The whole herd had their hooves trimmed today, and mule was exceptionally good. It was only the second time he’d ever had his back feet trimmed, but he handled it like an old pro; like our EP said, you wouldn’t know that we once thought we’d have to sedate him to have any of his hooves done, let alone his back ones! He is easily bored, and still has a cut-off point – where he decides that he’s stood for long enough – but he stands for longer now, and when he does start fidgeting, it’s only half-hearted.
Unfortunately that was where his good behaviour ended, as I put him out in the field while the horses were being trimmed and he jumped/ran/fell out of it. Accidentally, of course. It was gravity. He was just minding his own business. Loki made him do it.
I’m not entirely sure what happened: I just heard him bray, saw the other little mare at the yard staring in the direction of his field (which I can’t see from the stables), and then half a minute later heard the sound of tiny mule feet pit-pattering in the muddy puddle by the gateway. I went flying out there before he tried to jump it (it’s a five bar metal gate, but he would definitely try it) and, I’m pleased to say, was able to catch him. He was very agitated, and had an air of “Oh em gee, did you SEE what just happened?! Did you SEE?!” I assumed he’d jumped out, but later discovered that the entire bottom fence line was down and all the posts had been pulled out of the ground, too. I suspect he tried to jump it, suddenly realised the electric was on, and got caught in it. Poor mule. But at least he might think twice before trying it again!
He had to stand in the yard with us and wait until the horses had had their feet done, and was very, very grumpy about it. Every time I took my attention off him and onto one of the horses, he would nudge me and ear waggle at me. He doesn’t like not having a job to do, and he gets so jealous if I interact with other equines. This is another one of his traits that is both endearing and annoying. But I couldn’t be cross with him, because he’d looked so relieved when I went out and found him in the gateway; it’s nice that he considers me to be a point of safety in a crisis, even when the crisis is self-induced.