Friday, February 26, 2010

Four things that FarmWife will have to do without me

As you know, FarmWife and I go together like peas and carrots, and there is never a moment spent together that we don't mostly enjoy. (I will give exception to the annual freshening up of my nether-regions, which takes place in summer when the flies are about and which is quite the affront to my dignity.)

I love most of the activities for which FarmWife requests my company: pasture jogging, during which we cavort merrily together until her knee starts throbbing; trail riding, during which we surmount objects, explore ridges, locate scenic vistas, and skirt Satan's chickens; grooming, during which I ask FarmWife to pay particular attention to my ears and withers; road riding, during which we stick to the quiet byways and work on friendly, non-concussive things—things like lateral movements at the walk, stride adjustability at the walk, and improving our vocal range and intonation . . . . at the walk.

These are great activities, and they satisfy me to the fullest. FarmWife, on the other hand, has a few other equestrian goals with which I am afraid I cannot help.

1. Reining: FarmWife has never set her ass upon a western saddle, and for this very reason she has no business setting a western saddle upon her ass. Sure, riding is riding, but I don't want to witness the embarrassment as she tries to cinch a cinch, adjust her fenders, or dismount without hooking her bra on the horn. This is one secret fantasy she is going to have to indulge without me.

Eccentricities of equipment aside, reining looks exhausting. Really. I'm all for stopping, but do I seriously have to work myself into a hand gallop before I do it? And all that spinning business. When it comes to lateral movements, I consider a spookless sidestep over the double yellow lines on Innis Creek Road to be the pinnacle of success. Beyond that, my side-to-side functionality boils down to one choice: Left at the fork in the trail, or right at the fork in the trail?

2. Endurance riding: FarmWife imagines that one day, when her larvae are grown and gone, she will start trucking me to distant trailheads so that we might log hundreds of sweat-lathered, fresh air miles. I imagine that I would fully enjoy being trucked to the trailhead. Here's my offer: I will come along as waterboy, trailer-guardian, and companion animal for Al Hawa or Azraff or whatever she names the wiry little mount that she is going to have to obtain for this endeavor.

I will give FarmWife this—she knows that I am not fit, and she takes that into account when she limits our uphill travel to a moderate walk, and our trots and canters to about one minute in duration. Here's where her logic fails, though: she thinks fitness is all that stands between me and the Tevis Cup. I'd shake my head at this folly, but that would require exertion.

3. Working Equitation: This is a sport that I would certainly consider. On the one hoof, it requires a lot of cantering (not my strong suit). On the other, though, it involves the use of dapper period clothing, which I think I would wear well! Here's the big problem, though: I have been unable to find solid proof of my noble ancestry as a Pura Raza EspaƱola mule. Sad, I know. These Golega people are VERY exclusive, and unfortunately they refuse to accept my exemplary personal references and strong curriculum vitae in place of said proof of pedigree.

4. Dressage lessons: We've been over this. I'm happy to indulge farmwife in her little "forward, supple, straight" kick as we make our way from the paddock to the trailhead. When it comes to navigating a perfect 20 meter circle with the appropriate degree of schwung, however, she loses me. I just don't see how this is interesting.

Trot, trot, circle, circle, trot, trot, circle, circle, bend, bend, circle, circle, forward, forward, straighten, straighten, relax, relax, trot, trot, flex the jaw, flex the jaw, circle, circle, trot, trot, relax, relax, forward, forward, trot, trot, circle, circle . . . . .. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Fenway Bartholomule


  1. Oh Fenway, there are some Dressage Mules in this region.

    Wouldn't it be fun to beat up the sissified Euro horses???

    Marti ( upupaepops)
    Mother of Jaybird the Dressage QH
    Redmond WA

  2. Hey, there's endurance mules out there too- I've seen 'em!
    Karen W.

  3. Oh, Marti and Karen, thank you for writing. Please don't misunderstand me, though . . . I have absolutely no doubt of the MULE'S ability to succeed at this endeavor. We are a fleet, diverse and adaptable race. It is just that I doubt my OWN ability to enjoy these things. I am rather a "put your feet up" sort of a guy. This isn't to say that I wouldn't try my hand at anything if the FarmWife asked nicely . . . it's just that when it comes to these particular things, I hope she won't ask at all.

  4. Ever think about Mulish Eventing? You first do the prissy dressage, and it doesn't matter much if your circles are squares, as long as you do all your creative movements within the arena. Then you get to jump stuff-the same way you take Farmwife on the trails, just a little faster. Then you jump really feeble stuff, as long as you keep going forward, no matter how much you kick aside the pathetic wooden poles, as long as you keep going forward you are guaranteed to win some kind of prize that makes Farmwife pet you and feed you bigtime treats!

  5. littledog, I would do this. It sounds wonderful! Where is the Event Horizon, or wherever it is you go to sign up??


Thanks in Advance for Your Mulish Opinion!