Thursday, 31 May 2012

Taking Humans for A Walk

Shetland Pony in training (for something big, just not sure what yet!!) here!  I have been busy trying to entertain those humans again and last night I had an even bigger task - how to teach a human to walk nicely on the lead!  Well I tell you it was quite fun :-)  We had a visitor to our muleteer HQ who is our Granny Human (we shall call her GH).  Now GH is lovely and brings us treats and scratches but I'm sure she wouldn't mind me saying that us equines are a bit of a mystery. 

GH secretly confided in me that she has no idea how she ended up with a daughter so besotted with us long and short ears?  Now one thing is for sure, GH is game for anything, there's no stopping her.... so when I suggested that I was a little bored of looking handsome in the paddock.... which I do, don't I?.... sorry I digress..... I suggested a little gentle walking of the humans.  Now normally GH is taken for a walk by the canine members of the Muleteer clan but today I thought I'd show her how it's really done.

So here we go with GH, I am demonstrating that GH must go first when we are faced with anything scarey - yes this includes FH snapping away with her camera.  GH and I are perfectly matched as we are both a little short in height but big in personality!

Here I am showing GH how to walk to heel on the lead, she was very good at keeping up and didn't need much encouragement to walk fast, she did keep laughing at me when I was doing my 'little dance' as she called it, Muleteers this was my trotting but I do like it being described as dancing!

Next a demonstration of hedgerow picnincking, this is an essential skill that GH will have to master as it is the true reason for taking the humans for a walk.  GH allowed us ample time to stuff our faces before taking the lead again!

The homeward stretch, GH has learnt some very useful skills, how to walk on the lead without pulling, how to be attentive to my every need, we had a lovely chat and she called me 'My Darling' a lot which made me super happy!  Sometimes the simple things in life like a walk with good company, the sun shining and the odd snack are the best :-)

Well that's all from me Muleteers, I am off to ponder some other essential life requirements in addition to my training walks, hmmm more food, more scratches, permanent sunshine and a new copy of Hairstylist Magazine so I can look at some new styles for my mane!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Mule Heartache....

Greetings Muleteers!  Callie here, today I am a little heartbroken!  Supplier of treats and scratches and my favourite hu-man MH has disappeared to the other side of the world without me :-(  He's upped and left for a week in Argentina home of the Gauchos!  Well why not take me too?  I have proved my ability to herd sheep, why not the finest Argentinean bulls?  No problemo.......

Before he went he came to wish me farewell and I decided to try out my best MH flirting tactics (FH mutters under her breath that if she ever has to worry about MH with another woman it'll be me - hehehe), you see if I flutter my beautiful muley eyelashes he brings me part of his morning banana skin - waste not want not!
Yummy, I love a good banana peel, it does need handling delicately though!

Careful with the teeth not to nibble MHs fingers.....

MH is always telling how beautiful I am, maybe he'll bring me back some Argentine treats?  Or even better an Argentine Mule Stallion?!!!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Icy Snacks, A Good Read and Feline Fun!

Grettings Muleteers!  The weather has been perfect today for a sun muless like myself :-) I have had such a nice day sunbathing in the paddock and playing with FH and Catanian.  We had a girly afternoon with plenty of snacks, gossip and entertainment!FH arrived with her icy snacks which looked really yummy.... I sidled up very quietly and licked my lips so that FH might get my gentle hint, this mule would really like to try that lolly.

I stared very intently at this icy snack and FH finally got the message that this really was something I should be allowed to try just a little bit....

Success!  Here I go!  Muleteers this tasted good, FH says I won't be allowed any more than a taste as it will go straight to my hips, I think she's exaggerating.

Well after this lovely snack Catanian and I had a game, I played the stealth mule game and snuck up on her....

Guess what she did?  She batted me on the nose!  The indignity of being caught out by a kitty cat!!

Hmmm this game wasn't going well so I decided to go and investigate what FH was up to.  Only problem was Catanian decided to follow me!  What's a mule got to do to catch this kitty out?


In the end I gave up and decided that we'd invite Catanian to the girly party.  FH had even got some reading material for us, apparently this book is full of exciting stories and funny characters, a bit like us really?

Well muleteers I'm off for a snooze as it's been a busy afternoon, too much sunshine, E numbers and girly fun!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Summer Fashion Mini Mule Style!

Greetings Muleteers!  It is the number one handsomeness The Mini here!  My good looks and charm know no bounds and I am so fashionable (at least this is what my Granny tells me!).  Imagine my utter delight when FH arrived with a beautiful new addition to my burgeoning wardrobe :-)

Now this looks interesting!
Now unfortunately muleteers despite my tough exterior and rugged charm I have a small chink in my otherwise tough mule armour and that is that I simply cannot tolerate pesky midges.  Try as I might every Spring and Summer is awful as they bite me and make me itch so much I can't bear it.  This is called sweet itch and it's so miserable.  Well FH is very kind and has bought me a succession of anti midge clothing over the years which I have duly tested to destruction in every way possible.  Standing on them, biting them, trapping them on the fence, rolling on them, oh and introducing them to bramble bushes!

Today was just so exciting, there was a brand spanking new rug for me to pose in and I have to say this one looks extra posh!

It has enough clips and buckles to make even the coolest Goth jealous and it is a sparkling white (hehe not for long!!).  It fits my every curve and keeps those nasty bugs from biting me.

So here goes my fashion parade..... what do you think?

This season's design is contoured for the masculine undercarriage!
A nice snug fit at the front prevents nasty critters reaching one's chest

Allows for plenty of forward motion - yippee! 
Extra protection for the neck when grazing whilst leaving the ears free to flap!
Now then muleteers don't I just look like the handsomest Mini and best of all no itches!!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Mule Mission: Counting Sheep

Ready for Action!
Greetings Muleteers!  Imagine my excitement when FH said I had a Mule Mission.... I did rather hope that this one was not a Mission Impossible. 

So I happily donned my cow mule attire and got my best fast walk on, up the lane and over the hills and then the mission was explained.

Yes muleteers I am no longer a CowMule, I am a SheepMule!  Well sort of....  FH said our mission was to count sheep and check that they were all in the right place.  Now don't get me wrong I don't mind sheep but isn't this a job for one of those naughty canines?  I've observed them over the fence counting sheep and yapping at their heels, now I'm not sure this is befitting of such an intelligent creature as me but hey ho here goes.

So off we set on Mule Mission: Counting Sheep! To boldly go where no mule has been before... or is that a different film?

I can see them in the distance, this counting thing is going to be a piece of cake!

 But no they keep running away! 

 After a while I managed to single out those pesky critters and counted every last one.....

Some tried hiding, I have to admit to having a little spook at this one, it looks like it could be a secret, sheep agent and jumped out from behind this tree.  After running a little I decided it would be better to go back and show this sheep who's boss, FH wouldn't let me communicate too closely though - unfair!!

Finally Muleteers our work was done and it was time to go home, every sheep counted and communicated with.  There is only one side effect of my strenuous task.  I suddenly feel very sleepy?  Any ideas why?

Counting sheep, a tiring task....

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Quality Mule Time

Greetings Muleteers!  The Mini here ;-)  Me and the other muleteers have noticed something about you humans.  You're normally in a rush!  Call us lazy or chilled out but really why are you always thinking about what's around the corner?  Looking at the watch, talking on the phone, looking at the weather.... us long ears know the secret that time will creep by whatever you do and that sometimes you just need to enjoy the passing of the hours without panicking about what to do next.  Every hour is precious and living in the moment is important.

This morning me and my fellow muleteers decided to give FH a reminder of what QMT (Quality Mule Time) is all about.  

Along came FH this morning looking decidedly dusty (aka sleepy).  This is good muleteers, we like sleep in this gang.  It seems that FH had lots of jobs planned but we said nope!  We stood firm at the fence and bray neighed until she got the hint that we wanted QMT, some for each of us please FH and don't stint on the scratches.  We knew that if we could entice her in to the world of the muleteers she would forget all about the time and what she had to do next and would just relax in the muley moment.
So it was of course turn of number one handsomeness myself to have first dibs on FHs time.  I directed her appropriately so that I started with a nice all over body massage, followed by a de-fluffing with my favourite brush, we then moved on to a pedicure before finishing with a good bum scratch!  Very nice indeed, and guess what muleteers it took as long as was needed.....

Next up was Roller Polar who doesn't quite understand the delights of standing still whilst being brushed, he was far too busy trying to hoover up every blade of grass in sight whilst being primped and preened.  That coat of his is like a yak!  He is now moulting out his third layer of shetland coat and we keep having to look twice as he is steadily shrinking before our eyes as his coat gets thinner and thinner.  If he shrinks much more we might mistake him for one of FHs canine friends!

Finally it was the turn of her royal highness Dragon.  Now Dragon is very good at teaching the benefits of QMT.  You see Dragon has a little bit of a split personality when it comes to getting on and doing stuff.  Sometimes when she is in 'Work Mode' she just wants to get on with the job and isn't too keen on hanging around.  However, when it's time for QMT she likes you to take your time, try to rush your royal highness Dragon and you are likely to get burned!  Dragon likes lots of small talk and niceties and is not impressed by rush mode.  FH had to talk gently and let Dragon fidget until she was in the 'zone' for pampering.  Once there it was very amusing to watch, Dragon is such a soppy creature.

After much scratching, massaging, buffing and kissing (hmmm a Mini could get jealous but I guess FH does this to me too) of HRH she started to get ants in her pants and as per usual began to look for trouble.

So firstly she cracked off a huge yawn, QMT is terribly tiring!

Then it was time to look at undoing the rope that was attached to her halter, oh what fun she could have free ranging in the field of plenty just nearby.

Alas escape attempts were to no avail so it was time for some further thoughts about eating.  This time Dragon decided that the fence post looked like an attractive meal.  At this point FH decided that perhaps QMT had run its course at the beauty parlour and that maybe it was time for a game.

So out came the mule ball of plenty!  Now muleteers I'm a little scared of this ball and myself prefer the gentler sport of cricket but I watched from afar and it was quite amusing!

Roller Polar watched intently to see what Dragon was doing....

Dragon is the expert when it comes to Mule Ball, when she nudges it around special mule treats come out of the holes!

Roller tried a few different tactics, first of all there was the 'lick attack' which was not quite successful but gave the ball a good polish!

Then came the football attack which was marginally more successful!


Finally Roller discovered the Roller Polar manoeuvre of nudge and snack, a victory for short ears around the world!  He's certainly got a way to go to reach the heady heights that Dragon has attained but not bad for a short ears!


After a good few hours of QMT we decided it was finally time that FH left us to get down to the business of QME (quality mule eating!) 

Until next time muleteers!  I will leave you with a favourite saying....
"Don't count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count" 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Pleasures of a Hedgerow Picnic!

Greetings Muleteers Roller Polar here today.  I just had to tell you about the delights of hedgrow picnics!  It's that lovely time of year when after all the disgusting mud and torrential rain of the winter that the hedgerows start to look all green and lovely.  There are also all kinds of lovely flowers and herbs just ripe for the munching.

So I decided it was time to nudge FH in to action for a little quality Roller Polar time.  Now muleteers I am mainly happy to stay at home guarding the remaining mule (normally throwing a hystrionic paddy at not being the one going out with FH....) but there are some days when I'd quite like to go for a potter myself.  Today was just that day, the sun was shining, the birds were tweeting and the hedgerows look ripe for a spot of munching.

FH duly fetched my dapper clothing and off we went.  But wait what is this indgnity?
Yes Catanian thought she would come too..... hmmmm.... oh well I guess we will let her but she better not play cat games with my tail again!

There are some definite techniques to hedgerow munching.

Mostly it is called 'smash and grab' whilst convincing FH that we really aren't walking very far, very fast, rather having a very light potter.

On todays menu was a delectable mix of goosegrass (cleavers), hogweed, brambles, sycamore, hawthorn, wild garlic (just a nibble) and some dandelions (those naughty seeds kept getting up my noses though and making me sneeze!).  That's not all though folks, the centre piece of the banquet was the one and only Cow Parsley!  Now I'm not sure about the name of this plant, it's not very nice, perhaps we could rename it the Roller Parsley?  This sounds much nicer!  Delicious in all forms and fantastic as an aperitif, main course or dessert - yum!

Eventually it was time for Catanian and I to potter on home but not before one last snack attack.

Until next time muleteers! I'm off to taste test the next hedgerow, it's a tough job but someone's got to do it :-)

Monday, 14 May 2012

A Job For a Mule!

Greetings Muleteers!  Callie here, I've been spending the weekend pondering a career fit for a mule?

Now many of you might think I am a little silly for being so concerned about finding a job but unemployment is rife in Europe and I could be one of those teenagers that has no choice but to sleep or eat all day... sounds great in the short term but trust me I'd get bored.... and FH says a bored mule is not a good thing... I don't understand ;-)

The weekend did in fact have plenty of snoozing and eating.  The weather was mulificent and The Mini and I had plenty of time to perfect our sleeping patterns.  We take it in turns to guard the herd, this weekend it was mostly his turn.  There we were with me and Ro-Land snoozing in the sun when who should turn up but FH.  Well it's always nice to see her but I really couldn't be bothered to get up as I was having a nice chill out in the sun with my No 1 standing guard and Roller Polar snoozing in the background.

So I carried on snoozing and invited FH to join us by brayneighing softly in her direction.  Over she came obviously expecting me to be eager to get up but sometimes a girl needs her beauty sleep! 
This way FH, I can't be bothered to get up!
Well we all had a lovely time in the sun, FH came over and scratched the bits I can't reach and then seemed to think that my mulificent self made a good back rest while she also made herself comfy.  The Mini was very patient and guarded both of us for a while.  Eventually the wet ground starting to penetrate FHs rather inadequate coat (meaning her trousers, hehehe) so we had to get up.

Then it was time for the off, time to go to work, time for a job!  FH and I have been keeping up to date one of our favourite blogs here -  this post is about us equines liking a 'job'.  Well more to the point we like to be asked (politely) to do something that we feel comfortable with and that makes us feel safe.  Now I'm a confident muletta and have been considering a career as a dancer (dressage?), a scaffolder (jumping anyone?), a bus driver (driving anyone?) or a jack of all trades (eventing?) but now I think I have found my job.... I'd like to be a Moorland Ranger! Whilst I'd also like to learn a little bit about all these other pastimes and dip my hoof in the water of multiple hobbies I really think 'Moorland Ranger' is the true career for me :-)

This I am good at and I thought I'd prove it to FH this weekend!

So off we went on a lovely ride with My Heroine and Calm Human, we always have sooo much fun.  We enjoy listening to the humans babble on, they always have lots to gas about while Breeze and I make faces at each other and swish in unison.  After a while of filtering out the humans it was clear that we were going on a mule sized trek (aka not a short one), we travelled far and met many adoring fans on the way.  Everyone was out for a walk, a bike ride or were being dragged along by those furry canines (don't worry muleteers I had my dog defenders at the ready if needed!), everywhere I looked my mulificence was being appreciated - oh how I love a crowd!  But then time to go off road.....yipppppppeeeee

This is when the fun starts!  I have worked out that my 'job' is to negotiate the toughest terrain in the shortest period of time by taking the shortest, safe route whilst keeping FH safely in the saddle. No problems!  FH is learning that when I see a route although it may not look 'safe' to her that I know best, this is when I 'lock on' to my destination and she has to sit and hold on and let me do my job!  FH is also starting to notice that I do not always go the same way as My Heroine, my feet are smaller and fit in to the little gaps better so I can take the short cut.  The first few times I tried this she seemed to be telling me no but after shaping her behaviour I can proudly say I have negotiated with her that this is a decision best left up to me.

A Perfect Spring Day for Moorland Ranging!
What a lovely ride we had, we could see for miles and miles, the dam was overflowing, we had sheep, ponies and cattle for company and I even got to wave my ears at a passing helicopter, I could have 'ranged' for ages.  Alas it was time for home but not until we discussed My Heroine's career options. 

Breeze has most definitely got the longest CV I've ever seen!  She has been an accomplished dancer, pioneer, scaffolder and has even been a navigator.... not to mention her most important career to date as mule mentor!  Although My Heroine has excelled at all of these careers she has always had a secret longing to try something else.  It seems that Breeze wants to run a Car Wash!

She has been perfecting her technique as you can see... She begins with a light wash down of the vehicle.... and occasionally any person within easy reach!

Before progressing to the heavy rinsing phase!

I've never seen a long or short ears that is this good with water!  I am very impressed and have been practicing with my water bucket at home, the effect is not quite as good but it does make me laugh when FH goes red in the face as she has to fill it up again, I think this is a sure fire way of her getting the hint that I need space to practice my car washing techniques too.... now where is that water bucket and more importantly where is MHs new car that surely needs a wash by now????  Maybe I should be a Car Washer as my part time job?  Breeze and I could go in to partnership!