Maple (and Waffles) were part of a joint rescue operation. I was contacted by an out of state rescue in an effort to save them from going to auction. The story I got when I arrived was ...The couple who owned them have an adult son who has a disability. The couple had recently purchased a beautiful boarding facility in California. They went on vacation and when they returned, the son had traded his mom's pet goats for these two mules.
Now, what transpired after that is anyone's guess, but I can almost guarantee you they were not treated kindly. They were moved to a part of the ranch where they could not be seen by anyone. They were being fed just scraps of tree branches.
The stable owner was afraid of them and it was clear they hated him. He could not touch them or catch them. He tried to give them away just prior to us getting them, but could not get them loaded in a trailer. (LOL). I got them loaded in about 5 minutes.
They would not come to anyone when they first got to Mea Ola's Place. Maple has always been sweet but was really stand-offish when she first arrived here. She can now be touched and comes for scratches and pets. Maple is somewhat submissive to Waffles. Waffles is dominant and chases Maple off for attention. They pretend they have not been handled, but I am sure they have been.
They have been together in the same corral since they arrived at MOP. They have recently been separated but are in adjoining corrals. We plan to start leading (just in the corral) to see what they know and go from there. I got lead ropes on them once and was just going to leave them on for a bit so we could catch them and make progress faster...but, smart as they are, they both got them off!
Of course, we really don't know their whole story, so we will give them whatever time they need.