Saturday, February 6, 2010

Reconciling Goals in a Relationship

Dear Readers,

The mule/human relationship is a rewarding, enriching, and beautiful thing. Like any relationship, though, it requires tender loving care to thrive. This means carrots, grain snacks, scritchy-scratchies under my chest and inside my ears and behind my shoulder, and unconditional positive regard from my human, and from me, the willingness to carry someone uphill twice a week and bray beautifully for my meals.

FarmWife and I have different goals, and like any partners we are going to have to find a way to help make those goals attainable and rewarding for one another. While our dreams are many . . . . a 2,000 acre ranch; a palatial paddock for me and Katie Scarlett, in which we can raise a herd of adopted children; a private jet and full staff . . . I will run down a few of FarmWife's favorite dreams and the ways in which I shall share in their development.

A big farm: FarmWife wants this, Farm Husband (Mr. Jones) wants this, and the goats and I want this. I am helping to make this dream into reality by grazing earnestly on my little acre every day. My reasoning is thus: A big farm for a mule only makes sense if the mule can graze. Grazing is only safe if the mule is not laminitic. Laminitis is more likely to strike during sudden, binge grazing. Daily, moderate grazing, therefore, is my contribution to the big farm dream, and I do it with all the love in my generous heart. Mr. and Mrs. FarmWife are in charge of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. Money, next to grazing animals, forms the other essential component of the dream.

A cozy barn: FarmWife may be imagining a humble something of this nature:

I, on the other hand, say this: If you are going to dream, dream big! My contributions to the barn dream have been the suggestions of a hydrotherapy wing, an indoor trail course, a galloping track, staff's quarters, and a covered hot walker.

A covered arena: FarmWife wants this someday, just as she wants to win the lottery someday. It is about as likely. If she does attain this goal, though, I will use it for dry wintertime rolling. It is so hard to find a mule wallow with the appropriate degree of loft, stability, abrasion, and dryness in these Washington winters! FarmWife knows that I am not much for ring work, so this should be a wonderful compromise, and a way to ensure that her investment will not be underused.

Dressage lessons: FarmWife would like to improve her dressage skills. She would like to take regular lessons, learn and grow as an equestrian, and see our partnership infused with grace and strength. I laugh in her general direction at this idea. After all, nowhere in Training Level test 3 does it say, "poky trot, rising, 23 meter irregular polygon left." A mule of my maturity has to make certain tough decisions, and I think that on this one I am going to decide to encourage FarmWife towards buying something like this, whilst I contribute my rousing brays of encouragement from the ringside. 

Riding to Our Favorite Scenic Vista: This is my dream. FarmWife is going to help me attain it this very day, in mere minutes, and if she picks up my eager vibe she should produce, very shortly, my saddle and bridle so that we might away to the trails together. With that, then, I leave you.

Best Wishes,
Fenway Bartholomule

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