She is such a HAM!! I think we'll stick to staying on the ground! She loves doing trail work and sorting out the path that she'll take and she Loves ground driving! she
Ever since I got Rupert home he was very liberal with his Muley hugs....in fact I think he thrived on them! In the short time that I had Neuman, he also seemed a fan of the mule hug. Stella has been a love bug from day one and is very attentive and affectionate. But today was the first day that she gave me a full on, I love you to bits Mom, I'm napping on your shoulder with all my weight, my eyes are closing and I'm in heaven hug! May not seem like much, but it meant the world to me! To feel her resting on my shoulder and feeling her sigh in contentment. Made my heart happy! She has made so many strides this weekend and we are taking so many awesome baby steps forward that I couldn't be prouder...but the moment that she loved on me like this was a milestone and a mon
It was POURING down rain today so our "lesson" was more of a goof off session! This is just a brief vid of Stella being a goofball hambone! She learns so quickly, I think I'd better be careful what I teach her! I'd love to teach her to sit and lay down....but I have a suspicion that she may decide to use those behaviors against me! Neither one of us can wait for the rain to stop!! But we have fun in spite of the weather!!
Today was a pretty gorgeous day considering that it is still January! But it is dry, no wind, almost blue skies and temps in the wait for it.....wait for it.....50's!!
My heart skipped a beat when I pulled in to Stellas neighborhood! Her head popped up as soon as she heard my truck and she was at the gate before I could stuff some carrots in my pockets and climb out!
Max, her pasture mate, didn't even move from his spot....He knows I'm not his Mom! But Stella knows that I am! And to hear her "Nicker" (as I've mentioned it sounds like an 80 year-old, two-pack-a-day smoker clearing her throat) made my heart happy!
I felt like a little kid playing with Stella in the arena today! They say that it is never too late to have a happy childhood and I was living proof!
She is SUCH a hambone! I have been teaching her to smile...and over the past couple of days it really clicked! She loves to stick her nose in the air and pull her lip back....I don't even have to prompt her anymore! She knows how to get a carrot! I have also taught her how to "shake hands" This may have been a boo-boo....I hope I'm never directly in front of her and get kicked in the shin!
Stella also took her new Happy Mouth bit about 6 times! I was so impressed until I realized that she is cutting some teeth and the bit is actually acting as a teething ring! Lucky timing on my part!
Stella is not my first equine...but I swear...she will be my last. In the short 5 months that we've had her, I can't describe the trust and partnership that we have developed....and there is no end in sight. The sky is the limit with my girl!
I've said all along...we may never win a buckle, or a jacket, or a ribbon for that matter.....but the love and trust that we share is worth WAY more! Plus she makes us so happy and she is such a character...
I heart my muley!!
In spite of the dark and cold and muddy conditions....I love going up to Clearview to see Stella after work! Some people go out for a cocktail, or indulge in sit-coms, but I like going up and spending some quiet time with my Muley girl Stella! However, on more than one occasion when I pull up, Stella is having a social hour of her own! Today was no exception, but it was kind of flattering!
I was inside the barn gathering up her brushes when a I heard two people outside at the wall of her run...They had brought their horse, Joe up for a visit with Stella! They didn't realize that I was inside the barn and I couldn't help but overhear! "Oh she is getting so BIG!!" "Stella you are the sweetest mule I've ever met!" "Here's your boyfriend Joe for a visit! I finally went in to Stellas stall to say hello to her visitors! I felt like I had dropped by her apartment when she had company over! It was really strange! She was being a big love bug to me in spite of the gorgeous gelding Joe nuzzling her during his attempts at courtship!
It was really fun to meet some of Stellas admirers...she has become quite popular at the barn. The woman that was admiring her did mention that she was a little cautious when it was announced that a mule baby was moving in...but after 4 months of good behavior and being a good citizen, Stella is doing a great job being a mule ambassador for Western Washington! I love my Girl! (Oh and did I mention that she is suddenly Crazy Butt High!! I'm hoping for a Spring time growth Spurt!!)
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The past week has been dismal at best! Aside from putting in a LONG work week, the arena at the barn has been FROZEN solid! Stellas little Muley footies were getting pretty tender-oni from walking on frozen pastures for the past 10 days or so, so our time together has been spent with brushing and treats! Today, after some rain and temps in 40's WooHoo! we had a chance to work in the arena!
I saddled her up with her "big girl" English saddle, complete with irons and off we went! She once again took it all in stride! We worked on lungeing...she doesn't like to trot very much yet while lungeing...but she is getting better. We also worked on having her stand at the mounting block. I think she has realized that just standing around is a lot less work than lungeing or driving! She let me climb on the block and lean over her and mess with her saddle and irons. It was a pretty productive day! We are counting the days until Spring for sure. I'm still hoping that she will grow a few more inches! She is a doll and I love her to bits!
Since I don't have any fun video of Stella to share...enjoy some video of Rocky the Trick Mule!! ChEARS!
I am often asked why I love mules so much....Until you've met one, or at least known someone that has loved one....it can be hard to understand!
I recently heard a great mule story! I don't know if it is true or not...but it pretty much sums up the intellegence and I just LOVE IT!
Someone told me that way back when their Great-Grandfather had a big old mule on the farm. One day the barn collapsed....well, the Farmer hitched his old mule up to a huge wagon and began loading the wagon with all of the contents of the barn! Imagine back then...a huge wooden wagon filled with farm equipement and hay and tools. Must have weighed a TON!! The story goes that the farmer cued the mule to start pulling the wagon. The mule took about 4 steps forward and came to a complete stop. wouldn't go one more step in any direction. Now we KNOW that mules are smart and I'm sure this mule knew that it was way too much weight for him. SO...the farmer got pissed. So angry that he built a fire under the mule. I guess he figured that a fire would get him moving! And it indeed got the mule to move. About 8 steps forward, until the fire was under the wagon, where he stopped again!! Smart Mule! Not so smart Farmer!!
What a way for Stella to start the New Year! Just look at her face! This was the first time she had ever had a bit in her mouth and she was NOT happy about it! Prior to this the only thing I'd ever put in her mouth were treats and carrots!
I felt so guilty when she gave me those big brown Muley eyes and looked so sad! I swear she had tears in her eyes! I will be using a D-ring snaffle but that bit was freezing from being in our trailer in the snow...so this bit was just for a practice run! She has never been head-shy or ear worried but I tell you, manipulating her big ol' fuzzy ears is going to be a challenge! I put it on and off her about 6 times and it got a little easier each time, but she never did stop chewing on it! She didn't hold it against me and we had about a 2 hour Kindergarten class this morning! Happy 2nd Birthday Stelly Belly!! Sorry about the whole bit thing!