Pack Mules 101 | TheFencePost.com

Pack Mules 101

Gayle Smith
Potter, Neb.

Photos by Gayle SmithGlenn Ryan with the U.S. Forest Service demonstrates how to put gear on a pack mule.

As three mules patiently wait for gear to be packed on them, they glance occasionally at their handler to see if he has any treats for them. As they are curried and brushed and readied for a trip through the wilderness, they are slipped a treat when they do something good. “Mules are different than horses,” said their handler, Glenn Ryan. “If you lose the trust of a mule, you have a 90-95 percent chance of not getting it back.”

Ryan has been the lead packer with the Rocky Mountain Regional Specialty Pack String since 2004. During that time, he has used his horsemanship skills to train mules and horses for trips down the rugged trails through forests and mountains, performing tasks in rugged areas that can’t be reached through any other means of transportation.

During the Big Wyoming Horse Expo, Ryan taught a session on how to train a mule to be a pack animal. His message to the audience was to realize a mule is different than a horse, and “you always need to be thinking about what you’re doing,” he said.

To demonstrate, Ryan showed the group how to properly open a gate so the mule doesn’t try to go behind it. “You always want to open a gate away from you when working with a mule,” he explained. You want to gain the trust of a mule, and to do that, you can’t ever get it hurt or scared,” he explained.

As three mules patiently wait for gear to be packed on them, they glance occasionally at their handler to see if he has any treats for them. As they are curried and brushed and readied for a trip through the wilderness, they are slipped a treat when they do something good. “Mules are different than horses,” said their handler, Glenn Ryan. “If you lose the trust of a mule, you have a 90-95 percent chance of not getting it back.”

Ryan has been the lead packer with the Rocky Mountain Regional Specialty Pack String since 2004. During that time, he has used his horsemanship skills to train mules and horses for trips down the rugged trails through forests and mountains, performing tasks in rugged areas that can’t be reached through any other means of transportation.

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During the Big Wyoming Horse Expo, Ryan taught a session on how to train a mule to be a pack animal. His message to the audience was to realize a mule is different than a horse, and “you always need to be thinking about what you’re doing,” he said.

To demonstrate, Ryan showed the group how to properly open a gate so the mule doesn’t try to go behind it. “You always want to open a gate away from you when working with a mule,” he explained. You want to gain the trust of a mule, and to do that, you can’t ever get it hurt or scared,” he explained.

As three mules patiently wait for gear to be packed on them, they glance occasionally at their handler to see if he has any treats for them. As they are curried and brushed and readied for a trip through the wilderness, they are slipped a treat when they do something good. “Mules are different than horses,” said their handler, Glenn Ryan. “If you lose the trust of a mule, you have a 90-95 percent chance of not getting it back.”

Ryan has been the lead packer with the Rocky Mountain Regional Specialty Pack String since 2004. During that time, he has used his horsemanship skills to train mules and horses for trips down the rugged trails through forests and mountains, performing tasks in rugged areas that can’t be reached through any other means of transportation.

During the Big Wyoming Horse Expo, Ryan taught a session on how to train a mule to be a pack animal. His message to the audience was to realize a mule is different than a horse, and “you always need to be thinking about what you’re doing,” he said.

To demonstrate, Ryan showed the group how to properly open a gate so the mule doesn’t try to go behind it. “You always want to open a gate away from you when working with a mule,” he explained. You want to gain the trust of a mule, and to do that, you can’t ever get it hurt or scared,” he explained.

As three mules patiently wait for gear to be packed on them, they glance occasionally at their handler to see if he has any treats for them. As they are curried and brushed and readied for a trip through the wilderness, they are slipped a treat when they do something good. “Mules are different than horses,” said their handler, Glenn Ryan. “If you lose the trust of a mule, you have a 90-95 percent chance of not getting it back.”

Ryan has been the lead packer with the Rocky Mountain Regional Specialty Pack String since 2004. During that time, he has used his horsemanship skills to train mules and horses for trips down the rugged trails through forests and mountains, performing tasks in rugged areas that can’t be reached through any other means of transportation.

During the Big Wyoming Horse Expo, Ryan taught a session on how to train a mule to be a pack animal. His message to the audience was to realize a mule is different than a horse, and “you always need to be thinking about what you’re doing,” he said.

To demonstrate, Ryan showed the group how to properly open a gate so the mule doesn’t try to go behind it. “You always want to open a gate away from you when working with a mule,” he explained. You want to gain the trust of a mule, and to do that, you can’t ever get it hurt or scared,” he explained.