Monday, 25 June 2012

Birthday Balloons!

Greetings Muleteers! Roller-Polar here today!  How much fun can you have with a birthday balloon muleteers?  The answer - lots!  It has been FH's birthday today, she has been trying to keep it quiet as she says that it means more grey hairs.... We bought her splendid presents, mostly for our benefit.... a lovely waterproof coat to ensure that she can attend to our needs whatever the weather and Callie spent her hard earned mule money on some new riding boots so that FH looks smart enough to go out with her highness! We were ably assisted by MH who had to actually go to the shops for us... apparently four legs aren't welcome in store, how rude.

Imagine our delight when FH also showed us the presents from the extended family!  FH received food (mmmm share), some human type things and the most adorable porcelain version of me (this one can fit on the shelf muleteers so FH can keep me close at all times!)  Granny Human (GH) also bought her a balloon!  Now muleteers we haven't come across one of these before but FH very generously shared it with us.  I was not really sure what to make of it, I thought I'd give it a taste but I couldn't recommend it....

Then her highness herself investigated, she seemed a little non-plussed by this floating vision and thought that it would make a good object to hide behind.... or perhaps a lollipop to lick?

The Mini was a little more dubious and eyed the balloon with much suspicion.... it must be an alien from outer space?

Finally we left the balloon discovery to the brave one of the gang, the intrepid explorer who always thinks everything is there to be caught... so Catanian put on her bravest cat paws and proceeded to stalk and kill that balloon, FH promptly put the balloon away before Catanian got too carried away.

Finally The Mini looked very smugly at the rest of us, we all know what he's thinking.... no birthday present will ever surpass that which GH bought for FH three years ago for her birthday..... the best present ever that will never ever be beaten no matter how hard anyone tries.....

Yes Muleteers GH bought FH the pony that she'd always wished for, we are sure GH must have missed the very obvious mistake.... the ears are a little on the long side.  Anyway it all worked out well in the end :-)

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Have Mule, Will Travel!

Greeting Muleteers!  FH and I have just got back from a mule adventure.  Tractors, lorries, motorbikes, cows, mud and miles of fun were all in a day's ride for this mule :-)

Female human (FH) and I are really getting the hang of this riding thing and we are now making the most of going out and about.  Today we were on our own which makes no difference to me, I like going out with My Heroine and FH loves chatting to her owner but I'm equally chilled about going out on my own. No hysterics about leaving my boyfriends, they'll still be there when I get home!

So we saddled up which is getting more fun by the minute.  I used to be a little grumpy about having saddles and cinches (girths) on and FH had to be careful not to get a hoof in the face as I protested by showing what I thought to these straps.  Well FH checked everything fitted properly and when I came to own her found me a lovely comfy cowmule saddle, brand new soft wool girths and most recently I have a saddle pad made of memory foam - heaven!! FH has then been spending HOURS with me doing everything gently and making saddling and cinching fun, when I'm good I get scratches and treats and when I'm not so good she sighs and we start again, as you can guess muleteers I soon cottoned on.  FH is so happy with me now as she doesn't have to reach under me with a stick to grab the cinches, she trusts me enough to put her arm and head down there - as she should, I'm a good muletta now ;-)

Off we went, first up was a steep climb to a track, I had to stop on many occasions to wave my ears at my fan club, it's growing by the day, I even met a man on a mulificent motorbike who was very polite and let me admire his beast, the handlebars looked remarkably like ears!   Then on the very steepest part of the hill we met a car that wanted to pass us, we couldn't pull over so the car had to wait behind us for quite a while, FH thought the driver looked angry as he was gesturing for us to stop and looking a little animated - yikes....  But no, he wanted to stop and gaze at my mulificence!  It is impossible to be angry when faced with such beauty as mine.  FH is thinking of getting a sweater printed with the words 'Yes She's a Mule', this would answer the question that we know is coming when cars slow down or folks just wander out of their houses, we don't mind though, any excuse for a chat!  For our fans elsewhere it's worth pointing out that mules in the UK are VERY uncommon and most people have never seen one let alone one being ridden, particularly in a western saddle, FH and I are getting used to the weird looks!

Did you say something FH?
Then to the off road part, my favourite.  This is a track that is a bridleway but no horses ever use it, apparently it is too stoney, too muddy, too steep and often has pigs next door?  Well this is perfect for this muletta.  We had a lovely ride up the hill and then met a nice jogger who wanted to know all about me but was very worried about my welfare.  FH could not possibly take me in to the woods, they were muddy and hard to get through, then the answer that I was hoping for, "it'll be fine, she's a mule".  So off we set, it was indeed muddy and I had to take some detours to avoid the worst but that was fine.  FH even got involved with the mud as she had to open an impossible gate.  While she wasn't looking.... I just took the opportunity to have a little snack.  Us mules do not just spy food on the floor but up high too, I pulled this lovely branch down for an impromptu picnic, aren't I clever?

Onwards muleteers... the final stretch home was nice and relaxed.  We met a poor man driving a massive truck with a big tank on the back, he looked horrified when he saw me and looked like he was going to panic.  FH and I used sign language and of course I stood rock still like a good muletta while he squeezed past, he looked mightily relieved, what did he think I was going to do? Eat his truck? 

We had some nice pottering along on the lanes, a quick ride-by to wave my ears at my friends Breeze and Chance and then some trots, snacks, walks and a good old chat with FH.  She was telling me how fantastic I am (I already know this!), she would never go back to a short ear ever again.  Her last short ear was a sandwich short of a picnic by the sounds of it!  She was telling me that he was scared of trucks, tractors, bikes, bridges, running water, plastic bags.... well everything really.... and in the process of running away from this whole host of non-scarey items he ditched FH many times, unfortunately with broken ankles, ribs and fingers as a reward for FHs trouble.  Well muleteers how ridiculous, I can't understand why FH had a four legs like that, at least now she has learnt that Mules Rule ;-) I'll keep her safe, us mules have self preservation and that includes our precious cargo!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Small Things

Dearest Muleteers I have been pondering my Friday thought all week long and stumbled across the perfect quote.  I was busy thinking about all the 'Great Things' I could do and then I suddenly found perspective from a heroine of mine - Mother Theresa.  So here is my Friday Feeling ready to set you up for the weekend.

We can't do great things in this life.....
We can only do small things with great love.
Mother Theresa 

The Mini and I understand this completely, we may not be 17 hand shires or Thoroughbred racehorses but we can certainly do great love.  Our plans are simple, our needs are few but love is the thing that we have in GREAT quantities! Mother Theresa knew the truth, of course!

So Muleteers give someone some love this weekend, it feels good to share it!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Calamity Jane!

Yeeha Muleteers! That's all us mules have heard for a while..... Oh the Deadwood stage is rolling on over the hill..... Just blew in from the windy city...... Take me back to the black hills...... And on and on she goes!  Yes muleteers Female Human (FH) has been driving us potty!  She has been watching THAT film again and boy do we know it!  

Now muleteers us mules have mulificent ears for a reason, we have exceptional hearing but that does not mean it should be abused.  Since FH watched this film at the weekend she has been humming and singing away.  It transpires that this film has A LOT to answer for.  From the age of 3 (much younger than us mature mules) FH has been obsessed by her cowgirl hero.  We think she may have taken some of the parts of the film a little too seriously.  When Granny Human (GH) needed a little time out from FH (we understand GH she can go on a bit and the question why? does get a little tiring...) she used to put this film on.  Well FH took to it so much that she soon started dressing up as her favourite character!  She still has that stupid hat we can assure you!
Now who was this Calamity Jane I asked FH?  BIG mistake!  I got a very long winded version of her being a female gunslinger who was an amazing heroine, could shoot a target at 20 paces and was the best rider in town.  Well that's what the film said.... the real Calamity Jane was a much sadder lady and was not always the most stable character.... however one thing that she sure was is a muleskinner - that is a driver of mules.  CJ was a skilled outrider and mule woman and helped to deliver many important loads to the prospectors in the wild west, particularly in a town called Deadwood.  She was not always kind to the rightful population of the land but we hope with time and enlightenment she would now see the error of her ways....

Deadwood Mule Coach

So FH has grown up with her role model looking good in leather chaps, onboard a horse, with less that ladylike language and thinks she can yeehaa her way through life.  Firstly no one told FH that this is Devon, UK not Deadwood, USA and secondly there are no stagecoaches anymore.  FH doesn't mind though, there is still the Wild West (Country) to explore, she has her very own cow mule who seems to be called Callie..... I can't imagine what that's short for? Any guesses?

Muleteers I guess if this noisy film convinced FH to take the less than ordinary route and led her in to the temptation of mules then we'll forgive it, even if my ears are ringing a little, FH sounds a bit like Catanian when she sings!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Six Months in The Life of a Mule

Greetings Muleteers!  What can a mule achieve in 6 months?  In my case a lot!  I have been in my new home for a whole six months this weekend and it has gone sooooo quickly.  So I was having a think about all the things I have achieved with my humans in this six months and this is a rundown....

1/. I have found myself in a new home with new humans that I now own.  There is Female Human (FH) who is maid service, mule rider, beautician and general mule's body!  Then there's my fave Man Human (MH) who constantly tells me how beautiful I am, scratches my neck in just the right place and brings me snacks from the hedgerow.  I have been busy training them and refining their behaviour.  The Mini has done a pretty good job but there's nothing like a woman's touch!

2/. I have introduced many new folks to the wonders of long ears.  I have travelled far and wide with FH and waved my mulificent ears to many passers by.  We are constantly stopped by cars to ask all about me, I feel a little like I am constantly being chased by the paparrazi, it's soooo difficult being a celebrity!

3/. I have attended two "horse" clinics with FH and shown off my fine skills at playing tag and something called obstacles, hopefully I can go again soon.

4/. I have wooed the Mini and Ro-Land and now have not one but two mini boyfriends, they're alright really if a little on the short side.... I also have a Catanian partner in crime for when the boys are tiresome.

5/. I have taken FH on the wild and open moor!  Yippee that was fun, moor mule has found her calling!

6/. I have had some exciting riding adventures and have met cars, tractors, sheep, cows, a pony and trap, a hot air balloon, a Chinook helicopter, lots of dogs, people, bonfires, trains, pushchairs, umbrellas, rivers, hills, tiny bridges and rocks and have kept cool under all circumstances, FH is very impressed with my mulish bombproofness, occasionally I will remind her that she can't be totally asleep though ;-)

7/. I have munched my way through 1.2 tonnes of food in the last 6 months! Mostly straw but with some grass, haylage, hedges and twigs thrown in there too.

8/. I have happily trodden and soiled my way through half a tonne of wood shavings bedding!

9/. I have produced over a tonne of mule's gold - ask FH she has weighed every ounce in the barrow ;-)

10/. I have found happiness muleteers!  FH and I are happy pottering around and I have my pals whenever I want, I'm never shut in a stable but can roam in and out when I please.  I have lots of lovely adventures and adoring fans and most of all I have found a little place in the world where mules are the norm not the exception and I am appreciated because I act like a mule.... heaven!

Well muleteers time for me to go and dream of the next 6 months to come, I wonder what the future will hold, more of the same will be just fine with me!

Oh I forgot No. 11...... I have also become a mule blogger and love telling you all about life here with the Muleteers!   We are nearly at 5000 page views, how perfect that we will reach this to celebrate my first 6 months!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Harmony

Greetings Muleteers and welcome to my new regular post on a Friday!  As some of you will know I am the philosopher of the muleteers and enjoy pondering the meaning of life.  As Friday is an exciting day and we are all looking forward to the weekend I thought I'd share with you one of my favourite quotes every Friday, hopefully you can ponder it when relaxing over the weekend!

There is no better hero of mine to begin with than Mahatma Gandhi, enjoy!

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Muleteers I think food, I say food (at least when FH is listening!) and I 'do' food, therefore I am in harmony = HAPPY! 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Secret to a Happy Mule!

Greetings Muleteers!  Today's post is about keeping us longears happy when the rain is pouring and we have to stay on the yard.... you humans call it environmental enrichment, I call it entertainment!
The weather has been so horrible that we have been off our fields overnight and sheltering in our stables and pottering on our yard.  This is fine but the humans have noticed that if we aren't kept busy we get up to our own mischief like eating rugs, arguing and pulling up fencing posts! MH kindly supplied us with a little entertainment - mule style!
So MH appeared with some delightful snacks for us all to eat, this here is willow.  We are allowed to eat it in small quantities as FH says that large quantities are bad for us - it was so yummy!  I have to say I was a littl bit worried that these branches would attack me at first but Ro-Land and Dragon showed me that they were ok :-)


Later on in the day it was time for an extra special treat.  Grapes!  Now this Mini Mule shares his human's love of grapes (although apparently she enjoys the liquid variety?)  We were super excited to be given some and then MH hid some more around the yard and in our beds for us to find later - very tasty. I did get a little carried away with the grape tasting.....

Dragon decided to be all lady like for once! She told me off and said that one should be graceful when tasting grapes and should appreciate the delicate fragrance and taste?!! I think she's just trying to impress MH!  Must be something to do with that hat? Maybe she wants one for herself?

Today has been another miserable day and we had to come in early but guess what?  FH had set up some more entertainment for us!  This time we were given some apple tree branches - yummy.  Unfortunately Ro-Land had also been busy decorating his hairdo.... someone should really tell him that straw is for eating not for plaiting in to your mane!

How much fun can you have with a load of tree branches!

Finally Dragon looking as lady like as ever!  Even Catanian decided to see what all the fuss was about, hmm she didn't seem impressed by our snacks.  FH says she has plenty of entertainment in the form of mice though so she'll survive!

Til next time muleteers! I wonder what tomorrow's entertainment will be?

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Take me to the river...

Greetings Muleteers!  Callie the Amazing Mule Adventurer here!  Rain, what rain? Summer is here so it's time to discover new places with My Heroine Breeze!  There was a break in the rain so off FH and I went to track down Breeze and the lovely human she owns :-)  Now I have told you all before that Breeze and I are hoping to go in to the car wash business so we decided that as we were already a little wet from the rain that it was the perfect time to go and practice.
Off we went to the nearest river, I had my 'going out trousers' on as FH says when I decide to walk at mule speed.  I cannot believe that so many non-mule folk think that because I'm a mule I'll be slow - pah, I'll show them!  My Heroine is a little (read quite a lot) bigger than me but I made her work hard to keep up ;-) 
My Heroine's ears are short but they are still mulificent!
Finally we reached our target practice area.  Breeze eyed up the river and led me along the rocky floor, there were some big drops ready to swallow my mule leggies if I stepped in the wrong place but it's ok I can swim, FH seemed a little worried though...  

So we stood and watched My Heroine for a while, she is mulificent at the rinse technique, unfortunately we can't give you a picture as FH forgot her camera (duh) but here's one I took earlier, she is sooooo talented!

Then it was my turn to amble back in to the river so that I could check out the water.  We just stood for a while and I found a very nice holly bush overhanging the river so I could snack and paddle at the same time, I did get a bit stuck though!

After watching for a while I decided to take the plunge and test out my blowing bubbles technique and my splashing technique, ok it wasn't as mulificent as Breeze's but I'm only just beginning.  FH and CH had a good giggle as they were amazed that I had copied My Heroine, of course you don't think I was just stood watching for the sake of it?!

Eventually after we had exhausted ourselves with splashing it was time to lead the way home, onwards muleteers!

My Heroine and I waved our ears goodbye and went home, we've decided that much more practice is required on the splashing (ummmm I mean employment) front, next time we're planning on getting the humans completely soaked, we only managed trouser soaking this time!

Back home for a quick snack and the rain came down again.... never mind muleteers, if I shelter by the hedge I can also eat it at the same time, now that what I call multi-tasking :-)

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Summer at Mule HQ

Greetings muleteers!  The English summer is now in full swing, yes that's right we have had days of torrential rain and gales!  Gales are good for this Mini though, they blow away the midges and relieve my wheezy breathing as I'm allergic to pollen :-( So I've been enjoying the breeze and making the most of being able to shelter inside, I've also be making the most of sheltering behind my favourite hedge.

The only thing with this hedge is that the nettles have grown so high they are now taller than me!  This is not good... I have summoned FH and told her that she must cut down these nettles and when they've wilted I will gladly eat them for her.  If you look closely at the picture can you spot the odd one out?  Ro-Land's ears are sooooo small, much too small to be normal, blink and you'll miss them!

So apart from the torrential rain what else does summer bring to muleteer HQ?  Well lots of noisy neighbours trying to edge in on our territory.

Firstly look at this baby wren, it and its nest mates had very noisily set up home under the eaves and just when the sun shone they all came out of the nest and chirped very noisily to be fed, one of them even came and sat on my gate - hmmmm!

Then we have the swallows in residence again, I'm quite keen on them as FH says that they eat all the pesky midges so they can stay!  Here they are having a little rest....

Then it was time for them to leave and catch more pests - carry on friends I say!

Finally can you believe what I saw over the hedge???  Yes Muleteers that's right some pesky critters trying to muscle in on my FH..... now this I am not amused by.  Those silly bleating things called lambs, all I can hear at the moment is their calls saying - feed me, feed me, most annoying when a Mini is trying to sleep.

Well Muleteers as Summer is finally here it is time to master the art of eating in the rain.  It involves putting one's butt in to the rain, reversing one's ears so that no water gets in them and doing the very British thing of carrying on as normal.  

The British Marines have a saying, "There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing" - this Mini is fully prepared, maybe I could be a Commando Mule? Til next time muleteers I am off to dodge the rain again!