« About the Breed - Provence Donkeys | Main | More of the Provence Donkey »

January 27, 2009

Which Saddle?

"I want to buy a new saddle for my mule this spring. Which one should I get?"

I have a 2 yr old mule that I want to train to be my riding mount. She is coming along well in her ground work training. I want to start letting a light rider ride on her for short periods of time while I lead her.

I plan to keep this mule for many years to come, and am thinking I want to purchase a new saddle for her this spring. Should I purchase a "mule" saddle or a "horse" saddle? Could a mule saddle be used on my horse too? Or would a horse saddle fit my mule?


A few thoughts to consider....

I would guess that if your mule is only 2 yrs old now, she will probably grow a good bit more (at least width wise, filling out, if not a little more height wise) before she is mature. A saddle that fits her perfect right now, may not fit when she is mature, depending on how and where she grows, and how closely her mature back shape and angles matches what she has now.

You asked about horse saddles verses mule saddles. My experience has been that I do better just ignoring what "kind" of saddle it is, and focus more on how the fit looks and feels when I actually put in on my mount. I've tried a number of saddles on simi-quarter horse trees, and every one of them fit differently. It’s like buying shoes. Just because manufacturer A and manufacturer B both make Women's size 8 shoes doesn't mean that they will all fit the same way! The same applies to saddles.

So my suggestion is, when you are ready to buy, arrange to try them on your mount(s) before committing to the purchase. Some tack stores will let you return the saddle within a certain time if it doesn't fit, as long as it is still in brand new condition. Or sometimes you can take your animals to the tack store and try them on there.

Another thought - if your mule is only just coming 2 years old this spring, you really should wait at least another year or two before starting serious weight carrying with your mule.

Kristie Jorgensen

Have an idea you'd like to see discussed in a future article?
Send an e-mail to us by clicking here and let us know what's on your mind.

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at January 27, 2009 08:43 PM