Western Saddle Guide

Western Saddle Guide > Saddle Types > Mule Saddle

Mule Saddle

A mule saddle is designed to fit the conformation of a mule, the offspring of a female horse (a mare) and a male donkey (a jack).

Because the mare can be of any horse breed, there is a lot of physical variety among mules. Some mules have similar enough conformation to a horse to do fine with a traditional western saddle. Many mules, however, carry more characteristics of their donkey dad and need a saddle designed specifically for their unique conformation. In addition to those beautiful ears, mules typically have shorter, flatter backs and rounder barrels with an hourglass shape. A horse saddle will often slide forward on a mule and not provide enough weight bearing surface. For these mules, a mule saddle is necessary.

Typical features of a mule saddle include:

  • A saddle tree with mule bars. Mule bars are shorter and have less rock (curvature) to better follow the straighter line of a mule's back and provide an adequate weight bearing surface.
  • Shorter skirts to match the mule's shorter back
  • Double rigged with the flank cinch fastened as tight as the front cinch to firmly secure the saddle
  • 7/8 rigging position is usually the best match for the round barrel of the mule. A further back position can lead to the cinch sliding forward.
  • Addition of a crupper or breeching to prevent the saddle from slipping forward
  • All cinches cinched snugly to hold the saddle in place.

Mules, always popular as pack animals, are increasing in popularity for riding. When deciding on a saddle, each mule needs to be approached individually to determine the best match.

Check out the high quality custom Mule Saddle available at the HorseSaddleShop and the models available in our eBay Tack Shop.

Mule Saddle MuleSaddle
American Saddlery


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