Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Zebras, Donkeys, and Mules (Oh My!)

This post primarily applies to customs (and sometimes resins.)

Mules, donkeys, zebras, and exotics are not horses with longer ears or stripes. If you are looking to add a longear to your show string, it's crucial that your model as the appropriate body type.

A Belgian draft mule

A Belgian draft horse

On average, a mule has a longer, flatter back, narrower hindquarters, larger heads, and thinner muscling. Mule inherit a donkey's muscling, which is flatter than a horses. A donkey or mule isn't weaker than a horse, but they do have much more endurance than a horse because of their unique build.

Before you add a mule, donkey, zebra, or exotic to your show string, try to familiarize yourself with the body type of the model you are buying or creating. A draft mule is built a little differently then a QH mule, a mini mule, or gaited mule. A donkey or zebra is more drastically different.

The difference between a longear/exotic foal and a horse foal is subtler than in an adult, but still crucial. I don't like to see OF horse foals shown as mules because their ears are larger and out of proportion.

For more information on longears and exotics, I recommend joining Braynet Yahoo Group. You could ask for a better collection of experts on this topic. These girls also have a great sense of humor, so don't expect the topics to always stay serious.

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