Donkey sports take patience
July 9, 2011
I was reminiscing with a group of Dexter breeders. A Michigan farmer named Lew said when he was a boy, his grandpa hired a mule man to clear some timber. It was raining like a cow pouring hot tea on a flat rock!
The mule man sat in his old Chevy coupe with his arm out the window holding onto his harnessed log-skipping mules, Bob and Jim. Bob got agitated. His mule logic could not understand why he, as the acknowledged smartest, cleverest, and most dexterous of the equids, was forced to stand in the rain, while the laziest, densest and most fragile of the primates sat in a car two feet away. Did he think mules were stupid?
The man enforced his dominance by popping Bob on the end of his nose! Bob took umbrage and responded by jerking back, dragging pore ol’ Jim over the coupe, smashing the trunk, collapsing the rear window, flattening the roof, exploding the windshield and crushing the hood! We all agreed Bob had reaffirmed his place in the pecking order!
Rob, a Virginia farmer, took the baton and announced he was into Donkey Dressage. He explained that to truly appreciate it, one must understand the donkey attitude toward exertion…PACE YOURSELF. So rather than leap over the jumps at a high lope, you accrue points by walking through them at a comfortable pace pushing the horizontal poles over and walking around the water traps. The objective in each event is to do everything wrong!
In pole bending you walk between the poles, knocking them over and not crossing the finish line. In the performance class you get points for stumbling, going the wrong direction, dragging the rider against the fence, and star gazing.
Donkey basketball has long been popular but can you imagine Clydesdale basketball? It would be like watching the NBA! It just wouldn’t work.
So, I’ll be watching for Rob’s Donkey Dressage. Donkey hockey, Donkey water polo, maybe even donkey bulldogging! But…instead of bulls or steers, they would use something more suited for the donkey attitude. How ‘bout tortoise dogging! Obviously, it wouldn’t be a timed event.