Gentle Ben

More movies by Oct 25th


It takes a very special animal to become a trail mount for a quadriplegic.  In addition to all of the usual things a top-notch, “Grandma-safe” Missouri Mule Co. mule must be able to do, Ben had to become acclimated to things most of our mules never need - like being tacked overhead from the rafters, carrying a bulky and noisy breathing machine, and being trained to lay down to be mounted from the ground. But Ben did his job to the letter!

Most mules that are as quiet as Ben are quiet because they’re a little dull.  This makes for a safe, but unresponsive mule who just kinda does their job without a lot of input from their rider.  You see this a lot in pack-string mules, or ones that carry a lot of beginners.  Ben is NOT one of these - he’s not the kind of mule that just turns off his brain and follows along, half asleep.  Just because he’s quiet doesn’t mean he’s slow, or dumb.  Have you ever heard the phrase “Still waters run deep?”  Well, that’s Ben. His placid personality is deep, not dull! Despite being a athletic, powerful-looking John mule, in many ways Ben has a personality a little more like a Molly - he’s a caregiver, and is tuned into his rider.  When you’re in the saddle, Ben is nice and flexible in the neck and responsive to his rein and leg cues. If you do want to gait, he also has a big, flowing, ground covering running walk, that’s easy to find and comfortable to ride… and he’s more than happy to return to a walk. All of this adds up to him being a great confidence builder for anyone needing a reliable and trustworthy mount. He’d be a good choice for a heavier rider, too, or someone with balance issues. His strength and reliability give him a stable feeling, and he has the powerful compact muscles and short back that make him great at carrying weight. Lately, he’s been moonlighting as a jungle gym - Bob’s grandkids spend time climbing all over him, and he loves every minute of it!

Just like you’d expect from a Missouri Mule Co. alumni, Ben’s got that perfect combination of good looks, smooth gaits, common sense, and top notch training that make him into the ultimate luxury off-road vehicle!  All our best mules have that confident, watchful character about them where they take care of their riders - and Ben’s the perfect example.  He’s always got an eye (and both ears!) out for anything that’s odd, but he doesn’t spook.  Instead, he stops to have a closer look, observes and uses his brain.