Wednesday, June 02, 2010
There is no parade in Folsom, WI on Memorial day...actually these days, it is hard to recall exactly where Folsom is.
Yet I thought it would be quite fun to dress up as we did last fourth of July and ride around the back roads.
This time instead of Badger [who is still having difficulty with his breathing], I took Siera. This was to be her first major on the road ride.
As is normal for her, once we got up the driveway, she decided to take the lead and walk out.
She marched with a purpose in mind and a rather open road in front of her. My daughter rode steady Fred. Fred is in his 20's [he is not going to tell us his real age] and has been there and done most everything. A perfect mount to accompany Siera who was as yet untested on the longer rides on back roads.
Siera did very well. She had some 'issues' with some 'mule eating' grass until she followed Fred into the tall stuff and discovered that indeed she could eat it!
So far on my earlier rides she'd been fine with traffic. This had been close to home and the drivers had always been courteous enough to slow down when passing.
On our last leg of the gravel road we got into a traffic jam of sorts. Vehicles came from both directions and Siera lost her nerve. She did a hard bolt away from an approaching car.
I got her stopped and saw about 5 more vehicles coming our way from the opposite direction.
For safety reasons, I dismounted and walked the now very nervous Siera back towards my daughter and Fred. I waved the vehicles by one at a time and they actually went slowly...perhaps wondering who the idiot was on the 'run away' mule.
The hard part of the ride was yet to come.
Black top county road with more traffic.
I walked with Siera along the newly planted fields close enough so she could watch the vehicles, far enough away so that she would learn not to fear them.
Our journey was completed safely. I consider the ride a success as we discovered some areas that Siera needs to work on.
Mule Eating Grass and Vehicles.
After all Badger did not become the awesome mule he is [nor did Fred] with just a few rides.
I also consider it a great success to discover what Siera was like when she actually spooked. She had yet to do a spook while I have been training her. No buck, just a quick bolt which was halted rather well on our part.
Looking forward to a 4th of July parade!!