Hinny & Mule Differences: Hinny vs Mule

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Allison Price

Donkeys and horses are often bred together to have the ability to cross their characteristics to make a mule, or a hinny. Although mules and hinnies can be described as a cross between a donkey or horse, there are some differences.

Are Mules and Hinnie Horses?

Although mules and hinnies share a parent that is a horse they are technically not considered horses. Horses, donkeys and mules, as well as hinnies, are all part of the genus Equus.

Donkeys are not horses so mules and hinnies are often bred from donkeys. People often carefully breed hinnies and mules to achieve the right balance of donkey and horse features.

Difference between Mule and Hinny

Their parentage is what makes the difference between a hinny and a mule. Although you might not believe it would, it does in this instance.

A mule is the result of a mare (female horse), and a jack, (male donkey). A hinny is the result of a stallion (male horse), and a jeny (female pony). Although they are sometimes referred to collectively as mules there are some differences.

Why do they breed Mules and Hinnies

Mules can be considered to have hybrid vigor which is a combination of both their parents’ qualities. Mules are stronger than donkeys and horses, and can work longer.

Mules can be used for both riding and work, as they are rarely unable to fall or become disabled. Mules live longer and are more energetic. On the other hand, hinnies don’t have as much hybrid vigor. They are smaller than mules, and they generally have less stamina.

Both mules and hinnies make great mounts for riding. They are intelligent, sturdy and well-trained.

Because of their strength, they make excellent companions for trail riding and working ranches. They can also be shown as hinnies and mules, and make excellent mounts for different riding disciplines.

They can also be gaited if they have a gaited mare as a parent. Due to their unique qualities, both can be great companions.

Hinny vs Mule: Physical Similarities and Differences

Mules and hinnies share many of the same characteristics, and can often look very similar. There are some distinctive features that make them different from one another.

People love both mules and hinnies for their individual personalities and unique characteristics. To get the cross they desire, people will often breed different breeds and types of horses or donkeys.


It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them at first glance. There are some differences that make them different.

Mules have bodies that are more like horses while hinnies have bodies that are more like donkeys. The ears of hinnies are smaller and more horse-like, with similar extremities to horses. Mules have ears that are longer and more horse-like than donkeys.

The size of hinnies is smaller than that of mules and they can be more varied in appearance. You will find a greater variety of colors in their coats. They have longer tails and more round hooves than mules. Because it is more difficult for a jenny from a stallion to become pregnant, hinnies are less common than mules.


Mules are generally larger than hinnies. Donkeys are smaller than hinnies because they resemble their mother’s size.

They can differ in size as they can be bred with different breeds of horses or donkeys. They can be divided into three types: miniature, saddle, or draft. A miniature mule has 12 hands, while a saddle mule can hold 13-16 hands. A draft mule usually holds 17 hands or more.


Mules are intelligent and quick learners. Mules are more bold than horses, but they have a calm disposition.

Mules can be sensitive and stubborn, so it is important to trust them. They are affectionate, loyal, and playful once they feel secure around other people.

The temperament of hinnies is more reserved than that of mules. Because they are often influenced by donkeys, they can be stubborn. They are usually quieter and less likely to be scared. They can be more patient once they have gained trust, but are less adventurous.


Donkeys have 62 chromosomes, while horses have 64. Horses have 63. Their offspring have 63. This makes mules and hinnies almost always sterile.

They are almost always sterile so it is rare for them to reproduce. There have been some cases where mules or hinnies gave birth.

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Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!