Saturday, July 2, 2011

Admitting defeat

FarmWife has decided that I will not easily become a safe driving mule because I have a serious fear reaction to the sound of something dragging (a flip out and bolt type reaction). I have mastered every early stage in the training process and am now content pulling a travois, strangely enough, but whenever we get to me walking in front of a heavier dragging object I panic. Even when the object is dragging fifty feet behind me, if I'm harnessed I panic. FarmWife thinks this might mean that I have a bad wreck in my history, but I can't honestly remember. The fear is worse in an open bridle than in blinkers. With my history of explosive spooks under saddle (about two per year, but they're doozies) it seems best not to hook me to any wheeled objects.

On the one hand, it's sad to admit defeat. On the other, FarmWife loves trail riding with me and I love carrying her. At least we both know what I'm good at. The feeling of a singletree behind makes me break out sweating, and that means very little fun for either of us. Without professional help, we cannot continue.

I do have a very nice harness, which as you may recall was a birthday present from you, my loving fans, to FarmWife for her 30th. She will keep it forever, and remains very happy to have it. Maybe I will mellow with age, or maybe she'll get a trained driving mule of a similar physique some day. Maybe she'll get to feeling rich and invest in a few months' professional training for me. In the meantime, my harness is great for playing dress up and for going on scenic ground-driving tours of the neighborhood! I may even wear it in a parade, with ribbons and streamers tied on. There are endless possibilities. 

Ears and apologies to you,


  1. I think you should do FarmWife a favor and just go with it. You'd look very cute as a driving mule.

  2. I think Farmwife is being very sensible; humans sometimes get far too focussed on what they want and lose sight of what is good for their equine friends. I am impressed farmwife is thinking of you. Far better to concentrate on and enjoy what you can do than focus too much on what you can't. The travois has interesting possibilities.

    Just a thought - if it is the heaviness of the object that causes you the problem, what about a very light wheeled object? Like a pacer's gig?

    Depends what you do during your explosive spooks too. If you just run forwards that's less bad; if you go sideways or change direction sharply that would be very dangerous if you are attached to something.

  3. Thank you for your comments! Unfortunately for FarmWife AND for my reputation, my preferred spook style is to whirl about and bolt in the opposite direction. I've done it four times in our two+ years together, but one time would be one time too many were I between the shafts.


  4. Well, at least you have your 2011 halloween costume already!!


Thanks in Advance for Your Mulish Opinion!