Halter Training Your Mule or Donkey: Listening to the Lead Rope

To get your mule to move forward or backward you need to master halter training. Once the mule or donkey respects the halter, your lead rope will do all the communication you need.

In this video you’ll watch a new mule owner going through halter training and you’ll see how your animal can start having respect for that halter.

Steve Edwards: Use that three foot of rope, you all. Use that three foot of rope. That’s your leverage. Don’t try to use your body. Use your leverage.

That was your body. That wasn’t the rope. Yes. Oh, better that time. Lookie there. Look there. See how your rope did it, John?

John: Yeah.

Steve Edwards: Your rope did it. Not your weight. Your rope did it. Use the rope. Oh, yes. Yes. Use the rope. Make the come-along work. Don’t make your body work. Not your sounds. It’s your rope. That was beautiful, and that was back feet. That was the toughest one to do.

Use the rope. Not your body. Use the rope. What happened to your rope?

John: I lost track.

Steve Edwards: That’s right. All right. That’s okay. We can still do the back feet. Just watch your timing. That was your timing. Give it one more try. This is for your timing. Use that lead rope. Your timing. Yes, yes. Use your lead rope, not your body. You’re using your body. Use your lead rope.

Okay. Now back her off. Go ahead and get up there and use the rope and wiggle her and back her off. Go ahead and back her off. Use your lead rope. Yes. Not your body. Use your lead rope. Better.

Woman: You’re just shaking it to make him stop or back up?

Steve Edwards: Yes, ma’am. You’re just shaking it, and backing up is going to be shaking as well. There you go. Okay, now, just ask her to come forward. Roll your wrist. Roll your wrist, and then shake it.

Woman: Oh, nice.

Steve Edwards: Very good. See, what we tend to do is we tend to use our bodies and do this. Use the lead rope. Use the lead rope. It looks like this. See how I used that? Wiggle the rope. Asking, asking, asking. Wiggle that rope. Use your rope for your leverage. This is your leverage right here. Use that rope for your leverage. When you ask them to come across, use the rope for your leverage. Use the rope for your leverage. Use the rope for your leverage. Use the rope for your leverage. See how I used my rope for my leverage? Use your rope for your leverage. Boom. Use your rope for your leverage. Back her up. Asking, one, two. Telling, one, two. One, two, three, four. Boom. Okay.

Now ask her to come forward. This is your trailer. Ask her to come forward. Ask her to come forward. You see it? Now, all this is is my timing. You can do the same thing. All right? But I want you to use the leverage here. It’s safer. Plus that, you can get more done. So as you’re doing this, you just got to get used to your timing. Okay.

Now, I pick up the other foot. Watch my hand. See how I’m just kind of bumping it? You’re wanting to please, ain’t you, baby? Come on. That a girl. Put your gloves on, Steve.

John: I noticed I do it with my back to her. You’re doing it facing her.

Steve Edwards: Yes. Remember I told you in the very beginning. You’re halter training.

John: Okay.

Steve Edwards: You’re halter training.

John: I need to …

Woman: I have a tendency to do the same thing.

Steve Edwards: Yes. You’re halter training. We’ll do the other part later. Right now, halter training.

John: There you go.

Speaker 3: There you go. Nice. Very nice.

Steve Edwards: Use your lead rope. Use your lead rope. Don’t let her push you around. You see how I’m not going in a circle?

John: Yeah.

Steve Edwards: Okay? I’m not. My feet aren’t going to move. Her feet are going to move. But see, intent … Instead, what happens is we tend to have them move. Timing and use your length of your rope.

Speaker 3: Nice. Nice.

Steve Edwards: See what I’m doing here? Feathering her a little bit. Loose. Feather. See my hand? Now we’re going to back up. This is for your timing. If you want to spend some time working with a mule, do a halter training. This is halter training. You want to see the feet moving. You can’t do it with your back to them.

Speaker 3: Oh, good girl.

Steve Edwards: I’m sorry about them flies, darling. I’ll get them old flies off of you there. I broke my little rule there, patting on the face, but them flies were just driving me nuts.

Speaker 3: I think they’re driving her nuts, too.

Steve Edwards: She starts to come around, bump on her nose. She ain’t going to move my feet. She’s going to move her feet. Timing, timing, timing. That’s all it is. All right? It’s not a problem. It’s going to be the same thing when you get in the saddle, okay? You see, this was an awesome afternoon. Simple little things like this with this come along hitch gives you all kinds of abilities. That’s why right now, we’re being pretty heavy. Tomorrow it’ll be a piece of cake.

See the nose starting to miss a little hair? Okay? Now, come up on the camera a little bit. Okay? It’s okay for them to have a little bit of a rope burn. She caused the rope burn. It happens. It’ll grow back. Even that little bit of blood will go away, okay? You won’t even know it’s there, but they have to respect this halter. It’s not a matter of them crossing over this piece of plywood. It’s a matter of doing it when I pick up on that lead rope. I want them to respect the halter. Yes, we did a lot of this when we were pulling on them, but this is also before John as well. You got to remember. You inherited some baggage here, okay? So it wasn’t a matter that you did it all. Uh huh. This was already back there. Not a problem at all.

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