Happy Hinnies!

19

This story comes from our friend, Luzma Osorio, of Criadero Villa Luz in Colombia. You may remember her previous posts about the mule mother on their ranch!

A Paso Fino Hinny

Very little has been written about Hinnies–most of the time it is unfavourable comments and myths due to lack of knowledge about them. Until now, very few people have bred Hinnies because of speculation about their size and behavior; they are said to be very small and difficult. Typically a breeder or a farmer may only have one Hinny and several mules; consequently his opinion is based on limited experience.

A Hinny is a domestic equine hybrid that is the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey. It is similar to the more common mule, which is the product of a female horse and a male donkey.

Most of the times Hinnies are the result of an accident, which is why they are less common than mules and there is a lack of information about them.

Moms-to-be

At our Stud Farm, Villa Luz, in Colombia, South America, we have been breeding mules and donkeys for more than fifteen years. There has been a big demand for our Paso Fino male donkeys (Jacks) to produce gaited mules through the years. But we were left with many female donkeys (Jennies), and nobody would buy them to produce mules even though they have the same good genetics and Paso Fino gait of their brothers. So we thought, let’s breed Hinnies–and the project began! This was twenty months ago.

 

Romero, the proud father

First we selected twelve of our beautiful female donkeys (Jennies), 13 hands height average, with good womb and physical conformation. Then we needed a horse, so we bought a three and a half year old Paso Fino stallion and called him Romero. He is 14 hands. But it wasn’t easy; he didn’t like the Jennies to start with. This is normal, as horses prefer mares and donkeys prefer Jennies. But with much patience and after three hours waiting, Romero finally went for his first Jenny. Now he loves his harem of twelve, four of which have given birth to beautiful Hinnies and six are pregnant! So we expect to have at least ten Hinnies at the end of this year.

Hinnies are thought to be smaller because female donkeys are, for the most part, smaller than mares, but like mules, Hinnies come in many size–it depends on the size of their dam and also the sire.
Female donkeys range from miniatures to Mammoth Jennies that may be over 15 hands at the withers. At Villa Luz farm the Jennies are 13 hands average and the horse stallion is 14 hands so we are expecting the Hinnies to grow around 14 hands in height.

There are now four baby hinnies.

We now have four Hinnies, two females and two males: Romance, Romancera, Ronaldo and Rosarito. They are seven, six, five and four months old respectively. Their mothers had good deliveries without any problems.

The pregnancy time differed a little; Romance was born after 12 months, Romancera after 12 months 21 days, Ronaldo after 11 months 19 days and Rosarito after 12 months and 23 days. The pregnancies of Jennies are normally longer than mares.

We do the imprinting process as soon as they are born; it allows us to mould their personality and make them friendly and well-trained adult Hinnies!

The babies are born with Paso Fino gait

It is said that Hinnies often have shorter ears, although they are still longer than those of horses, and more horse-like manes and tails than mules. Well, our Hinnies certainly have the ear shape of their sire–they are beautifully pointed at the top just like his, but bigger. Up until now the behavior and characteristics of our Hinnies don’t differ much from the mules, they are lovely animals. It is our goal to study Hinnies and help to understand them better.

The good news is, the Paso Fino gait has passed to the Hinnies! This gait is natural and we have seen it in our baby Hinnies shortly after birth! Paso Fino is a lateral gait, four beat footfall, which provides a constant, rhythmic cadence. The rider should not experience any bumping or jolting. They say you can carry a tray with a glass of champagne on a Paso Fino equine as they are so smooth!!

We don’t know if they got the Paso Fino gait from the sire or the dam because both have it, but we certainly will have Paso Fino Hinnies! Very smooth, intelligent and well behaved!

Happy baby with mama

 

  1. Pam11-25-2015

    Do you have any trained and ready to sell

    • Emily12-01-2015

      Hi Pam—We don’t sell any mules or hinnies from Lucky Three, but you can check out our Classifieds page, where our readers list equines they may have for sale.

  2. Arianne01-07-2016

    Hi Lucky Three Ranch,
    Thank you for presenting this great story.
    I was always liked mules, but I am loving hinnies and how it is possible to break stereotypes about those animals.
    It gives me some inspiration to write a comic about it.

  3. Gerri11-02-2016

    Thank you for the article. we have 4 miniature jennets and are considering breeding to a miniature stallion. any thoughts?

    • Meredith11-03-2016

      Thank you very much for your question. Breeding is a complicated management and training issue. It requires that your place be set up for breeding since it is not advisable to pasture breed equines. Too many animals and sometimes even people can get hurt in that process. That is why we train jacks and stallions to breed in hand. You need to have a jack around to even tell when the jennets are in heat and receptive to breeding, so it isn’t just a matter of finding a stallion. Unless you are really familiar with desirable conformation evaluation, you should refrain from breeding any animals that could pass on serious defects that are not always readily visible. Breeding can be a costly business and does not yield a reasonable profit margin. With the excess of equines that we have today because people cannot afford to maintain them, I would advise against breeding your jennets.

  4. Travis Zimmerman01-15-2017

    I would like to breed my Jenny to a horse to get a hinnybut I don’t want to risk harming my donkey would she be able to handle that she is an 8 yr old Sicilian mini cross very gentle and affectionate if you could give me your opinion that would be great thank you

    • Meredith01-16-2017

      If you are not a professional breeder, you should not attempt breeding donkeys, and especially miniatures. Here are too many animals that are being breed with no regard to conformation and faults that affect their lives and are therefore, going to slaughter. Hinnies are an especially serious breeding issue because so often the stallion is larger than the jennet and can produce a foal that is too large for the jennet to deliver safely.

  5. Stacie Yelton08-13-2018

    I recently got a beautiful hinny. He is a year old. I was not able to imprint on him and have had him for four days. He is very shy and is getting closer and closer to allowing me to touch him every day. He was in a herd and is now alone (temporarily). Do you have any suggestions on how to make his transformation easier? Do I follow horse or donkey guidelines as they are both different? I appreciate any input.

    • Meredith08-31-2018

      If you email me at meredith@luckythreeranch.com or give me your email address, I would be happy to send you a lot of detailed information about Longears management and training that you should find very helpful.

  6. Stacie Yelton08-13-2018

    Also, I forgot to mention, he is a miniature hinny.

    • Meredith08-31-2018

      Miniatures definitely can be a challenge, but the same routine applies to them as applies to any equine. I have written a 5-part series of articles titled “Getting Down with Minis” under TRAINING/MULE CROSSING/Specialty Training & Rehab(category) that will give you an overview and we also have a section under TRAINING called “Another Augie & Spuds Adventure” that are short pieces that I did while training my mini donkeys that you should enjoy as well. Please do email me for the detailed information!

  7. Keegan03-24-2019

    Hello, I have been doing a lot of research into breeding for a hinny. Most of what I have found says that if you can get the Jenny to catch to a stud she only has a one in ten chance of carrying to full term. What has your experience been with this? Thanks

  8. Tammie04-20-2019

    I believe I have a Hinnie. He looks very like a pony, pony face, slightly longer ears and pony mane, almost horse like tail although it sits lower on his rump and he has the straight back and upright neck of a donkey. He is fabulous. He was adopted from a local donkey rescue, (he chose us – we had little to do with the decision!) and was a bit opinionated to start with and refused to be caught. But he quickly came around and now I can do anything with him as long as I ask permission and go slowly to start with. I am hoping to train him to pull a cart but am struggling to find a good mule trainer in Michigan. I would hate him to be misinterpreted and mishandled. He is so kind but playful too and I don’t want to lose that in him. Also, thank you for your wise words on breeding. I am always devastated when I see so many beautiful animals at auction or in the kill pens. The saint who runs our local rescue does all that she can and networks with others across the country help as much as possible but the supply seems endless :,-(

    • Meredith04-29-2019

      You might want to check out DVD #3 in our TRAINING MULES AND DONKEYS DVD series on my website in the STORE. It is all about the details of driving training.

  9. Barbara Dixon05-19-2019

    I got a rescue hinny from a rescue place called A place for peanut .i bought her and a filly Arabian who were bonded at the rescue place and I didn’t want to separate them r cause any more stress for either. I had never seen a hinny . I have 6 miniature horses ,and a quarter horse . We have 200 acres which 15 acres is fenced for horses . I’ve always wanted to adopt horse that needed a forever home. Well I got the horse and the hinny also. She’s getting to trust me more daily . She was taken from a kilo pen along with the Arabian . They r both fine ,well fed and lived

  10. John06-04-2019

    I have a 7 yr old hinny that I have had since he was 2-1/2. He is over 16 hands and is great for riding as he is coming into his prime. From my mule and horse experience I would say the biggest difference is the temperament is more donkey. Training has been pretty much the same as other mules just lots of patients etc.

  11. Angie Feingold08-17-2019

    Hi Meredith,
    I adore Hinnies! My Uncle was a rancher and he bred the sweetest, most beautiful Hinnies with an Appaloosa Stud! Most of them bred true and ended up Appaloosa as well. This was over 40 years ago, and in the area there was a demand for both types of Longears.
    From what I know and saw Hinnies are no more stubborn than their mommas can be (everyone talks about how stubborn mules are – then they have had no experience with donkeys). Much of the outcome depends on the patience, knowledge and skill of the breeder (imprinting, halter breaking, lifting of feet, used to brushing, etc)and trainer, as well as the temperament of the parents. Those formative years are so impressionable.
    Some of what is called ‘stubborn’ is simply intelligence and not agreeing with the way things are being done. This includes knowing when things are too dangerous to keep going, as well as the need to figure out was is happening for themselves. Actually, if one has the patience and knowledge they can be more tractable than horses.. (As well as being more surefooted, hard hooved, and more able to live of the land than horses.)
    I quite agree that there is way to much breeding – of all types of equines. One most simply impressed by a visit to any rescue organization or sale. Or just looking online. I believe anyone intending to breed to should be required to visit the slaughter pens and also rescue 1:1 an equine per foal. If you have the facilities to breed you have the facilities to rescue. Sadly this will never be . . .

  12. Angela A Byrd Martin09-27-2020

    I have had both hinnies and mules and they are very nice. I have found hinnies to be Moreland back then even my mules. I am currently breeding a mammoth Jenni to my friesian stallion to get a little taller hinny. We often goto Montana and I have high hopes for the offspring there. You will love your hinnies they are sesame. People who stereotype them are people who probably did not understand them or got one that wasn’t trained properly. Angela.

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