They Should Have Named Me Rodney – ACE’s Waldo


Waldo? Whatever possessed Jeff and his staff to name me Waldo escapes me. I guess the implication is that I’m a clown, a jokester amongst the herd at New River Trail Rides.Yes, I like to have fun, treat the guests who grace my back to a pleasant and scenic view of the New River Gorge. But Waldo?

Besides, my reputation proceeds me and deceives you. Let me explain. See there are many advantages to using mules for a trail ride. I am a cross between a horse and a donkey. More specifically, a mule is a hybrid equid, a cross of a female horse and a male donkey, often used for transport in rugged terrain.

In my case, my mother was a Belgian draft horse, making me a draft mule. Mules have a reputation for being obstinate and bad-tempered. Nothing could be further from the truth for me and my saddle mates here; we are faithful and trustworthy and our job here is to take care of our customers.

Mules can grow taller than both parents. With a mother who’s a Belgian draft horse that means I am tall. Weight for weight, mules are stronger than horses, live longer and have a longer working life. I’ll be at ACE for several more years.

Those who have been around us mules and horses will tell you that we are highly intelligent, quick to learn, obliging, kind, patient, persevering, calm, tolerant, sensible loyal, affectionate, playful and the list goes on. I’m not bragging, just saying.

We are rarely ill or lame, rarely need shoeing (Jeff loves that part), are not fussy about our food and can withstand extremes of climate.

So, I come back to my initial statement, “Why Waldo?” I’m thinking Rodney would be a better namesake, after the late Rodney Dangerfield, because I certainly “don’t get no respect.”

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