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#EqHist2018: Abbie Harlow on “The Use of Burros and Mules in Defining Race”


Equine History Collective

All month long we will be featuring speaker’s abstracts for the upcoming Equine History Conference: Why Equine History Matters. Register now!

Rather Risk His Life in a Carriage Than Suffer on A Mule’s Back: The Use of Burros and Mules in Defining Race
Abbie Harlow, Arizona State University

       “As draught beasts, beasts of burden, and for field labor, [mules] surpass any other animal in the world; and the use of them allows the noble horse to be applied to his own proper use … and not to field labor or the rude and sordid drudgery to which he is too often degraded.”[1]This 1857 article, “Mules and Mule-Breeding,” argued for the use of mules as draft animals in place of horses, partially because mules were better suited to field work, but also to remove “the noble horse” from labor demeaning to their status. Newspaper articles, breeding handbooks…

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I write. I interview. I blog. I re-blog. MarshTackyTales blog is about the critically endangered SC State Heritage Horse, my other blog is about Chronic Pain & Illness and marking my life journey through the process. I try to get up everyday to write and survive so I can rest my head on my pillow at night, content in what I have done. It doesn't always happen. I am not everyone's "cup of tea". Some need a shot of whiskey to get my writing down, for others it might be a caffeinated beverage to get them out of bed. To each their own. Take what you need and leave the rest.

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