“The passion that Meredith Hodges feels for the equines that she has fought for all her adult life is still as fresh, inspiring and infectious as it was when she first discovered the world of horses, donkeys and mules. She has never wavered in her devotion to them and in her mission to carve a lasting and honored place for them in our world. They are lucky to have her as their champion, but Meredith actually sees it a bit differently. She feels honored and privileged to be a part of their world.”

 

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Prey or Predators?

Are equines prey or predators? Although some trainers base their methods on the idea that equines should be approached as "prey," this blog post by Sara Annon explains that the answer may not be that simple. An excerpt: The real lesson in this is that the predator/prey model of horsemanship is inaccurate. Rodents are prey animals. Horses are herd animals.  Their enemy is the weather (click here  and here). Horses die from hypothermia in winter, drought in summer, and starvation when grazing is scarce. Weakened animals are picked off by ...
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Equines of a Certain Age

Lucky Three Ranch knows a thing or two about elderly equines—miniature mule Lucky Three Franklin just celebrated his 40th birthday on April 1, and we've been happy to celebrate many of our other equines through their 20s and 30s. That's why we're very happy to acknowledge Tootsie, a resident of the wonderful Donkey Sanctuary in Ireland, who is an incredible 54 years old—making him one of the oldest mules ever. The Donkey Sanctuary rescued Tootsie in 1992, and he is part of their "Super Grannies" group of equines that are all over 30 years ...
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Hard to Catch Mules: Before and After

It's always great to hear from people who have used our training materials successfully with their equines, so we loved getting an email recently from Becky of Becky's Homestead, showing off a video of her formerly hard-to-catch mules, Emma and Charlie. Using Meredith's methods, the mules now come to the gate and exit quietly, and turn to Becky to await further instructions—no chasing required. Becky writes: "I love your method because you don't have to be a tough, roping cowboy to train your problem mule. I also really like that you say people ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

What About Muzzles?

Years ago, I believed that all I needed to have an equine was a halter, bridle and saddle, a water bucket and a patch of grass with a fence around it. I didn’t even think about shelter until much later when I finally decided that a garage would do. I now know that there is a lot of responsibility in taking care of equines and that it is an ongoing learning experience. Like most of us, I was a little lazy and wanted shortcut ways to deal with my equines ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

Horse Tales for the Funny Bone

Meredith is pleased to have contributed an anecdote to the first edition of a new book series featuring humorous, equine-related stories called Horse Tales for the Funny Bone, Volume 1. The tales were collected by Bonnie Marlewski-Probert at Whitehall Publishing, who also put together the Horse Tales for the Soul series. Horse Tales for the Funny Bone features stories about all breeds, all styles of riding, and all age groups—60 in all. This book is sure to brighten your day and put a smile on your face, and makes the perfect gift for all the equine lovers in your life! ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

Modern Day Mule Train

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, artist Lauren Bon, in collaboration with Metabolic Studio and the LA Department of Water and Power, is retracing the steps of the aqueduct's original construction, from Owens Valley to LA--with a 100 mule pack train. Their journey started on October 18, and the convoy is expected to arrive at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Griffith Park on November 11, with stops along the way at the Lone Pine Rodeo Grounds, Jawbone Canyon, and the Hansen Dam. The mules are ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

Romulus and Remus, A Big Pair of Asses…

(Equus africanus asinus, to be exact!) This is a special entry by Phil Yellott, owner of Romulus, who has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Largest Donkey. Cara and I wanted to get a couple of donkeys for guard animals. We saw a couple of mammoth donkeys on Craigslist, who were very skinny and underfed. We contacted the owner, and were able to negotiate a price so we could get them. We named them Romulus and Remus after the legendary founders of the Roman ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

Biggest Equine Parade in the World

Mules and donkeys have a way of bringing folks together no matter where you are from. Here are our friends from Criadero Villa Luz in Colombia riding in the Cabalgata feria de las flores parade on their lovely Paso Fino mules, with friends from the British Mule Society. There were 8,333 horses and 1,600 mules in the parade--wow! ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

Going for Gold

We are very excited to announce that our gorgeous revised edition of Training Mules & Donkeys has won the GOLD medal in the Pets & Animals category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards. We're very proud of the work we've done on the book, and it's great to see it being recognized. Many congratulations to our hardworking staff and to the longears that inspired the book! ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

Happy Hinnies!

This story comes from our friend, Luzma Osorio, of Criadero Villa Luz in Colombia. You may remember her previous posts about the mule mother on their ranch! Very little has been written about Hinnies--most of the time it is unfavourable comments and myths due to lack of knowledge about them. Until now, very few people have bred Hinnies because of speculation about their size and behavior; they are said to be very small and difficult. Typically a breeder or a farmer may only have one Hinny and several mules; ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

One Size Fits All? Not for Equines

An article in the U.K.'s Daily Mail reports that one-third of recreational riders are too obese for their equines, putting the animals at risk for health problems including lameness and back pain, citing a study from the Journal of Veterinary Behavior. This is a big issue for equine health, as an equine expected to carry a rider that is too heavy for him can cause both physical and behavioral problems. Rules like "the rider's weight should be 10% of the equine's" are often used as a general guideline, but are ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

Extreme Cowboy Race Washington

We love seeing people with great relationships with their equines, and here's a thrilling example of what training and teamwork can really accomplish. Ray Woodside and his mule, Willie, made a great showing in the Extreme Cowboy Race at the Washington State Horse Expo--check out the video below, and thanks to Jehnet for passing it along! ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

Mule Mama Update

Remember Chuchureña, the mule who gave birth to a healthy baby mule last September? Our friend Luzma Osorio sent us this update from Colombia, on the mule mama and her daughter, "La Bien Querida": I took some new pictures of the mule and her offspring last week, the baby is now three months old and she has grown a lot! They are gorgeous!! Photos by Luzma Osorio, Criadero Villa Luz What a beautiful, loving pair! Chuchureña truly proves that mules are good mothers, too! ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog

Mule Are Good Mothers, Too!

An excerpt of an amazing story from a friend of Lucky Three Ranch, Luzma Osorio, on the birth of a new mule in Colombia--and her mule mother! They say mules cannot give birth and are hostile to foals, but the mule Chucurena has proved completely the opposite. On 25 September 2011, she gave birth to a beautiful baby mule in Colombia, South America, and she is proving to be a great mother! Chucurena is a 3 ½ year old black mule from Hacienda El Cerro in Bucaramanga. She is very ...
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/ General Interest, LTR Blog
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