I’ll tell you that I know nothing about mules, and even less about baby mules. So when I read articles and had several people tell me I would have to tackle the little thing and get a halter on it, I thought that was what would surely happen. But the day after little Dreamer was born I walked into her stall and she peeked around her mommy at me with a quizzical expression that seemed to say “who are you? And what are you doing here?” I answered that look with “you remember me Dreamer, we met last night” and she walked out from behind Bessie and right up to me. She let me reach out and pet her face, rub her neck and all about her little body. She nuzzled me and nipped at my clothes and hair; and soon was allowing me pick up her feet and scratch her rump.
After a bit of play I got the little yellow halter I had bought just for her and held it out for her to inspect. She looked at it, and nosed it, and took a bit of nip; then she let me slip it on her nose and wrap it around her neck behind her ears. She took exception to my attempt to buckle it on, but with just a little comforting rub, she settled down and let me finish. I stepped back to let her get the feel of the thing, and she wasn’t too sure about it. She shook her head, and tried to buck; but that did no good so she went to her mom for a snack. I left the halter on for just a few minutes because it was obviously too small. When I went back in to take it off, little Dreamer came right back to me and stood while I fiddled with the halter to remove it. Once it was off she gave me a bit of a snort and trotted off.
Two halters later we found one that fit; she wore it out to the paddock on her third day. With the halter on and a butt rope we lead the little molly out of her stall and out of the barn to a small paddock with good grass. Mom followed politely behind, and gently urged her baby with comforting sounds. Once safely in the paddock with the gate closed securely, dreamer was released from the lead and she gave a bit of a parting kick as she trotted over to mommy for a snack.
It was a short snack; Dreamer soon decided that running was a good idea. She smacked into the fence just once and didn’t even seem to pause to take note that it surrounded her; but she didn’t hit it again. The little molly ran circles around that paddock, she bucked and crow-hopped, and ran and ran. The grace in those long legs was amazing to watch. She chased a bird, and played in a puddle; then she ran some more. A few hours passed and it was time to bring mom and babe back to the stall. We wondered if Dreamer would let us get our hands on her again; but to our surprise when we went back into the paddock she trotted right to us and allowed us to place the lead back on her. Once out the gate she started to buck and pull so Jeff had to put her down and pin her for a few minutes. After that little lesson in manners, Dreamer walked to the barn without another outburst. I’ve heard that mules are smart, but this little girl is a genius.