Mules have been used for alot of different chores. They have pulled wagons and were used as pack animals. In recent years due to the decline in need for equine powered machinery, mules have found new roles to play. They are now mainly used for pleasure riding and driving.
One sport that any equine can compete in is endurance riding. Several people have begun riding mules in endurance rides all across the country. These mules have been doing very well have even been beating horses on these rides. In the 1999 Tevis 100 mile ride six mules competed and finished the race. One of the mules even finished in the top ten in Ninth Place! This mule was a small mule only about 14.3 hands tall and his name is Little Buckaroo. In the 2000 Tevis, many mules again competed and a mule named Ruby finished 7th.
I have started conditioning my mule Shy Ann for endurance riding and competitive trail riding. We competed in one endurance ride in 1999. we did not complete the course, due to getting lost, but we managed to get back to the campsite and we had a good time. I am going to start riding Shy Ann in more endurance and competitive trail riding events.
Endurance riding and competitive trail riding are similar in some aspects, but very different in other aspects. Both events are completed over a specified distance from about 20 miles on up to a hundred miles But the events are judged differently. Endurance riding is more like a long distance race, but competitive trailrides are judged on how the horse and rider react to situations on the trail, and how the rider cares for the horse before and after the competition. The main organization for enduurance riding is the American Endurance Riding Conference or AERC for short. Competitive trail riding also has a main organization called North American Trail Ride Conference or NATRC for short. NATRC also has regional organizations that have the ride information for that region.
American Endurance Ride Conference - Website for Endurance riding
Endurance Net - Other links and information on endurance riding
NATRC REGION 3 - Trail ride Organization for NM, CO, MT, UT, WY
NATRC - National Organization
PHOTO PAGE 1
PHOTO PAGE 2
A CHRISTMAS FABLE
HOW TO HOLD YOUR HORSES
EQUINE RESCUE STORIES
ABOUT BAREFOOTED HORSES