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Saddling donkeys for riding

Redbo in a Steve Edwards Trail Rider Light saddle. Note the breast collar goes with the saddle but the britchin' is not Steve's design.

Redbo in a Steve Edwards saddle.

A favorite old rancher once told me: “It’s better to get where you’re going on a slow horse than to go to the hospital on a fast horse.” Frankly, I won’t ride anything with ears that short.

When I first started riding my donkeys it was purely bareback. Back then I didn’t really ride often enough to make buying a saddle worthwhile. Over time, however, I became more interested in my donks as riding animals.

Thus began my great saddle search. First was an old McClellan infantry saddle that I found in the corner of a local saddle shop and had jury-rigged to make it easier and quicker to saddle my animals. In many ways, this was one of the best choices I made. It was light and fit the donkeys well, but it was hard as a rock and not very comfortable for me.

I went through a series of other saddles, all of which I bought, rode for a while, and then sold when I found them to be less than ideal. These included an Australian saddle, a treeless saddle, and a synthetic Western horse saddle.

My most recent saddle has been a Steve Edwards Trail Rider Lite, and this saddle has by far been the best. Steve designed this saddle around mule bars that he also developed. I like the way it fits my animals and also the way it fits me. It’s light at just 18 pounds. The breast collar rigging is unique and does not fall down around the donkey’s chest. I’m sure Steve’s Britchin’ is nice too but I’m still saving my pennies to completely outfit my rig.

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5 Responses to “Saddling donkeys for riding”

  1. Steve Says:

    Give me a holler 6029996853 steve@muleranch.com

  2. tom buchan Says:

    looking for a riding donkey. need help locating one

  3. Robert Jonasson Says:

    It is too bad mammoth donkeys are unavailable in California.If you want one out here be prepared to get on line,find some breeders and fly thousands of miles to even look at one for sale!

  4. Denise Says:

    Any mammoth riding donkeys in California or Arizona? Would love to meet some. I’ve owned and ridden horses. Am now 58 and am very interested in owning a couple of riding donkeys.

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