Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Hallowe'en!

Happy Hallowe'en Muleteers!  There have been some spooky goings on at Muleteer HQ today!  Imagine my excitement when FH declared that she had got my Hallowe'en costume all sorted out :-)  so I got dressed up in my bestest halloween halter and had a truffle snuffle to see whether I would get a trick or treat!

So off I snuffled and look what I've found!  there's a pumpkin that matches my costume perfectly..... now then what is that lovely orange filling in the pumpkin?

I think it looks like a Roller Polar Hallowe'en treat :-)
I think this may be a treat of carroty goodness, this is so much nicer than playing tricks!

Oh no my carroty treat seems to have all gone and I've made rather a mess.... oh well, maybe there'll be a stocking at Christmas??

Not to be outdone Dragon declared that it was her turn to Trick or Treat... she thinks she looks particularly stunning in her Halloween costume with her wintery chestnut coat.

What's this? It appears that Dragon also managed to persuade FH in to providing a treat this Hallowe'en

Have a Happy Hallowe'en Muleteers - no tricks please, only treats!  Mini says he's sorry that there are no costumed pics of him - he won't lower himself to dressing up but of course FH is soft on him so he got treats too!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Farewell Our Big Dog Friend

Dearest Muleteers, today we said goodbye to our friend; our Big Dog has crossed the Rainbow Bridge to chase bunnies, crunch bones, roll in unmentionables and sun bathe to his heart's content.  The sun will never set across the Rainbow Bridge; there will always be a comfy bed to lie on, a rotten fish to roll in, an old friend to lick and leap at and his bones will no longer grow weary.  May you meet old friends on your journey Big Dog and wait patiently for those to come.

So today Muleteers I offer you my tribute to our Big Dog friend Indy and to all of those loving canine companions that we have been lucky enough to share time with. 

"Dogs, bless them, operate on the premise that human beings are fragile and require incessant applications of affection and reassurance. The random lick of a hand and the furry chin draped over the instep are calculated to let the shaky owner know that a friend is nearby."  -Mary McGrory

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." -Unknown-


"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too."  -Samuel Butler-

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace." -Milan Kundera-

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog... He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world...When all other friends desert, he remains." -George G. Vest- Speech in the U.S. Senate, 1884

"Dogs lives are too short...their only fault, really."  -Agnes Sligh Turnbull-

I am off to provide the humans with ample snuffles, Roller Polar hugs, manes to sniff at for Eau de Pony and of course unconditional love.

Rest easy Indy xxxx

Monday, 22 October 2012

Guard The Dog Duty

Guard Callie at your service!  Sadly one of my canine companions is not very well, FH has firmly instructed me that it is now my duty to guard him rather than the other way around.  Normally the canines keep watch over us and the ranch by snoozing away in the garden and greeting any intruders.  It seems that our Big Dog friend is hanging up his guarding cap and is making the most of snoozing in the autumn sun in his retirement (the Big Dog is always the best indicator of the weather - where the sun shines he will be).

So as the Senior Guard in the family I have taken my duties seriously and taken up residence at the fence line watching over my kingdom, me and the Big Dog have had a little chat about tactics such as sniffing the breeze for the latest goings on, using our radar ears to hear the local gossip and of course he's told me it's fine to soak up the sun whilst on guard duty!  He also said that the job description allows snoozing on duty and a bit of eating, he seemed less than impressed by my 'Chuckle Greeting'... this is the muley version of a hello, apparently this is not to the Big Dog's liking..... well every girl has to put her own personality in to a job :-)

So I shadowed the Big Dog for a while to ensure that I was up to the job - ears on full alert!

I also checked out my Junior Guard Dog, the Pocket Sized Labrador (who has since been creating havoc on the job and raiding the bins at the office) - I wouldn't like to have his Performance Review with FH when she gets home.... 

Finally after a hard days work it I just couldn't help following the Big Dog's instructions that it's ok to sleep on the job.... my ears just felt kinda droopy..... I think I'm going to enjoy this Guard Mule job, I will do it to the best of my muley ability and make the Big Dog proud!

The Big Dog has also decided that snoozing in retirement is allowed too....

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Mastering the Mule Spook

Mule Radar at the ready!
Today, I am happy with FH!  Finally she has understood the subtleties of mule spooking!  Today we went on one of our favourite rides, I was a little turbo charged after 5 days with no work....

Sunday mornings are always perfect for testing out FHs stickability, on a Sunday everyone comes out to play so rather than our normal companions of neighbours and farmers we are greeted with the Sunday drivers, walkers, cyclists, riders, skateboarders, scooter riders, dog walkers, motorcyclists and of course the dreaded townie that can't drive, panics at sight of a living creature that is not a pug or poodle and proceeds to try and mow us down in their BMW four wheel drive that has never left London before (and certainly will not again after they have backed it in to the large granite boulder hidden in the hedgerow, hehehe....)

This morning we met lots of interesting things which elicited some reaction but not a lot and it got FH and I chatting about the subtleties of mule spooks.... it would seem that they are sometimes a little different to short eared spooks?  FH has ridden far too many spooky (I think you should read in to this dangerous, batty, highly strung, mildly psychotic and lacking in manners) short ears but it is only now she has my mulificent self that she truly understands that not all spooks are the same!  So here's the long eared guide to 'Spooking the Mule Way' (Jo some of these may ring a bell!!).

Ears on Full Alert Shuffle Past

The mule shuffle, guaranteed to make you look like a banana
Tactic: This is my normal mule spook muleteers, when faced with something minorly scary I use my ear antennae to focus on the spooky object, keeping it always in my sight, FH says I look a little like a banana when I do this as I curve my entire body around said spooky object....  Generally once I have the spooky object behind me and know that my dog defenders are ready to attack I can walk on at mule pace and look for the next challenge

Reserved For:  Squirrels in the hedge, plastic bags in the hedge, cascading water drains and new road markings

Spookometer Rating: 2/10

180° Spin and Go

Ready to spin?
Tactic:  Reserved only for special occasions Muleteers, I have been using this less as FH is not too impressed by it (oops).  Normally this happens when I am pottering along and someone has had the audacity to place a new object on one of my favourite rides.  Said object is always inanimate, often a tree trunk or boulder. Once I have spied the spooky object I must let FH know that it could be a disguised alien ready to pounce, it is not normally here so it must be bad.  So quick spin, front legs moving fast, back ones doing a perfect pivot (Team GB dressage eat your heart out), now that we're facing in the opposite direction perhaps we should go back the way we came??  Only problem is muleteers that FH is wise to my lazy wish to not investigate these objects and we always end up having to go anyway so I'm giving up on this particular tactic, I do like to keep it in my spooking kit just in case she is getting lazy and not taking notice though ;-)

Reserved For: Tree trunks, rocks, boulders and dead badgers

Spookometer Rating: 6/10

Stop Rigid, Feel Like Unexploded Bomb

Tactic:  This is a good spook muleteers and one that us long ears have off to perfection... one of my favourites as it has taught FH A LOT of manners.  This one involves seeing a spooky object and letting FH know that things are really very serious!  I will grow at least 10 inches in height, my ears extend like a telescope, my neck becomes a bulging arch of muscle and I shorten my back by about 6 inches as I draw myself up to my mulificent best (super models look out!).  I show off the prettiest whites of my eyes, snort out my nostrils and stand very still.... except for the slightest twitch of my tail (if a mule swishes it's tail it's thinking.).  FH describes me as being a unexploded bomb, I have taught her that despite thinking that she should do something to defuse the bomb that actually she should sit there with my reins loose, not moving, no legs and just some soothing words.  Once she's relaxed I defuse my bomb, hopefully spooky object has gone and we carry on without a backward glance.

Reserved For: Motorbikes, joggers in full neon brights chasing towards me and umbrellas

Spookometer Rating: 4/10

Ears on Full Alert, Nonchalant Continuance

It's all in the ears, am I bothered??
Tactic: This has been an adaptation of the 'Stop Rigid' spook, now that FH has mastered the unexploded bomb I have decided to be nice and not test her quite so often so we have progressed to this spook.  When riding a mule it is essential that you mule riders keep a firm eye on our ear antennae and listen out for our swishy tail, they will tell you all you need to know.  If you're annoying us our ears will go back and you'll hear the wind whistling through our tail, if we're on the alert our ears will nearly touch in the middle to show you where the concern lies.  Once you have acknowledged that we are being extremely brave mules by continuing we will reward you by continuing past our spooky object nonchalantly while you wonder what all the fuss was about.  By the time you have realised what the spooky object was we are past it and on our way.

Reserved For:  The really scary stuff for you humans.... tractors hedge trimming, combine harvesters, trucks, bouncy trailers, trains whizzing past our heads, torrents of water, lawn mowers, prams, scooters, cyclists, bonfires, thunder and lightning...

Spookometer Rating: 1/10

Sit Down, Springboard

Tactic:  This is one of my favourites muleteers.  It is normally reserved for barky dogs that come from nowhere and try to attack me through a fence or gate.  As I am strolling along all peaceful suddenly a rude canine will launch itself at its gate barking savagely and flinging slobber and gravel everywhere... I proceed to sit on a sixpence and hunch down ready to launch. My back legs hunker down and I'm ready to springboard in to launch mode.  FH says that it feels like I am serpent ready to strike!  She has  asked me if I can be a little more gentle in my coiling as she says it's like being on a fairground ride where you are suspended in mid air only to have to come back to earth (or my back in this case...).  Once I have decided if I need to remonstrate with my canine attacker I will either continue in nonchalant mule fashion or will move on to step 2...

Reserved for: Rude barking dogs flinging themselves at me through a gate or fence.

Spookometer Rating: 3/10

Sit Down, Springboard, Leap and Attack

Tactic:  This is a continuance of the original springboard.  Once I have decided that FH is sitting comfortably and have looked to check if naughty canine is contained behind bars I may move on to this.  If naughty canine has decided to come and introduce themselves in person I will move from my springboard stance to the leap and attack.  At this stage I will make sure that my front dog defenders are positioned well to give my canine attacker a little bit of a lesson if required.  FH is normally very cross with me if I try to squash our neighbourhood canines so I do normally only chase the canine back to their gate or owner by giving them a Dragon glare, this normally suffices.  There was one occasion though where a naughty canine thought it would be nice to nip my heels, hmmm lets just say that a firm telling off was given and he won't be doing that again although no permanent harm done....

Reserved For: Naughty canines who don't know when they're beaten, I am not a skittish short ears you know, this mule can defend herself!

Spookometer Rating: 4/10 (a 10/10 for the canine involved!)

Turbo Charged Full Steam Ahead

Dive for nearest bush!
Tactic:  It pains me to say that FH thinks this is my my most short eared like spook.  When I'm not quite concentrating (often because FH is too busy chattering away) I can sometimes get caught out when my mule radar is not fully deployed.  When this happens some things can take me by surprise and I just have a little run away at a trot or a canter (quite often downhill which FH is not keen on).  No sooner have I started than FH tells me to stop being so short eared and I remember that she expects more from a mule....oops.  So to save further embarrassment I stop after a couple of strides and stuff my face in the nearest bush.  Honestly muleteers it was nothing and I'm so embarrassed about my behaviour that I have a sudden need to eat.....  hopefully once FH has stopped laughing she'll have forgotten all about it.
Thankfully this doesn't happen often, my mule street cred is still in tact and I am forgiven...phew!

Reserved For: Really scary stuff when my mule radar is faulty.  Most recently the neighbour's dog jumping over the gate to nip my heels (oops I had a stride of canter down a terrifyingly steep hill...) or the cow that was stuck in the fence above my head on the sunken road.... we did go back and rescue it once my mule radar was working again.

Spookometer Rating: 8/10

So there we have it muleteers, as you can see there are many subtle ways of spooking and I'm so pleased that FH has mastered them.  It has taken me a while to train her, I had to teach her to do the following:
Sit still!

1/. Sit still and deep
2/. Don't squeeze with those knees or I'll go faster....
3/. Don't grip those reins too tightly when I go in to unexploded bomb mode, I need to know you're there but not feel your death grip thank you!
4/. Don't force me past, I'll go in my own sweet mule time thank you.
5/. If I really don't like something it's ok to get off, I would much prefer it if you would stand between me and the monster so that you get eaten first (I'm not daft you know ;-)
6/. Don't predict what I will and won't like too much, yes it's kind that you know I won't like the whizzy bike because I have shown you before but next time I meet something new like a hot air balloon, ostrich or alpaca I'll be fine if you are.
7/. Make sure our gear is up to the job, this is not the time for slippy saddles or worn out reins.
8/. Let me see loads of exciting and different things so that I know it's not scary, FH and I spent lots of time train spotting when I first owned her so that when we met them out and about I know they're not spooky objects.
8/. The most important one - MOVE ON!  When we've had our spook (and yes it is normally our spook and you are normally part of it) just let my reins go, settle back and enjoy the ride, I've forgotten about what just happened - so should you!

FH would like me to report that I really am a very good muletta who hardly ever deploys her spooks but when I do I have taught her a lot, this mule is apparently a very good teacher (like I didn't know that already :-) She apologises for the lack of relevant pictures, it would seem her hands are normally full when I'm spooking??!

To spook or not to spook? That is the question!  ....... 
Nah I think I'll just go and hedge picnic instead :-)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Animals

Only a short one today dearest muleteers.  FH has had a busy week with a multitude of problems, her soul is tired and she yearns to find the solution for a problem out of her control (this is especially hard for a self confessed control freak like FH!).  When all around is hard there is always a constant though my Muleteer friends. 

We Three Muleteers and our Catanian will be there to share the load (note: this is metaphorically rather physically as I'm sure you'll agree I am not really designed for stressful work!).

We can offer only what is innate to us and with that thought I offer you my quote for today. 

Animals are reliable, full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.
Alfred A. Montapert

So Muleteers when you're in need of unconditional love, constancy, appreication and loyalty you don't have to look too far - just go and find your nearest non-human animal and they'll set you straight :-)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Roll on Moor Rides....

Mental note to self muleteers... I must not roll when FH is on board, I must not roll when FH is on board..... I momentarily forgot, more about that later!

Apologies for the delay in updating you all on my adventurous weekend, it was a little busy and we all had to recover after it!

Sunday was a beautiful clear autumn day and FH and I called up our pals Calm Human and The Sensible One to see if they wanted to go play on the Mule Moor (aka Dartmoor).

Off we headed on to the moor to check out what's new up there.  Most of the sheep have been brought off the moor, apparently the ladies are going to be introduced to the gentlemen rams for the autumn, how lucky!  There were lots of interested cattle though, I had to inspect them closely and ensure that they weren't going to charge us, my friend SO is a real cowpony and saved me at one point when they were getting a little too close!

There were also some lovely handsome Dartmoor Ponies who were checking out my mulificence, they did seem to have very big eyes and snorty nostrils, honestly you'd think they'd never seen a mule before, actually maybe they haven't?

We wandered far and wide and looked at the view, it was so nice to see the sunshine but Oh My Mule it was starting to get a little warm.  I have grown my winter duvet and when the sun shone and FH makes me walk up steep hills I started to 'glow' a little ( the old saying says that men perspire, horses sweat and ladies glow so I think lady mules are in this category too!).  I tried to shake off the itchy feeling that was starting to build, I tried some of my favourite bone rattling shakes to check that FH was sat securely.....

Nope FH sat securely and didn't shift when I shook so we carried on a little farther on the track.  This is an old tramway built to remove the tin mined from Dartmoor mules years ago.  Now it is a great track for running, walking, cycling and of course for muleteers.  Off we set but I just couldn't shake that feeling, the itchy, glowing feeling was getting worse and when FH and I stopped to enjoy the view I found a lovely little peaty bit and proceeded to drop to my knees and then my belly ready to have a roll around....

Oh My Mule!  I'd forgotten that I'd got FH on board....eeekkk!!!  She quickly jumped off and reminded me with a sharp telling off that it was not polite to roll with your mule rider and expensive saddle still in place - oops!  She was saying all of this with a huge grin on her face as CH cracked up laughing too (good job FH has a sense of humour ;-)

But wait have you seen the view, look it's beautiful!  FH had soon forgotten about the rolling incident (I hope) and we carried on home, what a lovely ride was had by all.  Hopefully there'll be more moor rides next weekend please :-)

We were all home before we knew it and once I had patiently waited for FH to undress me I had only one thing on my mind.... where is my favourite muddy rolling patch - this mule is in need!

Oh that feels better, the glowing, itchy feeling has subsided, every girl needs a mud pack treatment after a hard day's work!


Even my friend had got all hot and sweaty and needed to roll around too, she has great style.... I might have to take some lessons, she looks like a professional!

Until next time Muleteers, and remember rolling with humans in the saddle is not advised but it sure is guaranteed to make them laugh..... hmmm and now for my next trick?!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Roller's Philosophical Friday: Kindness

Phew Muleteers!  Last night we had a very close call, it was a terribly wet day (again) with flooding all around.  Our FH nearly got marooned with flooded roads all around her and no way of getting through to us muleteers.... this was nearly disastrous!  Who would bring us our tasty dinner and tidy up our beds?  It was a close thing!

But not to worry Muleteers as FH was rescued by a stranger.  After starting to panic a little bit a kind farmer pulled up next to FH, he was rescuing his cattle from a flooded field and cheerily helped FH get through the flood and escorted her with a wave and a smile down some winding lanes checking all the time that she wasn't going to drown her diesel powered mule.  When she was safe and on better roads he cheerily waved and sent her on her way.  FH came home and told us how his kindness had made her day and how he had reminded her that kindness costs nothing but means everything.

Dinner is served, thanks to kindness!

With this in mind my thought for Friday is:

Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.

Scott Adams

Our farmer friend would have no idea that he had delivered our FH safe to her muleteers, enabled her to go to work and make someone very happy and of course delivered my laptop to me so that I could be here to tell you all about my philosophical ponderings.

Spread a little kindness this weekend, you never know what the effects might be!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Mule Tack Challenges - got there in the end....

Greetings Muleteers!  I think I can finally say that after much perserverance, expense (on FHs part!) and trial and error that my beautiful mule wardrobe is complete!  As those of you with long ears will know fitting tack to mules and donkeys is a little on the tricky side.

We like to challenge our humans by having the perfect physique, unfortunately this seems to mean that we can't fit in to the stuff you lot buy for your short ears.

For those of you (un)lucky enough not to have had to kit out a long ear we have the following 'issues':

A lovely flat back...
1/. Our backs are very flat and we often don't have much in the way of withers! We often take after our donkey dads which can mean that saddles have no anchoring point.  Saddles quickly end up floating forwards and the train wreck saddle on the neck is something that many mule riders will be only too aware of..... This is when you have to test out your emergency dismount, normally whilst heading down an extremely steep hill in our case!

2/ This flat back means we have less 'sway' in our backs - this means most saddles designed with a horse tree will be too curved and will pinch and rock on a mule back.  Unless you are lucky enough to get a well fitted custom mule treed saddle or have a mule with an abnormal (e.g. horselike) back then this is ever a challenge.

3/. We have much finer shoulders and tend to be narrow in our chests, again this means there is much less to hold the saddle from sliding forward.

4/. My mulificent self is quite short in the back as I'm a pony mule, this means that getting a saddle to fit me and FH is a bit tricky!

5/. Mules tend to have a very forward girth groove which again encourages saddles and girths to slide forward at every opportunity.  This can produce the semi train wreck of girth galls and rubs - ouch!

6/. My mouth is teeny weeny (hmmm FH says this is peculiar as I make a lot of noise when I feel like it!).  I only take a 4.5" bit and many types aren't available in this size.  My FH would love a Rockin S Snaffle but they only go as small as 5" - not fair!

7/. My jaw and eye brows are mulificent in their donkey dimensions which means that bridles designed for short ears are always the wrong size, I am neither pony nor cob but need both sizes put together.  FH has given up with as much bridle wear as possible - it's all too confusing!

8/. Last but not least are my mulificent ears!  Trying to squeeze those in to a normal bridle and browband just ain't happening without a lot of pain - no thank you!

So after a few train wrecks, a few semi train wrecks, some grumpy swishes from me, much expenditure from FH and lots of test riding (like this!) we are finally there.  We have passed the test!  My gear holds up to:

Steep up hills
Steep down hills
Rugged terrain
All paces
Rides of over 3 hours
Spins and spooks (when I need to check that FH is concentrating ;-)

Oh and of course most important of all, I approve, my tummy and back aren't sore and I can carry FH comfortably without her greeting my ears too quickly and closely!

So here's my get up muleteers, please excuse the dirtiness of my tack and the fact that it's all kind of thrown together and doesn't match (this is no surprise to anyone that knows my human!), FH is a useless caretaker and only cleans things when they are actually mouldy - tut tut.

This is my lovely treeless western saddle.  It has no tree so moulds perfectly to my mulificent flat back, there is a lovely channel down the middle so there are no bits digging in to my spine and it was made by a master craftsman 10 minutes from where I live which is nice :-)  It's special features are:

As with most western saddles it has a front and back cinch which is perfect for my mulish shape as this helps to stop everything sliding forward and the rear cinch helps to make sure that the front girth doesn't slide too far forward and rub my delicate tummy!

The saddle also has staying power for FH so that if I have a little spook she is nicely secure, she is also much more prone to riding on the buckle and holding the horn casually - she is not Calamity Jane but no one's told her!

The back girth is attached to the front girth by a little connector so that it can't slide back and become a buck strap which is a good thing for me and for FH..... My back girth looks a little tight on the pics because of how fluffy I am but don't worry muleteers there's lots of give in it!  FH has nice leather straps for the back but as per usual has failed to clean my tack and attach them - useless FH sort it out!

After much playing with my cinch / girth and trying to find the right way to 'rig' my saddle we have settled for an english girth converter.  We tried all sorts.... centre fired rigging, western neoprene cinches, western string cinches, roper cinches, leather girths, fleece lined cinches and girths and in the end FH got me a fine selection of english girths (she says her bank balance is depleted, how selfish to only think of herself).  We have discovered that the best girth for my delicate tummy is a good old fashioned cotton girth with a towelling sleeve, this is not bulky like most girths (especially western cinches) and means that I can move my elbows freely.

My final piece of saddle adornment is my Limpet Saddle Pad, this is designed to help stop saddles slipping but most importantly is like a piece of memory foam - lovely!  FH was very dismissive when we first tried one and said it would make me sweat, make me itchy and generally be useless, hmmm oh how wrong she was, this mule is not having anything else now.

Finally Muleteers my outfit is completed by my bridle.  FH really does need to sort the colour out as I would like pink but I guess that's a discussion for another day... maybe for Christmas?!  When your ears are as mulificent as mine they are very difficult to squeeze in to a bridle so FH found a 'Click Bridle' where everything can quickly be placed over my ears whilst retaining my dignity (and humour) and my bit can then be clipped on afterwards, so much easier and boy would I recommend it to any mule owner.  We've seen some lovely mule bridles in America with a clip over the browband but alas they aren't available here, I keep trying to send FH on a business trip over there, maybe next year!  Attached to my super dainty bit are my clip reins that can be detached for groundwork and leading and of course my trusty halter kindly made to fit my mulish proportions by my Aunty Di; this goes everywhere with us so I get led by my halter not my mouth and I can tie up or be ponied off a friend if needed.

So there we have it folks, we have finally solved the Callie Mule Tack Dilemma which has been an ongoing saga.... no doubt FH will still keep tinkering and changing things and one day might even get me a lovely English saddle but for the moment at least we can ride without train wrecks!  If you're a mule owner and fed up of tack woes we understand but promise that there is light at the end of the tunnel if you just keep tinkering and use a little lateral thinking.......

Now surely it must be time for another ride soon, I've heard mention of a ride on the moor at the weekend, now that really is the place to test out my equipment :-)

This mule is all tacked up and ready to ride!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Schooling Rides

Greetings Muleteers, well I'm glad that FH is back now.... we've been back to doing the important things in life like work!

I had a lovely weekend with not one but two rides with lots of different pals.  Firstly there was my outing with My Heroine, the Sensible One and Aunty Di.  My short eared companions had the wind up their tales (aka they were being a bit jumpy) but as soon as they saw me they decided that it was more fun to play pin the teeth on the mule... hmmm.  My Heroine was a little on the grumpy side with me and pulled some very mean faces, I can't help it if I'm beautiful and young and clever can I?  The Sensible One wasn't quite so grumpy with me but I have learnt that it's the front end of My Heroine and the back end of S.O. that I have to look out for, maybe this is why FH tells me off when I try to gentle nibble the S.O's bottom?  Anyway after a while they stopped trying to play 'Kill the Mule' and had a grump at each other instead, while they weren't looking I overtook on the inside and took the lead - much better!

Big = Mulificent when it comes to ears!
Off we went with much purpose, it's been at least a week since I showed off my mulificence to the world.  But wait what is that???  I was stood at the top of the hill looking down the lane and there's two short ears (quite big short ears) coming trotting up to us with their one rider busy not looking where he's going, surely he'll see us soon?  He look like he's playing with one of those telephone things, FH calls it texting.  Well on he trotted, his short ears getting wider and wider eyed... well how rude, everyone knows this is bad equine manners.  Just at the last minute the short ear rider notices my mulificence and stared aghast... careful you might drop your precious phone...  Well really all he could manage to say was 'Big Ears' as he went past staring, gosh Mr that is original.... honestly you humans do state the obvious don't you??

It was all over too soon, I tried to persuade FH that we needed to do everything again and longingly turned in to the next lane but alas it was time for home.

Not to fear though Muleteers, this morning I had one of my favourite visitors.  Smiley Human came to see me!  It's a while since my friend has come to see me, it seems that FH's job and social life has been causing havoc with my social calendar - not impressive FH you need to sort this out!

So I was delighted when Smiley Human and I were off, time to go and explore the local area, we saw lots of tin boxes on wheels with humans inside, some pretty ponies, a shetland with a very short tail (oops!), some of our local friends to wave our ears at and of course I had a little sample of the local hedgerows, I have to do this quickly before all the leaves are gone - I will only be left with bare twigs then.... how awful will that be for my waistline!

The humans were in need of some training today, it seems that this was a 'Schooling Ride' for them.  I had a busy time teaching them how to ask me to turn properly, I did lots of transitions with them from walk to trot (or pace / gait whatever it is I do, FH is never sure) and was trying to show them how to rein back - this is very important muleteers so that I can show FH the tasty bits of hedge that we might miss and need to reverse for.  I also spent much time standing still for tin boxes to go past me, some whizzier than others.... you humans are in too much of a rush!


So here I am showing off my pacing with Smiley Human, I hope she comes to play again soon, I overheard plans for more rides next weekend - yippee! Right time for a snooze, schooling you humans is very hard work.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Last Laugh!

Greetings Muleteers!  Hmm well FH has finally graced us with her presence, she has been away on holiday - disgusting behaviour!  Apparently she had to go somewhere warm and hot for a while to dry out, she even had white fingernails and skin that turned brown because of sun not mud.  Honestly you humans really do not know what wonderful properties mud has.  So there she was all rested and relaxed this morning with promises of delicious grass and a ride.

Hmmm a ride a hear?  Well this poor Dragon has been on duty all week, looking after my human slaves (thank you Aunty Di and Granny!) and ensuring that the minis were kept in check.  My only protest was a midweek escape attempt to the grass that was definitely greener on the other side of the fence that stings..... Aunty Di did not seem very impressed with my antics but tucked me up in bed with lots of food anyway!

Well Muleteers I thought that FH should have to work a little for her ride today as it really is not fair to go swanning off around the world leaving us muleteers on our own.... has she never heard of a holiday at home???

So I decided to have the last laugh...

A nice roll around in the mud ensured that FH would have to work hard for her ride today.

I made sure that my fluffy tummy was nice and muddy - hah FH you know you must clean this throughly so that I don't get sores from my girths!

 And then FH don't forget my neck and legs....

Oh and I've got mud right where it's hard to get to.  And do you like my mud pack along with grass for decoration, this is the newest thing in mule make up!

FH decided against a ride this morning and said that my mud needed time to dry out as there's nothing worse than get rid of wet mud, not bad, I'm off for a bit of a snack whilst baking my mud pack!

After a while I gave in and decided that it really might be to my advantage to go out for an adventure with FH so I allowed myself to be de-mudded and dressed up ready for action.

We went out for a lovely ride with Aunty Di and my Heroine and were also accompanied by a new friend who we shall call the Sensible one (well really isn't that me and my Heroine??).  I'll tell you more about my ride tomorrow muleteers, much fun was had by all - even if I do say so myself.

It's nice to have FH home but don't tell her, I think I'll let her try and make up to us a bit more with banana peels, adventures and scratches!