Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thoroughbreds and Mules...

From Jim:  We have some really high-tone thoroughbreds at the sanctuary.  One of our boys was training up for the Rolex when he was injured.  Another permanently registered with the Breeders' Cup.  Still others that were highend dressage critters.  We also have some wildy mules that were put on the ground, but never trained.  Two are a pair of molleys that are Bacshir crosses-curly horse mules.  Now the reason they are mentioned in touching sentences is because they've formed a bond-mule to T-bred, T-bred to mule that's pretty remarkable.  Our two big old T-bred geldings, Pedro and Marny are the apple of Tawny and Tango's eyes.  They find the same devotion returned by their boys.  Another of our T-breds, Teddy, hangs with Toby, the Kiger mule.  Our Standardbreds have Wild Bill, another Kiger mule, as a stablemate.  Our Hackney pony, Sweety Pie, is great friends with Lady Bug, a Hackney mule.  And Jake, our Brabant Belgian is a very close friend with Tucker, our Appie mule.  These friendships, however, are not the same as the closeness that Pedro, Marny, Tawny and Tango share.  At the sanctuary, we try to always respect the friendships that form within the herd.  We are very careful to not separate pals.  Sometimes we even need to bring a friend along for a vet call or farrier work.  That can be a trick when part of the pair is a wildy mule!  Separation anxiety can be a training issue for horses that have work to do, but here the animals are allowed to just be themselves.  Their days are their own.  We have experienced an almost universal response from folks that visit the sanctuary.  "The animals are so peaceful".  "They're so calm and gentle".  "They get along so well".  It's true.  We manage the subsets of the herd to keep the aggression levels balanced.  We're careful about space for all of the critters to freely move about.  We make sure there's food in abundance.  And, we care about their peace of mind and emotional well being.  Seems pretty straight forward to us.  We believe that sanctuary is a state of mind.  Peace, security, friendship, kindness, and love are all part of it, but as a wise man once said, "The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts".  A state of sanctuary is a nice place to park your mind.  Oh, and go love on your critters!  You'll like where your mind finds itself.

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