My friend Tara, whose first mule experience was riding Sadie Mae at Leatherwood, called me and wanted to bring over her new mule for us to work with. She said she was jokingly afraid to tell me what she had bought because he is quite the opposite of the mule she was looking for. She was looking for a dead broke, Belgian cross trail mule, middle aged, and about 15 hands. The one she fell in love with and brought home from Kentucky is a just turning three, 16.1 ½ hand, john mule. She fell in love with him because he has a very pretty face, kind eyes, and calm demeanor! She named him Rupert!
She arrived on Saturday. We did some groundwork with him to start. He seemed to know some things but still needed some work to be safe to work around. My new mule club friend Karen from Louisburg and her friend Connie came to visit around 11 a.m. They were highly entertained by us working with the big lug!
We took a break for lunch and all had something good at Smithfield’s Chicken.
Then it was time to ride. I put Karen on Sadie Mae and Connie on Seven. Connie and Seven did really well together! Karen tickled me After riding around on Sadie I asked her what she thought and she said that Sadie was a “Hot Ticket.” That just tickled me!
Next we got Tara up on Big Rupert, as this was only the second time she had ridden him I led him around for a “flight check,” which went very well. She then rode him around the pasture several times following Sadie and Seven around. As you can see from the photo, Rupert makes my two look like ponies! We joked that Tara would have to always ride first down the trails to clean out all the cobwebs!
Tara spent the night and we had a grand time. The next morning she rode with me up to Murphy’s to get some shavings and hay. Rupert handled the whole trip so well and even loaded back on the trailer quickly! Tara will have some homework to do on Rupert before he is ready to go to the mountains, but boy is he sweet and calm! Something to be said for that!
The next day I took Seven over to Jerry’s barn, also a new CMA member and rode out with his Sunday ride group. They ride from 1 p.m. till dark nearly every Sunday. He lives north of Zebulon near a town called Pilot. There is still a lot of open farmland and woods in that area. We rode through some woods that reminded me of Uwharrie with some good hills and lots of trees. It was really pretty. I doubt that many people know it even exists in that area.
Seven was glad that it was Monday and time for me to go back to work and for him to have a rest.