The Mule Connection

Image -Sadie Lou summer

By Diana Wanamaker

I got the closest and best snuggle yet from Sadie Lou last night! It was wonderful! So wonderful I had to share! Not my first snuggle, but the closest snuggle I have had from her yet.
I walked up to her and I stop about 2 ft. from her and talk softly to her, because I can feel her backing away, as she often does. Then I took a few more steps and approached her, towards her shoulder. Once I reached her, I reward her with a neck massage and talking to her in a soft, tone. Then I approached her head and stroked her head softly, reaching up to itch her ears (and she leaned into it). Then I speak to her in a soft, whisper tone, as I begin very slowly and very softly stroking her nose and her head. Her head was down and she remained quiet and still, not turning away, but enjoying the snuggle. Then I put my check up against a nook, just below her ear, as I softly stroked her nose and her head, talking soft, sweet loving words to her. Her head was relaxed and placed in a low position, leaning against me. I grabbed the moment. She allowed herself to enjoy it and released her often stout, on guard stance she takes. We both just allowed one another to be there snuggled to one another, trusting the other with this very close proximity. I was in awe! Then I thanked her and told her what an awesome Mule girl she is and walked away to finish my chores. She followed me into the stall and I continued to tell her how wonderful that moment of closeness was! I had a smile on my face all the way back home last night and continued to immerse myself in the feelings of that wonderful moment of closeness we shared!

As I began her training, I was impressed with her extremely quick learning and how willing she was to please. She often would ask me what she should be doing, as I was learning this new method of connecting (Parelli) myself.
I know today, there are my own issues of past and abusive relationships that play a part in this relationship. I have learned that what I expect is what would have been from a human relationship. Absolutely nothing would come from an abusive relationship. Progress forward would not exist. Sadie has opened so many triggers for me, in ways I had forgot, because of her distancing and what seems to be a never ending world of never trusting again. As I learn myself to trust again, and to deal with my own ghosts of my past, as she learns to release her’s as well.
No doubt there are days I want to give up, and I know there are days where Sadie wants absolutely nothing to do with me!
The push-pull of developing a closer connection is a long, and slow road with a mule, is what I have learned.
But, when I least expect it, she becomes a partner and surprises me with her willingness to give and be the partnership I hope for her and I to be. I have also learned how I need to be a trusting partner to her, in a way she feels safe and more willing to release her trust.
It is, without question, the most unusual and the most challenging relationship I have had with an animal, hands down!
But we are both here, and I have learned to cherish each moment of connection, each step of progress she gives to me, and each time I am able to learn to respond to her in a way she connects. Each of us learning, giving, releasing and pulling away again. She really is an amazing animal and as we continue on, I continue to struggle with trusting her, but I also have learned to celebrate each and every moment she releases her trust to me.

Copyright November 27, 2015. All Rights Reserved

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