Mule vs. Horse: What’s the Difference?

Yes, mules are lovely animals, but why do many people love to ride horses? Are mules the best option if you don’t love horses?

Well, you are about to make the correct choice between a mule and a horse. Here, we’ll tell you all about a mule vs. horse.

It becomes an exciting talk for horse family lovers when one talks about mules and horses in the same sentence. What you’ll pick will vary with the specs you want in an equine.

These two are similar. But the two animals differ in many things.

Once you understand what separates the two, you’ll know which one is best. So, let’s start with short info about a mule and horse.

What is a Mule?

This animal is a breed of a horse and a donkey. So, mules have the wisdom of a horse and can tolerate many things like a donkey.

In most cases, the breed is of the male donkey and a female horse. A male donkey (jack) has a smaller body than a female donkey (mare). As the mares give birth to a mule, they have an easy time because mules have small bodies.

Many people breed mules to get the best specs of both a horse and a donkey. Also, they are there to remove the bad characters of both animals. Remember, only a mare can give birth to a mule since mules are infertile.

What is a Horse?

Horses are animals in the horse family known for being kind and forgiving. Also, they are the most beautiful animals in the equine group.

While in the wild, they love to stay in herds. But since most people keep them, horses can also survive well in the stalls.

Mule vs. Horse – Characteristics

The specs of these two animals will make it easy for you to separate them. These things range from how their body looks to behaviors. So, keep reading as we start with the specs of a mule.



These animals are as diverse as the horses. Also, they have half of the horses’ genes.

They are in many sizes. Expect a mini mule to weigh about 50 pounds. An adult mule will weigh over 1000 pounds.

Like the horses, one can measure the body size of mules using hands. A mule can be 15 hands which are the same as 60 inches.

When it comes to behaviors, they are intelligent and wise like horses. They are always keen on dangerous times.

Also, with their excellent memory, common sense, and strong will, they tend to resist things that could harm them. This trait can make you think that they are stubborn.

Most times, if a mule doesn’t see the point of doing something, it won’t. You’ll know this act when they are on sloppy terrain.

These animals have mixed tempers from the two parents. It makes them more calm and patient.



Among all animals in the equine family, horses are the ones to give you the easiest time. They are always calm and don’t easily overreact. Also, they know how to handle challenging events well.

Depending on the breed, expect the horses to be in many body shapes and sizes. But most horses are between 14 to 18 inches high. Remember, unlike the mules, the purpose of your horse can determine the size.

Also, the breed will determine the color of the horse. Many horses have markings that make them the most beautiful in the horse family.

The temper of these animals is in cold, hot, and warm blood. Cold tempered are the ponies and those that do heavy work.

Warm ones are a breed of hot and cold. People use them to race.

Mule vs. Horse – Training

Mule vs. Horse - Training

Both a horse and a mule can give you an easy time while training them. But which one of the two will provide you with a better time? Read on to find out.


These animals have a surer foot than horses. It makes them easier to train them even on tough grounds. Well, this trait comes from donkeys.

Their feet are tiny and vertical, but the legs are strong. They also have narrow bodies. It makes them stable and will give you an easy time to train them.

But while training them, you should do it with care. Well, it’s because these animals respond faster to flight or fight situations.

So, if you train them harshly or make them do hard things, they’ll question you. Then, you’ll see them run away, kick or push you.


Even if horses don’t give you an easier time to train them like the mules, it will be fun to teach them. You’ll see this act, especially if you have excellent training skills. So, you should be patient and keep safe as you handle them.

Since they don’t have sure feet like a mule, you should train these animals step-by-step. You can start with simple skills like driving from the ground.

Remember, it’s better to let it know that you are in control during training. Here, you’ll need tools like bits and reins.

A horse will also need you to understand when to quit riding or training them. You should know how much it can do. It will make the horse defy you less.

So, you should know if your horse has a cold, warm, or hot temper. You’ll enjoy training it.

Mule vs. Horse – Care and Health

Like any other pet or animal, mules and donkeys differ in the type of medical care they need. Let’s start with the care that a mule needs.


You’ll have an easy time as you give care to your mule. The hard and fair skin makes mules resist many parasites and skin problems.

Also, mules can go through harsh weather conditions. So, if you live in areas with more heat, be sure that mules can live well in such regions without having any health problems.

So, it’s why mules tend to live longer than horses. Well, it’s because of the getting the good traits from both a horse and a donkey.

These animals get lesser injuries. Their sense of self-preservation helps them.

Since they have strong feet, they won’t need any shoes. It will be rare for them to suffer from colic disease because they don’t overheat. So, with mules, you’ll need lesser vet appointments.


A horse will need more care than a mule. You’ll need to care for the horses every day. It shouldn’t matter with the season, time, or weather. So, it will be more costly to care for the horses.

But to make things easier for you, keep them in places with more space. You can do this in areas with more land and pasture. Since caring for a horse isn’t cheap, you should have enough funds with you.

Horses will always need clean and fresh water, a fence, and excellent shelter. Remember, keeping horses free from diseases isn’t as easy when caring for mules.

So, you’ll need a thoughtful and wise plan for horses. Groom and feed them well. Also, keep the vet closer.

Mule vs. Horse – How People Use the Two Animals

How you plan to use the horse or mule will also matter before you pick on either of them. We’ll start with how people use a mule.



Back then, people used mules to help them haul. But today, people use these animals to do many things. Don’t expect a mule to do many things that a horse can do.

If you want an animal to help you ride along rough grounds, pick a mule and not a horse. Well, it’s because of the sure foot it has.

So, it’s why many tourists, especially those visiting rocky paths, use this animal. It gives them an easy time as they ride.

Both a beginner and skillful rider can ride a mule. You should be ready to accept and go through the mistakes that the mule will make. Also, you’ll need to be patient with it.



If you have enough grazing land, then you can buy a horse. You should also be patient and have more time every day to use a horse as a hobby.

A horse will help you in riding, sports, and even in the workforce. Unlike in the previous times, people used horses to travel. Today, only a few places need horses to help them travel.

In many parts of the world, horse riding is a major event. Besides, people use horses to improve their emotions.

If you don’t use it for fun or racing, you can make it work. But either way, if you have a horse, know that it’ll always have a special place in your life every day.


Choosing between a horse and a mule can be tricky. But it will depend on your interests.

Like you can choose a mule if you aim to haul. Also, it will help you ride and carry heavy loads for a long time.

One can pick a horse if they want a loyal and kind member of the equine family. You can also use a horse in racing competitions.

The differences between the two animals go beyond what your eyes can see. Caring for a mule is easier and cheaper than when doing it for a horse.

So, what’s your pick between a horse and mule? Do you own either of them? Please feel free to let us know.

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