Do any of you remember Baby Hoot?

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Slinkky

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I can't believe it was 3 years ago, but I came here needing help on hand raising an orphaned mule. Well, we must have done something right, because he's still around and has just finished his cart training! He measures about 13 hh (52"). He comes home this weekend. I can't wait to have him home!
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[SIZE=24pt]Here is baby Hoot then:[/SIZE]

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[SIZE=24pt]And Hoot now:[/SIZE]

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FlatCreekFarm

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Oh, what a handsome mule! You've done just perfect with him! He's very lucky to have you
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Slinkky

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Thank you for the compliments, but he's not without problems! I talked to the trainer at length yesterday and he kept repeating what a spoiled brat Hoot was. I kept thinking "Yah, and your point is....." That's ok. He's MY spoiled brat.

I don't think you can hand raise any animal and them not be spoiled. That's another topic I guess.

I just wanted all those that encouraged me and gave me suggestions way-back-when to know that Hoot-N-Holler is doing great (spoiled or not!).
 

Bunnylady

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I guess it's official. I have been a horse lover all my life, but I have now become a bona fide longear lover. My first reaction when I saw that pic of Hoot in harness was "now that is one good-lookin' mule!" As to him being spoiled, well, I think mules spoil themselves, given even a ghost of a chance. Case in point:

-------------------------------------- Warning! Betsy story coming!!-----------------------------------

My little herd has undergone some changes in the last few months. In December, I bought a weanling mini filly named Blondie. That brought our number up to 3, with Betsy, my 11 y.o, 33" mini mule and Sydney, an over-sized 2-year-old mini filly. At about the same time, Syd took advantage of her now superior size to wrest the dominant position away from Betsy. I told Betsy it really didn't matter, she was first in my herd, and first in my heart.
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But I could tell she wasn't real happy about it.

A month or so after this bloodless coup occurred, I had Blondie out to do some routine maintenance (brushing and feet) and a little ground work. Syd was watching us from behind the gate, and I could tell that she was seething with jealousy. She is the dominant horse, so that means she gets all the attention, right? When I went to put Blondie back, I guess Syd was going to teach that little upstart just where she stood! As we started to come through the gate, Syd pinned her ears and swung her backside towards us. She didn't let fly, but started bucking and backing, which was clearly a threat to.
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!!!!!!

Now, I know that this was meant for Blondie, but I was there, too, and I know this kind of behavior can't be tolerated around people for a second. I did the first thing that came into my head. I yelled "GET OUT OF HERE, SYD!" and kicked her in the butt! She bounced forward a couple of steps, which gave us room to get in the gate. I got Blondie in, and closed the gate. Syd was still there, and still had her backside to us, so I threw both arms up, yelled "I said, GET OUT OF HERE, SYD!" and stomped towards her. That did it! She cleared to the other side of the barn.

I took Blondie's halter off, and fed her a piece of carrot. Betsy was standing right there, so she got a carrot, too. Interestingly, she hadn't been bothered by all the yelling. I guess she knew it wasn't aimed at her! Syd came slinking around behind Betsy, head down, ears horizontal, "is this OK? Can I do this?"
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I scowled at her for a moment, then took a half-step backward (yes, you can approach me.) Syd came up and got a carrot, too. Then Betsy pushed her big ol' muley head into my arms and le-eaned into me like "I love you, Mommy!" but all the time, she had one eye on Syd. I could just hear her saying "Syd got in trou-ble, Syd got in trou-ble!!" She cracked me up! I said, "Betsy, you're terrible!"

Spoiled? Ya think?
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I think Hoot has a great name!
 
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Slinkky

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Thank you for the Betsy story...that was cute.

Hoot is our only mule, and not a mini. He's a solid pony size. I think I'm going to love driving him. Now I'm on the search for a pony-size cart. I looked into converting my large mini cart, but it's just not going to work, so the search is on.

In the mean time I'm ground driving him in full harness--blinders and all. We are working on our standing-still-at-the-halt lessons. He does ok, but I want a more solid stand. He did spook yesterday while ground driving. He spooked and jumped to the side and then stood. He didn't bolt, he didn't back...he just stood and kept looking at the scary spot. Since I was ground driving, it didn't take long for me to get to his head and talk to him. He was actually shaking. I talked and soothed and scratched his ears. Then we drove back to the scary spot and the monster was gone. It was nice to know he has enough faith in me to go back where he had the bejeebers scared out of him. I will use that experience to build our foundation of trust on.

As for his name...my maiden name is Hooten. So Hoot's name was a no-brainer for me!
 

Bunnylady

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Check out this little guy! I think he and his cart make quite a picture. I wonder if they'd consider selling the cart too?

mule for sale

I don't reckon you'll ever know what it was that spooked Hoot. It's great that he had enough confidence in you to go back and look. Sounds like the two of you are off to a great start!
 

Slinkky

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Oh, that's a neat cart! I would love something like that. I'm afraid it would be too short for Hoot. That mule is 40" and Hoot is 52". I love the way you think, though! Thanks
 

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