Sunday, August 11, 2013

Relax with a mule.

I won't go into too much detail about yesterday morning's frustrations about FedEx not delivering my package to the right place...and me looking and calling all neighbors trying to find my son's Wedding Book.
I talked to FedEx Customer Service and they will have the driver find it and deliver it to my place on Monday.
That is the best that can be done.
Blurb Customer Service refunded me my 'Special Delivery' rate. They want an update on the package asap.
All in all, I was pretty hot.  Today we are expecting quite a bit of rain and I hope the books are protected wherever they are sitting.

Anyway, a very important thing to remember is NOT to work with an animal when you are angry.  So I put off working with Siera until late in the afternoon when I'd calmed down.
No use getting all riled about something that is way beyond my control.

Siera has a habit of tossing her nose while riding.  This is the way she used to communicate her dislike I thought of what we were doing.
So yesterday I changed to a very mild 'gag' bit with a noseband.

Yes.  Siera started 4 yrs ago with a Snaffle bit.  She works very nicely in that until she doesn't want to.  She will stiffen her neck and no person can move her nose...not me at least.  

Regarding bits.  I only know that sometimes I have to to try a few different things before we find a good fit.  Each animal is different.

Anyway, she loved the sweet iron bit and played with it while we rode.
Yesterday was our best ride to date.
She had almost no head tossing, only twice while riding up the driveway and away from home.
Loose rein, no head tossing, neck reining, standing still...standing still for dismounts in the woods, on the road, and in a mule eating soybean field.

Last year she was positive that soybeans would EAT her alive.  Also certain tall grasses.
She is a slow maturing mule? 

If I were to take Siera out on groomed riding trails with another animal, people would see her as a broke, broke, broke riding animal.  And I have to admit, she really is well behaved.

Yesterday we reined through the dense woods doing serpentine moves with a loose rein.  She is now getting to trust me that I won't put her in a bad situation and I trust that she will take care of me over rocks, logs, and poor footing.
What a great place to arrive at.  

Siera and I have started to work as a team.  What a heady boost to my 'inner' spirit to have finally arrived to that place.

There is nothing in the world quite like having a big animal understand what you are asking and do it willingly...and without a word being spoken.
Just body language.

What a perfect wonderful way to relax with a mule.



The Three Muleteers said...

Sounds like brilliant progress. Those moments of clarity between you and your mule make the frustrating times worthwhile persevering with. Bet you have a great sense of achievement!

Val said...

Thanks, it feels very good!

The Dancing Donkey said...

That great feeling that keeps us coming back for more:)