Planning for the Future

I’m feeling quite excited at the moment, as it seems like I might – at long last – be approaching the stage where I stop talking about all the cool stuff other people are doing / all the cool stuff that I want to do, and actually get out there and start doing it!

Today was a hot day for a mule who insists on growing his winter coat already.

On the eve of my 30th birthday a couple of weeks ago, I sat down and wrote up a list of things I want to achieve with Marty, Xato, and this blog. They were not intended to be the set in stone, must achieve x by y type; they are, as Barbossa would say, more like guidelines than actual rules.

For example, my goal with Xato this winter (besides bonding, bonding and more bonding!) is to work towards taking him bitless. I want to see how light and soft I can get him by spring. It might be enough to start riding out, or it might require us to spend more time working on it; either outcome is fine by me. I’m really looking forward to just being able to enjoy the journey.

For Marty, I wanted to pick something that we can already do (and enjoy!), but not something that would allow us to stagnate in place. So I’ve decided to put more effort into our agility, which was previously something we only did out on walks – finding fallen trees to step over, banks to climb, ditches to jump etc. Walking out is not really something we can reclaim just yet, so I plan on creating some fun obstacles in the arena and playing with them there. Marty will be able to gain confidence from this, and it will also improve our working relationship and our trust in each other.

Not too hot to antagonise Cash, however.

Next year there are some bigger potential goals on the horizon, although these will depend a lot on how finances go. In April there is a Joe Wolter clinic happening in Devon, which would be a lot of fun to take Xato to if possible.

In July, the Paso Fino and Foreign Breed Championship in Essex will be holding mule classes for condition & turnout, trail and dressage.

In August there is the Donkey Breed Society show in Warwickshire, which will have a lot of fun classes: long reining, driving, agility, condition & turnout, and hopefully ridden. I think there is also a fancy dress on Friday night?

Heading up the track.

Unfortunately I was on the wrong side for taking photos of Marty’s dramatics, so this is the best shot I got. I don’t even know what’s going on here.

Both shows have classes which the boys could – in theory – take part in, although travelling them there together may be slightly more tricky! I’m not a particularly competitive person, but the British Mule Society folk are such great people that I’ll take any excuse to meet up and hang out with them. And it will be good experience for Marty and Xato if nothing else.

Heads down and eat, eat, eat.

My goals for the blog are mostly just things like organise all the 50 billion photos I have sitting in my ‘Mulography’ folder. It’s getting increasingly difficult to find specific images these days … one might think that I take too many pictures.

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