Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Trails with Abraham

My mother & I enjoyed many fun years of riding Abraham -- whether on the farm, in state parks, or out West! This picture was taken at Caesar's Creek State Park in 1985. Mother originally purchased Abe to use for riding in the Rocky Mountains and with the hope of training him as a pack mule. While he never took to "pack mule" status, she did take him to the Rockies and rode him during Wagon Train re-enactments in the Dakotas and Ohio. He was a wonderful mule! Abraham, as a mule, was the son of a mother horse and a father donkey. This creates a creature which is hardy & somewhat stubborn, but usually has the temperment of a horse (as opposed to a more difficult donkey). Mules are born sterile, so Abe never fathered offspring, nor did he need to be castrated. Abe lived a long life, despite developing a tumor at the intersection of his right front leg and shoulder. It began growing around 2005, first appearing about the size of a baseball. It increased to the size of a basketball by the time of his death. While it may have contributed to his passing (tumors tend to absorb massive amounts of energy from the body and sap blood flow), it did not hinder his mobility. As recently as Boxing Day 2010, Abe had a hoof trim and was afterwards chasing Baby V the Calf around the barn lot. I am grateful for my happy memories of Abe and for the fact that he went so quick! Yesterday, Abraham was placed atop the grave of Lassy the Horse and composted. Lassy & Abe resided together ever since he arrived at the farm in 1982. She pestered him without mercy at times, so I could not help but laugh that in the end he -- literally -- ended up on top! This is the first time in my life that I have been without an equine. It is an odd feeling, but I am sure another will come to the farm at the right time. RIP Abraham!

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