Thursday, September 24, 2009

Meet Opal

Meet Opal
Just a hair under 14 hands
Aged: 24[ish]
Red Roan with a Freckle face
Unknown heritage.

We purchased Opal in 1998 for my husband from John Higgins Sr. and Jr. from Missouri. Opal's specialty was Gymkhana and yes, she has the speed, the reining, and the moves.
Hubby competed with her against horses in our local club and had a great time.

Opal also competed as a Coon Jumping Mule and won the 56" and under Championship at the IDMS show I believe in 2000.
She has a wonderful smooth running walk which makes it hard to keep up with her [I think Siera can!!!]
She will, as my husband says, quote:
*Walk a hole in a Tornado*

She will sit down and spin if you ask her to~~and go from walk to overdrive in less that .001 seconds [kinda like a car commercial, eh?].

She is probably the MOST sure footed mule I have ever ridden [yes I have!]. I take her out in the winter when the hills and woods are very snowy and treacherous. She never takes a misstep.

Opal is our 'people handicapped' mule. She distrusts people, she may even dislike people. She is hard to catch, so we plan a day ahead of time to catch her.
Believe me, we have worked on this ever since we got her.
If she is in a paddock, she can be caught; give her an open pasture and then trickery has to come into play.

She is sometimes terribly ear shy.
She is definitely not a mule that anyone can walk up to and grab hold of.

Yet with her 'holes' and quirks, we think she is special and will never leave our place. When not climbing rocks and doing challenging rides with me or hubby, she is used for our son-in-law [who is a novice] to ride.
She dogs along like an ancient mule, but perks up if asked to. She takes care of her rider above ALL else and never hesitates to do any task asked of her.

We once considered selling her, but we decided that others may not be able to deal with her idiosyncrasies and she would end up being passed from owner to owner.

Besides, she is perfect to bring along with a young mule who needs to see what confidence is all about.
She is still not showing much of her age, and by golly, I'm not going to remind her either.
She is with us forever.


  1. She looks like a wonderful mount. The way you explain her reminds me of Bill's mule Nellie. Some people are scared to death of her. I have been working with her for 6 years - she doesn't really like me but I bring the good stuff. She is definately Bill's mule and will be a permenant fixture here unless something horrible should happen.

    Each has their own quirks and you either live with them or move on. Too many good ones to have one that my hurt you!!

  2. Other than the "catch me if you can" characteristic she looks and sounds wonderful. I love the photo of her coon-jumping the fence. I've seen a lot of competition coon jumping, but never have seen it used as it was originally intended (in the field).
    I also like the fact that she's a young 24-year-old!!


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