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9 Things I’ve Heard on the Trail From Non-Riders

We’re all public land owners, after all.

Photo by Susan Wachter

Most trails I ride on, I rarely run across another soul. There are a few trails that I ride, however, that are packed with people on the weekends. Here are some comments I’ve heard from people while riding my mules on the trails.

1. “That is the prettiest horse I’ve ever seen!”

Normally I respond with “thank you” but occasionally if I’m feeling sassy enough I tell them “actually, he’s a mule. His daddy was a donkey, so that makes him half-assed. He sure is pretty, isn’t he?!”

After that they just don’t seem to see him in the same way.

2. “My dog has never seen a horse before, I think he thinks it’s a big dog!”

I bet he’s hoping you don’t start riding him!

3. This scene:

Me: Sorry my mule spooked at you, he’s supposed to be smart because he’s a mule but he didn’t get that memo. Those hiking poles are especially scary to him and he thinks they’re hungry for mule.
Hiker: Don’t be afraid, buddy! *flails the hiking poles in the air trying to assure my mule that they’re only hiking poles, therefore assuring my mule that they are INDEED hungry for mule*

4. “You’re doing it the lazy way.” –Guy on bike

“You’ve got to work smarter, not harder.” –Me

5. “Ew, horse poop on the trail. Gross!”

That is a trail marker and you’ll be glad to see it if you get lost. Don’t worry, it’s hybrid poop from a donkey/horse — it’s good luck.

6. “Can my kid pet your horse??”

Sure thing, he loves kids, just don’t walk behind him and watch your toes. (Kid must run behind mule every time and get way to close to his feet while screaming in delight.)

7. “I hope you brought enough water for your horse!”

He actually only drinks vodka. He’s picky like that.

8. “Oh my, those are the longest ears I’ve ever seen on a horse!”

I got a good deal on him because of that.

9. “Is it OK if I take a picture of your horse?”

Why of course! Most people do without even asking!

“Can I get on him and take a picture?”

Okay, now you’re pushing it…

Go riding!

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