Jasper can be the center of my attention again. :)
He's happier now that he's part of the herd. He even tolerates my naughty dogs but you can tell he doesn't love them.
The last two days we've been trying on the Myler combo snaffle.
I've been giving him some gradually increasing pasture time. I don't know how much he will tolerate, so I'm trying to be cautious. I'd like to be able to leave him out for 12 hours from morning until evening (pasture grasses are lowest in sugar in the morning and gradually increase throughout the day) but that may be too long. I'll keep a close eye on him as I try to figure it out. He's definitely not fat, so that's a plus.
He has an appointment to have his teeth done on the Monday after Easter. I'm super excited. I can't wait to see what's going on inside his mouth. He's never had dental work before. He sometimes seems like he gets feed trapped in his cheek.
In other equine news, it's really interesting to put your horses in weird situations and see how wrong you were about them. :) I always thought Scout and Bella could eventually be good kids' horses because they both have pretty mellow temperaments, and Bella is such a mother, but they really didn't hold up well to the kid test this weekend. Bella is too sensitive (but she was really good for me, especially after a year with no riding at all). She's great on the ground, but put a kid in the saddle and her eyes get huge and she can barely breathe. Scout is really bad about testing to see what he can get away with (over and over again if necessary), and he is definitely smarter than I gave him credit for. He knew he had Kaia's number, and she doesn't have any background in horsemanship, so it could eventually lead to disaster. Bob was totally traumatized about being ridden. Kaia rode him while I rode Scout, and he was definitely only doing what he wanted to do, but afterward he really thought we were going to beat him. Every time I'd move he'd jerk his head away. Whoever instilled that fear in such a quiet old soul... I just can't fathom it. Pedro I didn't even try. He's on drylot and bored out of his mind, not to mention frustrated. He could have used the attention but he was also being naughty with his head in our space. With a head that big, someone could get hurt. Jasper got some loving but was mostly left out of the kid stuff. I don't know him well enough yet, and I don't want to subject him to something that is going to rattle him or get one of the kids hurt.
Everything went well though, and it was a great visit. I'm looking forward to more quiet time with my mule now. Scout is ready to hit the trails, but Jasper and I still have to figure each other out a little better.