“The only mules emigrants could buy seemed to be unbroken ones. McIlhany says it took him a month to ‘get acquainted’ with mules purchased at St. Joe . . .
Those attempting to ride these animals found them incorrigible. ‘Many valiant riders,’ writes R.C. Shaw, ‘found themselves in very undignified positions.’ Vincent Geiger speaks of one man being thrown ‘Hell, west, & Crooked.’ Some of the beasts were never thoroughly subdued until they became food for coyotes.”