Monday, October 17, 2016

Mules and more

Most of you probably know the story of how Lucy came into my life.
For those of you who may not, I bought her without ever meeting her in person,
which under normal circumstances would be a batshit crazy thing to do. 
But I bonded with Lucy's owner–Estella–via phone, met Lucy via video
and the next thing you know, a professional hauler brought Lucy from
Colorado to the 7MSN and the rest is history. That was five and a half years ago.

On Saturday, I finally got to meet Estella in person. 
We met up at the American Mule Trainers Challenge in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
All that was missing from this happy reunion was Lucy!
Estella and I had a delightful time catching up, sharing Lucy stories,
and watching the main event: three trainers competing to
train three mules over the course of a weekend.

For the uninitiated, a mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey.
(Think Hank and Lucy's love child.)

 The three mules in the competition had never been handled, 
and the trainers had three days to take them as far as they could. 

If you're familiar with Road to the Horse, it's like that but with mules.
This trainer is Shawn Peterson. 
What's not to like about a cowboy who wears a floral shirt?

This trainer, Ty Evans, was the eventual winner of the competition.

The three trainers' methods varied greatly...

but it was good to see all of them reward their mules for the slightest try.

This mule seemed the most challenging in the group.

Her trainer, Paul Garrison, did a fine job adapting to the situation.

The slow and deliberate steps he took may not have won him the competition,
but I think they put a solid foundation on this mule that will pay off in the long run.

This yearling mule wasn't part of the official competition, but her trainer, Nate Medcalf,
snuck me into the arena to take pictures, so how could I not include them? Thanks, Nate!

I wish I could have stayed for the entire event, but ranch responsibilities beckoned me home.
The only thing that could have made the day better would have been
for Lucy to be there so that Estella could see she was in good hands.

We'll just have to pretend.


  1. I adore the mules!

    I hope you got to explore TorC! Is Estella a local?

  2. I think Estella can see that Lucy is in good hands by coming here. It looks like you had a wonderful time. Maybe a mule is in your future?

    1. P.S. I love the looks of that blonde mule that was part of the winning team. She looks so kind, and like she was really trying.

  3. Lucy could not be in better hands & I'm sure Estella is sending loud thanks aloft. Watching the video, I fell in love with Lucy all over again!

  4. So happy that you and Estella got to hang out. Looks like your kind of day. Major leap of faith all around way back when.

    Hard to believe that Lucy has been with you that long. I remember all of us watching and watching for the trailer that would bring her to the MSN.

  5. Great post. Never knew these challenging events existed.

  6. what a great story, thanks for sharing

  7. I love the way you photo shopped the last picture! It looks like it was a cool show!

  8. What a perfect day! Sounds like a wonderful friend to meet on a wonderful day! Aunt Jean

  9. What a day. But I'm stuck on you having Lucy 5.5 years. I've must be reading your blog like for ever! I remember you bringing Lucy to the ranch and introducing her to the group. Thanks long time blog friend!

  10. What an interesting event. I didn't realize the full Lucy story. The way you two ride and have bonded made me think you'd had her for much longer. Good one - editing that last shot!

  11. Looks like a fun day and beautiful smiles! Nice shirt.

  12. Love all the photos! Especially the last one! Happy Monday.

  13. I would love to attend one of those "challenges." That's a beautiful mule Shawn was working with. So happy you and Estella could finally meet in person. I'm sure she follows the 7MSN diligently just as we do.

  14. Yay! Hi Estella!!!! How great that you two finally got to meet! Looks like it was perfect weather for the event, too. :-)

  15. An American in Tokyo10/17/16, 5:59 PM

    Awww, how lovely!
    I'm glad that Estella was able to come such a long way and that you were able to meet!
    I'm sure Lucy was there in spirit! =)

  16. That's awesome! Estella is not how I pictured her at all. Much younger. It's hard to believe its been that long since Lucy joined the family.

  17. It was such a joy to finally meet Linda, you ladies are sooo right I could not have found a better home for Lucy. then to follow it up with Linda having a blog and being able to see pictures and videos of Linda riding her, what more could I have asked. Linda is such a lovely lady and GREAT artist when it comes to taking pictures. Danni, would like to meet you sometime....well hugs to all from Co.

  18. It is so good to get off the ranch every once in a while, especially with ranch-y types!

  19. I love Paul Garrison's white mule. So pretty! :)

  20. Oh my, I remember Lucy's arrival! Looks like a fun time was had by all eh!

  21. How freaking cool... both the competition and meeting Estella!