FarmWife has taken to trail riding with me in a mechanical hackamore, which has its pros and cons. On the plus side, it's more comfortable for a long ride than my rubber snaffle, and allows for the dispensation of cookies from the saddle for a job well done. Additionally, it's wrapped in comfy green polar fleece, and coordinates nicely with my new blingy browband. The downside is that it really does afford FW more leverage than she needs; except when I am in competition with eager company, I can be ridden without a touch on the reins. FarmWife recognizes this, and uses my mechanical hack with delicate tenderness. The other downside is that, as a reformed Elk Huntin' Mule, I am working hard to cultivate an image of English Gentility. This mechanical hackamore lacks the sophistication of the pelham, and the aesthetic appeal of the baucher snaffle.
Pictured here on the fence side (Kathy Stoddard up and Agnes de Mule to his right), John Henry takes time out from his pursuit of Reynard to compete in pleasure driving, combined driving, driven dressage, and recreational riding and driving. He also tours the nation as a mule ambassador, spreading cheer and goodwill to the masses. He has a hard earned reputation for excellence, and his thronging fans know it!
Unlike me, Fenway Bartholomule, John Henry has been made into a limited edition resin model by artist Bonnie Shields. I don't let it bother me—he deserves it, and I'm holding out for an offer from Breyer anyway. While we wait, why don't you visit John Henry's website at www.john.henry.org for more splendid photos, and enjoy. He's a dandy chap and I'm proud to call him a fellow mule.