I don't know about where you live, but south of the Sweet Tea Line, spring is in the air. Birds are chirping. Hair is flying. Mares are sassy.

But spring is important for another reason.

That's right, it's almost time for Mule Day! Held in Columbia, Tenn., since 1840, more than 200,000 attend the event that celebrates all things mule.

But Mule Day is far more than just mules--there's a log loading competition, gospel music, knife and coin show, and even a liar's contest. It's also far more than a day--in fact, it runs March 30 to April 5 this year.

This reason why this blipped on my radar today is that I stumbled onto several stories indicated that this year's Mule Queen has been crowned: the title of Monarch of Mules went to 21-year-old Rachael Ethridge, who was competing in the pageant for the sixth time (rock on, girl!).

This got me thinking about some other hometown pageant titles--Strawberry Queen, Apple Butter Queen, Bean Queen. I personally know not one, but two Catfish Queens. Does anyone know of any other equine-related royalty? I think it'd be pretty fun to be the Pony Princess, Marquess of Minis, or Donkey Duchess!

If you're anywhere in the vicinity of Columbia March 30 through April 5, get thee to Mule Day! And bring us a full report!


Suburban horsekeeping is nothing new--all it takes is a drive down the Interstate or along the back lanes of a subdivision to find a pasture nestled between homes. But a couple in a suburb of Boston have stirred some complaints for moving Fancy, a 5-year-old Paint mare, from a boarding stable to a stall in the garage.

The Daily News Transcript tells us owner Amanda Labarge moved the mare into her fiancé's mother's garage when they could no longer pay for board.

The mare is currently stalled in the garage, with her caretakers feeding her and taking her out for daily walks, weather permitting. They plan to compost manure and set up a paddock in the backyard, and have filed an application for a livestock permit with the Board of Health.

While some neighbors are calling the situation abusive, an investigator with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals visited the premises and declared Fancy to be well cared-for.

Read the full story. What do you think?