Monday, April 5, 2010

Ten Things FarmWife Does For Me that She Probably Doesn't Have to Do.

1) FarmWife always starts a ride with, "please will you go riding with me?" and ends it with, "Thank you, Fenny, for your time." It's a nice gesture.

2) FarmWife only asks for a walk whilst we are on the road out of consideration for my joints. She also dismounts and walks beside me down precipitous slopes, or when we are within a quarter mile of home. She says that the latter is intended to cool me out and to exercise her glitchy knee, but I say it is because she likes the companionable camaraderie of a side-by-side stroll.

3) FarmWife lets me roll after a ride and before reblanketing. She knows that my daily itchy-scratchies are important, and she knows that there is nothing at all satisfying about rolling in a medium-weight turnout rug.

4) FarmWife cleans my hoofies and pasterns every day. When I am a tremendous heap of filthy mud, she still cleans my hoofies and pasterns, and that is why I have healthy hair where once, in a former life, I had none.

5) FarmWife sings to me.

6) FarmWife thanks me for extra effort. Jump a heap of logs, get a pat. Cross a bridge, get a "good boy." Bray beautifully, get a flake of hay.

7) FarmWife enforces a strict "balance before reins" policy when she puts young or unskilled riders upon me, and follows a 20% Maximum Cargo Load policy for light work. Assuming that I weigh 900 pounds, this means she can throw on 50 pounds of tack and equipment before she needs to get a pack mule—and lucky for me, she never does.

8) FarmWife types for me, except on weekends when we are both too busy having fun to bother with blog updates. Without this assistance, my blog would look like this: "gGGrreetttginhggggs FFRffoomm  FREe nBbarrr.." Hooves make typing difficult.

9) FarmWife grooms me carefully before every ride; knowing, as she does, my propensity for chafing, she takes no chances. She dresses me in special anti-chafing gear, which includes a wool felt anti-slip saddlepad, a shaped mohair endurance girth, a set of breeching, and a polar-fleece lined breastplate. None of these things would have been to her taste before she met me, but my comfort comes first!

10) FarmWife listens to what I have to say. This is why she knows that I love a good firm rub on the bottom of my ears but hate a tickly rub on the tops of them; I like a mechanical hackamore, a rubber single-jointed snaffle, or a plain ol' halter, but despise a french link snaffle; I like having my eyes cleaned by hand rather than with a soft brush, and like a firm rub on the bony prominences around my eye after a long ride. If she didn't listen, she would ride me in HER favorite bit, and groom me in HER favorite way, but that is not how things work when you are a rider. You must listen.



  1. Fenway, I have persuaded my servant to ride me in a 5/8ths rawhide bosal hackamore. It is like wearing nothing - I think you would love it!

  2. Wonderful post. You are a very luck and wise mule!

  3. Beth, thank you! Your praise is music to my ears. FarmWife and a make a good pair, because she is a lucky owner, and because everyone can use some extra wisdom.

    Pants, a bosal sounds wonderful, but do you need the magnificently complex mecate reins in order to make it work? FarmWife wouldn't begin to know what to do with all that length of material.

  4. I have seen the magnificently complex cakes FarmWife makes, so she must possess some level of dexterity? Certainly, if my fumble-fingered human-servant can manage to wrap a horsehair mecate rein around some dead cow skin, I am certain that FarmWife could manage it, especially if you assist her....?

  5. Pants, as long as the mecate is not color coded, she might just get by. If it IS, look out! We'll have yellow where orange should be, and orange in place of yellow!

    I love the idea, to tell you the truth, but poor FarmWife has a nonexistant tack budget. I wish this blogging was a paying gig!

  6. LOL! In fact, some hair mecates ARE colour coded. They're insultingly called "idiot ropes" and one part (the left rein) has one colour, the next (the right rein) another, and finally the leadrope part has a third colour. They can be seen in all their splendid braided colour here:

    I sympathise with FarmWife's situation. My human-slave had to work very long hours at the place called "work" until she had scraped enough together for my set up. However, if mule-blogging was a paying gig, I am sure your good self would be in the top earning bracket! Having said that, non-flexible yacht rope or parachute cord bought by the foot is very cheap and it is possible to create a reasonable 22 foot facsimile for only a modest layout of greenbacks.

    Anyway, you look a contented fellow in your current gear, so no worries there....


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