Saturday, 12 January 2013

Mule Management: Muleteer Style!

What's it like to live a day in our hooves?  Life here at Muleteer HQ is anything but ordinary but we do have some routines.  I thought I'd show you a 'Day in The Life of'... Welcome to My Life!

Time to Get Out of Bed!

We normally stumble out of bed when FH wakes us up at about 6.30am on a human work day, early!  She sometimes sneaks up and catches us napping and has to wake up our sleepy heads.  If it's not a work day the humans are a bit later.  Often MH will appear at the weekend rather than FH as he is not quite as lazy in the mornings! If the humans are running late I will summon them with my neighbray, it's hilarious, FH can hear me inside and nothing drives her out of bed like my dulcet tones... I'll let you in to a secret..... her alarm clock is also a recording of my sweet voice!

If the weather's not absolutely awful FH then lets us out in the paddock, we get fresh grass every morning even in the Winter.  FH strip grazes our fields so we have enough to last us all year round (and apparently it stops us getting round too?)

Feed Kitty

Next it's time to feed Catanian who will appear from her early morning hunting expeditions.  She miaows and stands on FH's feet until she gets what she wants, she has also rather taken to sitting on the feed room door so FH can't fail to miss her.... like we could!

Mucking Out

Once Catanian has been fed and cuddled FH then starts the cleaning... we are a little untidy!  FH takes out all of the 'presents' that we leave her and takes out the wettest of the bedding.  We minis have a deep straw bed and Dragon has shavings as she prefers this.  Dragon is VERY tidy and keeps her mule palace clean, we are more boyish in our habits shall we say ;-)

The mucking out takes a while depending on whether it's a work day or not... at the weekend there is plenty of time for cuddles, chatting and of course that most British of diversions - a good cup of tea! Beware FH, don't leave that mug on the wall or Roller will knock it off, he likes nothing more than a nice cup of tea to wake up to!  Once FH has finished slacking it's time to get back to the mucking out, we Muleteers do try to assist where we can, errrm Roller I'm not sure that you're supposed to actually eat the broom?

Eventually FH finishes our beds ready for later.  Both stables have rubber mats and bedding and FH keeps the bed swept back as we all like lying on the mats as well as on the bed, FH thinks we're very strange but does as she's told!  Notice that funny chain across our mini palace?  We'll explain that later..

Food and Water

Then it's time to fill up the water buckets.  Our stables have automatic drinkers in them but this is useless as we can't reach them!  FH isn't too bothered though, she likes to check how much we're drinking, honestly it's not wine FH you don't need to worry!  Once the water's full it's time for straw nets and haynets for later.  FH gets lots of help making these from Catanian, she loves playing pounce on the string while FH is struggling to fill them up.

Dragon Excluder

For our friends that follow us, have you ever wondered what that chain across one of the stables is for? It's a Dragon excluder!  We have a slightly funny hierarchy in our herd!  I am of course 'The Boss' and have to be split from Dragon at night otherwise I pinch all her food.... honestly would I do such a thing?  My best mate is Roller who I share with very nicely and don't bully away from his food, we are very happy to share our stable, haylage, straw and treats, I just don't share with girls!  But then Dragon is mean and when I'm not looking she will try to bully my little friend and if she feels like it will chase Roller.  FH came up with the idea of giving Roller a safe place.  So here is the solution.  Roller and I can sneak underneath this chain but fire breathing Dragon can't.  Roller knows that he can duck under this and he is safe ;-)

Roller and the Dragon Excluder!
Daytime Fun!

Once the jobs are done it's time to enjoy ourselves!  We enjoy watching the world go by... the lane next to our home has lots of friendly dog walkers, short ears riders and farmers going past, we enjoy neighbraying at them and keeping up neighbourly relationships, we are quite famous in the area!

Keeping in touch with the neigh-bours
FH quite often leaves nice tasty morsels for us like branches and logs to munch on, must get our fibre!

If the weather's nice and the humans are not at 'work' then it might be time for a walk or a ride :-)

There's always time for snoozing....

Running around



Or of course there always time for eating!  Our favourite thing of all....

Dinner Time!

If the humans are at work we have to wait for their return for dinner time.  We can hear them driving up the lane in their less superior, horse powered vehicles, we can spy on them from our paddock and squawk at them when they arrive home to come and give us dinner and attention.... this is normally about 6pm but might be a bit earlier if they're home already.

We bring ourselves in to our stables (no catching required) and dinner is served!  We all get a tasty treat in the form of Donkey Forage Balancer, FH scatters these little pellets in our stables, we have to spend ages finding them all, yum!

We then get our lovely haylage!  We have high fibre haylage, Dragon gets a nice net full of this, apparently she needs it because she's 'working' we minis have to make do with a few handfuls on the floor!  We are so hard done by.... I am very nice and share well with Roller. As I said before I have been banned from having sleep overs with Dragon as I eat all her food so she has her separate stable and yard... so unfair but at least I don't have to share my bedroom with an annoying girl!

Beauty Treatments

It's then time for our hooves to be cleaned and then a little spruce up (unless we are soaking wet!), I am very partial to this rather odd brush.  Bristle brushes just tickle too much so FH has found this comb for me which I love!  It makes my lips wobble and my eyes go droopy.

Night Time

At night time we don't get shut in to our stables, Dragon doesn't like being shut in and we can't see over the stable door!  So we have our stable doors open and half the yard each.  This means we can wander around, see each other, watch the world go by and get some fresh air.  Have you ever wondered why we have so much electric tape?  The electric tape is a great way of keeping us all in and safe and it doesn't get eaten!  Our Dragon friend in particular loves to eat wood. She would happily munch any fence posts that were put up, FH doesn't blame her this is a normal food for us long ears but does avoid giving her the opportunity, this is what the logs and branches are for Dragon!  The fence is very rarely on but we respect it anyway, we have ample food, friendship and a view so no need to fence break.

Of course us Muleteers don't sleep as long as you lazy humans, we need to eat a lot!  So we get big nets of straw in addition to our haylage to keep us busy, our straw nets are hung inside our stables so they don't get wet and neither do we.  Dragon likes her haylage outside so that she can keep an eye on the trainline and road in the distance, the twinkly lights mesmerise her!

Finally it will be time for bed, we'll very often get visited later on for more strokes and haylage before the lazy humans go to bed, we have more eating to do!

Not bad for a day's work, night night xxxx


  1. My dearest Mini, I enjoyed much your detailed recounting of a day in your lives. Your boyish and girlish ways, how each of you like it or dislike it, what you eat and what you see.

    Sending you cuddles and weekend snacks. Would love to hear that alarm clock!.

    1. P.S.: I think the post is really about Human Management ;-)

    2. We think you are right Carmen, but ssshh don't tell the humans.... they think they're in charge.... we know we are :-)

  2. I`m really tired now, after all that, better get to bed!

    1. Definitely essential to get some good rest, we like to work our humans hard, it's good for them ;-)

  3. Replies
    1. So much to do, eat, snuffle, snooze, eat some more..... never enough hours in the day!

  4. Dear mini, it's nice to keep these humans busy, what else have they to do apart from tend to our every need. We would like to know what sort of logs FH puts in your palace, because we would like to chew one of those. It would make a change from the fence rails. ��

    1. Absolutely! These humans need to be kept busy otherwise they get up to mischief! We love logs... and yes they are tastier snacks than fence rails (oops have you done that too? we long ears drive humans loopy with chewing fences....) our favourite logs are ash, hazel, sycamore, apple, birch, elm and when we're especially good we get willow. Willow is our very favourite but FH only lets us have a couple of branches at a time as apparently it can be an irritant, something to do with aspirin and pain killers?? It's yummy all the same!

      Happy chewing!

  5. Keep those humans trained!

    1. We're trying, they are such hard work though Val.... they are no where near as trainable as us mules, is there a manual?

  6. I really enjoyed reading about your daily routine. Thank you.
    Cuddles from Judy in Cambridge