I've accomplished a lot in the first half of 2010, and I'm proud of what I've done.
I've become a celebrity blogger, befriending mule lovers the world over and introducing them to the wonders of life on Bent Barrow Farm.
I've spread the Muleness to 577 facebook friends, inspiring my new, dear friend Pants to establish her own interweb portal in the process.
I've taught FarmWife to appreciate my eager desire for learning. Last summer, I was a slug of a mule on our typical, boring, twice-weekly pipeline loop. She thought I was getting old, getting tired, and getting sick of it all. Then she taught me to ride in traffic, reach new trailheads, jump small obstacles, and practice bareback and bridleless riding. I became a new mule. I grabbed life by the horns. Since then, I've practiced cutting (on Jasper Jules, on my own, without a rider), jumping (in moderation), training level dressage, and long reining. I am bold, eager, adventurous, and spirited. I am welling up with Muleness.
I've learned to longe, ground drive, and drag small objects. This is part of my "Renaissance mule" lifestyle, and it is part of what keeps me young. Always learning, always growing, I'm a John of all trades and a master of fun.
I've learned to love cantering, and to depart on either lead. I used to hate speed, but then I used to have an owner who prided me on my ability to pack 350 pound loads. "Slow and steady" is the only way to manage in those circumstances. Now I leap into action at the slightest prompting—a Mule of the Wind, running free.
I've obtained my own engraved halter plate. It is the prequel to the embroidered cooler, dress sheet, and quarter sheet that I've requested for my birthday.
I've become a respected columnist, writing for the American Donkey and Mule Society's BRAYER.
I've been featured in Mules and More magazine, not as a writer but as a subject. I was honored.
I've learned to neck rein. Mighty handy!
I've overcome an ugly thoroughpin, getting the vet's OK to go back to work and taking nary a lame step.
I've endured the most invasive veterinary procedure since the big snip-snip, letting (under heavy sedation) a human clean my sheath for the first time in my recorded history.
I've established my own product line at www.cafepress.com/fenbar. If I'm going to be famous, I might as well try to pay my own hay bill, eh?
I've nannied, from birth to weaning, two lovely and mulish goatlings. They go to their new home on Sunday—good luck, Dove and Pigeon! The world is your oyster!
In the first half of 2010, I've written 191 blog entries and made five times that many friends. Ears, readers, to you. You make it all worthwhile.