Friday, June 20, 2008

Minnie Pearl and the young Skinner

She only had one chart hit in her whole career, a spoken-word answer song to Red Sovine’s “Giddyup Go.” But through the sheer force of her character-driven comedy, she became a country music icon all the same, one of the most instantly recognizable faces in the history of country music. Quoted at Country Universe 100 Greatest Women, #40: Minnie Pearl

Last week, we bought the neatest little mule. We weren't really looking too hard, but in the back of our minds, we knew that Chantra was probably never going to feel comfortable riding anything very big--and all my mules are big (or fixing to grow up big.) When we went to see her, we could see that she had been well raised. She is gentle and respectful. The family we bought her from handled her often and took her along on their trips--so she got the same kind of start we do with our babies. She is two years old this month and they had ridden her twice around the yard.

Apparently she was a mistake. When they bought her mother (pictured below), no one knew that she was pregnant. This poor little paint pony had been covertly molested by some Jack and a few months later (June 2006) these avid horse people had a surprise bundle of half-ass pony.

At 13 hands high, she is really too small for me to ride, so Kailee said she would take the job of breaking and training her for a small fee of course. When she is a high powered lawyer some day, sitting across a board room table from some jerk, Kailee will cherish the lessons she learned on the back of a young mule. After all, no one will want to mess with the girl who started skinning mules at the age of 13. She is learning how to make the wrong behavior really uncomfortable, and the way to ramp up pressure until the right behaviour is a relief. Her future suitors be warned--and not just because I'm a mean Dad. She's got some sweet skills and a developed sense for not being manipulated. Forget taking advantage of her.

Today as we rode up a hidden draw near our home, through shimmering heat waves and the piercing noon sun, a coyote appeared on the ledge above us. He (or she) started to bark and howl, not more than 30 or 40 feet away. Every coyote I've ever seen has been on the run, so this unusual display got our attention. Kailee and I stopped our mules and watched for 10 or 15 minutes as this dog paced back and forth, yipping its story--completely unafraid of our presence. I'm glad I didn't have my camera--we would never have seen it.

My Mule Skinner daughter taught Minnie Pearl her first big lesson today--walk down those steep hills, don't run. We practiced over and over until she got it. Good job girls.


Matthew Urmston said...

thanks for the phone call and sharing your blog with us it is wonderful wow! we couldn't be happier that "minnie pearl" has found the perfect home may Kailee, the young skinner have many happy trails ahead of her hello to the family the urmstons

Tamster said...

Go Kailee!!! Sounds cool. Minnie Pearl is a cute name for the mule! :-)

Iditadad said...

Thank goodness - you are still alive and kicking out there and surviving all of that scorching weather. I am not looking forward to anything over 70 degrees when we get back to Utah. Love your posts. Love WoW

BonBon said...

Have fun Kailee. Maybe I will brave a ride if we come down that way.