Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Donkey Otey






Starting this blog is an interesting project. Unlike a website, this is a running dialogue, or conversation between us who participate. Its a forum which by its very nature is capable of sharing the very personal side of life with my own loved ones blended with a platform on which I intend to dedicate to my fascination with mules. On the personal side of life, I am expert. I mean REALLY expert. Aren't we all? So I make no apologies for that. I don't mean to sound smug, but I am confidently human, and one who makes mistakes and learns from the great University of Life. I hope that those who know my blemishes won't disqualify me out of hand...



On the mule side of the equation, I am infant. I will say that up front. I have ridden a few. I own a molly that I think is nearly perfectly trained; and I have babies in the pipeline. I want to state categorically that my intention is to be accurate about the mule information I post and I will show my sources where possible. The mule is the subject of much urban legend and mythical understanding. Sorting fact from fiction is part of this quest.




The mule is poorly understood for a couple of reasons in my opinion. First, for the past generation, they are a sideline in the equine world. The horse world is awash in dollars and horses can make significant money for their owners. Consider all the ways horses show from racing, to rodeo, to halter and western pleasure, to dressage and jumping and english. Mules have begun to participate in all these venues, but in a relatively small way. The world neglects them in other words. It appears to me the experts who really know mules are few, and fewer still who will teach what they know because they are too busy having fun with their mules. I'm sure its "market driven" like most things. Many owners just get by, often with stereotypical understanding of their animals.






Second, they are very unique. The hybrid cross is not uniform in many of the offsprings' phenotypical presentation. In other words, it is difficult to pin absolutes on the mule. Since I haven't seen large numbers of them, I hope to glean from some who have.



I also have high hopes that I can publish this all in a fun way thats not too clinical. And I hope to have my most excellent brother along on this journey. In fact, he is the proud new owner of Flying I Donkey Otey pictured here. Donkey Otey is out of a Mammoth gaited mother with rare Catalonian blood and a Standard sized father--born the 5th of July 2007. We were sweating it out the day he was born--it was darn hot and we were getting ready for a backcountry trip to the Uintas--hoping he would get here before we left. He is nicely built and should make a great stud. With his gait, we think he'll make some smooth mules with our naturally gaited Sulpher herd mustangs. We'll see where this leads...








Enjoy the photos. The first picture is on Donkey Otey's birthday at 2 hours old. The water pictures were taken after a good rain. We skipped something fun we had planned (I don't remember what) so we could take advantage of the opportunity to water-train our babies. It is so dry in this desert that I couldn't pass it up. My kids weren't happy at the time, but these pics are a warm memory.

4 comments:

sharbear said...

Hey, can we come ride them sometime??? :)
Love the post.

Paul said...

Hey, you know where we live. There are animals that need to be ridden all the time. Come on then...

WoW said...

Delightful. What a talented writer. My Grandma Platt got her talent from some of the Pratt Brothers. I love you. WoW
Just might give it a try when we get home - after all, we have mushed, done the power parachute, and the hot air balloon, plus surviving the winter here in Alaska.

Mike said...

I love it Paul, as the proud new owner of Donkey Otey, I say hee haww!!!!