Michigan 9 year old mule ridden in snaffle bit with western saddle and / crouper in ring/ pen by experienced rider

Question: We have TWH but my daughter wanted a mule. so we found a very nice mule. He does very well on the trails EXCEPT at a canter. The rest of us will be gaiting and the mule will trot. when he breaks into a canter he will go to bucking. 
I thought maybe it was from the crouper on his tail. Yanking as he canters. But if you take of the crouper the saddle will endup on his shoulders. This mule is not mean has good ground manners and is very loving. he is not a stupid animal either. Maybe he just does'nt want to work I do not know.

From Panelist Laura
Are there any little hairs caught under your mule's crouper?  Sometimes just 
a couple of hairs get caught under there and can cause bucking problems.  
Also, some horses and I guess this could apply to mules, just don't enjoy 
cantering with weight on their back and will buck.  It might be due to back 
problems or just due to the fact that they don't like doing it.  You might 
have a vet check your mule out and also have an adult work with the mule in a 
round pen for a while to check for problems.  Another thing to look for is 
the child's riding position when the mule goes into the canter.  Is the rider 
sitting up straight and relaxed (heels down) or is she hunched forward, 
gripping with her knees?  Is the mule getting jigged with a spur every step?  
If you check out everything and there seems to nothing wrong, and the mule 
still bucks, don't ride the mule in a canter.  Work on your extended trot. 
Back to main page
Ask a Trainer