He's sassy about the bit - he's had one in his mouth before but he's pretty clear about not wanting to work. And by pretty clear I mean running away from the trainer and zipping around the pasture like a crazy beast and coming to a last minute stop in front of me, like, HEY, MOM, TOUCH ME AND MAKE THIS TRAINING STOP I JUST WANT TO BE A FAT PASTURE PUFF MORE PEPPERMINTS MORE PEPPERMINTS.
The trainer said: he's more horse than donkey. He's fast.
We're easing into convincing Simon Le Bon Bon that a little work is okay. The farrier called him a sweetheart. He hasn't tried to stomp on the dogs when they sneak into the pasture to root through the compost. He play bows, and is pretty quiet, except for the one or two hee-haw/neigh hybrid sounds he makes per day. He approaches us in the pasture and visits the girls at the fence line when they're playing. He wants to be touched.
He's still a bit of a bully to the goats, but they graze together. Oliver and Olivia just have a healthy respect for Simon when he gets ornery at dinner time.
Speaking of dinner time, Simon Le Bon Bon is getting fat. We should consider a feeding basket, but they remind me of Bane from Batman, and uh...yikes.
I spend time with him almost every day - grooming, stall mucking. I'm trying to get better about doing groundwork with him daily. It's a new skill for me. I turn into a high-strung Southern woman when I'm leading. I'm working on the calm, neutral trainer voice. No swearing. Damn.
I was so afraid of everything the first week we had Simon. Every stomp, every snort. But we're building trust. He has these magic spots that you can scratch and he'll make funny faces with his lips, sort of camel-like. Thanks to my friends at Wing and a Prayer Farm, I've now read more horse books than fiction this last month.
What's most magical about rescuing a mule - and let me tell you, haters, there are a lot of magical things about rescuing a mule - is how supportive my horse-savvy friends have been. I've had five different people over talking to us about training and grooming. One of them even helped us look through an old box of leather tack which had no less than 3 dead mice in it. That's friendship, people.
File "Rescue Mules" under "things I do instead of finishing my novel."