MULE. Mules are chiefly used in countries where there are rocky and stony ways, as amongst the Alps and Pyrenees, &c. Great numbers of them are kept in these places: they are usually black, and are strong, well limbed, and large, being mostly bred out of fine Spanish mares. Mules are sometimes fifteen or sixteen hands high, and the bes of them are worth from forty to fifty pounds a piece. No creatures are so proper for large burdens, nor any so sure footed. They are much stronger for draught than our horses, and are often as thick-set as our dray-horses, and will travel several months together, with six or eight hundred weight upon their backs. It is a wonder that these creatures are not more propagated in England, since they are so much hardier and stronger than horses, and less subject to diseases, and will live and work to twice the age of a horse. Mules bred in cold countries are more hardy, and better adapted to labour than those of hot climates ; and when light made, are more agreeable for riding than horses, both as to walking and trotting, but are apt to gallop rough. They take so much after the mares they are bred from, that they may be procured of any kind, light or strong, as the owner pleases. The general complaint we make against them is, that they kick and are stubborn: but this is only owing to our neglect in the breeding them, for they are as gentle as our horses in countries where they are bred with more care. Mules are of two kinds; the one between the horse and the she ass, the other between the jack ass and the mare. The first sort are the least valuable. They are commonly very dull, and partake of the ass in disposition and size ; the other breed, therefore, is propagated chiefly in all countries where mules are used. The largest and finest jack ass must be procured for this breed ; and in Spain, where mules are greatly esteemed, they give fifty or sixty pounds for a fine male ass, only to be kept as a stallion.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835
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