8 winters and 3 different horses I did firewood. I felled the tree and bucked it, then hooked a chain to it and to the wiffle tree, the horse then carried my brother and pulled the log out. After 1 trip my brother stayed in the landing and headed the single horse back in. The horse came in and stood back about 40-50' until I was ready, then I brought the horse to the log or logs, turned it around and hooked the log to the wiffle tree. I just said git or made a clicking sound with the corner of my mouth and he headed back out. He would do that for about 3 hrs, after every second or third pull my brother gave him (or her) just a handfull of oats and a drink. In the woods I dropped the trees, dad (in his late 70's and early 80's limbed  the stem, I bucked the logs and put the log chain on. By then the horse was waiting.
I have no idea if a mule would do that. The horses we used were all belgians or belgian mix. I just had to be sure not to make the load too heavy, because the horse would pull a lot faster then and if a log got hung up, he could break some harness. A lot of what we pulled was soft maple, a 16" big end might be bucked at about 10', if I did one at 16' the horse ran rather than walk and that was a problem.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Mules
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2018, 06:26:32 PM »
   I am a rank amateur in almost all things horsey and mule headed but I have been told and have reason to believe a mule is smarter than a horse. He certainly is when it comes to overeating. I can put a gallon of feed in the trough for our mule and he will eat half till he is full then he will walk away. My horse will eat every drop of feed put in front of him until he founders himself even if it kills him. Goats are like mules and I hear sheep are like horses in this respect.

   I am told a mule will refuse to pull a load that is too much for them. The mules above did that with the last log of of the day when we had a very big log, they were tired and pulled it down the hill till they got to a runoff that was too wet to provide traction then they just went on strike. 

   The pair of mules above were half Belgian. They were very smart and very well trained. Ernie would take them into the woods and yell Whoa and walk off they they would stand right there till he gave them another command. He never tied them.  I'd get tickled watching them pull one log and studying the others they passed along the way. They looked like they were thinking about how they were going to get it out or how to avoid having to pull them out. 

   I have a big Palomino horse that is half Belgian. I used to ride him some till I got tired of falling from that height and have not been on him in years. He has a decent personality but is a bully when it comes time for his feed then get out of his way. 

   I don't know about others but our mule is very social. When he was the only equine we had he chased the cows, bit the tails off new born calves, killed new born goats (That could have been an accident and he just he stepped on them), etc. Once we got the horse he stays strictly with him and has left everything else alone. If I lock them in their stalls and let the horse out first and the he goes out of sight when I release the mule he will bray and run the fence until he finds him. If the horse dies first I will have to buy something else to put with him till he dies. The horse does not seem disturbed if Blackjack is not in sight.

    The mule wobbles when we ride him. The horse does not. The smoothest ride I ever had was actually a Yak in Mongolia - it was like he was gliding with no bounce or side to side movement.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline reswire

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Re: Mules
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 02:43:37 PM »
My father grew up on a farm in the 30's, and had numerous stories of horses and mules working in the field.  Dad would say it was difficult to hook a horse and mule up together, because the mule would allow the horse to do all the work, while he just walked along.  When cultivating a garden or tobacco field, they would use the mule alone, because it was nimble footed and would never trample a plant.  One of his chores involved bringing the animals in from the field at night.  One day while bringing the mule and horse in through a swamp, the horse walked the trail with no problem, while the mule refused to cross the stream.  After several minutes of cursing and beating the mules rear, he looked ahead, and there was a large snake hanging from a limb near the stream.  The horse never saw the snake, but the mule could either smell or sense it's presence.  
In another story, their barn caught on fire one evening, and the mule ran out of the barn to safety, while the horse had to be dragged from the burning barn. 
 Story after story, exalting the intelligence of a mule compared to a horse.
LT 40HDG 35, JD 5205, some Stihl saws, 15 goats, 10 chickens, 3 Chessies and a Weiner dog...

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Mules
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 06:10:27 PM »
 

 This is my mule Reuben.  If there is a creature on this earth that has it made, he does.  Banjo
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Mules
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 09:07:01 PM »
   He sure is pretty and slick. Everybody needs a mule. They will sure teach you patience.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Mules
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 03:33:44 PM »
I didn't have time to tell Reuben's story yesterday as we had to tend to another matter in haste.  One of my pastures is a fair piece from the barn.  One day the horses came up... all except one.  The mule came with them, but he was pitching a royal fit.  Braying and running toward the back then turning around and coming back to the barn.  Deb and I decided to follow him as see what was up.  We followed him to the back pasture, and then he would run down in the woods a ways then turn around and come back to us.  He did this several times... all the while braying as only mules and donkeys can.  I followed him into the woods and found my mare Shadow entangled in some vines.  She was just standing there thankfully.  I cut her loose and they both went to the barn.  I think he knew exactly what he was doing.  Banjo
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Mules
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2018, 12:47:23 AM »
My dad worked for a rancher that bred mules, They had a box for the draft horse to stand in with a ramp for the donkey. Dad said when you led a mare to that stall the donkey would go crazy, it was open the gate and that donkey made a bee line for the mare, he said that guy never stoped till he got the job done, no love making there he said. Dad told me this while milking  I nearly fell in the gutter laughing, Dad was pretty conservitive about such matters and was out of the ordanary for him to talk such.
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Offline Logger RK

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Re: Mules
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2018, 07:02:48 AM »
Dad always said"protect the family mules".  Or I think that's what it was? ;D

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Mules
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2018, 08:06:06 AM »
   I can remember people here talking about digging a pit with a backhoe for the mare to stand in. I guess they typically used a mammoth jack especially for the big draft horses. 
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline No_Dude

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Re: Mules
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2018, 02:31:26 PM »
Man I really didn't know how folks went about making it happen outside of either tall donkey's and short horses or ????

Offline Roxie

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Re: Mules
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2018, 07:01:30 PM »
I've got a picture of a mammoth jack, which gives you an idea of height by counting fence rails.



 
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Mules
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2018, 07:22:20 PM »
The above donkey would be bred to Belgians or large horses to get sizable work mules.  Here is a picture of a Belgian mare and her mule foal.



 
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Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Mules
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2018, 02:21:31 PM »
The first time our horses saw and heared a Mule they sure got excited but not spooked. Kind of like what the heck is that response. 

Sorta like one filly we had we rode her down to our church camp and when she saw a black girl she spooked  ànd whould not let her touch her. The other 2 horses were fine never gave it a thought.
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Offline No_Dude

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Re: Mules
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2018, 02:44:01 PM »
The first time our horses saw and heared a Mule they sure got excited but not spooked. Kind of like what the heck is that response.

Sorta like one filly we had we rode her down to our church camp and when she saw a black girl she spooked  ànd whould not let her touch her. The other 2 horses were fine never gave it a thought.
I've got a buddy who's dog is like that, but with Hispanics. Anyone else is fine, but Hispanics are NOT his friend for whatever reason.


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