There are certain states where mules are really huge.
Actually, if you go to youtube there are some great videos of girls doing show jumping with their mules. And I even see mules Fox Hunting.
They are great all round mounts, and I have been blessed to be involved with them.
Being from British Columbia, Canada - they are rare. My neighbors used to breed them and I priveledged to beable to break and train a few. I even Evented a Mule - he was a huge 17hh Black and White Paint Draft mule named Arnold.
I know what you mean by the stereotype and the ignorance - people can be quite rude where they are involved.
I remember wanting to do a CEF show with my Mule and the Secretary told me that "they smell different and you'll end up upsetting all the other horses, so we will say no to you being able to enter" I agrued the fact and then she said "If you show up on the grounds, we will ask you to leave"
So I contacted the President of CEF in Vancouver and he laughed. He faxed me all the rules of CEF where they stated that Mules are permitted to show amongst horses. He even called the secretary of that show and told her that if they advertise CEF rules then they have to obide by them, and that if they did not allow my mule to show, then they will either close the show down, or they can no longer advertise CEF rules.
So then the next day the secretary called and told me they would be happy to have me show.
We did, and we cleaned house.
This was Arnold - I was teaching him to ground drive before I started to ride him