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Monday, May 20 2019

   While Rising K Ranch has nothing but horses, you will find that if you head out to ride in either Zion or Bryce Canyon National Park, there are just as many mules as there are horses. In fact, if you go ride at Grand Canyon National Park you will find only mules and little to no horses.

             So, what is the difference between a Horse and a Mule?


      One difference is in their looks and body build. Mules have longer shaped heads, extremely long ears, a large muzzle, shorter backs with almost no whithers, a very short mane (often the mane will be roached) and narrower hooves. It seems the first thing most children will notice first off is the incredibly long ears a mule has in comparison to a horse.

   The narrow hooves of a mule are perfectly suited for travelling on steep, narrow trails such as those in Grand Canyon National Park. Since a mule's eyes have a wider field of vision, they can see exactly where each of these narrow hooves will fall and they usually place their hind feet in the exact footprint of their front feet as they walk. This can be mighty important in steep, rocky country full of cliffs where one mistake can mean certain death for both the mule as well as the rider (as well as whomever they might land on.)

   The short, sturdy backs allow an average mule to carry more weight over a longer period of time than the average horse. The short, round back can also necessitate more tack than most horses require. You can just about compare a mule's back to a 50 gallon barrel- the saddle can very easily shift around. Because they have very little whithers to hold the saddle in place, a mule very likely will require a breast collar as well as brichin' to keep the saddle from either sliding back towards the hip when going uphill or forward over the neck when going downhill. 

   A mule often requires less feed in order to stay healthy and also can thrive on a lower quality of feed, which is especially handy when travelling for weeks or months at a time in rough country.     

   If you would like to learn more about mules, one of the top mule men in the entire United States (and that means in the entire world) lives only a couple hours north of Rising K Ranch. His name is Ty Evans and he travels the entire country, as well as Canada and Australia teaching mulemanship clinics. You may find out more about Ty Evan's programs here:


Posted by: Klay Klemic AT 08:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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    Rising K Ranch is a Horseback Trail Ride and Riding School in Utah, located perfectly between Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

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