Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Half-Assed Attempt at an Interview

Ha! Enjoy my pun as I interview Lee, owner of Pixel the mule and currently featured on the Ansur website in their quest for a new saddle. (The clinic was great and I have a write up coming. I haven't forgotten my Woff fans who want scans, but I only have so many blogging days and lots of awesome topics. Hang in there!)

So, meet Pixel.
Although Pixel has an adorable face, her typing skills aren't super great, so I interviewed her owner, Lee, instead.
Here is a picture of Pixel and a woman I presume is Lee. I'm not sure because I kyped the picture off the ansur website and I've never met Lee in person. Following is our interview.

SB: What is your background with horses/mules?
L & P:I have ridden all my life, literally. My background is Western, working ranch horses and associated events like barrels, etc. I consider myself a darn good hand with young horses, breaking and training. About 15 years ago I found myself able to have horses again after a work/school hiatus, and I wanted to try something different, especially since I didn't have cows to chase around anymore...
My first love was jumping, but eventually I got hooked on dressage. It is the hardest I have worked on horseback in my life!

SB: How did you and Pixel end up together?
L & P: I have always been intrigued by mules but never have even been around them. I got this idea in my head that I wanted a "dressage mule", so I started shopping aided and encouraged by my enabling mother....
You can imagine that not many warmblood mare owners breed to a I searched far and wide. Finally I found a WB mule baby in Texas. We met halfway and switched $ and mule in a Wal-Mart parking lot! And the rest is history, as they say.

SB: Why a mule?
L & P: See above. Why not?

SB: What are your goals together?
L & P: I would LOVE to take Pixel to some rated dressage shows one day and really piss off some dressage queens...
But the main thing, I would like to have the experience of training a different kind of equine; I feel that my training methods will work with Pixel despite all the mule folks warnings that they are sooo different. And so far so good! Her response to our methods has been better than I even expected.

SB: Why did you decide to go treeless?
L & P: It was a no-brainer for me; I am an Ansur saddle user from way back, I have had Classic, Konklusion, and Carlton, and now the Excel. Mules are notoriously difficult to fit with saddles, they have a lack of shoulder definition that allows the saddle to slide forward toward the neck (not good); some mules have no withers and a long flat back. I am lucky (I think) and Pixel has a good wither. I have a crupper which I will accustom her to just in case, but so far I haven't had any problems with saddle stability. I thought an Ansur was a logical choice, and I was sure it would work. Hence I bought the Excel. Of course, I use it on all the youngsters and some of the trained horses as well!

SB: Of all the treeless options, why did you settle on Ansur?
L & P: Frankly, it is the one I am familiar with. I have never had a reason to shop elsewhere, though I have seen other options and monitored discussions. Not even an Ansur works for every horse! I keep an open mind. In fact, I use a treed saddle on my big WB dressage horse, after years of Ansur saddles, because I as a rider need more support with him, he is a very difficult horse to ride.

SB: Is there anything you would change about your much-anticipated excel?
L & P: Not so far. I know that when I first sat in it, it felt wide. But that is after my highly structured Custom Advantage. And after a few minutes it feels just fine. I have had it only a short time, and the weather has been ridiculous for riding, esp a teenage mule...

SB: If you and Pixel could have one crazy adventure together anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, what would you do?
L & P: Wow. That is a tough one. Partly because I don't know what she is going to be when she grows up, so how she will do on trails, out with other equines, at shows, away from home, is all a mystery for the future...I can best answer that in a couple of years. I think that we are already on a crazy adventure together! and part of the fun is not knowing where it will take us.
So there you have it! I'm definitely not a mule person, but I do think Pixel is cute and I love irritating the warmblood-only crowd... besides, Pixel has just as much warmblood in her as Izzy does. Think of that.


  1. I love Pixel and I love the idea of Lee's plans to take her out in competition against some of those fancy warmbloods. Now all she has to do is "kick some ass," and win some ribbons. *VBWG*

  2. Pixel is the cutest! I am one dressage trainer that would love to see Pixel at a dressage show! He wouldn't be the only "ass" at a dressage show for sure! I'd be proud to share an arena with him, and Lee, anytime!

  3. I'm not getting pics today on blogger so now I'm feeling like I"m missing out not being able to see Pixel. :-(

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one having blogger troubles. Not sure what's going on...

  5. She's super cute!!! How big is she? I love mules, never worked with one, but they seem like they'd be fun! I want to see them under saddle together!

  6. Hi guys, this is Lee, Pixel's owner. I was reading your nice comments, and thought I'd respond to a couple of your questions. Pixel is a girl ("molly" is what the mulefolks call them), and she is 16h + (haven't measured her sincethe 16h measure a few months ago). If you want to see pics under saddle email me at and I will send you some!

  7. Thanks Lee! My stone-aged computer won't let me view the video you sent, or I would have figured out how to post it.


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