If your saddle continues to ride forward on your mule even after investing in a proper mule saddle and supporting tack, there is a good chance it has to do with something call a Downhill Hip. This Downhill Hip Saddle Pad works in tandem with your mule saddle (not a horse saddle – learn more) to compensate for this Downhill Hip, keeps the saddle from moving forward, and prevents added pressure on the kidneys by creating support from the rear of the saddle all the way to the front.
The mule’s basic conformation is v-shaped in the shoulders, carries his weight down low, and has an hour-glass belly which means that the saddle will automatically want to go forward – when a mule has a down hill hip, it increases the intensity of that movement almost double when the hip is higher.
The Downhill Hip Saddle Pad lifts the front of the saddle up approximately two inches which will help balance the saddle straight across. Unlike other solutions which create a bridge that places pressure on the front and the rear of the saddle, the Downhill Hip Saddle Pad has enough padding and surface to support the saddle all the way across.
This saddle pad is uniquely different than the Standard Saddle Pad and different than the TRIPLE DUTY Saddle Pad in that it is significantly thicker in the front of the pad – whereas the other two models have a consistent thickness throughout the pad.
Will This Pad Work with My Saddle?
This pad does not replace an ill-fitting saddle, it is designed to work in tandem with a saddle that is built with mule bars, specifically Steve Edwards Signature Series Saddles.
You will still need a rear breaching and you will still need a rear cinch to be tight, but this saddle will help make up for poor conformation and keep your authentic mule saddle from riding up on your mule’s neck.
Does Your Mule Have a Downhill Hip?
The mule’s conformation is extremely important. One of the downsides of breeding to our more modern horses is we end up with a high hip which is above the wither. Looking at it from the side, look at the wither and look at the hip. When the hip is higher than the wither it is called a down hill hip.
What happens with the saddle, because of the conformation not the saddle, the saddle wants to slide forward. If you only prop up the front 4 inches of the saddle you end up creating a bridge creating a front of the saddle to the front of the saddle. At this point, the back of the saddle will begin to create problems with the kidneys. This extra pressure on the kidney can lead to asciteria. When you see the urine becoming darker thats a sure sign of kidney issues.
Should I Have a Custom Saddle Made for My Mule with A Downhill Hip?
It’s not uncommon for owners to consider having a custom saddle tree created to fit their specific mule to accommodate a downhill hip – after all, a good owner doesn’t want to cause their mule pain, a good owner wants to alleviate all unnecessary pain and discomfort.
There are two major considerations (and downsides) beyond cost to creating a custom saddle to fit a downhill hip mule. First, any saddle created to fit would be a very ugly saddle because the tree would have to be 2 to 2 1/2 inches thick in the front to compensate for the downhill hip. Second, like any custom saddle, when that mule is no longer around, your saddle becomes useless to fit any other mule.
The benefit of the Downhill Hip Saddle Pad is it works in tandem with any Steve Edwards Signature Series Saddle and will help with your mule’s conformation. When you go to ride your mule with a downhill hip, use the Downhill Hip Saddle Pad. When you go to ride any other mule with proper conformation, use the same Steve Edwards Saddle and swap out the Downhill Hip Saddle Pad with a standard saddle pad – saving you money, the need for additional saddles, and most importantly, saving your mule from pain and discomfort.
Saddle Pad Warranty
Every Queen Valley Mule Ranch Saddle Pad comes with a 12 month warranty from the date of purchase.
I purchased this pad for my mule who’s hip is higher than her front the saddle was always going forward after using this pad the saddle was straight it did no longer go forward I love it. It is good quality as is all of Steve’s products. I have his saddle, britchen and brest collar too.
Gloria (verified owner) –
This pad was purchased for my husband’s mule who has a hip that is higher than her front end. Noticed a difference on the first ride, the saddle stayed put. It did not move forward. Pleased with the purchase.
William Hodge –
bought the aloe for my wifes mule great pad fits great
Richard (verified owner) –
We bought this pad after Steve saw pictures of our mule and suggested we buy one. This pad compliments our Trail Lite saddle well, and our mule seems to be comfortable with his saddle now. You have to really make sure your saddle sits centered on this pad because there is not much excess padding in front or in back of the saddle once you put it on. We have noticed a huge decrease in slipping with this pad.
Neil Campbell (verified owner) –
The pad fits perfectly. It levels my saddle out so I set true in the saddle.
Daniel Harper (verified owner) –
I noticed an immediate comfort level increase with my mule the first time out with this pad. Not only was my saddle not crowding her shoulders anymore, but leveling the saddle just that little bit, keeps me sitting in the saddle where I’m supposed to be.
Debbie Watts (verified owner) –
This is my second mule pad. Two years out and I still love my first one. This one does seem to fit a bit better and keep the saddle in place.
This saddle pad made so much difference in riding my large standard donkey. I feel more balanced and i can tell he thinks I’m ore balanced too! Absolutely a must have
Holly Spletzer (verified owner) –
Love the pad. Our mule’s behavior and responsiveness has improved so much, I believe the pad has provided her with so much relief.
Holly Spletzer (verified owner) –
Love the pad! It has helped me and my husband feel more balanced and our mule moves smoother. Quality made
Walter (verified owner) –
Top quality item I really like this pad works like they said it would work great on my meal thank you ever so much Steve
Karan Godwin Corey (verified owner) –
My molly is built downhill. My husband thought it was stupid to spend the money on this pad when I already have one of Steve’s reinsman.pads from years ago but I went ahead and bought the pad because Jackie’s saddle is constantly slipping down on to her withers even with the breast collar and britchen. The pad works beautifully – the saddle doesn’t slip anymore. It sits exactly where I place it and cinch her. I think it’s well worth the money paid since my mule is very comfortable and happy and happy mules don’t buck, bite or kick.
Jolanda Poland (verified owner) –
Great pad mule happy me happy
Leah (verified owner) –
I love this pad – it’s a great size for my 13.2hh mule (most standard western pads are too long and rub her hip), but it would easily fit a bigger mule, too. The sticky/tacky backing and the padding in the front help keep my saddle in place really well.
Angela Krause (verified owner) –
Wished I would have bought this one first.
Leah Steffens (verified owner) –
After talking with Steve and sending him pictures of my awkward bodied 13 hand molly mule, he recommended this pad. It has completely changed the game for her and her training. She can now gain her balance and feel comfortable under saddle.
Happymule (verified owner) –