Few would deny that mules are living proof of hybrid vigor—the scientific concept that a cross between two different breeds (or in this case, species) will produce offspring that are smarter, stronger and more resourceful than either parent. George Washington raised mules at Mount Vernon because he thought horses “ate too much, worked too little and died too young.” Whether hitched to a plow or a Conestoga, packing army supplies, gold dust or holy men, mules have proven their ability for centuries to go farther, work harder, and last longer with fewer resources and under worse conditions than their more refined, shorter-eared relatives.

**For the full article, pick up the July 2007 issue of HORSE ILLUSTRATED.**

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