I was around mules some when I was younger(definately not an expert LOL), a guy that I started colts for when I was in high school was an 'ol mule skinner :) He liked riding a horse, but packed mules. From what I understand mules will get attached to a horse rather than other mules. He used to ride a mare that he used as a "bell mare" and could turn them loose in a meadow at night and they would stick around.
Good Luck on your ride!
I've read that (mules bonding with horses), which is why I am still considering riding the horse and buying two pack mules. I've also been told a mule will bond to it's handler, much like a dog does, if it is handled well. That intrigues me, as I tend to bond with my horses more than they bond with me
. I suspect a lot of us do.
Also, I'm not totally convinced that a mule can handle tougher terrain than a horse. I've had horses in some mighty tough terrain that have handled it pretty well. I am pretty confident that if both horse and mule are trained similarly they are both pretty capable critters. I am aware, however, that mules have a different response to danger, which may make them a bit safer in difficult circumstances. From what I gather, a mule's response to danger is to freeze, whereas a horse's normal response is to RUN!!! I can think of a number of circumstances wherein that would definitely be a virtue.
Having said that, I know of one instance in which my brother-in-law (who used to own several mules) was riding with a friend looking for shed elk antlers. They rode down a gulley and came to a sharp dropoff of about 4 feet. My BIL's mule never hesitated, but simply slid his front legs down off the drop until he was sitting on his haunches and his front feet touched the bottom of the dropoff, then he slid his haunches off the dropoff. No problem and didn't even have to jump. His buddy on the horse had to go nearly a mile to go back and around the dropoff. Now, I don't think my horse would do it quite as slick as that, but I'm pretty sure I could get her to hop down that drop without too much ado.