out our BRAND-NEW website!
excited about our newly redesigned Lucky Three
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Crossing" articles, to
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whole new way to stay in touch
the latest in longears. Please leave
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training manuals, Training Without
Resistance and Equine Management and
Donkey Training, are now available!
Completely updated and packed with valuable
information and beautiful color photos to show you
just how it's
done. These state-of-the-art books,
which closely follow the sequence of
the Training Mules and
Donkeys DVDs, come in an
Both are featured in the "Our
section and our new,
"What's New?" section.
Get your copies today and start
New Year off
for us on Facebook and Twitter
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the lowdown on what's up!
part of the longears
Meredith on Facebook.
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click "like" to join both the
Three Ranch and the
Hodges fan pages.
is now available on
the gang prepares for the big Thanksgiving
celebration, Jasper the Mule and his pal, Moxie
the Dog, are hot
the trail of adventure! A mishap
truckload of turkeys turns into a real live
mystery, as the boys solve the case of
Beady Eyes in the Bushes!"
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
day? Will their new friend find his "forever
home?" All the fun and
of Thanksgiving come to life in
A Turkey Tale.
new original music from
in the Sky!
To order this fun-filled,
uplifting adventure the whole family can
then visit our Jasper Store!
Schmid's SaMule checks
out a young visitor in
an armchair at their ranch in
My how time flies! This year has
passed so quickly and it won't be long before we
are into the holiday season again. Fall brought
our usual barrage of leaves everywhere. They
seem to fall as fast as we get them picked up,
but occasionally we do get some help from the
guy upstairs in the form of sweeping winds that
blow the leaves out east. We always appreciate
We had a very busy summer and then
stayed that way into the fall. We have never
before cut hay so late in the season, but we did
cut in mid-September and got a record
amount of hay in this year. This was
welcome, since we do supply hay for both our own
animals and the animals at the Hearts &
Horses therapeutic riding stable. There is quite
a demand for hay this year because of the
horrible drought and fires in Texas. A lot of
the hay in Colorado is being trucked to Texas
for relief, so good hay is hard to find and the
prices are high. Lucky for us, we are in good
shape and even have some extra to sell.
Our new barn is finished and all my
old longears champions are thrilled to have
bigger stalls for their retirement years. It
certainly will make management a lot easier,
since we now have no need to worry about the
barn flooding and icing up anymore. We are now
insulating and lining our indoor arena and,
since our first cold snap, it is proving to be a
lot warmer in there, even without heat! That
will definitely help as we continue core muscle
exercises to maintain our older and rescue
Roll has been making great
strides and is doing very well, in spite of the
side bones in his right hind foot. He is finally
capable of carrying his body in a balanced and
rhythmic fashion. Rock, on the
other hand, has had a few
setbacks lately that have challenged our most
learned professionals. The core muscle work has
helped a lot, but we are now at a critical phase
with his founder, and even his "booties" do not
help him walk anymore. Before the snow arrived,
we were icing his feet for 20 minutes every day,
just to keep him sound enough to walk. We are
keeping him on soft ground and minimizing his
lessons to several very short lessons a week in
the indoor arena, instead of longer lessons in
the larger dressage arena that seemed to tire
him too much. Though things were looking pretty
grim, he is gaining strength again, so there is
We had our first real snowstorm
the last week in October, just before Halloween,
which left us without power for half a day and
we got nearly a foot of snow. With the
electricity gone, there wasn't much to do except
go out and play with the mules and donkeys and
take some snowday pictures! The saddle mules
kicked up their heels and ran and played, and
then four of them decided it might be fun to do
their lunging around me for some crimped oats!
They LOVE those oats!
Augie and Spuds, the mini donkeys,
weren't quite sure about the deep snow, but they
were delighted to find that they could actually
see EVERY oat they were trying to pick up in the
snow. So we had a snow picnic! We all had a lot
of fun that day!
We spent a good part of the summer
and fall doing a complete update and
reformatting of our two training
manuals, Training Without Resistance
and Equine Management and Donkey
Training. They still closely follow the
sequence of the Training Mules and
Donkeys DVDs, and now include even more
in-depth information about the care, maintenance
and training of equines.
There's plenty of excited hustle and
bustle here at the Ranch, as we get everything
ready for our annual Christmas party, scheduled
to take place the second weekend in December.
This year, we will be celebrating Rock and
Roll's, and Augie and Spuds's, first anniversary
with us here at the Lucky Three. They have
proven to be quite an attraction to the visitors
on our tours.
of us here at Lucky Three Ranch want to wish you
all a safe and happy holiday season.
Christmas and Happy New Year!
got your Training Mules and Donkeys book and I
LOVE IT!! I wish I bought it sooner!! Your
resources and website are now my official
'go-to' place for mule education.
hoping you can help me, I'm completely stumped
and don't know what to do.
have a yearling molly haflinger mule who
recently developed the opinion that she doesn't
want to unload out of the trailer. I say
'recently' because all trailer loading practice
prior to 'that day' was fine...no issue
whatsoever. In fact, we'd play hopping in and
out just for fun without her halter on. She has
NEVER had a bad experience loading or unloading,
so I don't know where this resistance is coming
from. She is completely happy and compliant in
all other ground work exercises, crossing poles,
logs, tarps, bridges, you name it. It took me
almost 2 hours to get her out. I went really
slow, didn't rush her, but I haven't loaded her
back up since I can't identify what the problem
is. She does enjoy playing games, so maybe that
was comical to her, but I'm not sure if there is
an underlying issue. Before I load her up again,
I really want to be sure I handle the situation
correctly. We hit the trails several times a
month, so she has lots of trailer rides in her
future. Naturally, I haven't been able to find
much information on 'unloading' challenges so
sounds like you have been rewarding for getting
into the trailer (and through all other
obstacles) very consistently, as you should, but
have you been rewarding for coming out? Every
single time and the instant she hits the ground?
Sounds like she thinks the only way she will be
rewarded is if she is IN the trailer! Even
though it took two hours to get her out, I think
you did exactly the right thing in taking your
wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know
that the new format is nice. I was surprised
when I came to the site today and saw it. I have
not been by in a couple weeks. Look forward to
finding the new book on donkey training, I have
the other 2 and they have helped with my
again and keep up the nice work, it sure does
summer in Texas was probably one of the worst on
record. Records were made and broken, and
unfortunately not in a good way!
were high temps above 100 degrees for more than
60 days in a row. Not just 101 or 102 as a high,
but up to 106 or 107. No rainfall at all
along with devastating fires in the Southern
areas of the state made things really bad for
farmers and ranchers.
people didn't have provisions to get all of
their livestock out of the fire zones. If you
have more mules (donkeys, horses, cattle, goats,
etc.) than you have trailer space, what do you
do? Many people actually turned animals loose on
the side of the road and hoped they would make
it. Some did, some didn't. This has left
shelters and rescues overloaded with "stray"
donkeys. Local newspapers and news stations have
carried stories about the glut of rescue
animals. And of course it is not just equines.
The livestock market in our area is pretty hard
hit, and will be for some time to come.
the drought and fires, many pastures, which were
used for hay crops were destroyed. Other farmers
and ranchers lost many other types of crops as
well. Those that did manage to get a decent
supply of hay have already had to use up some of
this supply, since there is virtually no grass.
Hay is now reaching high prices that will put
many people out of business.
become a buyer's market. Horses, donkeys and
mules can be bought for pennies on the dollar.
Cattle ranchers that were lucky got their excess
animals to the auctions earlier in the year.
Next year, beef prices are going to be high, but
what is this going to do for equine prices?
key that will always remain for ANY equine
market is well-bred animals. Animals with good
conformation, with pedigrees behind them, and
those that are trained are always going to have
a market. Animals that might be purebred but
have no paperwork behind them are more numerous
now than ever, and they don't always help a
market that is struggling with dips in the
economy. Sure, it seems like the perfect thing
to go to the classified sites and see "free
horse" or "free donkey." But are you really sure
of what you are getting?
the animal going to meet your needs in the
future? Sure, a free yearling or weanling seems
like a good deal...but are there papers behind
it? A Free Broodmare? But no papers? Not broke
to ride? No papers is a killer for many right
there. Sure you can use her to breed mule foals,
but is she breeding quality? Is she a Quarter
Horse? Will you test her to make sure she
doesn't have HYPP? (Horses should ONLY be bred
if they are n/n, even for mule foals.) Is she
pretty? How does her back look? Lame? Any teeth
left in her head-----or
is she even halter broke?
as there is TANSTAAFL (there ain't no such thing
as a free lunch), there really isn't any such
thing as a free horse. You have paperwork, vet
work, hauling costs, feed costs. If you are
looking at breeding stock, those low-cost horses
or donkeys you plan on picking up should be good
looking and have their pedigrees and paperwork
we hope that no one is in that boat----having
to sell off stock because they cannot afford to
keep it. It's always been a suggestion that if
you have foals left over from year one, haven't
sold weanlings from year two either, that you
should rethink your breeding program. YES, we
need more donkeys to breed on for future
generations, but not at the cost of donkeys
being given away for free on the classified
all review our budgets and breeding plans, see
where we can make improvements all over
(including bloodlines!) and look forward to
2012, with a better future on the horizon.
Patton, office manager, ADMS
Am. Donkey & Mule Soc. PO Box 1210,
Lewisville TX 75067 (972) 219-0781.
Newsletter: the BRAYER magazine, 100+ pgs
6X/yr, $23 US, $30 Canada, $45 overseas. We now
accept Paypal, Visa/MC (+$1 courtesy fee
appreciated). Reg info, forms, fees on our
website at www.lovelongears.com.
left you good people with plans to go to a steam
threshing in Colfax, WA over Labor Day and I did
get to see that. I had never seen a
"push-header" operate in a wheat field before,
and my friends, Jon and Michelle Overmeyer, were
putting SIX of their beautiful grey draft mules
on the contraption. That I had to see----
and I did--- and I
was not disappointed. Watching those mules
handle that Rube Goldberg contraption amongst
the other wagon teams and the whistle of the
steam engine and all the wandering admirers like
me was awesome. I have since persuaded my video
hero, "Video Mike" Kerson, into coming up to the
NW and shooting this event for one of his
valuable documentaries. Mike and Nancy Kerson
have a goal in mind to capture and preserve all
they can on how mules, horses and donkeys were
and are used out here in the west. I highly
recommend those videos.
that week it was time to load up the truck, hook
up the camper and take off for Hells Canyon Mule
Days in Enterprise, OR. Now, let me explain, my
camper is ancient, keeps blowing tires and is a
pain in the butt, but it is all I have so it's
precious in its own way. I took it down to Les
Schwab's to have the tires checked and prepared
for the trip and I thought I was ahead of the
through Moscow, ID, I heard this teeth-grinding
screeching coming from my little precious and,
to make a long story short, I was losing my left
wheel. I somehow lucked onto another Les
Schwab's just in time and, with some little wait
for the Doctor's assessment, the news came back
that that end of the axel was toast and they
would hafta replace the whole axel. That put me
well into Plan B, which I had never had to
implement before---- that
is, call the show chairman and see if she could
get me a motel room for the show. Are you
getting the picture yet? I operate on a
shoestring and it just broke!
did get a room. Shared a bed with Lizzy the dog
and Cheryl Mundee, my sidekick, and we did the
best we could while the camper lounged in the LS
parking lot in Moscow. The nice man said, "You
know, this camper is kinda old and it may take
me a while to find an axel." Truth is, I think
they had to scour antique stores and it took
them just over a month to find and fix. The bill
was bad. Figuring in the motel bill and the axel
bill, I dug another hole and climbed in it.
the big draft horse/mule show here in Sandpoint
went off without a hitch----
on my part, anyway----
and I did OK on that one. Right
after that show, my hubby went off on a month's
odyssey in his new car, and he toured the East
Coast and visited friends in TN and daughter in
NM, ending up in CA to see his dad. While he was
gone, I spent his money on firewood, gravel and
a house-cleaner. It was great fun. AND I got to
go on two more wonderful rides on "Buddy," and
with good friends. "Buddy" continues to prove
himself a great little guy and can he handle a
I am locked into "get-er-done" mode again with
the big Cowboy Christmas show in Las Vegas with
my Cowboy Cartoonists buddies. Cheryl Mundee is
riding with me this year and daughter and
granddaughter are driving over from Santa Fe to
spend a few days with me in LV. Will be
premiering the newest Jasper DVD, A Turkey
Tale. If you haven't seen it yet, get busy.
It is full of action, humor and good feelings.
Our animators and production folks have done it
again, turning out a superior product full of
redeeming qualities. Not many businesses can say
that anymore, but Jasper can.
have some great Holidays and God Bless Us One