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|LTR Training Tip #120|
LTR Training Tip #120: Combined Driving
Combined Driving is similar to Combined Training in that there are three elements that will be scored: Driven Dressage, a cones course in a confined space and the cross country ‘hazards’ course.
View many more training tips on our YouTube channel.
Question: I am looking for a friend for my donkey, and I would like to get a mule to ride too. What should I look for and what should I do so it won’t cause any problems? Can they all be pastured together?
You can be your donkey's or mule's best friend if you do the exercises I outlined in my management and training program, which focuses on building core muscle strength. It is easy to execute and will not only keep your mule healthier, but will also give you the right things to do to become your mule's best friend. If you do, he won't necessarily need another equine companion. If you see him morning and evening for feeding times and then do leading exercises with him for 15-20 minutes once a week, it will give him the socialization he needs.
Equines have as many personality types as people and there is no real way to predict what friendships will occur. It would be like having someone else pick out a friend for you. In general, mules do better with other mules. Donkeys do better with other donkeys. Still there are responsibilities you have that requires your interaction with them on a routine and consistent basis if you do not want to see adverse behaviors arise, and if you want to keep them happy. Just getting another animal will not solve this problem. You could end up with two animals that both need other suitable companionship even if they are housed together.
I keep my mules, donkeys and horses separated from each other and in age appropriate groups. Male mules can drive the horses crazy with their need to be near them and will often chase aged mules from the herd. Donkeys prefer family groups of their own kind. Male donkeys would be the same as male mules, especially if they are not castrated. Female donkeys are not as aggressive, but I have found that size matters and all mules and donkeys don’t necessarily bond with those of a different size. Mare’s and gelding horses are generally much happier by themselves in the pasture without Longears. It is unwise to put any younger (2 years and under), older (18 years and older), or smaller animals in with mules or donkeys (especially males) because it is instinctual for them to chase them, and possibly cause injury or death.
Smaller animals such as cattle, goats, etc. should never be pastured with male mules, donkeys and some molly mules. When supervised, Longears can be taught not to attack your dogs, cats, goats and even calves, but if left alone, it IS in their nature to run these animals down and they will often kill them for sport. This is not as often seen in the females (it depends on personality as well) as it is in the males, but it is, nevertheless, present and should be heeded.
Training Question Cont.
The best companion for a mule is another equine of a comparable size and age. Animals of another species (especially a smaller species) are never really completely safe with mules. They can get too playful and sometimes will injure, or kill the smaller animal.
Draft equines should never be pastured with any other kind of equine, or other smaller animal, as they are so large, they can snap another smaller animal’s bones with one well-placed kick with no effort at all. Donkeys do the best when kept in gender groups (jennets/jennys together, geldings together and jacks by themselves with adequate fencing) and groups of animals of the same age. It is the same with mules. Mid age male mules will often bother the molly mules during breeding season.
From Our Readers & Visitors
“I have been associated with Meredith Hodges for many years and know her to be a renown world equestrian professional, specializing in mules. She has spent a lifetime of dedication and focus on the improvement and advancement of this breed. She has always concentrated on educating through patience, kindness, consideration and respect for her students and her mules. No one is more highly respected in this field and I know that her knowledge is a must for every person who owns and loves their mules. She has definitely ‘raised the bar’ for the standard of excellence for equine educational books.” – Richard Shrake
“I visited your ranch May 7th with the Greeley Adult Center. The beauty of your animals and your dedication to their training and care of them is wonderful. When you spoke to your precious animals, I could see and hear the sincere love you have for them. Thank you for having us visit your ranch.”
"We had a great time at the Lucky Three Ranch! It was educational and fun. We loved meeting the mules and donkeys and hearing their stories. They are amazingly smart, talented and funny. The best part was seeing how happy they are on the ranch and seeing the connection they have with Meredith Hodges, the owner, and her love for them. The animals were beautiful and had definite personalities. Many were memorialized in statues that were truly works of art.”
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NEW JASPER BOOK NOW AVAILABLE!
JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!
Author, Meredith Hodges, and illustrator, Bonnie Shields,
are proud to introduce a brand new book "JASPER: AN APRIL MULE’S DAY!" to their JASPER THE MULE series of books and videos.
And don’t forget to visit
JASPER’S NEW & IMPROVED WEBSITE
for lots of fun, entertainment and the ultimate Longears Learning experience!
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Well, fall was a bust here in North Idaho. Matter of fact, it got by-passed almost entirely. Had our first snow September 28th, during the annual Rendezvous of my Cowboy Cartoonists International up the hill from me at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. The "newbee" was from Indiana and he was impressed to say the least, as were the guys from Texas. Yeah, we're tough up here.
Since then it has snowed twice, but nothing serious and to us country folks, the lack of fall moisture is concerning. But, it is early and mama nature could just slam us any day now so I will quit complaining. Iris is well and eating regular as are the dogs and kitties on the place, and ole BS is working her you-know-what off getting sketches of the next childrens' book I am illustrating. It is interesting and stretching my "pucker string" as it is a small boys dreams of all the horses he wants to ride. Eleven of them, to be correct. Pray for me.
Otherwise, things are good on the "Brass Ass" and I am staying warm and dry so don't worry about BS. It is GOOD to have my work and my family and my critters. Wishes are that things are good for all you longears fans, too. Hug your asses!!! Bonnie
Hug your asses!!!
Visit our Lucky Three Ranch
to purchase new art from
Tennessee Mule Artist
And don’t forget to visit her website
to find out more
about the Wild and Wonderful World of Bonnie Shields,
Tennessee Mule Artist, Cowboy Cartoonist and True Artist!
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Katie Wetteland and Mjolnir
Howdy y’all, I'm the girl taking her mule to an English jumper show at the end of this month (October). I've decided to petition the U.S.E.F. for a rule change very similar to what changed in the U.S.D.F. I plan to submit my proposal at the end of the month after I compete and have solid evidence of a mule’s ability to share an English stage with horses. That being said, I made a petition so it would be active for one month (that has been extended a lot longer upon request) to see how much attention this can garner and submit those numbers in the proposal as well... please if you can spare some time head to the link and share it with your friends. Let's start something great, together!
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When is the last time you ran a backup on your computer? We do chores in the house and barn as routine, but is paperwork and electronic filing part of your routine? Sure, most computers remind you (at the most annoying times) when you need to run an update (which many of us feel is not necessary, truly, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it") but do you think about it every day or even every week?
Leah Patton, office manager, ADMS
Not every one has a computer, but you have an electronic device if you are on this website. Chances are you use that device for some record keeping as well. Do you back up photos? Make copies of important documents? Have thumb drives or portable hard drives in your safe? Do you scan (or take a photo of) important paperwork and save it on a separate external drive? You should! It's important!
In the case of an emergency - as are going on with flood and fire in some part of the world on any given day - you may think of grabbing essential clothes, your meds, and your wallet/purse, but do you remember to grab the papers for your animals? Papers are replaceable, but having copies makes everyone's life much easier! You can access your stored files, and get info. Voila, all the info at your fingertips, on a little brick smaller than your phone.
DO take a nice cold day (or a super hot one if you are on the other half of the world that's in summer now) and get all your records up to date. Some registries have time deadlines (not ADMS) but you will always want to make sure you've done your end of paperwork and gotten it off to the next stage - registration, mature updates, transfers, stud reports. That way you won't have to stress about it later. Sit back with that cup of favorite hot beverage. Sort things. Do some of it. Don't let it overwhelm you - but don't let it get overwhelming either. Do a bit, then go lean on a nice furry neck and hug a longear. Your lives will all be better for it!
Stay warm and dry this winter,
The Am. Donkey & Mule Soc.
PO Box 1210, Lewisville TX 75067
Newsletter: the BRAYER magazine 76+ pgs 6X/yr, $27 US, $37 Canada, $50 overseas. We now accept Paypal,Visa/MC (+$1 courtesy fee appreciated). Reg info, forms, fees on our website at http://www.lovelongears.com/main.htm