Mule Saddle Terminology and Getting the Right Size

Steve Edwards: But I’m going down the trail. I’m going down a steep canyon. I’m gonna hold onto the back of this, and hold myself into place as I’m going down a really steep mountain. That helps me tremendously.

Steve Edwards: Hey mule riders and donkey riders. This is Steve Edwards, Queen Valley Mule Ranch. Got some things to share with you, just the basic terminology of cowboy world. There’s a lot of things that folks don’t understand about saddles, and what the purpose of it is. These are western type saddles with a pommel and a cantle. This is a 13.5 inch pommel, and when you climb in a saddle, notice I don’t have my feet in the stirrups. That’s the first mistake that people usually make. They put their feet in the stirrups to see how the saddle fits.

The way I like to see it done is you sit in the saddle natural, like you’re sitting in a chair, and let your legs hang natural. And when you’re doing this, right here between the pommel and your thigh, you wanna see approximately two fingers right in through here. By having the two fingers, that’s roughly gonna be about two inches. And then when you put your feet in the stirrups, like this, that’s gonna kick you back almost three fingers. You can see how my feet are, and how they are in the stirrups, how they would be in the stirrups, and the stirrups really kick you back.

So basic adjustment on your western saddle is sitting naturally, two fingers between your thigh and the pommel. This is the pommel, and this is the cantle. Now, back here in the cantle, I have what’s called a Cheyenne roll, right in through here. And this Cheyenne roll is not only for looks, but I’m going down the trail. I’m going down a steep canyon. I’m gonna hold onto the back of this, and hold myself into place as I’m going down a really steep mountain. That helps me tremendously. And the big thing you wanna think about when you are going down a mountain, heels down, toes up, hold onto the pommel, work your mule so that you go down the hill safely. But this Cheyenne roll back here will help you tremendously with keeping your balance as well.

Anytime you’re riding, you always wanna think about heels down, toes up. By having heels down, toes up, that’s gonna keep you back in the saddle, rather than forward in the saddle. If you ride on the balls of your toes, that’s gonna kick you forward, and you got the perfect way to be able to go forward.

If I can help you with any questions folks on anything else on a saddle, I’d be happy to answer you. Call me, email me. My phone number’s 602-999-6853. Email, steve@muleranch, M-U-L-E-R-A-N-C-H dot com. Give me a holler mule and donkey people. I wanna help.