Mule rides in the grand canyon - Page 2
 
 

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Mule rides in the grand canyon

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  • Dude string, mule vs horse
  • Grand canyon mule string videos

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    08-06-2012, 04:52 PM
  #11
CMC
Foal
Ditto on the necessity of the helmet. I will never ride without one. My friend, who is a very experienced rider, was on a ride in the mountains and her daughter didn't want to wear her helmet. She took it, and it was easier to carry on her head. Lo and behold, a mountain lion went by, and she was thrown. Her head hit a rock, but the helmet saved her. First time she had a helmet on! She never rides without one, either. In fact, I believe her whole family is sold on helmets now.
     
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    08-06-2012, 05:08 PM
  #12
Showing
1. How good is a mules endurance? I weigh about 90 pounds. So a 3 hour trip + a western saddle and 90 pound rider, = disaster?

A mule's endurance is a lot better than a horse's. A mule can go for days after a horse already died from exhaustion (an exaggeration...but not really). Mules are capable of carrying much more weight than a horse of comparable size as well. I weigh about 130, plus my 43 pound western saddle and total weight when I ride is ~175. I am currently riding a mule that is likely the same general size that you'll be riding (about 13.2 and maybe 700 pounds). He can carry me all day long (literally 8+ hours) and still have enough spitfire to try to poot me off when something scares him.

Oh, and don't let that scare you, I'm breaking this mule to ride and he's only been ridden about 20 times. That's why he acts up and spooks. Those mules that they use in the canyon will be much better broke and experienced.

2. Should I wear a helmet I noticed that NO ONE was wearing a helmet. ( But I guess that is because they are not horse people )

Only if you want to. If you would feel more comfortable in a helmet, then by all means, wear one. Don't concern yourself with what everyone else is doing.

3. Has anyone ever done this before? I have no idea of what to expect.

I've never rode the Grand Canyon (I'm terrified of heights), but I've ridden some pretty rough country. Just stick with your mule, he'll take care of himself and you'll be okay so long as you stay with him.

4. I have been riding for about 6 months now, so I should have enough experience, right?

You betcha. Most the folks they get down there have never even seen an equine before, let alone ridden one.

5. What should I bring on the ride?

Water is never a bad idea, especially considering the heat and the time of year. I would invest in some sort of light colored hat to keep your head from getting too hot (and it would lower your risk of sunburning your face). I would wear long pants and proper footwear. If you would want to, you could probably take a snack bar as well, just in case.

6. Do you think the mule would have any trouble with footing?

Mules are notoriously more sure footed than horses. They can safely walk on a narrower ledge and never put a foot wrong. At times it may feel like they are walking especially close to the edge if the wall is close, but I can guarantee you that the mule won't fall. Where mules get along fine and horses have problems is that, on a narrow ledge, horses will crowd the wall trying to get away from the drop-off. When they do that, they overbalance and lose track of their footing. A mule keeps his body where it needs to be to ensure good footing.




Just go along and have fun. Oh, and take pictures and share with those of us who are too cowardly to ever do something like that. I'd try it and my mule would be fine, but I'd faint and fall down the wall of the canyon or something .
mvinotime, Cherie, Elana and 2 others like this.
     
    08-06-2012, 09:11 PM
  #13
Yearling
I read where there is a 200 pound weight limit. I would do it, might have to bring a change of under garments. I would want to go all the way to the bottom. Life is short, go for it!
Celeste likes this.
     
    08-08-2012, 09:14 PM
  #14
Yearling
Grand Canyon mule rides drastically cut - USATODAY.com
     
    08-09-2012, 03:30 PM
  #15
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by goneriding    
HERE we go again, dealing with the Environmentalist Wackos, who are NOT conservationists, teaming up with hikers to complain about mule manure. The hikers should beware bc these government park workers want EVERYBODY to get kicked out of our national parks bc, they SAY, humans are ruining the environment of the Grand Canyon (and ALL of our wilderness places.) We pay their salaries with our taxes. I'm sick of it. I've been hearing this for DECADES. The ONLY reason I would agree with minimizing or curtailing these rides, would be if the mules were suffering, and we know this is not the case.
Cherie, Elana and AllieJ333 like this.
     
    08-09-2012, 04:20 PM
  #16
Yearling
If the mules get cut, the hikers should be cut as well. Fair is fair. There was a comment on the article and someone said, "The economy is so bad even the mules are getting laid off!" I had to chuckle!
Corporal, Cherie, Elana and 1 others like this.
     
    08-18-2012, 11:17 AM
  #17
Foal
This has been a life long dream of mine. I want to do the overnighter. There is an official park video of the mule ride, narrated by Wilford Brimley. I would think you can watch it on YouTube. It is really good and also goes into a bit of the history of that part of the canyon and the role that mules have played there. Mules are sure footed and are "thinkers", commonly confused with being stubborn, they will assess a situation and won't go where they are not comfortable. A good riding mule is a treasure. These mules are a dude string of course and could do this ride backwards in theri sleep, but considering the slope and narrow paths, that suits me fine!! In all the years these rides have been going on, it is noted that there has never been a loss of life. Have a wonderful time and do report back. Lots of us wish we were coming along for the ride!!
     
    09-15-2012, 06:20 PM
  #18
Yearling
Erosion caused that canyon, the mules aren't going to have any appreciable impact. I really believe that somebody important just got ticked at the mule manure. Sheesh... More unemployed mules!! (and their staff!)
smrobs, Corporal, Cherie and 1 others like this.
     
    09-24-2012, 07:12 PM
  #19
Foal
They all get farrier service very regularly and get expensive special shoes that make up for any frost they might step on. They operate pretty much year round and sometimes have to clear frost or snow out. No one has gone over the edge! They stamina is insane... like no horse in your local barn also... a tip... don't "ride" the critter. Just sit in a 100% passive seat and let him move your body. The people who are experienced riders "move" or "ride" them and are sore and in pain. The non-riders just sit like a sack of potatoes and are not sore (but I bet their groins are pulled like crazy the next day) !! These things I heard right from the owner of the operation himself. He said every day there's that ONE tourist going on the tour where he thinks "oh man this might be bad" but nothing ever happens! He said no one has been injured in the ~60 (i think) years he's been there, and none that he knows of before that. I want to do this so bad!!!!!!
     
    09-29-2012, 11:43 AM
  #20
Trained
If they knew anything about soil conservation, they'd hire someone to collect the mule manure and use it for gardening. Read, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization, one of the few sensible books about what harm people have done to themselves.
karliejaye and AllieJ333 like this.
     

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