|To ride a good mule is to never look back!|
Many of my short eared friends seem amazed when they meet me carrying my human around the lanes and the moors. At first I thought they were blown away by my good looks and superior ears but then I realised they didn't think us mules were up to the job of being ridden!
Mules in the UK are few and far between and most of them are too small to ride, us long ears also seem to have a bad reputation for being unpleasant to ride.... very unfair.
I like nothing more than to work and to go out and about with my human. Some of my friends find this hard to imagine? A mule that likes to work? Surely not? But honestly when we go out for a ride I will go just as fast going out as coming home (how many horses do you know do that?) and when it comes time to turn up the lane to home (where The Mini is neighbraying his best at me) I want to carry on and go around again.
I have had to teach my human some mule riding tricks though..... when you ride a mule you do not 'command' it, you do not 'tell' it, if you do this you'll find out why many folks think we're bad to ride.... they just didn't listen when we tried teaching them!
When we go out me and FH work together, we listen to each other and if I have something to say it's taken note of, this does not mean that my human is allowed to sit like a sack of potatoes or is allowed to be sticky at the yard gate!
I demand certain things from my rider:
- Too Cool for School - I don't do 'schooling'..... I am amazed at my short eared friends, their ability to enjoy 20 metre circles baffles me, I would much prefer to leap some rocks and teeter on a steep ledge thanks, this teaches me to be supple and agile, just in a different way!
- Coming Through - don't dilly dally, let's move on. I like going out with my short ear friends and am always happy to take the lead when they let me. I think they're happy that my superior dog defenders and attack mule credentials will keep them safe from harm. It must look quite funny with a petite pony mule leading her big short eared friends....
- Fun, fun, fun! Humans take themselves way too seriously sometimes, especially some 'horsey' types. I think there should be a new term 'muley' types, folks with a smile on their face, a sense of humour and a sunny disposition. What better way to make yourself smile than with the tuneful neighbray of a mule in your life?
- Beauty! Have you seen how mulificent I am? To ride a mule is to ride a supermodel.... my superior ears and mulificent brown eyes are sure to appeal to all :-)
- Sure footedness - us mules have inherited our donkey Dad's little feet that fit in to all sorts of tiny gaps, if there's a safe way through we'll find it. We also don't need shoes so no slippy sliding on the road
- Fearlessness - to ride a mule is to ride a warrior(ess). We mules look after our cargo, mess with us and you'll know it. I am adept at dealing with rude dogs and other such annoyances. I will spin on the spot (slowly enough to keep FH in the saddle mind) to keep them in my gaze and if they get very bad I'll put them in their place.... gently to start with, of course!
- Willingness - this is my human's favourite thing. To ride an equine that wants to work, that wants to be with you and has a shared enjoyment is surely what all riders wish for? I am with her and she with me. I will happily tell FH when I'm not happy, this may sound like a problem but in her eyes it's the greatest gift as she knows what I'm really thinking.
- Smoothness - us mules are smoother to ride and FH always comments on how nice I am to sit to, she glides along... after riding a horse designed as a flashy cart horse for many years she wishes she'd found me sooner!
|A Willing Partner|
- Fun - to ride a mule is to smile, to watch my mulificent floppy ears on radar scan is a fine pleasure for my rider. I even painted the tips of them with the finest make up to make them look even finer!
p.s. the big 'stick' in the picture functions for opening gate latches not for mule beating!!