Cucumber Mule using his mule sense in Arizona



Dr. Jim

I have got to share this day with  you. My 64th birthday was last Wednesday. Also decided it was Cucumbers 6th birthday. My friend Dawn and I loaded our animals and went to a state conservation area called Spur Cross Ranch. Had never been there before, it was beautiful mountains, canyons, and creeks.

 Unfortunately we didn't discover the creek until well into the ride. Dawn's mare is terrified of water. Had no idea about CuCumber as hadn't had the opportunity to test him. Needless to say that mule never hesitated crossing, the mare . . Not so much. Without a second thought I took the mares reins and drug her across, not without incident. This mare is big, heavy, towering over the mule. She jumped the water slamming into CuCumber.  He quickly recovered.  We continued to another crossing. We crossed, Dawn fought her horse who charged across running wildly without a rider past us. CuCumber stood his ground on a loose rein, then we caught her. Again on our way and guess what...yup you guessed it another crossing. This one was 15 ft wide and a couple ft deep.

We fought that mare and finally had enough. Got behind her and was "urging" her with a rope across the butt. Had never swung a rope off the mule let alone keeping mule blocking her escape. CuCumber decided he'd had enough and took a chunk out of her. Needless to say she crossed. Told him he was awesome and offered him a cookie.

On the way back through a narrow canyon trail came to a solid rock ledge, 3.5ft tall. CuCumber hesitated all of 2 seconds and just hopped up with me on him. Turned out we had to hop down because the horse couldn't make it.

Fast forward to trailer ride home. Stopped to get diesel. Had to wiggle in cause everyone and their pet duck was there. Got our fuel, CuCumber had his head all the way out of drop down window of slant load trailer. Had to squeeze my way out getting very close to brand new, dark blue SUV with tinted windows. About two thirds the way past I looked in rear view mirror,  OMG CuCumber was dragging his tongue along the SUV. Then we came even to the passenger window, which was down, with a poor unsuspecting woman sitting and reading. She looked up into the nose of this "thing" and freaked. She was so terrified and trying to get away she forgot she was seat belted in.

 I'm sorry, I know this is terrible but I couldn't keep from laughing, and laughing, and crying.  CuCumber is a constant source of entertainment and understanding. Sometimes I forget he's just a kid. Wish I had photos, I think even you would be impressed with this guy. I love that mule. Oh yeah, now when come to creek crossing, he stops, turns his head hoping he'll get a cookie, because after all he did once. Thanks again. Tell everyone hi. Have not given up on Maybelle. 



Hi Linda,

What a great adventure.  We all got a good laugh out of the many happenings.  Your Cucumber mule guy has a great personality and real mule sense that keeps both him and you safe.

To me it sounds seriously like your friend riding that short-eared mare needs to get into long eared mules.  Life is just to short to put up with that danger and yes, stupid behavior.  The Cucumber did good!

We are really glad that Cucumber is under your saddle and in your experienced hands.  You two make a great riding team.

Happy Safe Trails,



Dr. Jim

Again you gave me too much credit. I look good cause I'm smart enough to get awesome mules. Believe me when I say I wish she rode mules but it won't happen for many reasons.

Before I forget again how are you feeling. Did anything I suggested help?

Also our ole mule man Bobby Jack Hatfield has been in the hospital for breathing issues. I showed him the pics of Maybelle. He really liked her. All he could keep repeating was "she sure is a "GOOD LOOKING" mule.


Ms. Linda, 

 Mike and I disagree with “too much credit” concerning your riding skills.  With all of the success you experience with different awesome mules it takes an accomplished rider on a good mule to cover the rough terrain and trail challenges you ride on a regular basis.  

 A good mule rider is a good mule rider is a good mule rider. 

 I am feeling much better and your suggestions helped. 

 Give Mr. Bobby Jack our greetings. 


At Rancho Santiago 





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