Family Tree

Olivia   December 2, 2016   23 Comments on Family Tree

I’m not terribly interested in breeding. In fact, I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to horse breeding. I don’t know the important lines for any breed. Of course, I don’t really have a favorite breed. I have enjoyed seeing everyone else’s posts about where their horses came from so I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon.

Nilla is out of Kiss The Doctor, a solid colored registered Paint mare (so essentially a QH). Kiss the Doctor was incredibly in-bred. As in not far back. As in her grandmother is the same on both sides. I do not know why anyone bred her sire and dam together; they had the same mother!

Kiss The Doctor

Kiss the Doctor is not an attractive horse. The color is certainly pretty, but she’s terribly downhill, has tiny little peg legs, a long and saggy back and a disproportionately tiny head.

Kiss the Doctor (paint horse)

Donkeys are downhill so a lot of mules end up downhill, but it doesn’t help if you start with a mare like this. Of course, being downhill has it’s advantages if you want to do cow work. I’d bet that mare never did cow work though. She doesn’t look like she could step foot out of the halter ring.


Enough bashing of the mare though. Let’s talk about Nilla’s sire Action Jackson. UC Davis has a pretty well respected mule breeding program and Action Jackson has been their main sire for years now. His progeny have won many championships at Bishop mule days as well as succeeded in the race mule world.


Windes Savannah PC UC Davis

He has also sired endurance mules like UCD Actions Shenanigan who completed Tevis this year.

While Action Jackson isn’t the most popular sire of dressage and sport mules, he certainly has some great progeny, which is really how I’d judge a sire. Put him with a good mare and he makes some nice babies. And even with a bad mare, Nilla came out pretty good. Plus, he’s a roan which is where Nilla gets her unique palomino roan coloring.

#throwbackthursday to when Nilla was an adorable baby mule #mulesofinstagram

A photo posted by Olivia @ DIY Horse Ownership (@diyhorseownership) on

Who wouldn’t want to own this little fluff-ball?

23 thoughts on “Family Tree

  1. Leah

    I had no idea there were race mules! I love reading your blog, I’ve learned so much about mules in the last 6 months 🙂

      1. Diana

        For years I rIsed racing mules and sold them at the Ruidoso sale at the end of the regular season. Off subject t: I saw elsewhere that you set up embroidery pattern for your dh’s Sade pad. Did you ever find an International Alpha Angle embroidery font? Wsnt to do some stuff for my daughter.

  2. Carly

    This is really interesting! Um, but also can you start doing Nilla’s ears like that with the little fluff ball?

    1. Olivia Post author

      I do think that’s cute, but Nilla actually hates having her ears shaved. Plus she’s a nightmare about bugs touching her ears even with all her fluff, so I leave them alone.

  3. sarahczspots

    Yessss, baby mule pictures! I know I don’t have the patience to own a mule, but Paige would produce an interesting mule baby…though likely intolerable slow. My mini donkeys are so stubborn I’m not sure I could handle anything with those inclinations in a larger size. 😉 I see a lot of Nilla in both of her parents.

  4. Kara Thomson

    Your posts on the Grand Canyon were amazing!! Love this post, like you, I have no interest in breeding but would love to know more about my horses history. U C Davis every other year hosts a donkey conference, I went last year and I think they did a demo with Action Jackson. It was really fun, plus I love donkey’s!

  5. Stacie Seidman

    Where do they race mules?! This is the most exciting thing I’ve learned all year!
    Also, my apologies but I laughed out loud when you were describing Nilla’s mom. Poor thing really is in bred… But hey, Nilla is awesome so it worked out at least!

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