There are many differences between mules and horses and just putting your saddle you have used for years on the back of your mule will not suffice.If you are attempting to ride your mule in a typical saddle with Quarter Horse bars or semi-quarter horse bars and the mule is showing signs of pain like pinning his ears, swishing his tail, hopping, and or bucking he may be trying to tell you he is in pain.You may want to try a saddle that is built with the shape of a mule in mind rather than a horse.
Differences between a mule and a horse include the following: The scapula or shoulder blade moves in an up and down action like that of a piston in a car engine, while the shoulder of the horse moves in a forward and backward motion.
Mules tend to have pockets of fat that run across the ribs, along the top of the neck, and over the dock of the tail. These fat pockets will cause a saddle to fit a mule much differently than the same saddle would fit a horse.
Horses have an A shaped scapula or shoulder while the mules is more in the shape of a V.
Saddles built for horse tend to have what is referred to as a twist in the bars which causes the saddle to sit incorrectly over the ribs of the mule and also can place undue pressure on the kidneys. Irritations and pressure points can also be noticed by white hairs developing in these pressure point areas. Padding and removing of padding normally tends to only mask or worsen the problem.
Consider giving your mule the comfort of a saddle built with him and his body structure in mind.