Friday, June 30, 2017

I Got a Mule

I know what you are thinking:  NuzMuz is too crippled to take care of her four horses that she already has, so what's she doing getting herself a mule?

Well, it's not THAT kind of mule.

It's this kind:


I shopped online for used side-by-sides, but was a little scared to splurge on the unknown.  People beat up their UTVs pretty hard.  So, I visited my local Kawasaki dealership.  Right when I was driving up, they brought out this little Mule SX.  I pointed at it and said, "Now that's what I need."

I went inside, told the salesman what I was looking for, describing all the activities I would do with it, and he took me straight to this little guy.  It had everything I needed and nothing more, but I still wasn't ready to splurge.  The salesman sensed my trepidation and talked to his manager.  They said that since it is their off season, (meaning no snowbirds), they'd give me a good deal if I bought it within the next couple of days.  They took $2,000 off the price!  I was floored.  I thanked them, but said I'd have to come back with my husband the next day.

Then I drove down the street to the Polaris dealership.  I looked at a couple of Polaris Rangers and didn't like what I saw.  The beds were too high and made out of plastic.  I'd throw out my shoulders and back trying to shovel manure up into them, and the hot Arizona sun would probably rot that plastic.  At least the Mule's bed was made out of metal and lined with steel.  I also didn't like that they decked out the Rangers with all the accessories, driving up the price.  I don't want no stinkin' door.  That's just one more thing to have to open and close.  I don't want a windshield either, because it's one more surface to keep clean.  I don't even want a roof, because the horses will just eat it.  Seeing another brand and style just convinced me that the Mule was the best candidate for my purposes.

The next day my husband took a look and agreed that it would suit our needs.  While I am finishing up a month of physical therapy for crippling arthritis, my husband is starting a long process of working with a chiropractor to help his back pain and stiff muscles.  He gets massages, PT, and bone cracking every couple of days for several months.  I suspect that this Mule will make all the difference in the world for us.  It's going to allow us to keep our horses longer.  I was originally just going to sell all the horses if I didn't improve, but my husband said he was not willing to sell Rock.  I was happy to hear that, because I'm not really willing to sell him either, even though I know there are people out there who would pay a fortune for him.

On our first test run with the Mule, I drove it to the mailbox to pick up the day's delivery.  I was able to stick it in the glove compartment.  If we ever get a package, I can stick it in the hood compartment, which is super deep and wide, like an ice chest.  Then I drove down to the barn to deliver carrots to the horses.  I parked the Mule with its engine running next to them while feeding them carrots, and then had my husband drive it around them.

Lostine ran right up to it.  Go figure...

Then my husband honked the horn to get Lostine to move, and Rock came trotting into the barn toward it.  Go figure again...

Gabbrielle was petrified, as expected...

But I think in the picture above, she was running toward me for carrots more than she was running away from the Mule.

Bombay kept his distance, but didn't panic...

Rock was unfazed after the first two minutes...


I love how it fits so easily down the barn aisle.  I got the most compact model with the shortest wheelbase and tightest turning radius so that we can drive it right into the stalls and turn around in there if needed.  The bed payload is 400 pounds.  If we moved up to the larger model, we could have had a bigger bed with a payload of 800 pounds, but we would have lost the other benefits I just mentioned.

What a view...

It only takes up half a bay in the garage...

I was worried about disturbing the neighbors, but the engine is fairly quiet.  Although, one of my neighbors on the hill saw us driving around and got inspired to go for a joy ride on his ATV.  My Mule is not street legal, so we'll have to keep it within our property bounds, which is fine with me.

Oh yeah, I wanted to ask:  What color would you say it is?  Apparently, I have more yellow receptors in my eyes, because to me it looks like construction orange, but the paint is called Sunbeam Red.  My husband sees red.  I think of our cars as being red, but I guess they are more of a maroon or burgundy.

6 comments:

TeresaA said...

So yes, when I read the title I thought you had lost your mind. :D
But now I am totally jealous because that Mule is perfect in every way! I see it as orangey-red too. Have you named it yet?

Camryn said...

Love it! It's going to lighten your load so much & be fun to boot! I was excited thinking it was an actual mule but, just as happy it's not lol

Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm seeing more orange than red. I have a Kabota mule and love it. You're going to love this. It really helps with the work load. My horses aren't the least bit afraid of it. They crowd around it in the field sometimes for carrots or hay. Blue one time refused to move out of the front of it, blowing the horn didn't help. I had to get out and remove him. Good luck with your mule, I hope it makes taking care of the horses easier for you.

ellie k said...

I see red and a very nice mule. I think Rock is saying to himself "She has me why does she want a mule" Rock is a handsome young man, he will consider the mule just a work horse. Maybe he is a little worried since you are riding it instead of him. The mule will lighten your load a whole lot, good choice.

Mrs Shoes said...

I see orange; great tool to help you out with most any task!

Linda said...

In most of the pictures, it looks orange. It's perfect in every way!! I want one!