So I want to be quick to tell you when it's not.
I made a questionable decision last week - I decided to rescue a mule. I've had donkey fever for a few years now, and started following some rescue sites (Note to fellow bleeding hearts: Do this with caution). The mule is small - 10 hands high. He'd been working in a pony pen in a pumpkin patch and ended up at an auction house. I got wrapped up in the narrative, as we bleeding heart folks tend to do. I thought: we have a pasture. I miss our old mare. He looks like an easy keeper. We could take him on. And so I did.
And then he was standing in the barn with me, and I noticed how strong he was, and then fear washed over me. I was in over my head. I had assured my husband that I had this, that I could take this on.
Newsflash: I don't have this.
Simon Le Bon Bon is social, flirty, funny. But I don't know how to train a mule, and mules don't particularly like dogs.
We have a lot of dogs. And so far Simon is not so keen on the goats in his space.
It's not that I didn't know these things, I just didn't know them in practice. We separated the goats from Simon and they broke through the pasture fencing handily.
This was all part of my plan to pull my girls out of the house, to teach myself more about equines. People told me that we needed something bombproof and tested - I didn't listen. I have a rescue mentality to the core. And this time, I may have gotten myself in some trouble. I'd never forgive myself if one of our animals got seriously hurt. Or one of my girls.
I've gone and complicated things. I got an animal with very little back story. He could be an angel; he could be dangerous. I know rescue work is all about managing unknowns. But it's easier to "wait and see" with a twenty pound dog than a mule with hooves.
Simon has proved to be a mostly gentle soul, silly even, but he's been here 36 hours. He was great for the vet, and great for the dear friends who have stepped up to help me. I feel a surge of adrenaline every time I lead him around; I need more training to make this work.
Farm chemistry is important. I need my animals and children to get along (mostly) and to be safe.
This week...it's a big lesson learned. I don't know how this is going to turn out. I do know that my husband and friends have been really supportive. I'm going to try to get this right - but growth hurts.