Thursday, March 31, 2011

Badger's Big Heart

I went in the garage and noticed Badger's headstall hanging from where I'd left it in December. I picked it up and stepped outside with it and headed towards the horsetrailer to put it away on its hook.

Badger picked his head up and suddenly was alert. His ears popped upright and he stretched tall...and let out a big ol' bray. He walked over to the paddock gate and stood.

I looked at my husband with a raised eyebrow. As if to say, *Did you see that?*
My husband said, *That mule is bored, he wants a job to do.* He nodded at the bridle.
*Give him a job, obviously he wants you to take him for a little ride, just make it easy. Trust me, he will enjoy it.*

Badger's breathing has not gotten better nor much worse. He still breathes hard at rest. But it was terribly obvious that he wanted out of the paddock.

I saddled him while Morris ran around under him.

He accepted the bridle without fuss [shhh, don't tell anyone that Badger sometimes can be a butthead about accepting the bridle].

I mounted and we took a short slow ride through around the hillside. When Badger needed to rest I let him rest. He picked the pace, which was slow [a bit slower than Badger's normal slow]. He was alert and seemed to enjoy himself.

He even dropped his head down for Morris and Morris stuffed his nose into Badger's ear and gave it a lick.
What an odd couple.

On the road he picked up the pace as the footing was better. We got the mail and then headed home.

After I returned him to the paddock he spent the day alert and watching for me while I did chores around the yard.

Hubby was right, Badger still wishes to do a 'job'.

...and as long as he can tolerate gentle exercise, well, we will just have to make sure I can accommodate this mule's wishes.

[looks like soon Badger will have to get his spring haircut, as most of our mules will!]


  1. Great post! I totally agree with your hubby. Badger wants something to do and I'm so glad that he can get out and help you get the mail. I think that you made his day!!! I know that you made mine.

  2. Awwww:) Every equine needs a job. Everytime I go out to catch one of my horses in the pasture, Rebel is right behind me as if to say "please mommy? can't I go for a ride?"

  3. It's me again.
    I just got back from my morning chores and walking Maddie. I spent a good part of my walk thinking about you and Badger. I think that I can relate to Badger's physical limitations and maybe even his mindset. I don't have trouble breathing, I have degenerative arthritis. I spend many days struggling just to get the easy stuff done. Those tougher days help me to appreciate my better days. The days when I actually feel like throwing a saddle on the old mule to go for a short ride. Sure, the rides aren't anything like they use to be, but I can really appreciate and enjoy every second that I'm out in the brush doing what I love! It just doesn't get much better, and I think that's where Badger's coming from....appreciation!!

  4. MJ...thank you so much for helping me put a perspective on these things.

    Rebel...yes someone always wants to go, but Badger has been with me since 1998...long time!


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