Saturday, 15 December 2012

Life Changing Mule...

It's official!  I am a Life Changing Mule!  I heard those words uttered today by my FH. We were having a little moment in the sunshine chatting and scratching and eating and she reminded me that I had totally changed the path of her life.  Now I may be diminutive in size but this Mini Mule has got the power of ten draught horses when it comes to dragging life's plough in different directions...

I have been with my humans mules years now, well ok 3 1/2 but it feels like forever.  FH tells me I was 'acquired' to keep her old short ears happy (he is now living a fancy life retired and babysitting thoroughbreds!).  It would seem that FH understood my desperate pleas to come home with her when we first met.  I was not too happy where I was and we found each other at just the right time...... little did we both know how that chance meeting would change FH's life ;-)  I had a plan!

The Beginning

I lived contentedly with my new pal Harri for a little while, he was very big and I was very small.  I was very scared of everything around me and Harri was a bit of a bully.  FH was very patient and somehow we kind of fell in love, she must have been very odd because I tried my hardest to put her off, glutton for punishment hey FH?

The Accident

Then there was an unfortunate day where FH and short ears waved goodbye and left me while they went out for a ride.  But wait, this is so wrong, short ears is here but where is FH???  Harri had come home without his precious cargo, oh dear.... the short ears had had a 'short ears moment' of spectacular proportions and had dumped FH, run over her with his shoes and all and then left her broken on the road..... this is not acceptable.  Everything changed.

I spent that evening very unhappy, FH didn't come to see us for days, our lovely Aunty Di looked after us but there was no sign of the one I had learned to trust, what had the naughty short ears done?  FH finally appeared and was broken.... she had bruises and broken bones and was a deathly shade of pale.  It was awful when I heard her whisper that this was one time too many (the parade of broken bones over the years was spectacular) and that 'he' would have to be found a retirement home.....  but ... but.... I'm too young to retire and I like it here and I only kick to warn..... but then it dawned on me that they were talking about the short ears.... maybe they'll want me to go with him???

FH cried lots but found the short ears a lovely home where he couldn't hurt anyone with his moments anymore, he would graze happily alongside a retired thoroughbred.  I waved off one short ears and had a lovely old lady pony come to stay with me for a few months to keep me company and so that she could have some tlc and a warm stable.  I decided at this point that I'd better be good!  I had my FH practically to myself and suddenly realised that life was good and that humans aren't really that bad.  There was a little something missing though... I didn't really have a friend to play with, the old lady pony was no good at playing tag and lets just say she was a bit boring!  FH knew that when the winter was done I needed a little excitement in my life.


And that's where life took another turn due to this life changing mini mule.  I persuaded FH to do something that she never dreamed she would.  She rehomed a shetland pony!  Now FH freely admits that shetlands in general are not her favourite equines, they can be a little badly behaved, be mean, quick to kick and a little on the fat side.  But that was before she met Roller.  After meeting my potential mates the choice was an easy one.  Roller had to come to live with me.

Imagine my delight, a mini pal of my own size to play with.  Roller has been here nearly three mule years now and FH has promised us that we will never, ever be parted, my little mini pal is my bestest friend; when I'm grumpy he is calm, when I'm flighty he is patient, when I'm scared he is bold, when I'm lively he is slow, when I'm dozing he is stood, when I'm itchy he is scratchy, when I'm naughty he is nice, when I'm bad he is good, when I'm extrovert he is introvert, when I'm loud he is quiet, when I'm bray he is neigh, when I'm hungry.... he is too ;-)

So the muleteer clan started to form, FH started to ride again on the Sensible One who looked after her very well, I can tell you muleteers I was a little worried when she started galloping around the moor on a short ears but was pleased that FH wasn't entirely broken, it would never do for Calamity FH to hang up her boots entirely.  That's when an idea started to form in FH's mind (planted firmly by yours truly!) What if I was big enough to ride?  FH tried and tried to make me taller, she built me a wall to stand on and I reached on my tippy hooves to show how big I was, she fed me only the best food, she played me music to help me grow and even thought about buying me stilts, but alas my little leggies were just too short.... maybe next time?  Back to the sensible short ears for the moment.


My next accomplishment was not quite what I set out to achieve but a furrow had to be ploughed once begun.  FH has permanently got me on a strict weight watchers diet.  Straw and not much else - boo!  This is so unfair that I constantly spend my life watching my waistline, FH is always going on about a minute on the lips a year on the hips, what's a mini to do when grass tastes so good?  An unfortunate consequence of having straw here is that the mice like to eat any left over grain, FH was not impressed at having mice running around my stable.  Roller and I weren't really that fussed but FH was very unhappy.  She thought about poison but didn't want to kill anything unwittingly and thought this was not the natural way to deal with things.  That's when FH mentioned a C.A.T. - ugh!!  I did not like the sound of that, cats are not cool, they are for chasing and stamping on when they come in to my paddock.  Little did I know that the when the bundle of fluff with a loud miaow and scratchy claws arrived that she would become one of bestest pals.  I am a Catanian convert, but.....I still don't like cats and feel it is my duty to chase off the feline pretenders that appear in the paddock, they are after Catanian's food and not very nice to her, she knows if she stays close and sleeps in our stable we will keep her safe, she is MY CAT which means she is not to be messed with....


As time went by I could tell that FH was enjoying her rides on the sensible short ears but this meant that she had to leave us minis and I can tell you I worried about her.  I kept thinking why couldn't my leggies grow longer, us mules can be ridden you know!  But try as I might it didn't work.... so I decided to continue to convince FH that mules really are the best, maybe there might be one big enough to be ridden?  That's when I heard FH talking about Dragon, she was a big mule looking for a home,  FH was not sure, she told me all about the reasons why she couldn't have this fire breathing mule? Not enough land (we don't need that much surely and there's always our friendly neighbours?), not enough time (come on FH get up earlier), mule is not big enough (FH have you seen how short you are and that you'll blow over in a gale?), not experienced enough (come on FH you've ridden nutcase short ears and convinced me humans are ok, you'll be fine), didn't want to upset her mini pals (we'll be fine, another playmate would be great - especially a girl!!) and what about her bank account (hehe this one was hilarious, FH is not good at being sensible with money, everything is only bought if it's a bargain - except when it's for us and then it doesn't count... FH knows where her money is best directed!)

So finally with soem less than gentle shoves FH went to see the big mule and declared that we were to have a new pal.  Without my mulificent self proving to FH that we are superior and that a long ears is the obvious choice as a riding pal we may have never found our final clan member Dragon.  Dragon has been with us ages now and I love her (don't tell her though as she reckons I'm tough and manly), she looks after us minis by keeping guard and keeps my FH safe when they're out in the wide world together so I'm pleased she was another of my accomplishments.


I think it's fair to say that I have converted many onlookers in to mule fans.  My handsome good looks, bellowing neigh-bray and winning personality have converted all of my neighbours and visitors.  Do you know that more people come to see me than FH?  They all want to know how I am, am I keeping well, am I the poor darling still on a diet, would I like some carrots, why am I special with my beautiful wardrobe, am I really a rare creature?  Even MH has been won over to the mulificence of long ears, it took me a long time to work him out, we were both a bit clueless but he's now my second favourite human, no longer do I try to swish and kick at him, he brings me banana peels and I love him for this.

It has taken me all of my bravery to start to socialise with you humans but I'm now happy to be the greeting party, I will happily munch on the carrots you bring me, let you scratch my mulificent bottom (if you're very lucky I'll sit in your lap) and will present my beautiful ears for scratching.  It is my task in life to convince you humans that mules are the best!  I think I can safely say that I have quite a fan club ;-)

Life on the Moor

Just imagine without me the humans might have chosen to live somewhere a little more urban (read unsuitable).  It is essential that us muleteers live somwhere with wide open spaces, plenty of fresh air and grass.  This is not the easiest thing to attain on a small island with a lot of people apparently....  anyway the humans have swapped a well insulated, modern, tidy, large, airy, with small garden stable for a rural falling down, small, bit damp, cold, untidy stable so that us muleteers can live with them.  They choose to live close to nature in the hobbit house on the hill with it's magical inhabitants.  The cottage is over 500 years old and we're sure will stand for 500 more, most importantly it has mini sized paddocks and stables on the doorstep and we look out over the wilderness that is Dartmoor..... somehow the humans seem to forget all about the inside of the house when they are outside, suddenly it is home.  Us muleteers know that this is the best for our humans, we will keep them grounded in the country far away from the madding crowd ;-)


Without me there would have been no muleteer gang and therefore there would be no Three Muleteers and I wouldn't have met my wonderful muleteer fans, that would be very sad.  I really enjoy keeping you all up to date with happenings here at Muleteer HQ and hope we can send you a little bit of muleteer joy whenever you stop by, if we can change your life just for one minute of your day with a little smile I'm a happy mini mule :-)


What is the trade off between us mules and those we own?  I reckon I know the secret... my FH keeps me fed, watered, tidy, interested, exercised and safe, in exchange I make her happy!  I am always ready for a hug or a well timed snuffle.  It is hard to be sad or angry when you're with my mulificence, who can manage not to crack a smile when watching my perfect form cavort around the paddock?

So I really am a life changing mini mule, I change lives every day just by being me, wow that's really pretty cool :-)


  1. Love! Absolute love! It is amazing how they can change are lives as much as we change theirs.
    I loved reading the story of how the Three Muleteers came to be. Thank you for sharing :)

    1. Thanks Allison, we have certainly changed the lives of our humans, I am very proud that my plotting has made us all very happy!

  2. Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it, if it made you laugh we're delighted, a smile, a nod or a laugh is what we hope for :-)

  3. How beautiful, dear Mini. You are funny and adorable. You built a family and an extended "family" of fans. I agree that you have the power of a million Clydesdales and Shires together when it comes to pull the burdens of life. You are Mini the Great!.Ear scrathes and tummy rubs to you all.

    1. I love being Mini The Great! Nearly as much as I love my extended family! Loving the ear scratches, FH delivered them this morning in abundance ;-)

  4. Dear magnificent mule - you are a great storyteller! Funny but there's a little brown donkey here named Dorica who has a similar story! She knows her human lives to make her happy and even bought her another three donkeys to keep her company! You long-ears really have us wrapped around your hooves!

    1. Wow Dorica sounds as clever as I am! We long ears like to plot so that you humans do what is best for you..... of course you like to think it's your idea but we'll let you ;-) Sending play nudges and scratchy neck rubs to your gang xxx

  5. Love your story. Thank you Mini.
    Lots of cuddles from Judy in Cambridge

  6. Hello from the Cracker Jack Ranch!
    My mini-mules Popcorn and Peanut are also life changers for me.
    I read that you feed then straw to keep their bellies full. That sounds like a good idea, as these two are heads-down eating or thinking about eating all the live long day. Do you feed them the straw (oat, barley?) at mealtime or as a between meal snack?
    Popcorn, after three years of rehab, is now in harness pulling branches into the woods with me. Driving Miss. Poppy is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

    1. Welcome!! Always lovely to 'meet' fellow mule enthusiasts! Great to hear about Popcorn and Peanut, what perfect names. The Mini is my everything and has given me more pleasure than all the gold in the world would.

      His biggest 'problem' is his weight and the fact that he's always hungry.... straw works brilliantly for him as he has it available all the time, I put it in a haynet and let him eat it whenever he likes. I tend to go for barley straw as it's lower in energy than oat straw and seems to be very palatable. The Mini loves hay and grass but I guess that about 85% of what he eats is straw these days, helps to keep the weight off him whilst occupying him, since he arrived he's lost 40 kg and still losing.

      Hope you stop by again, would love to hear more about your mules!