A lot has happened since that last time I was able to post. Life has a way of interrupting even the best laid plans. So, here’s what’s happened since the last post.
In the last post I lamented about selling my flock off since Blu lost his job. He got a new job and I haven’t had to sell anymore, besides Oddball. One of my cousins bought him for the stray game hens that come around his house. Blizzard is still here, but he has a new rooster housed with him and his girls. It turns out that one of the hens I hatched in spring is a very pretty boy that gets along well with Blizz.
Blu got into a wreck a few months back and we had to get a new car. He’s ok, but the cars was totalled. One of the airbags shattered the windshield.
Now for some of the most exciting, but uncertain, news. I mentioned my “neighbor’s” horses in the last post and how he had a slightly unfriendly made. He now has a black (she’s really liver chestnut, but no one is convinced when I tell them that) that is really unfriendly. On the other side of his property is my best friend’s house. She has an Appendix Quarter Horse (aka QH mixed with thuroghbred) named Whiskey and a donkey… named Donkey. The mares have been in heat, Donkey isn’t gelded, and he’s an escape artist. He’s gotten in with the mares, but we don’t know if he was able to breed them.
I won’t lie, I really hope he was able to breed Rose. She’s a very pretty paint and she has the right attitude towards people. The problem (and what’s likely going to bring me out on top in this situation) is that the idiot that owns her has said in the past that he would kill a mule foal. He just adds to the reasons I hate him, but I still stay on good terms with him in case I have to intervene. He thinks miles are worthless. He’s gonna be pissed when I prove him wrong. He couldn’t properly care for one anyway.
I’ve done a lot of reading since Donkey escaped the first time. I always dismissed them in the past because the one time I rode one, I hated it. I’m sure he felt the same way about me. As it turns out, it was my fault the ride was so bad. I didn’t know how different mules are from horses. So, here are some of things I now know.
- Mules aren’t stubborn.
- They’re incredibly intelligent. Even more so than horses.
- They’re incredibly strong, which I already knew.
- Feeding mules grain when they aren’t doing heavy labor could make them sick. This means they’re cheaper to own than horses, who need to be fed daily.
- This quote from Betsy Hutchins on surefootedness: “The surefootedness of the mule is partly physical and partly psychological. The mule has a narrower body than a horse of the same height and weight. He gets this from the ass side of his family. His legs are strong and his feet are small and neat. This narrow structure and small hoof configuration enable him to place his feet carefully and neatly. His other advantage is psychological. Mules have a tendency to assess situations and act according to their views–most of which have to do with self-preservation.”
- They’re logical.
- They get bored easily.
I’ve decided that, given the chance, I want to raise and train a mule from birth. It will be a challenge, I have no doubt about that, but it’s one I’m willing to undertake. Both to have a saddle ‘horse’ I can eventually ride and to save the foal from my neighbor and give it the love and care it deserves.
I’ll try to get more posts out, but I can’t promise anything. At the very least, I’ll update when I know one of the mares are in foal.