Meet Sassy the Mule at the Colombia Program Tents!

The Colombia program is excitedly preparing for the arrival of Colombian mule driver Leonel de Jesús Loiza, who will demonstrate how people in the mountainous Coffee Region pack mules for transporting coffee and other products.

The star of the mule-packing demonstration will be Sassy the mule, who lives in Nokesville, Virginia. Her adoring owner, Nanne Wright, sends this dispatch from Nokesville:

Sassy’s full name is Lacey Lane’s M&M Sassafras. She was born on April 11, 1999, and her mother is a Belgian quarter horse cross, and her father is a donkey. Sassy is known as a bay mule, and she has markings of dark reddish brown, a black mane and tail, and black legs.

Sassy has always been a “people person”! She is a huggy mule, which means that she puts her head over your shoulder and draws you in to her and gives you a hug!
She eats sweet grain and hay on a daily basis. Sassy rides and drives. She has a cart that we use to go for rides in, and on an occasion, she also pulls brush and logs for us on the farm.

People often mistakenly say that mules are stubborn animals, but they are not trying to be stubborn or difficult in any way. Mules are very cautious and like to check out their surroundings before moving forward. If they see something they don’t understand, they freeze to check it out, and while they are thinking it over, it’s very hard to move them forward. So this is why some people think mules are stubborn! It’s seldom you meet a “flighty” mule.

Another thing with mules is that they are very, very smart, and they don’t forget! If you scold them or don’t give them the treat that you promised, they will get even with you, even if it takes a very long time, even years! They just don’t forget and will get even. Mules are a lot of fun.

  • Susan S

    I love your explanation of how mules are really not stubborn rather they are cautious and want to understand! That is a lesson we all need to learn- to have patience and compassion when we encounter “stubborn”.

  • Josh J

    Very cool. I didnt know that about mules. You learn something new everyday. Glad to see that Sassy is going to be a star

  • anne harper

    A very cool mule. nice pictures

  • Deborah Clark

    Great stuff! Very informative and cool. Glad to see you getting some recognition for your “love”!

  • Carol Davison

    Glad to hear that we will have a cool mule at the festival. I look forward to my hug! Thanks for teaching us that they are cautious, not stubborn.

  • Jean Pitt

    Nanne, You know I agree completely with your descripti0n of my favorite equines! I recall the diving mules of Coney Island and how the animal rights people called their treatment cruel. In my opinion, after years of experience with mules, the animals loved what they were doing! You couldn’t make a mule do something they thought was dangerous and didn’t want to do. Fact of the matter is that most people don’t understand the workings of a mule’s mind. You are right! They’re smart not stubborn!