Bucking Mustangs and Dancing Mules
Trip Start May 17, 2010
20Trip End Oct 10, 2010
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Where I stayed
May 31st to June 10th - Largo Canyon School
I was at Largo Canyon School, an old high school in the middle of an oil field that Pat and her husband John had converted into a ranch
Pat trains mustangs that are caught by the US Forest Service because they have decided that the National Forests are overpopulated with these wild horses. Once trained to a point where they can be easily approached, led on a rope and willingly lift their hooves on command, they are put up for adoption to the public. This may not sound like much work, but imagine walking up to a horse that's never had any human contact before. Some of them wanted to get as far away as possible, some of them wanted to kill us. This changed eventually, especially when they realised we had an endless supply of horse cookies.
Lucky is a mustang that Pat kept because no one wanted to adopt him due to his bowed back
Besides my brief ride on the mustang, I also got to ride an American quarter horse, a mule and sweet little donkey named Solomon who quickly became my favorite. He wasn't the the most exciting ride, but he was the nicest. The quarter horse was just as stubborn as the mule and quite a bit lazier. In fact she had gotten so fat she could no longer be saddled. After jumping on Solomon for the first time, Pat informed that he also wasn't broken for riding. Solomon didn't seem to be aware of this and happily walked me around the yards.
Meanwhile, anyone with a handful of treats could dance the hokey pokey with Cracker the mule. He didn't know his left from his right, but he'd always put one foot in, shake it all about and even turn in a circle. But only if there were treats on offer.
After ten days at Largo Canyon, I decided two things. One, I never want to live in a desert or anywhere with so much dust and sand. Two, I'm getting a donkey when I get home.