|Sir Edwin Henry Landseer's "The Shoeing"|
2. Nourishment. A well-fed mule is a happy mule. Fresh water goes with abundant, clean hay on the list of things every mule deserves. We may tell you that we need apples, carrots, oats, alfalfa, and omolene, too, but the fact remains: good hay is a thing we shouldn't live without.
3. Shelter. We like to get out of the wind as much as the next guy, and under this tough-as-nails exterior is a fellow who likes to get cozy in a snug, clean little shed. Braving the elements during a ride is one thing, but braving them 24/7 is no fun at all. A guy's gotta dry off sometime!
4. Friendship. When we love you, we love you for life. When we trust you, we trust you to the ends of the earth. When you hurt us, you hurt us to the very center of our being. We do not forget.
5. Exercise. When we are safe, fed, housed, and befriended, our next priority is the liberty to move about, physically, in an amply-sized space. When I am safe, fed, sheltered, befriended, and limited to my gravel sacrifice paddock due to weather or plant growth, I grow restless. The solution, short of turning me into the pasture, is a ride.
Of course, there are other things that mules depend upon from their human custodians—veterinary care, sanitation, hoof care, and training, for instance—but if we don't feel safe, fed, sheltered, befriended, and exercised, it's very hard to enjoy anything at all. Luckily for me, FarmWife recognizes these needs and meets them.
Your brayful friend,