The Mule Made Me Do It! 40lbs down, 40lbs to go (pics)

Losing weight; some people do it for their family, a spouse, for self esteem...I started because of a mule.

I have been around horses most my life, however as my weight sky rocketed, my ability to ride was becoming more and more hindered. The bigger part of it was, I wasn't as 'bouncy' as I once was, and falls and spills from the back of a horse were no longer as easy to get over. I endured a long recovery from a couple of really bad accidents from a horse. I pretty much decided to hang up my spurs.

But then my husband surprised me with a trip to the Grand Canyon for my birthday. We spent three days at the rim, during which, I watched the wranglers leaving out and coming in on their mules each day. I was intrigued and started talking to the wranglers. Why a mule? Well, they carry weight better, they are more durable, they are smarter, they reason things out more than a horse, they don't spook at silly things the same way as a horse, the list went on and on. I was hooked.

Maybe my equine hobby was not over after all...however it would not restart that weekend. Normally a mule ride at the Canyon has to be booked as much as a year in advance...but there was a last minute cancellation. We could go, if we wanted. Until I found out about the mandatory weight limit. To be able to ride, you must weigh no more than 200lbs, fully dressed. No exceptions due to the safety of rider and mule. I was at least 50lbs over the limit, and devastated and mortified.

When we got home, I couldn't get the mules out of my I started reading and learning as much as I could about them. It took over a year to find the right one for me...but I found him, Marshall Dillon the Mule.

As Marshall and I started getting acquainted and started riding I worried about my weight, but did little about it. Although mules are known for being sturdier, I noticed that as my weight yo yo'ed up and down, it would definitely affect the way his saddle fit him. Without realizing it, I had gotten up to 262 lbs. After a winter of holiday eating and little to no riding, I got on Marshall the first pretty day of spring. After our ride, I took Marshall's saddle off and realized that my extra weight was now creating pressure points on his back where there hadn't been any before.

My weight was hurting my beloved mule (and I do mean beloved, my husband complains that people think I am married to a man name Marshall because I talk about him so often). It was time to do something. So, right around Feb 24, 2011, I started working on weight loss...all because of my mule.

Not only will Marshall be happier, but once I get closer to my goal weight, and know I am out of the danger zone of not meeting the weight husband has promised another trip to the Canyon, so that I can go on that Canyon Ride :)

March 4, 2011 260lbs
[img] going gone/1March2011260lbs.jpg[/img]

April 2011 255lbs
[img] going gone/2April2011255lbs.jpg[/img]

May 4, 2011 245lbs
[img] going gone/3May42011245lbs.jpg[/img]

July 4, 2011 238lbs
[img] going gone/4July2011238lbs.jpg[/img]

Sept 2011 225 lbs
[img] going gone/5Sept2011225lbs.jpg[/img]

Thank you for reading and listening. I currently do not have any friends on MFP. I would be happy to friend some folks, especially if you also share a passion for equines (short or long eared)!


  • jessie1480
    jessie1480 Posts: 132 Member
    So I absolutely love mules!!!! I packed in Yosimite for a few years. I rode a trusty mule named Frazier. I now train the short eared kind, but am looking for a good saddle mule right now to show at mule days.
    Your pictures are inspirational, and I would be proud to call you friend.
  • Stephanie198907
    Stephanie198907 Posts: 165 Member
    Great story and congrats on the success! Tell Marshall the Mule (love his name!) I said hello!
  • FeelingFroggy13
    FeelingFroggy13 Posts: 62 Member
    Thank you! I am really excited by the changes. I can't wait to get a more current photo to add, we have a trail ride scheduled soon, I will see if I can get a photo then.

    I did hit a rough patch over the winter, which is why my progress in one year's time has been so slow. I regained almost 10 pounds, then lost it, then regained 5... Family emergencies, holidays and stress all became an easy way to excuse my bad decisions. I didn't let myself completely slip, but I wasn't being as watchful as I should have been. When I hit my one year mark, and realized that I wasn't as far along as I had planned, I decided to get back to logging my food. I had used a different diary, but found this one on my new android I tried it.

    I am really happy I did. The stories in this forum, the support in the other topic groups, the advice...have all been incredibly grounding and encouraging.

    Life is good :)
  • mmk137
    mmk137 Posts: 833 Member
    Marshall is beautiful. and you are doing so well too. Keep it up and you will be doing the mule canyon ride in no time
  • NicolettetheGreek
    NicolettetheGreek Posts: 246 Member
    Hi! My Name is Nicolette.. I used to ride..I was living at a horse boarding farm outside of Ft Worth when I was a teenager, mucking stalls, working for the boarders, working in our feed store, bailing hay..doing just about anything to earn my keep. Well,decades later, I'm too disabled to ride..but I remember how much fun it was. Even just loved putting them on the hot walker and standing on the fence and watching the Arabian's, Palomino's. Paint's (my personal favorite) But always wanted to see and rise a Mustang, like in Hildago..

    Anyhew, they gave me a horse to ride..nobody else wanted him..He was inbreed, 3/4th Quarter Horse, 1/4 POA. His "official" name was: Oscar, Two Times Number One Son. I can't remember how many hands high he was..I was about 5'7" and skinny as a rail..all that damn work..but had big boobs..Loved Oscar, until he ran me full speed into a barb wired fence. He was then put with the foals..End of my horse story.

    You look so happy riding! I do notice something tho..Howard's (is that his name..have forgotten already! sorry, pain pills working here)anyway, Howard's ears are back at the beginning, and the more weight you lose, the more forward and happy he appears!

    Keep up the great work.. I live in New Mexico..Maybe we could meet at the Grand Canyon..I have never been, and ride down together!! That would be a really cool goal for me.

    Anyway, read my profile, I'm an acquired taste..:ohwell:
    Take care, In Him, Nicolette
  • NicolettetheGreek
    NicolettetheGreek Posts: 246 Member
    Howard=Marshall in post above..sorry pretty loopy now..have chronic pain issues, and I had another surgery 2 weeks ago..Nic
  • nursecasg
    nursecasg Posts: 123 Member
    What a wonderful story! Great Job and Congrats on the weight loss.
  • bemott
    bemott Posts: 180
    This story made me cry, in a good way. So sweet. You and that handsome mule are wonderful. Keep up the fantastic work.
  • inittothinit42
    inittothinit42 Posts: 64 Member
    Good work!
  • meowstrom
    meowstrom Posts: 37
    This is a beautiful story :)
  • dessiepenn
    dessiepenn Posts: 167 Member
    what a great post!! You great!!
  • wcasie
    wcasie Posts: 299 Member
    Great story!! You ought to love Marshall even more as he could have very well saved your life!!! Congrats and keep up the great work!
  • Your story is so amazing. I love horses but I don´t have one nor a mule.
    It is so amazing to see how small the mule is in the first picture then you get smaller and your beautiful mule gets bigger and bigger.
    Very inspiring.
    Keep up the good work.
    You are welcome to add me if you want
  • Wendysworld13
    Wendysworld13 Posts: 225 Member
    You and Marshall are an inspiration. We all have ups and downs in weight loss, just like in life, and we make a conscious effort to keep going! Today is my first day back to 'real' exercise in 4 weeks. My partner and I have been battling her cancer. I understand needing something to kick me in the bottom to get me to go (even if it is not from a horse or a mule).
    Good luck to you in your journey, and I am happy to be friended.
  • miniberger
    miniberger Posts: 70 Member
    How cute is that!!!!
  • This story hit me in an unexpected way. I lost my baby (a TB cross) a few years ago due to a twisted gut. Every time I see a horse I just cry all over again. I can not imagine getting another horse because he meant so much to me. You have made me think about the possibility of finding a mule. I always had heard they were hard headed, but your story has given me hope that perhaps I will ride again....just not on a horse. Thank you!
  • You look fantastic! The midway point for you (221 lbs) is my target weight! Keep up the great work xx feel free to add me
  • aamb
    aamb Posts: 377 Member
    you and marshall both look so much better!!! stay well and keep riding!!
  • Penelope2Plyr
    Penelope2Plyr Posts: 166 Member
    Thanks for sharing your story, I truly enjoyed reading about your success and will continue to look for posts and pics as you lose more weight and get to do the canyon trip again also. Good Luck.
  • TazzytheMotivator
    TazzytheMotivator Posts: 667 Member
    I love reading your post. So happy for you. You can and You will succeed on your weight loss journey.