Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The good ol' days

Sunday night I spent time reading some other blogs of folks who own horses. I found their blogs from reading someone I follow. So I went back in time to when I rode nearly every single day and did some reminiscing. I found a photo that reminded me of the best relationship I ever had with an equine.

There is Badger the mule and Morris the JRT. Rich bought Morris for me at the last attempt I made to show Badger at a Show. 
I recall 'getting the gate' and walking out disappointed. A man walked up to me and asked me if I was okay. Yeah, I am. Then the man asked me if I'd rather trade halters with any of the other mules in the arena...for a moment I was confused.
Then I said, "Oh hell no. this mule is my soulmate." 
He nodded and then said, "So you have the best mule for you."

I quit showing, more because Rich had issues with traveling and face it, Badger would rather wander the woods with me than go in an arena. This mule got to be so bonded with me that he absolutely knew where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. 
Once while riding on a road, a two men stopped to talk with me. One fella was aggressive and came right up to touch me. Badger pinned his ears and bared his teeth.

So nearly every day, I would ride out on Badger and do something, carrying my small pocket camera and we always had Morris along. 

I lost Badger in 2012. And for a long time I found it hard to ever give that sort of heart or trust to another animal.

Done with the backwards. On to the forwards.

Sunshine is Badger's half sister out of our Jack and my mare. She is proving to be much like Badger in temperament. I don't ride as often now especially since the 4 wheelers like to invade the woods next door. But I still yearn to be in the saddle.

Sunshine was our first foal we raised. The rest were sold of course and did well with their lives. No one wanted this little red mule.
Sunshine and Badger were the first two mules I trained. Or should I say ... they trained me?

I hope to get out a lot this spring and do some exploring during the times that the 4 wheelers are NOT around. They show up on the weekends and almost never before noon. 

Well, there it is. Reminiscing about the good ol' days.

I miss you Badger!

PS~ Please do not think I am not all for showing an equine! My experience with Badger showed me that to be a singular unit we had to appreciate each other's faults and strengths. 
Our curiosity was in the forest and not in the arena. Our trust was in each other. I've got that with Sunshine and Siera so I consider myself luckier than most equine owners.


  1. Pictures of Badger made me smile. Have a happy day!

    1. Yes I miss him, but I also know I have good ones still to ride. None will ever be Badger. ")

  2. Great story about a great mule, and a once in a life time bond!! I love reading blogger friends posts about their pasts, especially when it involves equine. Wow, that is something that Badger picked up on the aggressive guy you ran into. Doubt our horses would, well maybe Nemo. Exactly why I am overly cautious when I am out and about alone. Situations can escalate when least expected with the wrong person. Sorry to hear neighboring four wheelers affect riding time. I wouldn't want to be out riding or even walking my horse, if they are whipping around either. We run into four wheelers when we cabin camp with our horses up north at Spur of the Moment on the multi use trail (you have to ride it to get to the horse trails in the Nicolet Forest). The regulars are informed and trained on what to do if you run into a horse & rider. Vacationing four wheelers are the ones you have to watch out for. So far, every one we have passed has been really respectful over the many years.

    1. I've had conversations with the 4 wheeler/UTV guys. I also always wear a pistol. Not that this will fix any issues. It is more for varmints than humans. I'm spoiled by meeting 99 percent good people all my life here.
      WildCat and KVR also have rules about folks meeting up with equine. It is just common sense. Note everyone has that!

      Yeah, Badger was pretty neat.

  3. Fun but bittersweet memories:)