I was fortunate to grow up with horses. I showed in 4-H and at the local shows when I was a kid. As an adult, I discovered mules and have never looked back. My mules (I have 3 now) have taken me from Kentucky to Wyoming and everywhere in between. I love to train and show but trail riding is still what I do to relax and connect with my long ears.
I discovered Ranch Versatility in 2015 and I want you to know that I was very hesitant. I don’t have a professional trainer, there is no “cattle work” in my background and I wasn’t sure how a mule would be received in classes full of stock horses. I should never have worried. When this organization says that everyone is welcome… they mean it! Not only that, but the clinicians and participants alike will help walk you through everything new. I remember sitting on my mule (Penny) at that first show and being so impressed with those around me. These were talented riders that had an obvious passion for what they were doing. I was also envious of their skills (roping, cutting, reining, etc.) and couldn’t wait to learn more.
I jumped in with both feet for 2016. I competed in almost all the club’s shows, attended clinics and took lessons whenever I could. All the help paid off. My riding skills improved as did my connection with Penny. We excelled in some classes and struggled with others. It is the same for everyone. That is the unique aspect of Versatility; you don’t have to be great at everything to succeed. When I started in the spring I had no idea that I would end the season in Colorado Springs, CO at National Finals. There Penny became the first mule to win a National Championship (Novice division) and I have never been more proud of her.
I may have the only mule in the country competing in Versatility Ranch but I hope that changes very soon. Whoever you are and whatever you ride, there is a place for you with Northern Lights. All you need is a desire to learn and a good time. Join us, please. I promise you won’t be disappointed!