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“Hey, we haven’t seen you guys in a while! How have you been?! We get to go for another adventure with Meredith today!”
“What do you suppose she has in mind for us today, Spuds?”
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My good friend, Tennessee mule artist Bonnie Shields, recently introduced me to sculptor Dennis Page from the Rocking Horse Ranch in Riverton, Utah. Dennis is working on a hand-carved “rocking mule” that is modeled after Bonnie’s ceramic sculpture of Kathleen Conklin’s Champion Driving mule, John Henry. I am so impressed with Dennis’s work that I decided to purchase the wood-sculpted rocker. What an amazing addition it will be to the Loveland Longears Museum and Sculpture Park here at Lucky Three Ranch!
Jasper the Mule stops by your TV screen once again this Christmas! Celebrate Christmas with Jasper and all his friends as Jasper: A Christmas Caper airs on Rural TV (Dishnet Channel 232) on Christmas Eve.
It’s the Christmas season and Jasper and his human family are in high spirits as they travel to visit far-away friends a few towns over. When Jasper and his pal, Moxie the dog, get out of the yard and wander down a strange alley, the two friends are headed straight for one big adventure!
Presents disappear, mysterious strangers appear and friends go missing. But junior detectives Jasper and Moxie are on the case. With the clock ticking, Jasper has to use his “mule smarts” to tackle this puzzle of a mystery and put the pieces together before the big parade. But will he solve the mystery in time?
Airing on Rural TV (Channel 232 on Dish Network or check your local listings).
Tuesday, December 24 at 7pm and 11pm ET (4pm and 8pm PT)
If you don’t get Rural TV or miss the airings, all Jasper episodes are also available for rental on demand.
Colorado Gives Day is an initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. On this one day–Tuesday, December 10, 2013–Coloradans will come together to raise millions of dollars for nonprofits. Last year, $15.7 million was donated. Presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day has taken place during a 24-hour period each winter since 2010. Donations are accepted through the website ColoradoGives.org, with a goal to inspire and unite Coloradans in supporting local nonprofits.
This is Hearts and Horses’ first year as part of Colorado Gives Day and their goal is to raise at least $10K for their amazing programs.
Why contribute through Colorado Gives Day? There are no fees, so 100% of your donation goes to Hearts and Horses. Donations of $10 and above are accepted, empowering MANY to participate. Hearts and Horses will also be vying for thousands of additional dollars to be awarded to Larimer County non-profits based upon unique donors, social shares, and dollars raised. This prize program is available in addition to the statewide Incentive Funds and exclusive to the 94 participating organizations in their region.
And this year, Meredith Hodges will match dollar for dollar all funds raised for Hearts and Horses on Colorado Gives Day, to continue helping them attain the resources necessary to become one of the premier therapeutic riding programs in the country.
Click here to schedule your donation to Hearts and Horses, or bookmark the link to donate on Tuesday!
As the gang prepares for the big Thanksgiving celebration, Jasper the Mule and his pal, Moxie the Dog, are hot on the trail of adventure! A mishap with a truckload of turkeys turns into a real live mystery, as the boys solve the case of “The Beady Eyes in the Bushes!”
When they make a new friend who is lost and alone, Jasper’s mule-y sense of loyalty kicks in and he is determined to help, no matter what. Will Jasper and Moxie save the day? Will their new friend find his “forever home?” All the fun and warmth of Thanksgiving come to life in Jasper: A Turkey Tale.
Airing on Rural TV (Channel 232 on Dish Network or check your local listings)
- Monday, November 25 at 7pm ET
- Wednesday, November 27 at 7pm and 11pm ET
If you don’t get Rural TV or miss the airings, all Jasper episodes are also available for rental on demand.
Our hearts go out to Connie Bartels for the loss of her beloved Homer, longtime friend and loyal companion. He will be missed.
“Sunday when we rode while I was taking his tack off I was talking to him telling him what a good boy he is and what a good ride we had. Then I hugged him tightly as I always do….he knew me, and he liked me a lot. To think that I will never ride him again is heart wrenching to me. He was my good friend and buddy…..and I would never find another Homer. I am very sad today, but I am thankful for the many years we were friends. Only mule people would understand this.”
Roll continues to be a happy camper and always looks forward to any time he can spend with us outside of his pen and pasture areas. It has been several months since he has been worked because we have been busy with construction all summer, however, the core muscle, good posture training that he had for the past three years has drastically changed his overall health.
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 being cared for by Jennifer and Lee Roeser, who run the McGee Pack Station in the Eastern Sierra range, and who received the “Most Honored Packers” award at Bishop Mule Days in 2010. They are utilizing one wrangler per 10-mule string, with about 35 people total on the support staff and 10 support vehicles to supply the mules with food, water, gear, and medical care.
The pack train will be passing through three counties and over 50 California communities before reaching their final destination. It’s appropriate that this project will be sharing and celebrating mules’ contributions to the country, especially in anticipation of Mule Appreciation Day on October 26.
For more information, check out the LA Times article about the project.
Mini donkeys Spuds and Augie are always up for a new challenge–like adding a new element to their round pen workout routine!
“Hey, Spuds! What do you think she has in mind to do today with all these straps?”
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(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 empire. Romulus is 9 years old, and his little brother Remus is 7.
The two brothers are very close, most of the time it is like having one donkey with eight feet! We love them very much. We have been working very hard to get them healthy. We contacted the American Donkey and Mule Society (ADMS) about whether they were registered, and were told that if they were as tall as we thought, that they might be a candidate for the world’s tallest donkey. After researching the record, we saw that Oklahoma Sam was 15.3, and it seemed like Romulus was a good bit taller than that.
Cara Barker Yellott and Phil Yellott
Proud owners of Romulus and Remus
3708 Ovilla Rd.
Red Oak, TX 75154
Our friends at Hearts & Horses, the non-profit therapeutic riding facility located in Loveland, CO, need your support. They have organized a few great events coming up–see below for more information on how you can help, whether you’re in Colorado or beyond!
The Power of the Horse Extravaganza is a rider showcase, open house and concert to support Hearts & Horses and encourage community growth. The event will also include activity booths and delicious local food truck vendors. Hearts & Horses is looking for riders, sponsors and volunteers for this event as well, if you have the time and skills to contribute more.
This day of fun starts at 11:30am on Sunday, September 22, 2013. Find out more information about the event here.
If you can’t make it to the party, you can experience the concert at home by listening to and purchasing the album of songs here. All of these great songs were written especially for this event!
Hearts & Horses’ annual gala is also coming up, and this year the theme is: Lucky Hearts Casino Night. This event will be held on Saturday, October 5, at the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology in Loveland. This is a great way to support Hearts & Horses while also having a fun night out. For more information on this event, and to purchase tickets, become a sponsor, or donate any items to the silent auction, click here.
There’s a lot of construction going on at the ranch, but Spuds and Augie sense the opportunity for adventure!
“Hey, Spuds, what’s with all this junk? It looks a little iffy to me!”
“Just chill, Augie! It’s just another great adventure…no sweat!”
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We were sorry to hear about longtime mule skinner Buddie Stockwell. We appreciate all the work that Buddy put into mules in Colorado with the Rocky Mountain Longears Association. Here is one of my favorite stories about Buddy.
In the fall of 1984, Loveland, Colorado muleskinner Buddie Stockwell and horseshoer Jerry Banks, along with a few friends, decided to make a hunting trip into the Rocky Mountains. Packing in, the weather was beautiful with warm temperatures, calm breeze, and nary a hint of what was to come. After setting up camp and tending to their horses and mules, the hunters went about the business of tracking elk. Hunting was good, but after a few days, one evening brought with it an unpredictable storm of incredible severity. The hunters awoke the following morning to find their camp buried in four feet or more of snow, and with no chance of the storm lifting.
Quickly, the hunters packed up what they could on the horses and mules; tents and a lot of gear had to be left behind since time was of the essence. As they left the campsite, snow deepened and the terrain underneath was steep, rocky, and treacherous. They had only gone a short distance when the snow became so deep, and the terrain so hazardous that the horses refused to go one step farther–the horses would not blaze the trail out! Anxiety was high and the hunters were fearful of never making if off the mountain.
In the face of great danger, Buddie asked his trusted mule, Goliath, to break trail for the others, and with slow, careful, deliberate steps, Goliath led them all safely down the mountain to their trucks and trailers, which were also buried in snow. In bitter cold, they freed the vehicles, loaded them up, and made their way back to the lowlands to safety. The storms on the mountain worsened, and it was spring before Jerry and Buddie could return for the rest of their gear–but both men and their friends were grateful to Goliath for leading them down the mountain to safety.
It’s summer time, and there are tons of adventures to be had for two mini donkeys on a bustling ranch like Lucky Three. Today, Spuds and Augie explore the hay field with Meredith and test their bravery against a fearsome, loud machine.
The following is a very special announcement from our friends at Windy Ridge Farm. To view more mules and donkeys for sale or to post your own, please visit our classifieds section.
Dear Fellow Mammoth Jack Stock Breeders,
It is not without sadness that we write to inform you that we are starting the search for a very special home for our small select herd of dual registered Mammoth donkeys.
While the Windy Ridge Donkeys numbered some 30 – 40 head at one time, we have been slowly undergoing a herd reduction over the past decade. Now our population numbers eleven donkeys with another jennet left to foal during early July. Most recently we have come through a very long, hard winter and are glad to see spring! At this time of writing all donkeys are out and enjoying themselves in sunny outdoor pastures.
As we age (Carl 78 and myself 69), we do not wish to keep animals that we may not be able to care for properly. Therefore we invite you to view the Windy Ridge Donkeys on our web site which will be revised and updated in June/July 2013: www.windyridgedonkeys.co.nr and write or telephone us with any questions you may have. Should you not have access to the website, then let us know and we will send descriptions of the donkeys. Photos of both foals should be on the website by August 2013.
Our herd is the product of over forty years of work in the donkey breeding business. Since we purchased our first Mammoth jennet in 1979, Mammoths have figured prominently in our breeding program. The remaining small breeding herd, (Blackhawk and six jennets), are all registered in Canada (CLRC) and USA (ADMS), and are all DNA tested and on file with Dr. Gus Cothran at Texas A & M as part of a study on Mammoth stock (contact Dr.Cothran at: (979) 845-0229 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), and have also been sent to ADMS.
These donkeys may be sold individually or in a package such as Blackhawk and 2-3 jennets or young stock for example. Note that we believe this herd is best used to outcross the Black Bart bloodlines which is the step we have started in using Blackhawk, on Bart daughters, and granddaughters. Blackhawk offspring may cross well with your current jack if you are looking for athletic working bloodlines. Extended pedigree information to 5 to 7 generations is available for each animal because registration papers often only have space for 4 to 5 generations.
We request that only serious inquiries be made from either yourself or those to whom you may pass this letter. We would hope such people would desire to conserve these special top performance bloodlines and faithfully believe in registration to document same. We believe it is our duty to find the donkeys the best home possible where they will be well cared for and trained to reach their full potential.
Therefore we ask that you provide the following information to help us know you better and make the right decisions:
#1- Please explain the reason you wish to purchase any of our donkeys, and how these bloodlines might fit into your breeding program.
#2- What are your current goals in breeding mammoth donkeys ?
#3- Of what importance is registration to your breeding program?
#4- Explain your breeding program, e.g. How often do you expect foals from your jennets (every year, every second year etc.) and why do you choose to breed this way? Do you use pasture breeding, live cover (in hand breeding), or equine A.I. and why did you choose this method ?
#5- How do you utilize a qualified equine reproduction vet in your breeding program ?
#6- Do you foal out under supervision or allow jennets to foal outside alone ?
#7- At what age do you wean foals?
#8- When weaned, what type of “kindergarten”(early) training / handling have they received ?
#9- Describe your facilities (shelter, water, paddocks, barn etc.) for keeping Mammoth donkeys in summer and in winter.
#10- Please add any further information that you feel would help us know you better, and appreciate your care and conservation of this rare breed of donkey.
By initiating this search we hope to find a like minded breeder to continue the dream of producing quality athletic Mammoth Jack Stock and saddle mule jacks. This will not be a hasty decision, nor will these donkeys be sold at public auction.
In the mean time we expect to foal out the two bred jennets : Windy Ridge Bart’s Betsy already foaled a healthy, superb 36’’ tall 80 lb. black jennet foal May 5, 2013 and Windy Ridge Cinnamon is due to foal July 8 to 14, 2013. We will also use Windy Ridge Eagle’s Blackhawk this summer to breed Windy Ridge Bart’s Babydoll, Windy Ridge Marcela, Windy Ridge Red Rose and Windy Ridge Millicent. The latter two are older jennets whom we have been watching carefully and Millicent has already been covered on a good, strong heat the last week of May.
If necessary, we may consider the recent offer of an option to stand Blackhawk for equine AI of jennets or mares at a new stallion station due to open in the area next year. And it is possible that we may decide to keep a couple of donkeys back for ourselves.
When the decision to sell has been made, registration papers will be transferred, and extended pedigrees provided as well as individual health records etc. to the new owner according to the sales agreement.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Carl & Sybil Sewell
Windy Ridge Farm.
Roll has been off for several months during the Christmas season and then during inclement weather throughout the winter and early spring. His physique has maintained its core muscle strength and his good posture continues to be strong. He has maintained this good posture and musculature over these five months on turnout alone. When an animal’s posture is truly changed and improved, he should reach a point where this becomes the norm and his way of standing and moving will reflect that. He no longer requires formal lessons to strengthen the muscles in good posture because he can now do it himself as long as he is given the room to move on a daily basis.
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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!
“Hey, Augie…watcha doin’?!
“I’m practicing my halter stance…you know, four-square!”
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!