You Don’t Start at the Top

You Don’t Start At The Top

It’s proven, mules mature physically and mentally at a slower pace than horses do. However, being hybrids, it is also proven they are smarter than both their parents. Yes, that means they are smarter than the horse (a given, because horses can be forced or bossed around into doing a task) and they are smarter than the donkey, who is a thinking machine in their own species.

So, while some mule owners get impatient about the training process, that is when the roadblocks start showing up in their schooling efforts.

Everyone wants to be at the top. The time and effort put into the equation may cause some people to give up. Because with time and effort, you will make mistakes. You have to make mistakes, in order to learn. You might make a career change and try something new, or you may become hard on yourself for not making accomplishments at the pace you so desire.

And, slamming someone for their own mistakes is not a part of the working solution. This is so unsettling to me, because as humans, we tend to resort to using cheap tactics by becoming “Keyboard Karens.” I don’t dare let my mules have access to the computer, because they do know so much! Being assertive is one thing, but becoming a Keyboard Karen is not cool at all.

With all kidding aside, as humans, we can get better at our work…provided we learn from our mistakes. Quite simply, if we don’t learn from our errors, lessons are repeated until they are learned! That’s the Karma wrapped up in the Universe. It’s a big world out there and the Universe is endless.

As trainers or instructors in the mule industry, we don’t start at the top. At times, we will fail. We desire to show our best videos and photos that make us look like mule superstars, never do we show our bloopers. Dang! That opens the gate for “Keyboard Karens” to cut us down! Which brings to my mind the real fascinating stuff to this article.

Mules don’t take to internet bullying tactics. They have no interest in “Keyboard Karens” and they don’t show off muscle or “strength” to impress themselves or in an attempt to get outside approval. Mules comply to their barnyard rules of conduct, known as the pecking order. In this scenario, size doesn’t matter. The 2,500 pound draft mule is generally easy-going and follows through with the herd boss. What matters is the herd will stick together; this makes the herd structure stronger and well protected from predators. Stick with me, there’s a lesson here: mule trainers, instructors, and riders with integrity, show respect for other trainers/riders and offer assistance where needed. They won’t slam others and they show a high regard for others wherever their journey takes them.

As a side note: you can talk bad or take a slam at them from your keyboard as often or long as you want on social media. You know what? You just made an ass of yourself. And yes, the pun is intended. (wink.)

Author: Cindy K Roberts

Cindy K. Roberts has a lifetime experience with training horses and mules; riding the family pony at age 2 was the beginning. Her grandfather, Lieutenant Wilton Willmann a sharpshooter and muleskinner of the U.S. Army Cavalry (stationed in Fort Riley, Camp Perry, Fort Leavenworth circa 1924) gifted her with the insight on mules; and the desire to study and work with them. Shooting firearms and working with horses and mules was desired and expected in the family. Cindy is host of Mule Talk! The podcast about mules. She enjoys the western way of life, educating new mule owners in working with their own mules, hosting mule events, and documenting her own adventures in keeping the cowgirl spirit alive.

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