Breaking Wild Mules

“The average freighter could not afford the time to gentle his animals slowly before introducing them to harness; as a result, the breaking of wild mules was a rough process that sometimes ended in the loss of expensive animals. The unbroken mules were roped, snubbed up close to the wagon wheels, and starved for twenty-four hours. Then a team was hitched to a heavy wagon and whipped when they would not pull and whipped even harder when they ran. After an hour or so of bewilderment, plunging, and kicking they became tractable and were ready for work.”