In the last two issues I have taken you through the process of losing money in the horse business. From breeding to racing and all in between.
This is a continuing saga of a true story as experienced by yours truly. As I said before my last wife is referred to as Old What’s Her Name or OWHN for short just so I can keep peace with my beautiful wife Nancy and get dinner at night and don’t have to sleep on the patio. We went from breeding some mares to racing one of the babies and seeing her win by 5 lengths and making a whole $ 175.00 and having to split it with the trainer and the jockey. Now we are hooked and the horse hurt her front legs and can’t race any more.
While at the races we watched some mules’ race and boy they are fast. OWHN has a bright idea to breed our fast Mare to a Jack Donkey and get a racing mule. I said no but as always she did it anyway. Eleven months and nine days later we got a female mule, half horse and half donkey. We named her something but ended up calling her Baby cause her name was so long .Boy was she cute. Funny how she could be so little and have such long ears.
Mules are a different kind of animal. They can be so sweet and in an instant be the devil himself. They can kick with all four feet in any direction and hit what they kick at. They are stubborn too. If they don’t want to do something you can’t make them.
So much for that. Now I want to introduce you to OWHN’S cousin Jan and her significant other, Brian. They came from Minnesota and became another deduction for us. The phone rang one day and a lady says Hi, I’m your wife’s cousin. We moved here. Can we come out? I should have hung up and buried my head in the sand and said honey wrong number. But being the nice guy I am, I said come on out. I’m BBQing and will have plenty. They showed up with their car loaded plus a cat. Then it is can we stay with you until we find a place? Sure OWHN says. We have plenty of room. No jobs some money, no plans to move out. We went to work every day, came home expecting them to say they found a rental, but no dice. They drove around the mountains all day drinking beer. Six weeks later I found them a rental. They would show up at dinnertime four or five times a week as they must have liked my cooking. Brian looked like Ickabod Crane, skinny with a bobbing Adam’s apple. They drank a lot of beer and he liked to play with the little horses. He found out what Hang On and Don’t Let Go meant.
After dinner one night I was doing dishes and OWHN and Jan and Brian were outside. I usually got stuck with the kitchen chores because those three were well into the beer and wine. I heard OWHN calling my name and telling me to bring her boots and camera. I always did what she asked and when I went out they were in one of the pastures. Brian was on his back on the ground covered with do-do with the mule baby who weighed around 300 lbs on top of him all four feet straight up in the air. Brian had this mule in a scissor and headlock and he was asking OWHN what to do. You guessed it, Hold On Don’t Let Go.
The mule was actually being pretty good. And then after the pictures were taken he let go and the mule tried to get up. Now they don’t just sit up and get up like we do. It was quite a site, her rolling around tangled up with Brian, scared and confused wondering if she won or lost this confrontation. I guess you could say she won because Brian was covered with scratches and bruises and do-do in all his orifices.
You have to wait three years before you can break a mule and a year after she was born her momma had another baby, a male we named Dude. He had his equipment removed and that made him a John mule. Females are molly mules and males without equipment are john mules. Now we have a racing stable. With their momma, a retired race horse, two thoroughbred mares, a couple of their babies waiting to be old enough to send to a trainer to get broke. Did I mention that by now I was broke .I hope OWHN doesn’t send me to the track to race because I can’t run for crap.
I was by this time going to get hay quite often as all these horse in various stages of laziness, were just standing around eating and you know what else. If a horse can hurt himself or herself they will. I was on first name basis with the vet, he was visiting a couple times a week and although they don’t charge as much as my doctor, my bill was getting out of hand.
Getting back to the mules and Brian. Dude was over one year old and he didn’t like for us to put a halter on him. We had to put a rope around his neck and tie him to a post so he could fight it for a while and when he gave up we haltered him. We were all out in the pasture and Brian went into the barn and was petting Dude. I guess he thought he would put a rope on Dude and show us that he could do it. I heard a noise and looked to the barn and saw Dude come busting out with a rope around his neck and Brian was three feet off the ground straight out, looking like Superman (all he needed was a cape). Brian was hollering Whoa Dude. He didn’t let go and ended up out in the pasture where Dude found the hay pile.
OWHN came up with a bright idea .Go into the beef cattle business. Big money in that and we get beef that will be paid for. Yeah Right!
To be continued…