John Henry - One of the World's Nicest Mules
Dear John Henry

[click to enlarge] Photo by Sally Eckoff


[click to enlarge] Photo by Sally Eckoff


[click to enlarge]


[click to enlarge]


[click to enlarge]


[click to enlarge]



John Henry has written an as-told-to Kathleen [his person] bi-monthly column called Dear John Henry for the Brayer, for the last 6 years. The Brayer is the official publication of the American Donkey and Mule Society. The columns are made up of interesting questions sent in by mules and donkeys and the people they own and John Henry's informative and sometimes funny answers.

The following links are to some of the columns....

Hi! My name is Dancer's Dream -

I'm a 16.3 saddle mule (big, like you!) I understand you go to a lot of events, from shows to the Equine Affair. You must have just crowds and crowds of people around you!

Does this every make you nervous? I've been to a few shows, and I'm fine as long as no one crowds up to me in the aisles. They all remark about how tall I am, or what pretty spotted socks I have, and want to pet my face.

I don't mind if they are outside my stall, but I just can't stand them squeezing by my rump in a narrow aisle - I start shaking! I even sat down once!

Is it just me, or is this normal? Can I learn to love crowds?

Dancer's Dream

Click here if you would like to read the full text of this column.

Click here for an interesting column about training our Jack Russell Terrorist puppy to ride in the cart.

Dear John Henry,

I am a lovely 6 year old Hunter-type mule. I am dark bay, and move very correctly. However, in the last open Hunter show I was at, the judge seemed to be mule-prejudiced, and said I didn't have an arched neck so I couldn't be collected and on the bit. Well, I was upset since I was as collected as a mule can get. (I guess he had not seen non-hunter breeds like some stock horses!) We just have straighter necks, that's all! But can you tell me if you know of a way to make my neck curve better? If not, how do we explain to these judges about our lovely but NOT-SWAN necks?

Miss Irish Rose

Click here if you would like to read the full text of this column.

Hay John Henry!

I hear you have a new stable mate! I don't know if I should say Congratulations or Condolences! I hear it's a MARE MULE - Ugh, those girls! Bossy!!!

My name is The Fuzzbuster (well, that's one of them) and I live at a stable with a couple of other mules and a bunch of horses. My person is a nice young lady who rides all of us as often as possible. The riding part I don't mind, and I love the jumping. I just have one problem that I'm not sure is normal or not.

My rider will sometime get up on me first, sometimes last. I don't get ridden every single day, either, but usually 2-3 times each week.

I have noticed a real difference when I'm ridden first, as to when I'm ridden last. Sometimes I feel she's tired, other times like she's rushed, and she doesn't take the time to go through the warm-up phases.

Would it help me and her both if she kept to a routine (halter, tie up, groom, lunge, cavalettis, then dressage or jumping) or is it okay if she just brings me out, saddles up, we canter, and then I get put away. When we do the shorter workout, I am usually still ready to go do other things!

Do you run into a problem like this with Kathleen?

The Fuzzbuster (aka Dusty's Baron)

Click here if you would like to read the full text of this column.

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