Mule Round-Up: November 2016

During my internet wanderings I recently came across the Mules UK website. Sadly, it hasn’t been updated in a few years and I heard that it will be taken offline soon – which is a shame, as I went through the archives and really enjoyed seeing all the mule stories!

It got me thinking about the reason why I started Mulography in the first place. Sure, part of it was because I felt I was boring my friends by talking endlessly about Marty, and here was a place where I could channel my obsession. But it was also because I wanted to create the kind of thing that I, a fledgling mule owner who was in way over her head, would have liked to read.

I wanted to show that it wasn’t always sunshine and sparkles (and that you are not a failure if you are struggling), and I wanted to see what other UK muleteers were up to and feel like I was part of a community. Joining the British Mule Society helped massively with the latter! The Three Muleteers blog was also a great source of information and encouragement.

Anyway, this new Mule Tales variation is my nod towards Mules UK and the great mule round-up they started. Every month I will share photos and updates from our UK friends. You will also have a condensed update on what Marty and Xato have been up to, for those who don’t want to read my blah-blah and would like a TL;DR version!

Jennifer says of her newest mule: “Little Millie and I have just been having undemanding time getting to know one another, she was very nervous but now I can walk up and bring her out of the field. She’s still wary but getting more relaxed.”
Miah says, “You’ve already met Maisy but here she is again down in Cornwall. She just keeps growing!”
Sarah and Honey have been regularly attending their local Riding Club. She couldn’t decide whether the caption ought to be “Small but mighty” or “Ponkey Pocket Rocket” – and neither can I, they’re both perfect!
India says, “Manuel has been settling into his new home while having lots of scratches and enjoying his hay! Been a very good boy!! :)”
Reb’s mule, Alaska, arrived from Mallorca last week. Reb says: “Well apart from arriving here we have been walking out everyday and making friends with the horses. Her favourite is a little Shetland and they play ALL day.”
Helen says, “Two year old Betty Mule spent November chilling out with her best friend Amelia as part of my herd of eight. The weather’s been amazing so the horses have the run of four fields which all still have lots of grass. Betty got a bit of a shock on Monday the 28th when we brought another mule to join the herd! The horses took it in their stride because they’re all used to living with a mule but Betty was extremely confused. She’s never seen such a creature before!!!”
Helen is now the proud owner of two mules! She adds: “On Monday 28th November we traveled the 170 miles down to the New Forest to collect Hattie Mule! She is two years old and is out of a TB/NF mare. Our other mule Betty is out of a cob/NF mare so the two mules have similar breeding! I’m laid up at the moment but am looking forward to working with Hattie very soon.”
When asked what everyone’s favourite ginger mule, Henrietta, has been up to this month, Sarah said: “Mainly solipsism. Said hello and goodbye to another mule. Strutting her stuff on the catwalk. Becoming an eventer…”
Ellen says, “Inara, being just a baby, has spent another month hanging out with her best friend Penny. They are known as the terrible two, but have behaved lately and renounced their escape artist ways to become respectful members of the herd. Inara has been seen lately using the paddock as a racetrack and zooming around while the horses just stand and watch. Unfortunately, she is yet to successfully encourage anyone to join in with her, and on occasion has even used poor Penny as a buffer to stop herself! All in all, one happy and fun little mule enjoying life.”
Sheril says, “After an interrupted summer, we are now headed out on in-hand walks in the forest, getting familiar with some of the local trails before we start riding them.”
Jacqui says, “What we have been up to with our mules this month … I am going to be totally honest and say not much as it’s November / December and I’m strictly fair weather and only if we have time … which at this time of the year just does not seem to marry together. BUT we did have a very honorable moment in November which will make up for everything, when Chico, one of our five mules, represented the British mule society at the Animals in War memorial service in Park Lane London. Chico, along with Elliot our donkey, trod the London walkways to attended this very emotional service. We normally take Polo our rather grand old mule of 37 years but thought the two hour congested drive into London was a bit too unkind for him. So we took for the first time Chico and Elliot who behaved themselves so very well in the middle of a very busy ‘sandwich’ between Hyde Park and the very busy glitz and glamour of London. So hopefully you will excuse us for not doing much else so far this month … I do hope to have a tinsel mule parade out before Christmas, around our village of which I will share with you.”
My own Marty Mule has been training for his new career as an agility star. He’s had his nose put somewhat out of joint by the arrival of golden boy Xato, and has been working extremely hard to prove that he’s a perfect mule too!
Xato arrived from Mallorca, via Spain, on the 9th November. Unfortunately he bought gifts of conjunctivitis and white line disease so I’ve been mainly doctoring those! Other than that he is practically perfect in every way, apart from a minor incident that involved stomping on our trimmer’s toe. Last week I started riding him and I can’t stop smiling!

Huge thanks to all the wonderful mule owners who indulged me and contributed to this list! I really appreciate it. Hope to catch up with you all again next month!

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