Donkeys, mules and horses across America have actually a lot to celebrate every President's Day; George Washington is believed to have been the very first American to each other mules for American agriculture. (Jo Naylor photo)




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"I have actually a possibility of introducing right into this country a an extremely excellent race of animals also, by way of the liberality of the King the Spain. One of the Jacks i m sorry he to be pleased to current to me (the other perished at sea) is about 15 hands high, his body and also Limbs very big in proportion come his height; and also the Mules which ns have had from him appear to be extremely well formed for Service. Ns have an in similar way a Jack and two Jennets indigenous Malta, that a very good size, i m sorry the Marquis de la Fayette sent to me. The Spanish Jack appears calculated come breed for heavy, slow draught; and the other for the Saddle or lighter carriages.


"From these, altogether, ns hope to secure a race of extraordinary goodness, which will certainly stock the Country. Your longevity and cheap keeping will it is in circumstances much in your favor. Ns am convinced, from the small experiments I have actually made with ordinary Mules, (which carry out as much labor, through vastly much less feeding than horses) that those the a superior high quality will be of the finest cattle we have the right to employ for the harness.


"And indeed, in a couple of years, ns intend to journey no various other in my carriage: having actually appropriated for the sole purpose of reproduction them, upwards of 20 the my ideal Mares".


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George Washington knew what he was doing. He understood that farming in America was different from farming in England, and that the timeless ox and horse in the field might advantage from a 3rd alternative resource of farming power: the purpose-bred mule. The rocky hillsides and sometimes sparse availability of an excellent grazing and feed do the mule a useful alternative; include in its occupational ethic and surefootedness and it's simple to check out why mules room still famous today.


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I'm sure steed breeders will cringe as soon as they check out that Washington bred his finest mares to his mammoth jack, yet the an initial tenet of breeding is to each other the ideal to the best, isn't it?


By 1799, there to be 57 mules at mountain Vernon, Washington's farm estate in Virginia, follow to the mountain Vernon website. And also they're tho there, many thanks to mount Vernon's sincere effort to portray an accurate image that Washington's method of farming.


Happy President's Day--now, walk hug your favorite mule!

To discover more:

Equine Welfare by George: was the father of our Country additionally the dad of Responsible steed Ownership?

Book Review: The equine in Virginia: An shown History by Julie A. Campbell

Read more about George Washington, the farmer, in ~ the?Mount Vernon net site; to learn about mules in the organization of the U.S. Military, a great source is Shavetails and Bell Sharps: The history of the U.S. Military Mule by Emmett M. Essin


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Equine Welfare through George: to be the dad of ours Country also the father of Responsible horse Ownership?