Author Topic: breeching  (Read 268 times)

Spade Creek

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breeching
« on: April 19, 2017, 06:48:02 PM »
I just bought my first mule.  He is a 7 year old that rides and packs.  He has a very nice set of withers, almost like a horse.  I asked the man I bought him from if he rode him with a crupper or a breeching, is said nether. I assumed all mules needed one or the other.  Also, I have been ridding a McCall saddle ( rancher) will this work.  I have made some short rides with no problems. What are the thoughts on this.  Thanks

Linkback: http://www.royaltine.com/forum/horse-mule-packers-forum/23/breeching/2822/



saddlesore

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Re: breeching
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 07:59:42 AM »
 It all depends on the terrain you are riding in.

The big fashion now days is to ride with a tight flank cinch, placed back behind the swell of the belly along with a cinch hobble to the center of the main cinch. If you have a short coupled john mule and that flank cinch gets too close to the sheath ,things can get western real quick.The other thing is that if the mule has kind of a hay belly and you take him out to a days work in rough country,that hay belly gets worked off quick and that tight flank cinch you was depending on is now too loose to do any good.Yea,you can always get off and take it up some more,but what if you don't notice it.

The crupper vs the britching is an age old discussion.It is more a personal preference.However I think the crupper puts too much pressure on the base of the tail when going down steep grades and there is more of a chance of soring up a mule by not having it adjusted properly.

I believe the britching provides a more stable saddle and one can ride with a bit looser cinch and get more miles out the mule.

One only has to have their saddle ride up on a mules neck and the rider goes over the mule's head or have the bars impinge on the scapula to learn a  little bit of precaution goes along ways.Don't depend on someone saying you don't need a particular piece of tack on a mule. It all has a function and has to be adjusted properly

Here is a website that gives a lot of info on saddle fit, tack ,etc for mules.When the page opens up,select the" Helpful Articles " in the green bar across the top

http://www.albertadonkeyandmule.com/

As for the saddle fit,some mules require a mule barred saddle ,some don't. Not all mule barred saddles will fit all mules. The mule's back is straighter from front to back than a horse and horse barred saddles usually have to much rock on them to fit well. The saddle needs to sit back 3-4 " further than where it sits on a horse,and the cinch must be about hands width in back of the armpit,or you will  get cinch galls.A saddle set too far forward will cause the bars to rub the top of the scapula as the mule walks because the mule's shoulder movement is different than a horse . Short rides won't tell you anything,

Spade Creek

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Re: breeching
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2017, 07:32:00 AM »
Thanks saddlesore.  I am new to mules, so i am learning about them slowly.  I have been riding this mule and he is somewhat green.  He can plow rein and back up but he can't neck rein and does not really seem to be paying attention to me. Don't get me wrong he is quite and calm but just seems to walk where he wants to go and will walk thru my snaffle bit. Should i be in another bit?  I have started a dozen or so colts in the last 30 years, so i can put an ok handle on a horse.  I have a calm hand and an easy style, so should I use the same techniques as a horse.  Are there some good reads on training mules to ride.  Thanks in advance.

saddlesore

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Re: breeching
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2017, 10:01:04 AM »
It takes a while for a mule to settle in with a new owner. That can be anywhere from a few weeks to over a year.It depends on what type of treatment that mule had  by the previous owner and what it receives from the new owner. A good analogy is "have you ever borrowed someone else's dog and had it listen to you." Same type of thing.

He doesn't respect or trust you.Until that happens , he can go along in his ways.When that clicks,you will find you have  a whole nother mule on your hands.

I don't think changing the bit is the answer. You might try working him in a bosal. Mules  think a lot more of their nose than their mouth.

You should be using the same techniques as a horse,but take it slow.Just to gain the mule's confidence,I would start back at square one like it didn't know anything.  A lot of sitting on him and  flexing the neck/head both ways ,back around to you softly.. Maybe the mule has not ever been started neck reining. You nee do find out what it knows and maybe what steps were short-cutted in his training.

Maybe a clinic would help you. A lot of them now deals with mulemanship. Communicating with the mule, .How they think and react. It is more about teaching the human instead of the mule.

Paul Garrison III down in Medina TX, Ty Evans  in Utah travel all over the US . Merideth Hodges ( luckythreeranch.com) has some good videos . I think videos would help more than reads.Western Mule is a good magazine to pick up a lot of tips. The Natural Superiority of Mules is  a good book.More of general knowledge than training

I'd not put much faith in Max Bishop in Arkansas, Joe Bice in NM,Virgil Gist in TX.

There is group on FB  " The mule"  run by Clay Austin inIowa that helps a lot.

Spade Creek

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Re: breeching
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2017, 12:15:05 PM »
Thanks again Saddlesore.  I will take your advice, I can tell your a man who speaks from experience.  If you ever find yourself needing some hay I am still selling some.  I live ten miles southeast of Castle Rock and would sure like to visit with someone of your knowledge of mules and the like.

saddlesore

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Re: breeching
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2017, 02:56:40 PM »
Hey, you are real close to me. I am about 12 miles east of Monument. Would you be along HWY 83?  I use to ride in the area that is now Castlewood  Canyon par. I'd like to get together sometime.

Yea,I will need some hay this year. I  usually feed 3 x3's ,but I am going to have a shoulder replacement next spring,so I need about 50 small bales of grass so I can handle them one handed and then about 6-8  big 3x3x 8 bales , I can't do the4x4's or round bales.

Since everything seems to be wearing out on me,I cut the number of mules down I had. One is over by Grand Junction, another is up at Meeker on a pack string. I ha d to go to smaller mules so I could still throw  a pack on and my saddle. pack mule is 13 hds and my saddle mule is 13-2.

My hunting buddy had to quit riding and he has a big walker mule about 16 hds and another smaller one about 14 or14-2. He has been going back and forth about selling them. I have used both  at times.

I think Tom Mowery is going to have a clinic up around Kiowa soon. I have known Tom for more than 30 years. He again teaches communication rather than training the mule. May 6th.  His clinics are advertised on FB. Usually in the group Rocky Mountain Mule Enthusiasts.

PM me and I wlll send my email address.

saddlesore

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Re: breeching
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 03:11:43 PM »
Here is a good read about new mules and new owners


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