Camping off a mule?

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Stykbow

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I’m pretty late to the party here, but here are some things to consider with mules. The smarter an animal is, the bigger pain in the rear it can be. Mules are very smart. Horses don’t aim when they kick, so they miss a lot. Mules can and will look at what they’re trying to kick. Remember, they’re smart, so they don’t miss much. If you somehow manage to piss off a mule you better take cover. Explosive reactions are the norm with the ones I’ve been around. It really took some doing to get one mad, but man it was something to see when you did. I’ve had a lot of different horses and one team of mules in my life. The mules were smarter, more sure footed, and stronger (pound for pound) than any of the horses. I loved those aggravating little SOB’s.
 
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skwerleater

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some years back, myself and a friend did a trek into the Catskills mts on a squirrel hunt in November. We went in blind and found a rock overhang on a rise to camp in. It rained and then turned cold. Water froze overnight. I woke at sunup and looked down from our camp and saw a guy dressed as we were, in 18th century clothing, leading a mule with panniers up the mountain. Thought maybe I woke up in an earlier time!!
I later learned that he was a local, setting up his deer camp for the coming season.
 
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OK, lets kick off a party. In my youth (I am Basque and grew up running sheep) my Dad would drop me off in the summer with 2 mules, 3 dogs and around 1200 head of sheep in the Rocky mountains east of Idaho Fall, ID or in the Ruby Mountains, NV. 4 months of packing, living in the hills and generally having the time of my life. Did it for 4 years, until it was my Brother's turn to take over. As long as you spend lots of time with your animals, dogs, sheep, mules...you name it....they become accustomed to you and are much easier to handle...you learn their issues, they learn yours. Get some good paniers, learn how to minimize and teach your mule how to be ridden.

All in all it was a great experience.

Below is a blow up of a picture taken many years ago. My riding mule was doing the dog's job.
 

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