The Stephens Equestrian Center has welcomed two new additions to the family this semester.
Poco and Sparky are two mules that have recently been donated to the College. Instructor Karen Craighead envisions them being used to help introduce riding to beginners enrolling in the program, as well as those who sign up for the annual summer camps.
“Mules are great for beginning riders who might be intimidated by the size of our horses,” she said. “They’re smaller and more gentle.”
Poco, a molly, and Sparky, a male mule, are used to being ridden and have appeared in parades.
“So I knew they were gentle and would be easy to work with,” Craighead said.
She believes they’re the first mules to ever be a part of the equestrian program at Stephens.
Mules are the offspring of female horses and male donkeys. They were introduced to Missouri in the 1820s and played an important role for farmers. Missouri lawmakers designated the mule the official state animal in 1995.
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