Are you a USEF member? If so, you might have heard that the USEF has some proposed rule changes that they are seeking member input on. Unfortunately, I’m not a USEF member because mules aren’t allowed at USEF Eventing or H/J shows. Since I can only show at schooling shows, there hasn’t been any point in my joining the USEF.
However, one of the proposed rule changes – GR 126.2 – would change the definition of horse to allow mules to compete in rated events (not including breed specific classes or shows). Obviously, I would love for this rule change to go through. There’s really no reason to exclude mules from rated competition. In my – admittedly limited – experience, mules are freaking difficult. No one riding a mule is getting any sort of advantage. It’s taken me two years to get Nilla to canter like she’s not a drunken donkey. And really, even that’s questionable on any given day.
Mules actually used to be able to compete in eventing. I’ve heard rumors that the exclusion was because horses were spooked by mules. However, I don’t buy that. I’ve had very few incidents where a horse was actually scared of Nilla. Most horses are just curious. And the vast majority don’t care at all. And really, if it’s a spooking issue, why does dressage allow mules? If DQs can handle mules, eventers need to man up.
Since I’m not a USEF member, I cannot officially comment on the proposed rule change, but I can ask you to. If you’re a USEF member, please go to the USEF proposed rule change website and let the USEF know that you want mules to be allowed to compete. There are a lot of mule owners/riders out there that I know of who really want this rule change to go through. Some of them want to do hunters, some jumpers, others want to do reining or western pleasure. I hope you’ll consider casting your voice in their favor.