Mule Round-Up: January 2017

The monthly round-up of UK mule news has been good fun, but I will now be moving to a quarterly collection. Maybe it’s just because it’s winter and people are feeling uninspired, but I think I could probably bring you more stories (and be less annoying in my quest for them!) if I left more time between updates. It has been good experiment, nonetheless.

Anyway, enjoy this edition of mule news!

Jennifer says, “Still working on Millie’s trust and confidence. She’s coming on well, stands to be rubbed and stroked and is relaxed most of the time. I’m letting her loose in the afternoons on a 22′ line and she hangs around ” helping” and grazing. Every so often she realises I’m out of sight and has a slight panic, rushing around looking for me which is better than running off as she is outside the ring fence but she needs the trust on my behalf, too. When I relax so does she. The draw is a lot better when it comes to asking her in after playtime. If she doesn’t actually come to me, sometimes I tread on her lead and say whoa just before she reaches the end then I hold the end and we carry on working, but we are working with the lead on the ground which is a prequel to liberty work ( just don’t tell her that it’s my idea, not hers!).”

For another of her mules, Jennifer adds: “Malaga is just doing the round of the villages with me, if it’s wet and windy we do it on the ground otherwise I ride. Can’t wait for the better weather.”

I’ve had a couple of text-only submissions, too:

Penny says, “Treacle is convinced people are out to get her after her return from horsepital. She is fine in her everyday routine but a stranger appears and she does not want to be in the vicinity.”

Tracey says, “Our two have winter off to chill. So once spring comes it’ll be back to it …we’re backing the rising 5-year-old, just slowly. The other is only 3-years-old and 9hh!”

Denise also has youngsters who are enjoying their downtime: “My two are babies, 2-year-old Ruby and Flash Jack (Jack Spratt) who is 7 months.”

Helen is in a similar position: “My two are rising three and have spent January eating hay and growing!”

Xato had a couple of weeks off riding as he was showing some signs that made me think his back needed looking at again. While we waited for a chiro appointment, I took him out in hand for some great walks in the Punchbowl. He was a star! I also had the saddler out to check his saddle, so when I do get back on I know that everything should be in good order.
Marty hasn’t done a whole lot, but the things he has done have been good. I was particularly impressed with him a couple of days ago when I’d got myself in a right pickle trying to sort out all four equines at feeding time. I’d left a gate open, and Marty started walking down the narrow strip between the wire fence and the electric tape. There was nowhere for him to turn round and I was worried he would panic and bust out of there, so I called him and told him to whoa, which he did. He stood perfectly still and waited for me to reach him and ask for back-up, which he then executed perfectly. He got a treat for that and seemed very pleased with himself. Hopefully he doesn’t put himself in anymore sticky situations in the hopes that I’ll reward him for getting out of them again…

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