About Our Mules


Rancho Santiago is 2 miles off of the nearest paved country road. Our mules are bred and raised on Rancho Santiago and are country wise.

Mules are the hybrid offspring of closely related equines. A mule is the foal of a mare, female horse, and a Jackass, a male breeding donkey. Mules cannot reproduce. Mules have been around for thousands of years and are pictured on the walls of Egyptian tombs pulling war chariots.














Mules are sure footed great safe climbers up the steep and down the steep mountains.  A mule will not go where they sense it is dangerous (Smart not stuborness) and thereby protect themselves & their rider.

                                               Our Mule whisperer and friend, Leroy taught us:

"There is nothing better than a good mule and nothing worse than a bad mule" Leroy Cagle.

"You have to be smarter than the mule to teach it anything & many people are not that smart!" Leroy Cagle.

Mules are famous for being stubborn. They aren't more stubborn than horses ... just smarter. A mule has to be shown and communicated with as to what the rider wants.


A good mule cannot be bullied or punished into responding because the mule will just shut down and say "Oh Yeah Before I'll Hurt Myself You Will Have To Kill Me!" This behavior has become known as stubbornness. This so called stuborness actually makes a mule a safer ride because a mule will not put itself in a potentally dangerous situation therefore the mule keeps their rider out of harms way.  

Many successful horse trainers are lousy mule trainers because of the radically different personality of the mule as compared to the horse. An appropriately handled mule is more like a friendly dog than like a horse. 




Rancho Santiago has gentle, dependable mules.

People ask "will Rancho Santiago mules load in trailers?"

The answer is YES!

We left the trailer doors open accidentally. If you look carefully notice that the trailer is full of mules with other mules trying to get in for a ride.

I guess these mules want to go to the grocery and get carrots.



 Actually, in our  experience, the smartest equine we have had dealings with is the donkey. The next smartest is the mule, and the horse comes in thrid on the intelligence scale. Mules are stronger, live longer, mature slower, and have greater endurance than horses. It takes more quality work and time to develop a really good mule ... the investment is worth the effort. Healthy mules commonly ride & work well into their 30"s while most horses are checking out of life by the age of 20.

All of our mules are imprinted at birth using the basics learned from Dr. Miller, the outstanding mule and animal behavior expert veterinarian. Our mares are selected for their individual characteristics of which a calm workable disposition is a must. The mule's basic disposition comes mainly from the mare. We have found over the years a crazy mare produces an extra crazy mule.

Our baby mules are handled by people from birth and trained to lead during the first month of life. During its first year, a baby mule learns to lead, stand tied to a fence without struggle, pick up feet, have feet trimmed, load in a trailer, come up to us in the open pasture, roach the mane with clippers, trim ears with scissors, be lead by a lead rope from a big horse, saddled with child's saddle and blanket, and be lead under a pack saddle, have bit placed in the mouth.

 We do not put weight on the back of the growing baby mule because the bones are not mature enough to support a rider or heavy pack. All of the above activities are to gentle and slowly help the growing youngster to get used to a long good life as a working companion mule.

As a part of each of our yearlings training and experience with new situations, we teach these mules to load up in a covered goose neck trailer, half-top trailer, and Percheron van.

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