It isn't often that a mule 'earns' that 'degree' from me. Although I must say that Badger was the very first one to earn that title.
He most definitely was a 'kid' friendly mule. Even if he was 15 hands tall. He was always careful with the children and walked as though he was carrying eggs on his back.
He was calm and cool headed.
Today I rode out with Ariel and then Dennis. Ariel has a bit more experience with riding and has more confidence in herself.
Fred picks up on that right away. He worked like a charm for her.
Ariel can ride independently from Siera.
Oh, by the way. Fred is another one of those Million Dollar Mules. He has at least 20 years of experience with novice riders and even experienced young riders.
When Dennis and I rode, Fred walked slowly and carefully. He only followed where Siera walked. Dennis is doing very well but I don't think he quite has the presence of his sister while on top of a mule.
We rounded a corn strip and stopped to admire some Monarch Butterflies that were flitting about.
Suddenly a doe burst from the corn and raced in front of us. Siera stiffened and perked up her ears.
The doe's twin fawns still had their spots, and raced across in front of us also.
Siera stood and watched them intently. I glance back at Fred and Dennis.
Fred was nonchalantly playing tug of war with Dennis to get a snack of nice green alfalfa.
I was relieved that Siera had done her usual. She rarely spooks and generally her spook reaction is to stiffen and then after a big breath it is okay to go on. Had she whirled and fled I would have probably run into Fred and Dennis.
I patted her and told her she was a good mule.
We finished the ride and then I had the kids put on their blue t-shirts from the Titanic Canoe Rental place. Lily, Dennis, and Ariel had all survived canoeing with Morris and I. We all have t-shirts to attest to that fact.
I asked Ariel if she'd get on Siera and we'd take a photo of her, Dennis, and myself for fun and memory's sake.
Boots, helmets, and mules, along with the bright blue t-shirts made for a nice photo.
The kids still wanted to ride, so I asked Ariel if she'd like to ride Siera.
She shrugged. We let them into one of the paddocks and stood back to let the kids ride.
I strongly feel that kids can learn a lot after they've had the basics by just putting more time in the saddle.
Siera performed beautifully. Once Ariel figured out how to 'operate' her, they worked well together.
It looks like I'll have to get Sunshine out if I want to ride with the kids next summer.
Sunshine is a great little red molly mule that we raised out of my old mare.
She should be getting used more. I think she'd do well again with a job.
After all, she did start out her riding career as a grand kid mule also.
I think I'm pretty lucky to have grand kids who want to ride and mules who love to work well.
Siera has officially gotten her 'kid' stripes.
Would I ever sell her?
Oh, just like I said to the man who wanted to buy Badger from me years ago.
"You got a Million Dollars?"