While trekking in the Pindar Valley, it is difficult to escape the mules and ponies. Their cheerful jingling wakes one up early when the loaded ponies set off. On the trail, they are everywhere. It is nice to meet the patient little beasts plodding up a path and exchange a greeting or two with the owners.
A slightly less pleasant aspect is the dung on the path..especially when it is buzzing with flies, but that is a cue to think, "ah! soil fertilization!" and carry on.
The ponies are for the large part well treated. they do lead a hard life, but so does everyone in the Himalayas. They are not very pet-able, but that is largely because they are used to being treated as working comrades rather then 'whosaprettyboy'.
The chai stall at Mallya Daur is a rest stop for the mules as well as a salt lick. And those guys do crave their salt! That was the only time I saw the ponies being aggressive towards one another. Mine!
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