Friday, 30 November 2012

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Hugs

Dearest Muleteers, today I am in a little bit of a rush as my hugs and snuffles are required from all around, what it is to be such a lucky pony!   My friends find someone this weekend and give them a hug whether in sadness or joy or just to remind someone how much you care.
With that in mind here is my thought for today.... hope you like my piccies sending you all virtual hugs!
A hug is a great gift - one size fits all and it's easy to exchange

Monday, 26 November 2012

Diesel - Pirate Cat!

Dearest Miaowleteers, it is official, felines do not mix well with water!  I have been keeping my kitty paws safe and dry indoors looking at the disgusting weather out of my cat door.  It has just rained and rained and rained; our neighbours have flooded, our garden has been partly washed away and it is flooded all around.  This has been playing havoc with my exercise regime, I am a huntress and like to keep myself fit and sleek by leaping around and terrorising the neighbourhood.  When I'm forced to stay inside because of the weather I have been concentrating on my next best form of exercise.  Climbing the humans!

FH has been telling me that I'm like a Pirate's Parrot?  Apparently pirates are famous for having a parrot sat on their shoulder, FH muttered something about 'pieces of eight??' I think she is forgetting that I am far superior to a parrot but I guess if it amuses her?

So I have spent the weekend climbing on board, ensuring that the human's are carrying out their duties.  I have been perfecting the shoulder sit trying to inflict the least amount of mud on FH, if I am too muddy I get put on the floor.  Here I am checking out the funny shiny phone thing in FH's hand and then I got a bit distracted by FH's shampoo, it doesn't smell very divine to a feline!

FH if you'd just stand still a bit I'm sure we can perfect this riding thing that I've seen you doing with Dragon, if only you were better trained I'm sure we could get far?  Maybe we could be entered in the next olympics.... although I'm not sure you have the grace for that!  

I can tell you backing and training a human to carry my feline perfection is hard work!  Must be time for another little snooze, maybe the sun will shine again one day? Next stage human is to carry me around without squeaking and laughing...

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Updated: All About Mules

FH has been bored, the rain is non-stop, she has spent the afternoon busy updating our blogsite.  She has added some information on us long ears on a new page on our site called 'All About Mules', would you believe it she is hijacking our blog - disgraceful.... we'll let her off though as she has used some pictures of our handsome selves.

Hope you like it 

We promise to update again soon when the rain stops, we will either be looking for an ark for sale or Mother Nature may answer our pleas and send some sunshine?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Strength

Dearest Muleteers, I am a giant among ponies, I have the strength of ten bears and although I look sweet and fluffy I have a steely inner core.  I will not move from the feeder, I will not be cowed by bullying and I will withstand the lashing of the rain, the beating of the wind and the trials that are sent my way.  But... I am gentle, I am soft, I am loving, I am giving, I am quiet and I am calm; I am strong.

There are times when you must harness your strength and stand up and be counted, in the muleteer household my strength is an inspiration to all.  I will not falter, I will not back down but I will be gentle, caring and loving and always share. When you are weak I will lend you my strength dear friend.

With that I give you my quote for today...

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Dear Mother Nature....

Dear Mother Nature,

Please could you stop watering the garden?  I have been a very good pony and I am only asking this one small thing but you see I just can't bear any more rain.  It seems like it has rained all year and just never stopped.  I know that you are watering your garden so that things grow big and strong but honestly Mother Nature my little leggies won't grow any longer and I keep getting stuck in the mud and I'm worried that if I didn't live on a hill I would surely have to swim as the water would wash over my back.  My winter coat is looking a little bedraggled and I am growing tired of peeking at the outside world from the inside of my stable, I dare not spend too long on the yard or in the paddock in case I blow away or the flood waters reach my knees!

FH let us out to play today in the little bit of sunshine that you sent after the torrential rain last night.  It rained so hard and the wind blew so much that all the water from your watering can blew in to my cosy stable, FH had a job to tidy up.  She tells me that it is going to rain very badly again tomorrow and we are due gales, please could you postpone this a little while or even better cancel it all together?  Us Muleteers are lucky, we have lovely warm stables and thick beds but we would much prefer to be able to roam around and enjoy the sunshine.  The humans are very worried, lots of our friends have been flooded and it is taking so long to get anywhere, the roads are not happy and the rivers are full to bursting. We know that many humans are naughty Mother Nature and do all sorts of bad things to the environment but please don't take it out on little innocent short legs like me....

I am sending you this plea Mother Nature so that you might be benevolent towards me and my mates, the mules are miserable and I am a little perplexed.  I have grown my beautiful Polar Bear coat to show off in the snow and on sparkling frosty mornings, it errrm  doesn't look quite so good when it's soaking wet.

Sending you Roller snuffles, I hope you hear my plea, I really will be a good pony if you just stop watering me to make me grow bigger, FH says I'm perfectly formed as I am :-)

Love Roller xxx

Monday, 19 November 2012

Exercising the Humans...

Fitness Mule Extraordinaire!
Greetings Muleteers, Callie, fitness instructor extraordinaire here, this weekend I have been in charge of exercising not one but two humans.  I decided that both Smiley Human and FH needed to be put through their paces.  All of this lounging around will make FH lazy if she's not careful.

My friend Smiley Human was first to arrive for her exercise!  Normally Smiley Human and I take FH out for a walk with us, FH is allowed off the leash and proceeds to walk far ahead of us, stopping to chat to everyone and generally takes very little notice of me her owner.  Some recall training may be in order.... Anyway FH decided that Smiley Human and I should go out on our own as I have shown myself to be capable of looking after a precious human (of course I am, I'm a responsible human walker you know?!), secretly I think FH is out of shape and couldn't stand the pace!

FH waved us off. Great! I can walk as fast as I want without having to keep an eye on the walking human!  Smiley Human and I went for a little while and then met my very favourite short ears, (except for Roller) my boypony Salty with Smiley Human's Mum.  This is going to be fun!

So off we set up hill and over yonder, I had a little mule moment at a whizzy bike that I didn't like and then met some humans who needed a little attitude adjustment.  There were drunk humans in the mid afternoon on a country lane, honestly humans do you not have anything better to do???  One of them mentioned climbing on to my back with Smiley Human, hmmm I do not think so, would you like to meet my 'Drunk Defenders', they work perfectly with dogs and are beautifully shaped hooflets designed to daintily realign your attitude.  Eventually we left those losers behind and after some nice trotting and cantering headed on home to FH who was cheating on me with those minis, it appeared there had been lots of grooming and pampering of the minis while I was away - hmmmm a girl could get jealous.  I managed to persuade FH to pamper me too and to take some pictures of my mulificent beauty, she failed miserably to take any relevant pictures but I think these are much prettier!

Yesterday was the turn of FH to be exercised, time for Moor Mule to appear.  This time we went out with My Heroine, the Sensible One and Calm Human.  CH managed to ride My Heroine and lead the Sensible One, that is impressive, FH seems to have her hands full with me just me.... she is a right beginner.  It was a lovely sunny morning, the sky was blue, the view was beautiful but the moor was muddy and slippy.  This is no problem for a moor mule like me but FH does get rather alarmed at my mountain goat tactics of leaping from rock to rock, splashing through mud and tackling everything quicker than she would like. FH holds on to the saddle and chatters away to me, I don't understand what on earth she is saying but pretend to listen whilst concentrating on my feet.  I hear the words, steady, walk, not there, that's boggy, big hole, steep drop, not wide enough and not so fast but can't imagine what they mean???? Oh well best to carry on regardless ;-)

Off the moor, on our way home we practiced doing gates, I am getting the hang of this, must shuffle up to gate, must stand while FH fiddles with the metal catch, take the time to munch on the lovely wood of the fence while FH laughs.  Must then walk through the gate without bashing FH's knee in the process.  Must then be patient while FH fiddles with the catch again.... boring.... OK use the time to munch the fence again, mmm I love the taste of slightly rotten fencing rails.....

It was eventually time to wave goodbye to my companions, it had been lovely to catch up with them, it seems like ages!  FH and CH spent a lot of time chattering, honestly you humans do go on.....

I took my exercising of the humans very seriously, FH looked a little tired once she had also cleaned up my mule palace.  I've got all week to plan next weekend's exercise regime.... perhaps I'll have a little snooze and daydream about those adventures to come!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Mothers

Dearest Muleteers, this week MH has left us for the excitement (?!) of a conference.  We waved him goodbye with heavy hearts as where would our banana peels come from (FH does not like those yellowy treats) and who would chat to us over the fence when FH is not available?

Not to worry too much muleteers we had a surprise as we had Granny Human come to stay to keep us and the Pocket Sized Labrador company while FH worked rather silly hours.  Now GH is a human version of a whirlwind, we think Hurricane Granny may be a good description.  We are always amazed at how much one person can achieve in a few days, GH cleans, cooks, irons, walks labradors, chats to us muleteers (telling us how beautiful we are which is true) and gets FH 'back on track' as she calls it.  Us muleteers love listening to GH and FH chattering away, generally FH is telling GH off for working too hard and GH tells FH to stop complaining, we think they are both a little strong willed?  FH reckons that this is perhaps where she gets her love of mules from.... strong willed us? No idea what she means.

Watching this pair got me thinking about what GH has taught FH, anyway in the words of GH "to cut a long story short"....muleteers the stories are always longer than short ;-) Here's my quote for today, hope you have someone that inspires you, now I wonder if I could inspire GH to take me for another walk or maybe she has some hidden carroty treats??

My mother taught me about the power of inspiration and courage, and she did it with a strength and a passion that I wish could be bottled.
Carly Fiorina

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A Yawn a Day

Gosh it's hard work being an entertainer...honestly when you carry the task of entertaining the muleteer clan on your perfectly formed back it can be pretty tiring! FH and I were sharing a few moments soaking up the suns rays when they appeared, you never know it might drive away the ever present mud that FH is obsessed about but I'm not sure?

So there I was having a little chat with FH about the benefits of mud packs (I find them very appealing, they add extra insulation to my winter woolies and it's very amusing playing at rub the mud on the human, I can't imagine why FH doesn't like me doing this in the morning before she goes to work?) when I just couldn't help feeling a little yawny and snoozey.

Do you know Muleteers that yawning is one of those things that you just can't do by halves, a good yawn every day is the solution to much stress!  I stretched and stretched my petite mouth as wide as I could and said AHHHHH! Can you see right the way down in to my stomach, see FH it's empty - in need of carrots please :-)

Then there was time for a little pause while FH yawned too, apparently yawning is very contagious?

Would you believe it she's set me off again!  It's been a hard day's night and I've been working like a mule...

Time for a little snooze now I think before the sun disappears... doesn't look like the rain is far away.  FH is sure that at the end of this rainbow there was a yawning mini mule - definitely her idea of a pot of gold, even if the gold bars are a little....muddy??

Have a lovely week muleteers, I hope you have a pot of gold at the end of your rainbow whether it has two legs, four legs, a waggy tail, a purring paw, if not I offer you a virtual share in a yawny mini mule :-)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

We Will Remember

Today we remember those long ears, short ears, two legs and four who sacrificed themselves in war.  Here in the UK we remember them today; Remembrance Sunday.

So many men, mules and horses have died throughout the centuries in war - on all sides; we remember and pay tribute to all those lost souls.  In the Great War (1914-1918) where over 8 million horses, mules and donkeys fought alongside their humans, only 60,000 returned; 16 million soldiers and civilians died.  In World War II 60 million people died worldwide, that is the population of the UK, gone.  Another 8 million mules, donkeys and horses lost their lives fighting in places like Burma, Germany and Russia.

You humans obsession with killing each other leaves us speechless and the insanity never seems to end.  Humans have a choice to engage in war, our four legged friends had no choice and followed their humans because they had to and they trusted.

Horses were used to lead cavalry charges on the front line, pull guns, pack food and ammunition, pull ambulances and provide food.  Mules were never used for the frontline cavalry charges, our long eared friends were far too sensible to be persuaded in to galloping in to firing guns.  Our long eared forebears were employed to pack guns, ammunition and food and were used frequently for the ambulances.  The mules of the wars could go where no machine could go and were hardier than the poor short ears who struggled with the cold, the poor food and the work.

Never a harder working, tougher creature has there been than the Army Transport Mule.  Calm under fire, stoic, loyal and sensible following his human where he was bid.  It is well known that the most precious cargo would be trusted to the mules in a transport column, mules would not lose their precious cargo under fire, if a shell exploded nearby pray that your munition was on a mule not a horse for then you may see it again.

Mules and horses toiled in freezing cold and boiling heat, through jungles and up mountain passes.  They endured mud as deep as rivers and wind as cutting as a blade.  Those army mules, horses and men endured more than we can imagine.  They endured together, they lived together, they died together.  Many times the camaraderie between human and equine was all that there was to fall back on and the love and loyalty of a mule or a horse would have meant the difference between life and death, despair and hope.  May we never forget.

 A Soldier's Kiss
by Henry Chappell
Only a dying horse! pull off the gear,
And slip the needless bit from frothing jaws,
Drag it aside there, leaving the road way clear,
The battery thunders on with scarce a pause.
Prone by the shell-swept highway there it lies
With quivering limbs, as fast the life-tide fails,
Dark films are closing o’er the faithful eyes
That mutely plead for aid where none avails.
Onward the battery rolls, but one there speeds
Needlessly of comrades voice or bursting shell,
Back to the wounded friend who lonely bleeds
Beside the stony highway where he fell.

Only a dying horse! he swiftly kneels,
Lifts the limp head and hears the shivering sigh
Kisses his friend, while down his cheek there steals
Sweet pity’s tear, "Goodbye old man, Goodbye".
No honours wait him, medal, badge or star,
Though scarce could war a kindlier deed unfold;
He bears within his breast, more precious far
Beyond the gift of kings, a heart of gold

Much has been written of equines in war. Sadly not much is noted about our mule friends.  FH found this poem about mules in the Great War, we are sure that the writer had some fondness for our long eared friends; somehow you can't help but admire those mules!


I NEVER would 'ave done it if I'd known what it would be.
I thought it meant promotion and some extra pay for me;
I thought I'd miss a drill or two with packs an' trenchin' tools,
So I said I'd 'andled horses--an' they set me 'andlin' mules.
Now 'orses they are 'orses, but a mule, 'e is a mule
(Bit o' devil, bit o' monkey, bit o' bloomin' boundin' fool!)
Oh, I'm usin' all the adjectives I didn't learn at school
On the prancin', glancin', rag--time dancin' army transport mule.
If I'd been Father Noah when the cargo walked aboard,
I'd 'ave let the bears an' tigers in, an' never spoke a word;
But I'd 'ave shoved a placard out to say the 'ouse was full,
An' shut the ark up suddent when I saw the army mule.
They buck you off when ridden they squish your leg when led;
They're mostly sittin' on their tail or standing on their 'ead;
They reach their yellow grinders out an' gently chew your ear,
An' their necks is indiarubber for attackin' in the rear.
They're as mincin' when they're 'appy as a ladies' ridin' school,
But when the fancy takes 'em they're like nothin' but a mule--
With the off wheels in the gutter an' the near wheels in the air,
An' a leg across the traces, an' the driver Lord knows where.
They're 'orrid in the stables, they're worse upon the road;
They'll bolt with any rider, they'll jib with any load;
But soon we're bound beyond the seas, an' when we cross the foam
I don't care where we go to if we leaves the mules at 'ome.
For 'orses they are 'orses, but a mule 'e is a mule
(Bit o' devil, bit o' monkey, bit o' bloomin' boundin' fool!)
Oh, I'm usin' all the adjectives I never learnt at school
On the rampin', rawboned, cast-steel-jawboned army transport mule

It's good to know that even our mule pals in war had 'personality', I'm sure the writer learned to appreciate the mule and his exceptional wit and talent ;-)

Still our friends serve with armies worldwide, with soldiers in Afghanistan they provide the means to go where no machine can and of course they provide friendship and solace to those who are caught in conflict.  May we hope that one day no human, horse or mule has need to die in war.

May we never forget

Photographs from NLS archives and Blue Cross.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Impressing the Boys!

Must buck and get hind hooves above my head..... must gallop from a standing start..... must gallop at full speed looking like a racing mule..... must dodge flying mini mule feet..... hmmm now that was not on my list of how to impress the boys!!

That naughty mini mule has been showing off again Muleteers, he has been insisting on busting some rather elegant moves and showing off to his fans, honestly that creature has got the biggest ego for such a small man!  Hmmmm FH calls it small man syndrome, what does she mean??

So I thought it should be my turn to show off some moves.  FH has informed me that new to the stud market will be the unbeaten and rather handsome (even if his ears are too short) thoroughbred Frankel.  Apparently he's never lost a race, is faster than any competitor on the flat and has earned his humans millions of carats?  FH says that it is going to cost about £100,000 for a lady to go on a date with him.... I ask you muleteers is any man worth that?  FH says that as I'm a mule I might get a discount as his dating will be futile anyway, apparently I'd get the fun without the consequences.... I have no idea what FH is talking about!  So my plan is to save FH some carats and make myself irresistible to the boys, that way I'm sure they'll be soooo impressed there'll be no charge :-)

My first maneouvre is the kick my heals up over my head, what do you think?  FH was rather alarmed at this move, she seems to think she wouldn't be able to stay on if I tried it with her on board..... best keep perfecting your sticky bum FH!

Next is the standing start, don't I look like I'm ready for business muleteers??

Whoosh look at the wind through my tail!

Here I am at full stretch, please note muleteers I am at my fluffiest at the moment and it makes me look a little ahemmm portly?  I'm sleek and trim underneath the fluff I promise....

But wait what is this???  It would seem that The Mini is trying to thwart my plans for impressing the boys, I think he may be a little jealous but this really may be taking it too far Mini....

I really don't like mini mule hooves in my face!

Come here you pesky mini mule, we'll see who's got the biggest hooves!!

Oh muleteers I ran out of puff and couldn't put that naughty mini mule in his place.  Maybe he's just showing he cares and doesn't want me going off with a short ears??  Hmmmm  oh well I think I'm a little tired out after my catwalk display, maybe next time I'll persuade FH to paint my nails and do my hair just in case Frankel comes by?  'Til next muleteers, any tips on how to impress the boys most gratefully received (but don't tell MH he may ground me and scare off any of my future boyfriends.....)

Friday, 9 November 2012

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Power

Phew muleteers that election race was a close one!  We all had our ears glued to the radio on Wednesday morning hoping to hear who had won 'THAT' election.  Well seems like our favourite candidate landed the 'big job' once again.  Now I'm not a political commentator and don't know anything about ObamaCare, the economy or other such human like things but I do know two things that clinched my support for Obama.

1/. Any party that proudly displays the donkey as their logo (albeit unofficial...) is the best in our book.  Move over the Republican elephant!

2/. When Mitt Romney came to the UK he insulted us A LOT, us brit ponies and mules were not impressed when he thought we couldn't put on a good Olympics and announced this to the world(among other such insults....), hmmm Mr Romney shame on you... aren't we supposed to be friends?

Anyway us Muleteers hope our over the pond friends  have a more settled time, what with elections, storms and the like it must be time for calm?  So here's hoping that the man in charge keeps calm and carries on as us Brits would say and doesn't let the power go to his head. 

In the meantime here's my quote for today....

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Who Said Mini Mules Can't Run?

Yippee!!  I'm a Mini Mule on the edge!!  Who said mini mules can't gallop, buck, collect, piaffe and look amazing?

Here I am showing off my amazing good looks with Dragon, the humans looked on chuckling as Ro-Land hid behind FH, he didn't want to join in the fun - I think he was still half asleep! I hope you like my pictures, oops I think Dragon and I may have made a mess of the paddock..... oh well plenty more mud pies to be made this winter muleteers and boy did it ever make the humans happy with me :-)

Here I am showing the cornering manoeuvre, Dragon is a little big and it's more like turning a tank as compared to my dainty lean over!

On your marks, get set Dragon.... here I come!

And look I can collect and piaffe!

Extended trot, mini mule style!

Catch me if you can.....

Yippeee I'm as fast as the wind....

Woohooo acceleration!


And now muleteers our show is over for the day.....gosh I'm a bit out of breath, maybe I need a bit more training before I go racing...