Our first hinny! I was under the impression that hinnies were generally much smaller and more horse-like than mules (I’ve had a few people ask if Marty is a hinny), so when I saw Chewy’s photo I was awestruck and had to ask his owner, Carolyn, if she would like to share his story. Not only did she kindly oblige, but she told me a little about his famous half-brother, Too Tall, as well.
Carolyn also provided so many gorgeous photos that I had a hard time choosing only five! She and Chewy have covered many miles across many kinds of terrain. They are a great team.
1. Please introduce us to your hinny!
My hinny is called Chewy. He is 16 3 hands (quite tall for a hinny). He is gaited, but I have to work too hard to make him gait, so I just enjoy him! We also have his half brother, Too Tall,who is 17 hands. He is naturally gaited; just drop the reins and he does his thing. They are both bred out of a mammoth Jenny and a homozygous paint American saddle horse.
2. How did you meet him?
My husband first purchased Too Tall who is a gentle giant who is scared of his own shadow. We live in Arkansas and were planning our first out West vacation. My husband was concerned that my mule was not safe. The breeder kept telling me that I needed Chewy for safety. I finally caved and bought him less than a month before we left, so I barely knew him, and he was only a four-year-old. He was a complete gentleman! For our original purchase of Too Tall, we had to have a little tea party with the breeder and discuss our facilities, personalities, and plans for the hinny. We would have to be “approved” prior to purchase. We passed inspection and became proud owners.
3. What do you do with him, and what are your plans for the future?
We strictly trail ride for pleasure. Chewy has left Arkansas and gone to the Wild West with me numerous times. We plan to continue riding and riding and riding all over the place.
4. Can you share a story that you feel sums up your hinny and/or your relationship with him?
It is difficult to put into words my relationship with Chewy. He seems part dog, part human, close friend, and I feel totally safe with him. I have owned him for nine years, and he has never been anything but wonderful. I can walk up to him anywhere in the pasture empty-handed, armed with treats, or with halter and lead in hand. He loves for me to just scratch or rub on him and often meets me at the fence. We are just like close friends. He and my mammoth donkey Moonshine are like once in a lifetime equine for me. We currently have eleven various equines, but those two will always be the most special to me.
As for Too Tall, we were riding near Yellowstone in Wyoming when we met a group of Boy Scouts. One had broken his ankle and all of the scouts were trying to help him back to camp. We hoisted him up on Too Tall and he rode behind my husband several miles back to camp. Don’t forget that was a 17 hand hoist, which was a bit difficult, but Too Tall took it all in stride.
Another time we were riding in the mountains and accidentally got turned around on some private property. We encountered the land owners having wine and cheese beside a river. There was a large group of us, and it was clear the landowners were not thrilled. Suddenly one of them said, “Is that Too Tall?” We were several states away from his original home, but he is so unusual that he was immediately recognized. Too Tall saved the day again, and the landowners told us we were welcome anytime! Thank you, Too Tall!
5. What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt as a hinny owner, and what piece of advice would you give to someone new to hinnies or mules?
My husband and I think that the hinnies have more of a donkey personality. They are so very sweet, and I call them lazy not crazy. Often others tell us that hinnies are inferior but in my book they are superior!
If you would like your mule to be featured here, then please contact me either via this blog, message me on my Mulography Facebook page, or email me at: herecirm (at) gmail.com. I would particularly like to hear from UK mule owners (purely because Mulography is about owning a mule in the UK), but am happy to take worldwide submissions!