Florida Mules .com
From Pat Fish:
A mule's shoulder has more of an up and down movement than a horse's, and your saddle is high forward on the withers which will impede that movement. I have attached a sketch I did to help you see how I do the rigging. Move the pad behind the scapula, measure 3 fingers behind for the saddle. I highly recommend a second cinch, which is the tighter of the two, and where your lower britchen strap now hangs very low and loose it should be more straight to the forward girth. Also the breast collar is high on the neck, could choke your mule out if you are climbing a very steep place.
One of our Mules, "Toby" in training to drive with a cart. He's a percheron/mammoth jack cross, so it has come naturally to him. He's really seeming to enjoy his trips in the woods. but doing great with traffic also.
Because of the shape of the mules back, there is a lot of confusion about fitting a saddle. The typical mule has a relatively low wither, straight backed and is a bit slab sided. There are saddles with dedicated "Mule Bars" in the saddle tree. Generally these have less twist and rocker in them than a horse saddle. One of the problems encountered is one saddle makers "Mule bars" might be like another's "Full Quarter Horse" bars. Also, a young mule will sometimes grow into a different size saddle as he matures. Various saddle pads are available that utilize shims or pads to help with saddle fit as the animal or saddle you use dictates.
Another option we have found to work are "Aussie" Saddles. The construction of the Australian Saddle allows it to be custom fit to your animal using a simple method to provide a "wither tracing". The added benefit is they are very comfortable to ride, and due to the features of the saddle, they are very secure for the rider in case of a sudden move on the mule's part.
For a quality Australian Saddle and a company with excellent customer service contact Colin Dangaard
Call or E-Mail to Speak to us about your New Mule.
Call: Doug Ramey@ (727) 385-4948
Above is a photo of my first attempt saddling up my mule with an Aussie Saddle. Pat Fish, webmaster for Colin Dangaard was kind enough to make a few helpful observations, that I thought I should pass on. Thank you Pat
A few photos of a really nice mule, "Pete". 14-3, 7 year old john, neck reins, works off of leg cues, has worked the cattle pens, been hog hunted off of, packs, and is working on learning to drive. Has a great walk, trot canter, moves out on the trail, front or back. We recently placed Pete with a gentleman in north Florida, congratulations Ron. Nice Mule!