Headed up to Bill's ranch this morning and met the crew - lots of cute dogs including two enormous labs that lumbered toward the truck in tail-wagging ecstacy and a wolf german-shepherd pup who was absolutely ADORABLE. and Shetland sheep and mini goats and Scotland Highland cattle and llamas and...AND about 30 burros!
We took out Mr. Zeffles and Jacky as well as a new, untrained burro Brad called "Doctor Knows it All." Brad and Bill showed me how to put the saddle on Mr. Zeffles and reviewed the burro-racing basics:
- Run on the left.
- Pass on the left.
- Don't let them get out of control on the downhills.
- Work as a team and encourage each others' burros.
We did a 4 mile loop- lots of uphill, some flats and downhill. It was AWESOME.
So, I quickly learned that Ralph's sweet little Ruby is like driving a Cadillac - cruise control, power windows, power brakes, power steering that you can control with your pinky finger. These guys I ran with today are NOT mini burros like Ruby. They are full-sized male burros. They may have been gelded, but they sure are full of it. Each are close to 500 pounds - and rowdy! These guys are like driving my mom's 1973 FJ-55 Landcruiser. No power brakes. No power steering. No electronic ignition. Just pure willpower, baby!
To get Mr. Zeffles up the hill I had to drag, prod, smack, holler, and beg. And he would mostly cooperate. My favorite is when he didn't want to cooperate, he just push his head into me like he wanted a snuggle - but really he was pushing me into a wall or a hay bale or off of the road.
The biggest challenge was keeping up with these guys on the downhill. They like to race each other and they are fast! I was sprinting as fast as I could and I still had to give up on my burro at one point and let go of the lead. Luckily I caught him within about 20 seconds, but it was tough! And I broke a few nails (girly sigh).
Somehow or another Bill talked me into doing the 13 miles with him tomorrow morning...
BOO YA! :) Thanks a million to Bill and Brad for their patience.