Just before hubby left to see some folks in Missouri, he and I talked about Morris and Opal.
I wondered out loud if she would ever give Morris a ride in the saddle. Both of us figured she wasn't of the temperament to try new things.
Especially at her age.
But Sunday morning I got her out for a ride. I tied her up to the hickory tree in the yard and let Morris loose. He ran circles around her and stopped to smell her hooves.
Now Morris has gone on rides with Opal before and she is fine with him running under her, behind her, and in front of her. She seems to be actually calmer when he is along and we are going solo.
He seems to sooth her for what ever reason. I did notice that effect on Siera also when he went along.
I attached the bell to her breast collar and then put Morris on the saddle. Morris acted terrified. Opal turned her head and looked at me.
I handed her a treat.
We stood there for a moment or two. Then I lifted Morris off the saddle.
Doing that at home and doing that on the trail was two different things.
I started out the ride with Morris in the saddle.
Both mule and dog were content.
Morris had a blast. He ran ahead of Opal. Then he would stop and smell and sniff. We'd ride past him ~ after a moment or two I'd call and he'd come blasting down the old logging trail on a dead run.
Being a mule, Opal kept a close eye on her little buddy.
And she didn't mind it when he scrambled to stay on while I mounted.
Just before we crossed the creek to head home, I stopped to let Opal eat some nice luscious grass.
Morris waited patiently and stood back watching Opal eat. When I lifted her head and put a foot in the stirrup, he came up and put his paw on her front leg.
Opal didn't move.
I put the tired Jack Russell on the saddle and mounted up.
She carefully carried Morris and I home.
I guess the answer to our question has been answered.
Yes, Opal will let Morris ride in the saddle!
And...he likes it!