Generally when you’re purchasing a new mount it’s wise to start with the foundation and characteristics of the animal. The outside beauty of a horse isn’t going to get you through rocky trails or over that upcoming double oxer.
Whether you are an eventer or someone who just rides in the backyard, there are generally specific ideal characteristics you would like your horse to have. For one, conformation is important. You want to choose an equine that is able to physically keep up with your riding demands. Proper conformation and body type go hand in hand. If you’re only 5ft tall a giant 18h draft cross may not be the best choice, even if it is beautifully built. With the wide range of horse breeds and crosses available, it isn’t difficult to find one that is suitable for your riding needs and your own body type.
Secondly, most people want a mount that is emotionally a good match. Though we all have our personal preferences, majority of folks can agree that a horse with a pleasant, willing attitude is a must. One that is amicable, quick to learn, and generally enjoys humans can make all the difference. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that one horse that just lacks personality and seems to not enjoy working with us. Even if the horse is wonderfully trained, it does take away from an overall fun ride.
Lastly, many riders want something that is pretty to look at. This ties back in with body type as listed above. If you can find a horse that is sane, easily trained, calm, and loves people, then a beautiful coat color or build is just icing on the cake.
Now, imagine a mount with:
- hybrid vigor
- incredible common sense
- extreme surefootedness
- general pleasant temperament
- innate love for people
- competitive jumping ability
- high intelligence
- multitude of different body types and coat colors
Sounds pretty good, huh? As you can tell by the title of this blog post, I'm talking about mules! Mules have long been dismissed as awkward (even ugly!), stubborn, and even aggressive animals that were for farm work rather than riding. Much has changed since that time. Saddle mules are coming back into the spotlight as equal, if not superior, to their horse relatives.
I personally have quite a bit of knowledge of mules and love to shed light on how amazing they are to people who may not be aware. I also have published an article in Trail Blazer Magazine about saddles mules and their advantages over horses.
If you're interested in hearing more about these sweet long-ears, vote this post up and leave a comment!