How many different ways can you combine horses, mules, donkeys, wagons and carts? Last weekend, I attended the wedding of my friends Kenny and Myla Tyndal in the Sandhills of North Carolina. Talk about a whole lotta pine trees, crazy knots and ways to fix a wagon with a beer can.
You can ride a mule 2,300 miles through America and still bomb the trail class.
This weekend, my wife Julia and I attended Leatherwood Mule Days in Ferguson, North Carolina, about half an hour from our farm. It was a reminder of how… Continue reading
Twenty years ago, I owned a mule named Woody. Woody was cantankerous. I wanted to ride him across North Carolina – and maybe a whole lot farther. Too bad nobody could tell me how to ride a mule 300 miles. This is the post I wish I’d read all those years ago.
It was about this time of year, a few years ago, that a TV crew for UNC-TV followed mule Polly and me on a wagon ramble through eastern North Carolina.
Director Morgan Potts and his film crew followed me from Oriental, North Carolina to Hobucken and Aurora and back to Oriental. They dropped in from time to film me as I visited with folks… Continue reading
A guy I’ll call Harold wrote me recently. He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “I’m seventy-one years old. I’ve always wanted to take a long saddle trip like yours. Am I too old to go?” This reminded me of a quote by Saul Bellow. “When someone asks for advice, they’re looking for an accomplice.” It also reminded me of my dad, Art Harberts.
When my mules Brick and Cracker and I set out on our latest journey from North Carolina to Idaho, we did so with minimal planning. We had no chase crew, sponsor or person lining up places for us to stay. We just went.
A lot of folks I know that have experience with mules prefer mare mules over horse mules. A mare mule is a female mule, also called a “molly”. A horse mule is a male mule and is also called a “john” mule. It gets even more complicated with donkeys so let’s save that for another day.
In general, a mare mule is a little less, shall we… Continue reading
My wife Julia and I are thinking about our next trip. My way of getting ready for a trip is just leaving. Julia makes lists. One of the things on her list of things to do before heading out is, “Teach Pie and Magneto to pack and remain calm even when the pack saddle flips under their bellies or they see a bull elk or a mountain lion.”
What’s the best kind of hoof boot for your horse or mule? My wife Julia and I rode from North Carolina to Virginia and back with three brands of hoof boots. This review is what we learned after 32 days on the road. The 3 boots reviewed are Cavallo hoof boots, EasyBoot hoof boots and Renegade hoof… Continue reading
I have not always traveled by mule. When I was thirty, I decided that sailing around the world would be more interesting than sticking with my office job. I bought an old boat named Sea Bird and notified my employer that I was going sailing. I had just enough money saved to get going but not enough to make the whole trip without working along the way. I went anyway.