Get On (Your) Longstockings

mule getting a bath
I found this short, delightful post by sweetbomb at 11th Hour Action and wanted to build on it. I guess I'm not the only one with 2020 on the brain. But I was pleased to know my future plans with Pippi Longstockings (a mule I am thinking of sponsoring starting next month) won't be wasted effort. :)

After her bath, Pippi led herself to water for a drink. As I was leading her, she decided to overtake me and push me off to the side. She did much the same on our first lesson together.

A green mule, Pippi is newly trained and I'm advised by her owner to work with her to get her more in a groove. She's a gaited mule and needs work on her transitions and steering so pulling so hard on her mouth doesn't have to be the MO.

wet mule, drinking water
Like me, Pippi has her roots in Kentucky- we're also both stubborn, but I can already see I'm the more vulnerable and will need to have a firmer hand with her. She's also got some mysterious swellings on her hind legs we are all hoping will go down. The barn veterinarian is miffed.

So what's a gaited mule? She's been trained with an extra smooth gait (or gear, if it's cars you know) in between her walk and trot. Funky to ask for, hard to find and hard to keep her going in. All part of the challenge of what she needs from a rider these days.

She started young and early alongside her Mom as a pack mule. That's how it's done with mules as opposed to horses who, Thoroughbreds excepted, typically enjoy more years of pasture before being broken. Having a horse to ride is a childhood dream of mine and it's pretty darn close.
I'm also told mules are different to work with than horses because they don't have a corpus callosum- a fact I have not been able to corroborate anywhere on the internet yet. For mules, the left and right sides of the brains don't communicate with each other. I'll have to let you know how that and having the childhood dream of having a horse (well, equine) to ride goes.
May all my readers have an unexpected and wonderful blessing happen in their live this month!