Looks Like a Job for Supermule!
Mules don’t jump — they fly. NickerDoodles creator Melanie Eberhardt illustrates.
Melanie explains: ‘Mules are like Superman. I’ve heard incredible tales of their jumping abilities. They’re able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (from a standing position). They are occasionally confused for birds and planes when they make particularly impressive jumps. And at take off, many riders are heard exclaiming “up, up and away!” But like Superman, mules have their Kryptonite and fortunately, we have ladders.”
For reals, though, mules have mad hops! Their athleticism and jumping ability of mules is well-documented — a quick Google search turns up reports of mules jumping 72 inches (that’s six feet) and even higher. They’ve been used in dressage, show-jumping, foxhunting and eventing and mule fans swear by their heart and sturdiness.
Check out this video of a 23-year-old Missouri Mule named Radar setting a new arena “coon jumping” record at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo in January of this year.
So, what exactly IS “coon jumping”? The best explanation the Internet has to offer comes from Cedar Creek Farm, “Home of Champion Miniature Donkeys”:
Coon jumping is a class named after the practice of jumping mules over fences during a hunt for raccoons with the dogs. During the hunt, there were often fences in the way of the chase. The rider would dismount and place a blanket over the fence (which was often barbed wire) and then have the mule jump the fence from a standstill. In the National Miniature Donkey Association coon jumping class, the donkey has to come to a complete stop after stepping inside of a box drawn 10 feet in front of the jump. The handler can put a towel or blanket over the jump if he/she chooses to do so. After coming to a stop, the donkey can move around inside of the box before jumping but if it steps outside the box, or knocks down the jump, it is eliminated. It has 45 seconds or 3 attempts to make the jump. After all the donkeys in the class jump (or have attempted to jump) the bar is raised in 2-3 inch increments. The donkey clearing the highest jump wins the class.
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About Melanie: I am an artist in Atlanta. When I’m not painting, I’m riding horses. I have 3 retired Arabians and a snotty pony at home. They keep me on my toes. Three years ago I bought a young OTTB straight off the track. My new fella, Bubba, and I are learning dressage. Sadly, I’m the weak link on Team Bubba, but I learn something every time we ride so it’s all good. I started NickerDoodles to document the horsey antics that abound within my world. I’m very fortunate to balance my life with things that I love – painting and riding – and NickerDoodles gives me a forum to share. If we’re not laughing at our horses and ourselves, we’re probably crying. I prefer to laugh! I hope everyone enjoys NickerDoodles.
Please visit my central website, melanieeberhardt.com, and follow Nickerdoodles on Facebook here.
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