Why did Mountain Men prefer riding mules over horses? And how come the Indians never rode mules?
St Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Mountain Men preferred mules because they were surefooted in rough country and better pack animals. That being said, Mountain Men did prefer horses in open country and whenever they needed to get somewhere in a hurry.
Plains Indians and mountain tribes found horses more desirable than mules because their lifestyle consisted of hunting and warfare. Down in the Southwest, tribes like the Apache found mules better suited in rough country like Arizona’s central mountains and Mexico’s Sierra Madre. They also found some other uses for them—early journals by American soldiers mention the Apaches liked the taste of roasted mule meat.