On the same day that we put down old Darby, we also said goodbye.... to Zuul's nuts.
When I picked Zuul up, I was told he was a 3 or 4 year old gelding. That was definitely NOT true on either account - at some point I was eyeballing his huge cheeks and noticing his stud piles, and I got under there to take a really good look. They were small and hard to see, but there was definitely something up in there. Welp, no reason to keep those puppies around - hybrids are sterile but all the behaviors and hormones are still there!
Dr. H has been my vet for years and he is wonderful. I made sure Zuul was tame enough before asking him to come out to geld him - definitely didn't want anyone to get hurt. I wasn't sure how Zuul would be for a stranger, let alone a stranger approaching him with a needle, but I caught and tied him and stood petting him while Dr. H easily slipped the needle in. He had to give him a second dose in order to get him fully knocked out. To quote him, "I just gave him more than I'd give that big white horse."
And he STILL didn't want to go down! Check out the crossed him legs. Finally he went over and the assistants sat on him while Dr. H roped his legs to hold them out of the way.
|I REFUSE TO GET KNOCKED OUT I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE ABOUT TO DO|
We also got a close look in his mouth. Yeahhhh he's definitely NOT 3-4 years old. More like, 7-8 years old. Not sure my dentist will want to deal with him though...!
|Tying up legs|
I asked Dr. H about halfway through, "So have you ever castrated one of these things before?" He said, "No and I wouldn't do it for anyone else besides you!" He repeated that a few times later on - that he wouldn't have said yes if it was for someone other than myself. And he's not planning on doing any others after this one!
Zuul seems to be doing well after his surgery, though he has decided that I am Enemy #1 and must be avoided at all costs. He really gave me the runaround trying to get him back into his pen, which is super great for post-surgery healing. Hopefully he'll decide I'm ok again in the near future!
In other longear news, Lendri is turning out to be quite the little champ. She was super feral when I first got her, terrified of people - but she has really come around, especially with carrots as a bribe. She is all mule in that she was highly suspicious of me at first, but then decided that I am ok enough and that there is food involved if she hangs around. I still keep a halter on her (and on Uma) just to be safe, but she comes to me now especially if she sees a carrot, and she is very easy to lead. It's hard to tell what she does know and what she doesn't. For example, the first time I tried to pick up her feet, I got near her front legs and she shot off in the other direction like she had never had her feet done in her life. A bit more handling later, and she picks up all four feet like she's been doing it forever - did she know how to do this before, or has she just learned since she has been here? Hard to say which. I've been lunging her a bit, or attempting to - she seems to know exactly what whoa means, and she is happy to stop and park her little butt wherever without moving (which is GREAT), but more than a circle or two and she just doesn't see the point. I don't know any mules who lunge well in the way that O lunges well - i.e. trotting forever and ever without any question of why we're doing that - most of them I know will go a circle or two and then stop like, "ok I can do a circle, now what?" With Lendri, my main objective is to teach her commands, and that you really *do* have to keep going until I say you can stop. This might mean she only trots two circles and then she gets a whoa and a carrot. Gradually you work your way up from there. She now knows "walk on," "trot," and "whoa," which are the Big Three in terms of kindergarden lunging.
Lendri also wore a bit today for the first time, and polos! I tried the polos on Pax too and she had a few tense moments of being-glued-to-the-ground and then serious-boot-dancing, but not Lendri. They didn't bother her at all. I don't know if she has ever worn a bridle before - she opened up her mouth easily but then mouthed the bit like any baby would, so it's hard to say. The bit fits (tiny little mini spoon bit), but the bridle I bought for her (mini size) is way too small. Luckily, the headstall I use for O's hackamore is super adjustable and I was able to shorten it to the last holes and have it fit. Luck!
Smart little mule! We'll have her driving in no time, I hope!