Thursday, May 12, 2011
What about Opal?
The mule who dislikes people.
The mule who cannot be caught in a larger pasture.
The mule who will not let anyone touch her ears.
She is cantankerous, stubborn, nervous,....
[although under saddle she is one of the best rides ever]
Yesterday, my husband staked her out. She is great on a stake, we call her; our large sized weed whacker.
She chews her way around a large circle mowing all but the distasteful weeds, and then is moved to another location.
This is handy.
She's one of those animals who doesn't get tangled.
A large part of the rope is slid through an old water hose which keeps it stiff and from wrapping around legs.
So last night, I went by to bring her some water. I set the bucket down and then plopped into the grass next to it.
Immediately she came up and got a nice long drink.
I reached behind me and picked some clover and offered it to her.
She gently took it and chewed.
I reached a hand up and stroked her forehead and then rubbed her ears.
OHHH....she isn't supposed to like that.
That's right, she is supposed to be horrible about her ears.
So I crooned to her as I rubbed those 'hateful' places and she blew clover and grass breath on me.
So we'd gone one step in learning. Me~~sitting in the grass next to her and handing her clover...while reaching up and rubbing the forbidden areas of her head~~was not a threat.
Putting a bridle on, however was another matter.
I carefully stood up and did something else. I reached down and tapped her left front hoof. She picked it up and held it up while I examined the hoof wall [which had a small crack in it].
I let her have it back and then motioned to Morris and started to walk away.
A very low rumble of a nicker came from behind me.
I stopped and slowly turned my head.
Opal was giving me the low nicker, it was not my imagination.
Opal has been my husband's mule for 14 years. They've agreed to disagree. He thinks the 'time' I spend with her will make no difference given that she is around 28 yrs old.
Opal has never given anyone else 'the low nicker'.
He says that I should ride her now that I am 'into' spoiling her.
I think he is jealous that she 'talks' to me.
What about Opal?
Time will tell.