Long story short, he was an auction pull for $150 a few years back, on a whim. He arrived on my doorstep 100lbs underweight (a lot for a 14.2 narrow-bodied boy!), covered head to toe in burrs, and with a nasty case of strangles that went full out exploded-under-jaw-abscess disgustingness. :yuck: But after several hundred dollars of antibiotics and food, as well as some good old fashioned elbow grease, he turned into a fine little fellow.
He sat in my field for several years, bored to death. As anyone familiar with mules knows, they like to have a job to do. (And he is the scary combo of PONY and mule, meaning he's bored AND mischievous!) Pasture pet and left-behind-horse buddy wasn't cutting it for him.
So I sent him off for 30 days of undersaddle work, which he took to like a fish takes to water. His trainer loved him, everyone at the barn loved him, he was a hit! And then he came home, and sat in my pasture again. But I had already started looking for a free lease situation for him, and found just the perfect person. She was looking specifically for a mule, wanted to do trail riding (his favorite activity!) and is the perfect size for him. And just an hour away from me.
So I still pay for his vet/farrier, and in exchange she is keeping him busy and active. Her custom mule saddle arrived the other day, and she sent me a pic today. I opened up the email after a looongggg day of work and just started grinning like an idiot. She has had him for just a couple weeks but he's already learned all sorts of new things, and they're getting along fabulously. He's happy to be working and playing, and gets excited when he sees the saddle come out.
Sitting here typing this post I'm still all:
So that's it. No barn drama, no sketchy trainer questions, no youtube videos. Just a proud momma post.