Sunday, March 16, 2014

Well, I now have a very cute little mule in my round pen.  I wish I had gotten better pictures.  He's pretty shaggy right now so he's not much to look at anyway, except his sweet, sweet face.

I think he already likes me.  Treats sure didn't hurt.  :)

We had a good ride.  He's not finished, but I feel like he and I are a good match.  We're going to have so much fun together!  He travels nicely, he's responsive, and when things did go wrong (hit in the face by a flying broken branch while his buddy had a little "moment") he moved away but shut down his flight response pretty quickly.  He also got a little upset when all the others got ahead and we were going down a steep hill.  This ride was his first of the year, and his first with a strange rider (other than me in the round pen last week).  If I were to put someone on Scout and head down the trail tomorrow I can guarantee it would be a lot more frustrating.  This little guy is a good one.  (I don't know for sure that he's really all that little.  Probably the same height as Joseph and Bella, but not as stout.)

He does have a name but I don't like it.  I feel bad changing it, because he does know his name.  What to do?  His name is Cash and I am not a worshiper of money (although a mule sure does feel like riches).  I'd like to name him Jasper.  That name seems a bit cliche' if you know that there's a children's book series by Meredith Hodges called "Jasper the Mule" but I assure you that's not how I came up with it.  My son was showing me a gorgeous green rock from my grampa's collection while I was making a list of possible names, and there it was.

Stolen from the internet: (and yes I am exposing my inner hippie) "An elemental Earth stone, Jasper’s frequency is slow and constant, aligned with the electromagnetic energies of the planet. It enables one to be more present in the physical body and conscious of Nature and one’s surroundings. It encourages one to celebrate moments of isolation to absorb, reflect, and connect with these energies and enkindles an awareness of the spiritual connection we hold with all living things."

THAT right there is the description of why I love to be out in the mountains, especially with my trusty steed.  So I think it's very fitting.

Cash has an "ash" sound, and Jasper has an "ass" sound, so could it work?  Is it unfair? He's very smart, I think he would pick it up quickly, but would it be wrong?

Now I better go check on him and sweet talk him and feed him a few treats.  I can't believe he's mine!


Keechy said...

Sounds like lovely boy. Looking forward to pics! :)

When we want to change to a new cue for a known behaviour in dog training, we put the new cue word or sign in front of the old one, and eventually they begin to respond to the first cue before you use the second one and you can drop the old cue. Maybe you could call him Jasper Cash for a while then fade out the 'surname' when it is obvious he is coming on the first name? :)

The Dancing Donkey said...

I have always found that animals learn new names very easily and quickly. All you have to do is use it a lot and with intent. They understand that you are focused on them and asking for a response.

I like that description of jasper, it appeals to my inner hippie as well:) Now that I have read it, I can see that it would fit your lovely new mule very well. I have always believed that names do have power if only because of our subconscious responses to them that animals can read so easily. If that description of jasper is what your subconscious evokes every time you say his name, it will just help both of you get there.

Congratulations. Definitely looking forward to more pictures.

Kate said...

Wonderful! I generally don't change names - unless they're clearly wrong. Red came to me as Drifter, which I hated and which didn't suit him at all, especially once he'd come through into who he really was. So change it if you wish - the strong S sound in the middle of Jasper (shortened to Jash?) will make him comfortable I expect.

Cindy D. said...

I personally don't think that horses/mules/dogs/cats give a rats patootie on what their names are. They might recognize the sound of the word but that is all. All my animals have multiple names because we always end up making up nick names for them as well. And all of them respond to all of the different names.

So if you want to change his name then do so. If the word Jasper comes to mean food, treats, and attention. I'm sure he will respond to it quickly.

Mostly I want to say that I am so so happy for you. I know you have been wanting this for a long while now, and you are deserving. Jasper couldn't ask for a better home and a better person to be his.

Like the others, I cannot wait to see more pics.