Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Mule Skinner........but HOW Personal..........

Part 1

Legs is a good boy...........but he is a stallion, a stallion with a pretty darn strong libido. Breeding is his favorite activity. While his manners are pretty darn good, I couldn't risk him getting up close and personal with this molly.

I moved my hand up to block Legs from reaching back towards the mule. The look in his eye had changed ever so slightly and he was considering there might just be new possibilities in the day's activities. When the horse saw me hand, Legs immediately knew he'd been wrong about that thought. The stallion instantly backed away from the approaching molly.

The mule didn't like my hand coming up that close to her face. Her eye changed to from that look of "Hey! Baby, Baby!" as my friend, Bev, would say to one of "I'm getting the h*ll outta here!" The mule whirled around again and fled.

The mule skinner was still walking slowly in our direction. His body language didn't say anything about trying to control the mule's movements or line of travel. Still just his presence there turned this mule one more time. Then she stopped and looked at Legs and me for just a bit.

I could see her vacillating between coming to Legs again and fleeing to preserve her freedom. I think she knew if she approached Legs again her freedom would probably be lost. As the mule skinner finally got somewhere close, the mule whirled around again and raced off down the hill.

I heard the mule skinner say, "That's a good girl.........go jump in your trailer......" I can't even tell you how disgusted I was at his naivete. This mule had nearly ended up on the killingest highway in the state and he was talking baby talk and expecting a response.

I'd seen this kind of mannerisms once before and I can tell you that person had no control over his horses. I suspected I was looking at the very same situation with this man. As I watched the mule run past her stock trailer on down into the back recesses of the park, all I could think was at least there wasn't a way out back there.

The mule skinner turned to follow her mumbling something about the latch on the gate at the far end of the small arena being broken. Before he went down the hill after the molly, he talked to some men now by the maintenance shop asking them if they worked there. Then he told them about his mules getting loose because of that gate before he went on down to catch the jenny.

As the mule skinner departed he waved his hand in the air my direction saying "oh ya.............thanks for your time........"

I remember thinking, "TIME, you're thanking me for my time....... fella, I just saved you ass...................." It looked to me like he had no idea what he'd been saved from. I felt sorry for those mules.

The mule skinner followed that jenny down into the back part of the park. By now there was no sight of her from my position. I went back to the arena to finish schooling my horse. I could see the other mule was now tied to the stock trailer. Before I got done schooling Legs the mule skinner was back in the small arena trying to drive mules and having them get loose and the maintenance guys were working on the gate.

This was an adventure I was glad to see over. I'm really glad that no one got hurt and I'm really proud of my horse. Legs did absolutely everything I asked of him and probably more. We were a great team and I still can't believe I asked him to herd mules..........of all things. I'm really glad neither of them brayed at him. Can you imagine what might have happened then.................

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  1. Go back to the trailer? My kids wouldn't even listen to THAT.


    Glad you were there, sounds like that Jenny got lucky - this time.

  2. Legs is a rock star for taking all that in stride , and the mule Skinner... not so much

  3. The mule skinner probably shouldn't be involved with animals. Legs was a superstar and it just goes to show how well trained he is.

  4. "go back to the trailer right now" sounds to me just like that simpsons episode where bart took his dog, santa's little helper, to obedience school.

    the dog was so out of control bart was pulled every which way, but i remember one line, where bart pretended to have control of his dog while the dog trainer was looking.

    he said, "go sniff that other dog's butt!" as santa's little helper was doing just that.


  5. Leggs has more self control than most teenagers! Way to go boy! More people should understand their animals better. Baby

  6. I baby talk to my horse all the time, but NOT in an effort to convince him to do something. We all know how well that doesn't work.

  7. What a good boy! You've taught him well Mikael!!!!! You're right that guy shouldn't have mules if he doesn't know how to control them, for his sake and their sake!

    Good grief, I haven't met an equine yet that I could say go get on the trailer and they would and mine load like a dream. Might as well say go clean your stall and feed yourself some grain! ha!

  8. By my count, you saved 3 asses! The mule skinner being the biggest one! You should be very proud of Legs. My mare is very nervous around mules. The smell maybe? Her first encounter with a donkey left me behind.