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The Fiddle saga continues….

That poor mule- she is so sweet and good and just goes with the flow and does her job without complaining. But she has been the most difficult one to keep comfortable. We are learning alot about proper gear though! The saddle sore that’s been coming on for a few weeks now finally came to the surface. We believe the cause is fixed now since Richard sanded off the part of the saddle that was putting to much pressure on her. The sore isn’t too bad, but it will probably leave a small scar. We have to be careful not to cause any rubbing so it can heal even while she is carrying a pack.

But while we were on our longest day of this stretch (another 28 mile day), we had another problem. Her front cinch that holds the saddle on is getting worn out and needs to be replaced, so we switched it with the rear one to see if that would work. It rubbed her raw along her whole arm pit area. We stopped twice to slather “glide” on it- an anti chaffing agent intended for us- but I had to do something to help her! This only slowed down the rubbing, so we decided to stop and try something else. In the middle of nowhere, we unpacked her, switched Fiddle’s cinch with Satchmo’s good one, and repacked her. Satchmo’s cinch did not rub her raw, so we were able to finish the day without causing further harm. Mules are so tough, but their ‘kryptonite’ is the soft area of skin right behind their front legs- where the cinch goes. Horses have tougher skin in that area, so Satchmo is able to where the worn out cinch for a few days without causing him harm. This is buying us some time until we can get a new one. I’ve never used horse tack long enough to wear anything out- but I now know what to look for and the importance of replacing gear that has seen better days!


  1. loved the dust devil photo! Poor mule…such a trooper! Paul always says we are going to get a mule for the farm, but he is usually just giving me a hard time. We have hosted two couples & a single walker on the ADT going east to west this year and have another couple coming this week. Maybe you will cross paths with some of them!

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