Hoof Boots in the Snow

This week we had our first snow of the season. It wasn’t a blizzard. We only got about five inches of snow. Still, it was fun taking Cracker and Pie for a spin in the white stuff. If you’ve ever wondered how hoof boots work in the snow, I think you’ll find this post interesting.

Heading out with Pie and Cracker.

About Hoof Boots and Me

None of my wife Julia’s or my horses or mules wear steel shoes.… Continue reading

Snow on the Pillows

This morning, Julia and I woke up with snow on our pillows. We sleep with our bedroom window open, year-round, and during the night, the season’s first snowstorm blew in. The boundary between the indoors and the outdoors is thin and that’s the way we like it.

Julia went out to feed the critters before coffee this morning. I took some photos you might enjoy. Yes, we’ll get to the coffee. Enjoy!

Pie hunkered down, tail-to the wind
The view… Continue reading

“Trash to Triumph” Book Update

Last day of the “Trash to Triumph” voyage. Here my last day on the road after riding from North Carolina to Idaho. Sign up right here to hear when the book comes out.

A little over two years ago, I finished riding mules Brick and Cracker from North Carolina to Idaho. I am currently working on the third draft of the book. The title of the book is “Trash to Triumph”.

Writing the first draft took… Continue reading

In Praise of Salamander Water Part Two: Keeping the Cistern on the Hill

Last week I told you how my wife Julia went to turn on the tap in the kitchen and we didn’t have water. I thought it might have been a salamander plugging up the works. It turned out our cistern was about to topple off the hill.

We get our water from a spring above our house. Here’s how it flows to the kitchen sink.
One of the salamanders in our cistern. Sometimes they stop up the plumbing and… Continue reading

The Hoof Boot Report: 3 Boots Reviewed After 32 Days on the Trail

Consumer Reports just won’t report on some things. These are the boots we’re reviewing. Here’s how they looked during our month-long mule ramble.

The word “report” brings to mind images of white paper, statistics, lab coats and, yawn, boring facts. This is not that kind of report. Rather, it’s the account of what my wife Julia and I learned after spending 32 days on the road with 3 mules and 3 different kinds of hoof boots. This may be the… Continue reading

In Praise of Salamander Water: Part 1: The Dry Tap

“There’s no water in the kitchen sink,” my wife Julia told me recently and I knew it was one of two things. Our water comes from a spring behind our cabin. Either a salamander or a crayfish had gotten stuck in the plumbing or the cistern that gathered the spring water was empty.

A crayfish we found walking up the driveway one recent frosty morning. They sometimes get stuck in our water supply.
Julia in the kitchen the day we… Continue reading

Mule Mushroomimg: Hunting “Aeyer Schweumli” from the Saddle

My mom used to point them out to us as kids. We’d be walking through the forest in western North Carolina and she’d point down at an orange mushroom and say, “Lueg. As Aeyer Schweumli”. “Lueg” means “look” in Swiss German, her native language. Aeyer Schweumli is what she used to call chanterelles. *

Aeyer Schweumli: aka chanterelle. It’s also called “Pfifferling” in German. Pfeffer means “pepper” in German. The mushroom has a peppery taste.

My brother Christian recalls a… Continue reading

Pony Sunday: How to Exercise Three Mules at Once

Recently, my wife Julia and I exercised our small herd of three mules and one pony all at once. I thought you might enjoy a few photos of how we did it.

Three for the price of one: here, I’m riding mule Brick and leading Polly (L) and Cracker (R). We’re coming around a turn so everyone’s a little all over the show

Usually, when you think of saddle riding, you think of a person sitting in the saddle riding… Continue reading

Off With Her Shoes (Part 1 of the 3 Part Series on Transitioning to Hoof Boots)

A while back my wife Julia and I pulled the steel horseshoes on her pony Pie’s front feet. I thought you’d be interested how we’re transitioning her (Pie, not Julia) to bare feet. From here on out, she’ll go barefoot. For extra protection Pie might need on rocky trails or abrasive surfaces like asphalt, we’ll slap on a pair of hoof boots.

Julia removing the nails from one of the horse shoes she’s taking off Pie. Pie looks pretty chill… Continue reading
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