Annie now lives across the tracks from me with 14 other mules. I felt I was not using her enough and I do not believe in turning a healthy animal into a pasture pet. The young man that took her is a “mule person” that prefers to ride a mule over a horse and plans to turn her into a riding mule.
I was conflicted deeply on whether to sell her or not. I tried to take the emotion out of the decision as best I could. I could not use two horses and a mule. I seldom took them all at the same time which left one out more than not. I felt I needed to keep the most versatile. König, my little mustang, is an awesome pack animal and anyone can ride him. Annie could be ridden by experienced riders only and was not good with most strangers.
Then there is the financial responsibility of owning a horse. Dedicating financial resources across three equines is a burden. They all need shots, vet bills and alfalfa in the winter. Something had to give.
I think it takes a special person to co-exist with a mule; a mule person, perhaps. I don’t believe I am a true mule person. I connect with horses. My bond with my horse Jack is indisputable. I never bonded with Annie beyond appreciating her for the character and unique animal she is. Frankly, I prefer to handle a horse over a mule. It could be I am not smart enough to deal with them. One of the many things Annie taught me is a mule is smarter than a horse any day of the week.
I made sure Annie went to a good home. I overpriced her and told her new owners outright that she was not worth what I was asking. If they wanted her bad enough, they would pay the price. If it didn’t work out for them, I would buy her back at any time. I have not heard from them since.
I realize as I type this that I will always harbor the guilt of not giving Annie a forever home. I can justify it a dozen different ways but it comes down to a few simple facts. I feel less guilty (or so I keep telling myself) knowing she is being utilized and less guilty pulling out of the driveway with my horse trailer knowing I will not be leaving her behind, again. I feel better knowing I can fully dedicate time and resources on Jack. I am left with my conscience and prayers that Annie is happier in her new home.
I have converted the six chapters of Annie’s Story to a single .PDF document to republish into my new blog. Annie’s story received more hits than any of my other blog pieces. I think that says it all.
Click here for Annies Story