Mules have an important place in the history of ranching in North America, and WE United is delighted to have some wonderful representatives of the “long ear society” participating in our events. During the 2017 competition season, four different mules have competed in Working Equitation, most of them multiple times.
Teter’s Copy of Bandy, expertly piloted by owner Jo Teter of Nebraska, not only earned enough points to win the coveted High Point Mule award for 2017, but also to capture 6th place in the Nation at the Novice level and 1st place in Region 3 for the year.
In addition to Teter’s Copy of Bandy, Jo Teter shows a second mule, Teter’s Dazzle, in the sport.
She explains that the two have very different personalities. “Dazzle is very stand-offish, he would be happy if nobody touched him, ever. I think that’s what helps him in EOH and speed, he doesn’t want anything touching him. Bandy is very laid back and loves everyone. He picked me as a weanling; he isn’t the mule baby I wanted, but he was the one I couldn’t get away from. His heart is pure.”
She has owned Dazzle for 5 1/2 years and Bandy for 4. When asked how she initially got into Working Equitation, Jo laughs, “I actually started on a whim. I saw the show bill in my area and decided to go and see what it was about. I rode in the Introductory level. It was so much fun, I couldn’t wait to ride up a level so I could do the speed trial.”
Jo explains that she really enjoyed the sport for a variety of reasons. “I like that it’s a level playing field. Every breed or type of equine has the ability to shine in at least one of the trials. It takes a good mind and body to excel at all three. I also like the different levels, it gives young horses a place to grow and learn the ropes. The WE shows and clinics have been very welcoming.”
Jo’s mules lead a very full life. In addition to their time in Working Equitation, Jo explains, that she and her husband and use them on the farm working cattle, checking fence, and for general ranch work. “We also take them on trail riding trips, they are great to travel with. I also show them in different mule shows, National Western Denver, Iowa State Mule show, etc. I show everything from English, Western, Trail some speed events, best class ever Egg & Spoon! We also do a mean costume class.”
Jo remarks, “It takes a village to show horses or mules. I have many people who have helped me. My husband Duane is the best, I couldn’t do this without him. My parents and family, (shout out to my sisters) my 4-H kids, tons of horse / mule friends, my vets Dr. Jamie, Dr. Joe, Dr. Roy, Dr. Steve. Great shoer Nathan Morris. Colt starter Max Reynolds, mule friend and breeder Chris French. I live in a pretty remote part of Nebraska, I feel like the community in this part of the country has been supportive of the mules I ride and show. I would say thanks to them all! Thank you to Tarrin Warren, who has been a great teacher in her clinics.”
“One of the best parts of riding a mule at a show is when someone goes by and says ‘Nice Ass’ just makes ya smile : ),” Jo reflects. “When you ride a mule, you don’t get to take yourself too seriously.”
Given the scores that she and her mules are earning in competition, however, we think it’s safe to say that they are definitely serious contenders!