Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Do 'They' Know You're Pregnant?

FH here, The Muleteers have kindly loaned me their blog for a little while so that I can answer a commonly posed question..... 

As soon as we announced the imminent arrival of our Human Foal I have been asked two sets of questions more regularly than any others..... the first was….

What are you going to do with all your animals? Surely you can't cope?  

Grrr.... this question came from those who don't know us well and although well meaning hurt me a lot, I'll be blogging about the pleasures of pregnancy and animals soon when I've calmed down!  Needless to say they are going nowhere and enrich every moment of our lives that we spend with them and will undoubtedly add the same to HF's life too :-)

The secondDo they know you're pregnant? Are they acting any different? 

And the answer is?????

Categorically YES!

I have always been one for assigning human emotions and intelligence to animals but to be honest they never fail to provide me with evidence for this and in my experience they are far more 'thinking' and 'feeling' than many humans I meet!  On the question of whether the Muleteer Gang understand that something is different I can only say yes in greater or lesser amounts, or at least it's expressed differently by all of them.

The most intuitive and curious member of the gang for certain is Roller, it's almost like this lovely little man knows that his new charge is nearby.  Roller is always one for a snuffle but he is extra snuffle-giving at the moment, particularly to 'the bump', but never is he too fierce in his nudging, always gentle like he's trying to say something to the one inside.....  I just can't wait for them to meet, what a lucky HF to have Roller as their first pony!

And then there's The Mini.  Well he certainly knows something's up but it's less obvious because he's always been Mr Sensitive and highly in tune with how I feel, he too is busy checking out the bump and has been super careful to be mannerly.  Normally we have the odd 'yeeha' moment when the trimmer comes for his feet (he needs to move to deal with his anxiety) but last time he simply seemed resigned to the fact that FH couldn't cope with the run around and stood stock still waiting for it all to be over.  As ever The Mini continues to be my loyal dog in mule form and has been a giver of much needed hugs and those ever listening ears….. I reckon MH is lucky to share the load of a hormonal pregnant woman with a mini mule - they are a magic secret, all Mums to be need one :-)

What do Dragon's make of bumps?  Well this is also a huge surprise..... I think the Dragon mule is going soft!  I'm sure this mule knew of my 'condition' before I did, I was still riding for a few months of being pregnant until my back got sore and I'm sure Dragon knew that she was carrying an extra special dual cargo as she was very careful with both of us.  Not normally one to stand still for too long she did seem remarkably chilled and on the ground this has continued.

Officially the Human Foal's first Mule Ride!
One of the first things I said to MH when I found out I was pregnant was that he needed to practice with Dragon's feet so that when I got huge (like now!) he could do them instead of me.  Whilst very good with her feet for me she could be a little snatchy and quick when she wanted to be with other people and I wasn't sure of the mechanics of bending right down to retrieve her foot when I can barely see my own feet let alone touch them!  Well she obviously overheard and has totally adapted for me!  All it takes is an 'up' and finger pointing at each hoof and it appears as high as she can lift it and is held quietly for as long as needed - super mule or what? All done loose with no tying up too ;-)  So needless to say I am very pleased and proud of her, she always comes through as the mule that will give you just what you need.

I can't deny that I am so looking forward to riding her again when I can, she has been riding out with Smiley Human having a lovely time and staying sane and fit but oh how I yearn to be back in the saddle!

But what about the feline brigade?  Well yes, not to be outdone and rather abusing her small size Catanian has taken it upon herself to fully acquaint with bump as much as possible.  She appears to think the cat shelf has been put there solely for her pleasure.... but also seems intent on purring away like a Diesel engine on top of it.  Let's just say the Human Foal seems quite content with this and delights in kicking at Catanian's purring using me as the inbetween kicking post! Hmmmm….

So there we have it the gang sure do know what's going on..... not that any of you ever doubted it I'm sure!  They never fail to amaze me and have really helped to keep me going, not many weeks now and they will be experiencing a whole new level of understanding!  One of the things I'm looking forward to most..... introducing the HF to its new furry brothers and sisters, it's going to be really lucky to be part of their gang ;-)

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Mule's Gold Mining

We've always known it…. but now we're convinced!  You humans are obsessed with poo!  Well to be precise rotted manure.  This week has been exciting, we've had lots of visitors who have all arrived to mine in the muck heap.  This phenomenon occurs once a year and is most bizarre.

A procession of miners supervised by FH appeared to dig out what they describe as lovely organic horse manure, apparently the more rotten and black the better, weird we know!  We call it 'Mule's Gold' :-)

Dragon keeping an eye on the Mule's Gold Miners
We Muleteers have been working real hard all year to ensure there is a plentiful supply for these mad miners and have donated many tons of muleteer poor and soggy bedding.  No additives or preservatives go in to these 'donations' making them ideal for the discerning organic gardener apparently?!

Our heap - hard work all that donating!
So from far and wide them come, they appear mainly interested in filling bags and trailers with Mule's Gold but the occasional miner takes an interest in us and gives us a cursory pat or scratch, one even fetched some carrots (note to others this was much appreciated, we may charge this toll next year). There is a saying 'where there's muck there's brass' we'd prefer 'where there's muck there's carrots' if you don't mind?

Tonight saw our last intrepid miner before we close the mine shaft for another year…. FH was mumbling something about saving some for growing our pumpkins and courgettes (MH grumbled that he was SO looking forward to hundreds of courgette recipes over the summer - we know he doesn't mean it really ;-).

So I had a quick inspection to check that the miners had done a good job…. and I nearly got lost in the cavern they had dug!

It appears that the hole is big enough to lose at least six mini shetlands in, yikes that's a lot of manure, the humans reckon we have donated about 10 tonnes to our friendly miners!  Mmmm lots of yummy organic veg should come from that surely?  SHARE!

Alas all that thinking about food made me hungry so I took the opportunity to climb out of the pit and do some mining of my own, hmmm ok more like eating but somehow related?  And if a pony's to produce all that fine fertiliser it has to come from somewhere ;-)

Monday, 17 March 2014

Milo's First Swim!

Hey Cloth Dog, look at me I'm in the water!  It's such a lovely, warm Spring day this is a great way to cool down.  My legs are a little bit cold though…

What do you mean that this isn't swimming?  And I need to get all my body under…. hmmm, I'm not really sure but guess when my Big Brother tells me something's ok I should give it a go right?

Yikes! Oh My DOG!  You did not tell me it would be this cold and Clother where's the ground?  Quick get me out of here, I'm a thin skinned, stilt legged lurcher not a padded, waterproof labrador!  Whatever were you thinking?!

Must try to climb out as quickly as possible!

Oh VERY cold, not liking it. Quick, run away!

No Clother, no, not more water. No need to be generous with it, I've had enough water!

Gee whizz, you're like a big sponge Cloth Dog! It's a wonder you don't sink!

I'm cold and wet and need to go home now, I need to tell someone of my trauma that will understand how awful things were….. poor me!

Oh yes a little snuggle in the sunshine will do the trick.  

I tell you what Human Foal or Space Invader or whatever your name is… that swimming thing is not to be recommended.  You stick with me and I'll keep you dry…. although I can't guarantee to not lick your face ;-)

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Roller's Steady Saturday

Rush, rush, busy, busy.... gosh this week has been a whirlwind. The humans have been here, there and everywhere.  MH has been to the big city only to return to start painting and DIY, FH has been at work, at classes to learn how to look after foals (surely she knows this already? Provide hay, scratches, let run around and roll in mud, surely that's all there is to it?) and Granny Human has been supervising and Spring cleaning!

I'm exhausted just watching and was so tired I slept all through Friday and missed my philosophical moment on a Friday.  So before I fall off to sleep again I must share my thoughts on all this busy stuff.

Take a rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.

Never one to ignore his own advice.... I'm off to carry on snoozing!

Have happy weekends friends!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Reasons to Be Cheerful!

What a lovely sunny weekend Muleteers!  We are so sun kissed and sleepy with few words to share but sometimes there's no need…. so here's what the weekend brought us to cheerful about!

Breakfast with the family!

Spring Flowers

A lovely view

Cuddles, scratches and conversation

Quiet Contemplation

Tasty Spring Morsels!

Blue Sky!


Cotton Wool Clouds

Beauty and an Audience!

We promise to write more soon, hope all our friends have had a nice weekend :-) 
Snuffles, neighbrays and ear waves xxx

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Flumps, Bumps and Minis

Hey Roller, look FH has flumped on the ground.... there she was providing room service and then it seems that she just well ermmm flumped right down.

Who can blame her?  When the sun shines and you're a little on the tired side what could be better?

The sky is blue, the sun is shining.... I think there might just be one thing that could make the flumpy one even happier....

Oh yes, you guessed it friends, a little therapy from us minis might be just the thing we think.

But FH if you're gonna flump about in our paddock you need to pay the price of lazing around.... there is a charge you know!

Yep you guessed it - cuddles!  

Anyway what's with all this flumping around?  Are you tired?  Have you been busy carrying a heavy load around?  Oh yeah!  I forgot you have bump on board who is getting rather heavy, hmmm not surprised you need to flump.  I've heard that the bump's affectionate nickname is the Space Invader.... hehe, we think that's quite befitting as it is definitely making it's presence known!

Hey Roller come check it out, FH is like a flumpy whale beached at the top of a sunny paddock, whadya reckon?

Snuffle, Snuffle, Space Invader are you in there?  I'm ready for that ride when you want it... only another couple of months to go and then I can check out your ears and hooves, I'm hoping for a pony style foal please!

Ok folks time for some snoozing on my behalf too, if I just angle my butt around this way..... oh yes FH can flump while I get my botty scratched.  Don't worry friends, I am VERY careful of FH and her cargo but probably best not to try this at home!

Eventually the flump and her bump gathered the strength to get upright, no rush there though :-) 

Us Muleteers are happy to report that the flump and her Space Invader bump are doing very well, we're getting very excited, we've all placed bets on what size ears and hooves the Human Foal will have.... only 9 weeks to go now!!