Reluctant Cowgirl

Equine Planning

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I am not a planner. I don’t have grand visions or intentions that I scroll into notebooks to check off, and at age 21, freshly minted with a college degree, I did not go immediately to graduate school or set out pursuing my dream career, but dawdled in the in-between space of wondering. I had no date by which I planned to be married, or have children (both of which, by the way, I have not accomplished and am totally cool with), and kinda sorta always had no idea where I’d live.

This is all by way of saying I did not plan to move to the middle of nowhere, Oregon and get a mustang horse. Or a second horse. Or a spotted standard donkey. I did not plan to be texting with a woman on a flip phone in Enterprise, Oregon, who has a mule she is looking to find a good home for, because someone dropped him off in her yard the way someone might drop off a kitten or puppy they no longer want at a vet’s office or in a farm driveway. Someone dropped off a mule in the darkness of night. People are strange and not to be trusted, y’all.

The mule is small and dun and very unlike the mules I fell in love with in Montana in June of this year, which had dinner plate hooves and required me to grunt and go tippy-toe to hoist the pack saddle and mantied gear onto their great, heaving withers. But he has personality, she says, and not a mean bone in his body, which is all it really takes to get me to say, “well, maybe I’ll take a look.”


A photo of a string of Belgian draft mules I met in June. My Potential Mule does not look anything like these Montana babes.

Because planning is for sissies and if you didn’t plan to have horses or donkeys you probably should also not plan to have mules, and then go ahead and surprise the heck out of yourself for fun.

Author: jess

I love my dogs and equines and good food, drink and music. I believe that the world is a better place because of bad Sandra Bullock movies, Hank Williams, and honeybees. I used to think I would never live in the middle of nowhere eight hours from the ocean or own a horse as an adult, but now both are true, so I may be an unreliable narrator.

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