Monthly Archive for: ‘February, 2021’

The North West Side New

From the SWISS BULLETIN: Project Mule Museum in Törbel

1

By Mariette Herzig and Josefine Jacksch

Background

The idea of creating a mule museum is already old. When the association “Interessengemeinschaft für das Maultier” (IGM) was founded 30 years ago, some members wished to realize this idea at some point. They started to collect everything about the mule and they could present small exhibitions in other museums in Switzerland.

In 2007 the working group “Museum” was formed, in 2012 the association “Mule Museum Switzerland” was founded. Its task was to push the idea of a mule museum forward.

Already in 2012, a permanent exhibition was opened within the Open-Air Museum Ballenberg, which still exists today. It shows the history of the muleteers in Switzerland and a small sust (goods handling and resting place for the muleteers).

The search for a proper location and a building for an own mule museum was started. The association found a matching barn in Turtmann, a village in the Canton of Valais. It would be the ideal location, as this is where the large mule and horse markets in the canton of Valais used to be held, and it was the starting point of the mule trails into the southern side valleys and into Italy.  Unfortunately the project could not be started until now for various reasons. It has been put on hold until further notice.

When it was founded in 2017, the Swiss Mule Museum Foundation was given an old barn and stable in the Valais mountain village of Törbel by three families. The barn is already 350 years old and stands in the middle of the historic village center. It is registered in the Swiss list of villages worthy of national protection.

Törbel is a real stroke of luck. It was the village with the most mules at that time; it was famous for its muleteers, who showed good handling in dealing with the animals; the artist Helen Güdel still lives here, who wrote and illustrated the children’s book about the mule “Apollo”. She also has her small Hosennen-Museum; the people of Törbel donated many objects to the museum, which were formerly used in the work with the mules; the political community and the inhabitants are fully behind the project and help everywhere; with the association and open-air museum “Urchigs Terbil” we could agree that our museum would be integrated into its tour.

The foundation started looking for sponsors. It was not easy, but little by little money came in. Not only from Switzerland, but also from abroad: Loveland Longears Museum & Sculpture Park, Meredith Hodges.

The foundation engaged the young architect Thomas Juon and various craftsmen from Törbel and the surrounding area to renovate the barn. In October 2019 the renovation plans were drawn up and fortunately the craftsmen were able to start work despite the Corona crisis. Everyone was very motivated and did a good job.

Spring 2020

At the end of May we (Ursi, Elke, Josefine and Mariette, members of the Foundation) met for the first time with Beat Gugger in Törbel, the exhibition expert who had already helped with the exhibition at Ballenberg. He will again develop an exhibition concept.

On a short tour of the village, Beat was able to get a first impression of this mountain village high above the Visper valley. He was already impressed by the narrow road and the steep slopes just behind the crash barriers during the bus ride here. He immediately realized that up here one could only work with mules.

During a stopover in the barn, we got an idea of the progress of the renovation work and the future exhibition rooms. During the tours, the historical building (stable barn) will be shown on the one hand, and the mule and its history in the mountain region will be presented on the other.

Erich Wyss, village historian and one of the guides, accompanied us on to the baking house, where he explained how rye bread (a Valais specialty) was baked for the whole village at that time. We were all very impressed by Erich’s enormous knowledge.

In the late afternoon we had to go to the civil defense facility. The community had provided us with a room there as an intermediate depot. The numerous museum material, which had been stored in several barns until now, was collected by the volunteers Erich Wyss, Ludwig Petrig, Othmar Zuber and Thomas Juon and delivered to the intermediate depot. Elke, Ursi, Beat, Josefine and Mariette sorted the things according to origin. We were simply overwhelmed by the crowd that gathered there. Already that evening we started with the inventory. This meant that every single object had to be taken in hand, marked with an inventory number on a label, photographed and recorded in an Excel spreadsheet with details such as name, size, material, origin.

The next day, the entire Board of the Foundation met with the architect and the carpenter to inspect the construction site. The two explained the progress of the work and drew attention to new problem areas, and the next steps were discussed. In the evening, the Foundation Board discussed with the people from “Urchigs Terbil” what the future cooperation should look like in concrete terms.

The inventory could not be completed in full, so after two weeks Josefine and Mariette travelled to Törbel again for three days. In the meantime, the foundation has already received new objects from the village as gifts.

We were only allowed to use the intermediate depot for a few weeks. Therefore all material had to be transported to Turtmann, where the foundation rented an old airplane hangar as a depot. Many objects that were donated to the foundation by the IGM and private persons are already stored there.

Before the exhibition, the objects must be cleaned, greased and prepared for the return transport to Törbel. Especially the leather objects are in dire need of it, as they were exposed to dry air and dust in the barns for years. For this cleaning action we need support from volunteers and members of the IGM.

Summer 2020

An old building often turns out to be a bag of wonders, as is our barn. Instead of renewing only a small part of the brickwork as planned, the foundation had to be renewed on three sides. It also turned out that a lot of earth had been washed up in front of the entrance, so that the lower beams rotted and had to be replaced. The budget had to be adjusted several times, resulting in additional costs of several 10’000 Swiss francs. The major renovation work could now be completed. The wooden walls still had wide gaps, which we filled ourselves with a special stuffing tape.

Meanwhile Beat has created an exhibition concept. The upper floor, where the hay was once stored, will be the actual exhibition space. One part will tell the story of the mules in the Valais mountain villages, with Törbel as a representative. The other part shows the mules in use as an all-round means of transport in the surrounding valleys and the wider surroundings.

Autumn 2020

The inventory of all museum objects from Törbel and Turtmann is now complete. The data of the Excel spreadsheet have been fed into the database of the Association of Museums of Valais. Unfortunately, some errors occurred. So now all data sets have to be rechecked and then activated individually.

The opening ceremony, which was initially planned for the end of this October, has been postponed to spring 2021. The reason for this is, as is now the case everywhere, the coronavirus. But now the Foundation is giving us more time for the preparations.

WVRMareFoal1978CC1

Longears Music Videos: Mules and Mommas

0

See more Longears Music Videos

TT 122

LTR Training Tip #122: Groundwork for Donkeys

0

These groundwork exercises will give your donkey a foundation of strength and confidence he needs to perform well and be light in the bridle when you finally ride or drive.

Download Detailed Description

See more Training Tips

ANOTHER 911 – STARVING & PREGNANT MARES, STALLION ALL SLATED TO SHIP TO SLAUGHTER! PLEASE HELP SAVE THEM!

0

The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

Meet “Reigns”. I got to meet her, and she is THE SWEETEST soul you will ever meet. She is in extremely rough shape and needs us yesterday!

In the middle of saving the latest 3 mares and foal, ANOTHER 911 and a starving mare, pregnant mares & the stallion shipping to slaughter! The stallion is still with his family. We can’t leave him behind.

(For folks who say “how can they ship a pregnant mare? Well it’s all about money and pregnant mares are heavy. They are paid by weight and the babies count, even though they are discarded during slaughter.)

It’s BABY SEASON and the mares are starting to give birth. I cannot think of much worse than a baby dropping to the floor and being trampled in the middle of the slaughter truck.

As always, I am asking you to help save these lives. When God puts them in front of me, I know I have to try and save them. However, YOU are the ones who decide yes or no. I cannot do it without you!

Sadly, our beautiful Snow Baby Little Dancer passed before I could get here. Mel took wonderful care of him and we were waiting for the vet, but his little heart wanted to leave and find his Mama up in heaven.

The CURRENT RESCUE of the pregnant mare, the colt and the possibly pregnant mare is happening and thanks to you, all 3 of the last group are safe. Let’s keep it going and save these precious lives as well.

Below, the mare and baby you saved on this rescue! Samantha seems like she is going to give birth any time now. Please say a prayer that when she does, all goes well.

This is the link to our Chilly Pepper’s Wild Horse & Orphan Foal Adoption Page, where you can see the progress and new lives of the horses YOU HAVE HELPED SAVED! (I can’t believe I didn’t do this years ago, but it is so fun to see the horses, babies and critters that are enjoying and thriving in their new lives.)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/364129998164107/

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/55-0882407 If you shop at Amazon, please go to this link.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundme

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

->You can donate via check at: (PLEASE NOTE NEW PO BOX #)

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab

We are now part of the WIN Organization

WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_

If there are ever funds left over from the cost of the rescue itself, the monies are used to feed, vet, care for and provide shelter and proper fencing for the animals once they are saved.

Donate to Help

WindyValleyAdamCC 1

MULE CROSSING: Choosing the Right Jack

0

By Meredith Hodges

When choosing a jack to breed to your mares and jennets, there are many important factors to consider. Conformation is the most obvious, but size, type, disposition and genetics are equally significant. As a direct result of the donkey’s evolution our choices in jacks are considerably limited these days. In the days when donkeys were widely used as beasts of burden, conformational soundness was an important consideration in their ability to do physical work. Today, the donkey is not as widely used in this manner, becoming more of an owner’s pleasure animal. In some cases, he is simply another pet. As a result, not much care has been taken to preserve his conformational integrity, thus limiting the availability of true breeding stock.

Although the conformation of the ideal jack can only be approximated, you should always try to choose a jack that is as close to the ideal as possible for your breeding programs. (Perpetuating undesirable conformation traits will only compound future breeding problems.) The first conformational consideration is the jack’s overall balance and proportion. His torso should be well connected to the front and rear quarters, with plenty of width and depth from heart girth to the flank, which allows for maximum efficiency of the heart and lungs. The topline from the withers to the tail should be relatively straight, with only a gentle slope from the withers to the croup, and neither excessively long nor short-backed. A longish back is acceptable, provided there is not a lot of distance between the last rib and the point of the hip, as this causes weakness through the loins. The unusually short-backed jack does not have adequate lateral  and vertical flexibility in his movement. A rigidly straight back is discouraged, as is a back that sags too drastically in the middle (except in the case of an aged animal).

Proportionately, the jack should not be too narrow in the chest, through the rib cage and in the rear quarters—nor should he be too wide in these areas. These faults in proportion can interfere with his action, causing him to be “pin-toed” (splay-footed) or “pigeon-toed” (toed-in). The pin-toed jack will brush his knees and fetlocks together in deep footing, causing him to be a slow mover, or he may even cross his legs over one another, increasing the possibility of a fall.

The closest approximation to a 45-degree angle in the hips and shoulders is preferred, with an adequate balance of muscle and sinew in all four quarters. One of the most common faults in donkeys today is straight and slight shoulders and hips. The withers and croup should be even across the topline, and the jack with withers slightly higher than the croup is preferred over the opposite, as this could set the animal’s body weight too far on the forehand, making turns and stops more difficult. It could also increase the possibility of falling. The croup should be smooth and round over the rump, with a tail set neither too high nor too low.

The feet and legs of the jack are the foundation of his conformation. They should be straight and true, with flat bone and adequate angles at the shoulders, hips, stifles, and hock and fetlock joints. The foot should be trimmed and shaped to compliment the angles in his joints to maintain the good conformation that should be present in the four quarters of the animal. For example, on a jack with good shoulders, the slope of the pasterns should be parallel to the slope of the shoulders. When dropping a plumb line on the front legs, which should be neither too far forward nor too far underneath him, the plumb line should fall from the point of the withers to the ground, directly at the back of the front legs. When dropping a plumb line on the hind legs, it should fall from the base of the tail to the point of the hock, and straight down the back of the cannon bone to the ground.

As far as a donkey’s hoofs are concerned, the expression, “No foot, no donkey” is literally true. Faults such as buck-kneed, calf-kneed, tied-in at the knee, round bone, short straight pasterns, coon-footed, too-long cannon, sickle hocks, splay-footed, knock-kneed, bowlegged, pigeon-toed, broken forward or backward feet, or too straight through the stifle and hock are all serious faults and should be avoided when breeding. Being slightly cow-hocked behind can be overlooked, as this usually increases maneuverability. The hoof itself should not reflect a ribbed appearance — it should be smooth and inclined to look sleek and oily. Even on the donkey, the hooves should not be contracted, but well-sprung (although less sprung than a mule or horse), and supported with a well-extended, healthy frog. Donkeys have a multi-layered hoof wall that will shed off in the event of mild or even severe trauma to the coronet or hoof wall, so many donkeys exhibit a “peeling” or “scabbing” of the hoof wall. A jack with this damage to the hoof should be inspected carefully to determine the severity of the problem and the extent of possible weakness in the hoof itself. If it is a cosmetic problem, it can often be managed successfully by adding one ounce a day of Mazola corn oil to the diet. If it is a genetic problem, a jack with hoof problems should be avoided when breeding and should probably be castrated.

The head and neck of the ideal jack should be attractive and set-in correctly, giving an overall balanced look to the animal. He should have good length to the ears, neither too far forward nor too far back, so the poll is clearly apparent. His eyes should be set so they give him a maximum field of vision forward, backward and peripherally. The eyes should not be set too high nor too low, which would offset the overall balance of the head. He should have adequate width and fine enough bone in the head, to allow for plenty of space for the brain and internal organs of the scull cavity. The length of his head should compliment the balance of his body and taper to a smaller and delicate muzzle. His jaw should be straight and aligned, showing neither a parrot mouth (under bite), nor be undershot (over bite, or buck toothed). This is critical for feeding and nutrition. The slightly dished-face, straight-faced or Roman-nosed jack should not be ruled out, provided the other criteria are met. The neck should be set in so that it flows easily into the withers and has adequate length for the ability to bend and maintain balance. He should have neither a U-neck nor an excessively crested neck. It should not be too wide, or too narrow, and should tie into the throatlatch in a trim and flexible way.

The basic conformation for the breeding jack should be the same regardless of size, although there are specific considerations with regard to type and use. The jack generally contributes more to the thickness of bone in his offspring, but not necessarily to their height. Therefore, when breeding for saddle mules and donkeys, the more refined-boned Standard or Large Standard jacks are preferred. On the other hand, when breeding for a draft mule or donkey, you would want to preserve more thickness of bone and use a stockier jack, such as a Large Standard or Mammoth. Use the same guidelines when breeding for miniatures; stocky begets stocky and refined begets refined. When breeding for saddle mules, you may want to keep the refinement, so you would use a Standard or Large Standard jack to breed to a saddle horse mare. However, if you wish to have a pack mule that is not overly tall, you might then want to breed a Mammoth jack to a saddle horse mare.

The genetic pool is a very important consideration when breeding. A particular jack may be a beautiful specimen, but, regardless of how lovely and balanced he may be, he may possess genes that produce offspring with many conformation faults. Since donkeys have been so inbred, this can happen more frequently than you might imagine. When choosing a jack to breed to your mares and jennets, it is wise, if possible, to take a look at some of his offspring from different mares and jennets, so you can better assess his stronger traits and determine which traits appear to be pre-potent. If this is not possible, your alternative is to breed him with only the best mare or jennet you own, in order to increase the odds for positive traits to come through in the offspring. Sometimes you can try to compliment the mare with the jack, such as a long-backed mare with a short-backed jack to get a medium-backed mule, but this doesn’t always work. A reputable jack owner should have records to show how and what his jack has produced and be able to attest to the consistency of his jack’s production. Granted, in the past this was virtually impossible, but today we have the American Donkey & Mule Society registry (and other Longears registries), and many conscientious breeders who realize the importance of recording their breeding information, thereby giving us all a better understanding of Longears production. So, don’t be afraid to ask the breeder whatever questions you may have.

Disposition is of the utmost importance when choosing a jack. However, there is a difference between the jack’s natural instincts, his personality and his acquired personal attitudes, so you should learn to distinguish between a natural instinct, a distinctive personality trait and behavior that was the result of improper handling. I have found most donkeys to be quite cooperative and affectionate when patiently and fairly treated, but some can also be more obstinate about things than others. Remember, in addition to the inherited traits of the jack, it is the mare, or jennet, from which the offspring learns most of his behaviors while he is growing up. So learn to make educated choices concerning your breeding stock and, in order to maintain the integrity of the breed, use only jacks with the best conformation for breeding.

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 1986, 1991, 2012, 2016, 2020, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

——–

Photo Captions:

1) North Africa 1943 (Library of Congress)

2) Sire-Supreme Little Jack Horner and Meredith Hodges

3) Lucky Three Excalibur

4) Lucky Three Blue Baron

5) Standard Jack, Colorado D.J.

6) Foundation Sire Windy Valley Adam

7) Don Mode driving Foundation Sire Black Bart

We have a wild horse champion headed to the Interior

0

The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Here is your latest news on all things wild horses and burros!

Wild Horse Champion Haaland Heads to Interior Department

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a confirmation hearing to consider the nomination of New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland for secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Secretary-designate Haaland would be the first Native American to head this department that oversees more than 450 million acres of public land in the nation.

AWHC has had the pleasure of working with Secretary-designate Haaland in Congress. As chair of the Public Lands Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee, she has worked to reform the inhumane and expensive federal wild horse roundup program by supporting humane solutions, such as PZP fertility control, and has opposed the brutal surgical sterilization procedures the BLM continues to pursue.

Because Secretary-designate Haaland is a champion of protecting our public lands and the wild animals that inhabit them, her nomination faces stiff opposition from the oil/gas, mining, and livestock industries. So, today, we’re asking everyone who cares about wild horses and burros and our public lands to take just a moment to call your Senators in support of her confirmation.

Please call Senator Michael Bennet at (202) 224-5852 and Senator John Hickenlooper at (202) 224-5941

You can say,  “Hello, I am a constituent of Senator [Name] and I am calling to ask that they please support the confirmation of Deb Haaland* for Interior Secretary. Her leadership is necessary to protect our nation’s public lands and natural resources, including our federally-protected wild horses and burros. Thank you.” *pronounced like the country, Holland.

Then, follow up your call with a message! >> Take Action <<

New BLM Wild Horse and Burros Advisory Board Member Called Wild Horses a ‘Protein Source’

Speaking of a new Interior Department, former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and his illegally serving Bureau of Land Management (BLM) director William Perry Pendley will go down in history as the worst stewards of our nation’s public lands. The past four years have seen an unrelenting assault on the environment, wildlife, and America’s wild horses and burros.

Before they left town, Bernhardt and Pendley appointed Beaver County, Utah Commissioner Tammy Pearson to represent the “public interest” on the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Pearson is a flagrantly corrupt choice for this position. A 40-year public lands rancher whose allotments are in wild horse Herd Management Areas in Utah, Pearson has lobbied and testified for wild horse roundups and in favor of horse slaughter.

She discounts the strong opinion of the American public against the slaughter of wild and domestic horses as “romanticizing” an animal that the “whole rest of the world” considers a “protein source.” In her 2017 testimony before the Utah legislature, she blamed horses for all the damage in the areas where her cattle graze and claimed that wild horses there were suffering from overpopulation and starvation. You can listen to her testimony below.

AWHC opposes this unscrupulous appointment and believes it violates a conflict of interest provision under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, so we’re taking action. We’ll keep you posted and in the meantime, be sure to check out our Op-ed about her appointment, published yesterday in the Grand Junction Sentinel. >> Read More <<

We’re Fighting for Humane Management With Science

Instead of the unscientific approach of mass helicopter roundups, humanely managing wild horses requires a more sophisticated method that relies on fieldwork and on-the-ground knowledge of the horse or burro populations a particular BLM district is managing.

AWHC aims to harness science and technology to advance the goal of humane management of these iconic animals. AWHC already runs the largest humane wild horse fertility control program in the world. Now we’re excited to be partnering with WildMe, a non-profit that builds open software and artificial intelligence for the conservation community with the goal of protecting at-risk species.

Our goal is to develop an algorithm that will identify individual horses from photographs, something that will greatly enhance the efficiency of our fertility control efforts while providing a mechanism for accurate censusing and tracking of wild herds, using citizen science for the collection of data.

Currently, our Virginia Range fertility control program volunteers identify horses manually by photograph, based on our extensive database of more than 3,000 horses cataloged by color, markings, social affiliation, location and any other identifying features. It’s a method that works, as evidenced by our record of delivering over 3,000 fertility control treatments in less than two years. However, it is time-consuming. Having an algorithm that allows a volunteer to take a photo, run it through the software and come up with the data file on that specific horse will make the process of identifying mares in need of PZP treatment much faster – something our volunteers — who are often in the field under punishing weather conditions – will greatly appreciate!

The research should be complete by June and we should know at that time whether the algorithm (PIE) being tested will work for horses. We’ll keep you posted. >> Learn More <<

Donate 

THE BABIES ARE HERE – DANCER HAS ARRIVED, COLD & HUNGRY!!!

0

The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

THIS BEAUTIFUL ORPHAN FOAL NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Meet “DANCER”, a week old? maybe?? (Not even a glimmer of a tooth showing.) orphan Mustang.

He just came in frozen n hungry. His temperature is very low and Mama Mel is warming him up and getting him started on his milk replacer.

I am heading up tomorrow, but this is a definite wake up call. We still need to stock
IT IS past GO TIME. It’s BABY SEASON!!! He will be staying with me at Chilly Pepper until he is ready for adoption at a later time.

Please help us save these babies. The prices of ALL of the milk and supplies have gone up substantially. These precious lives cannot be saved without your help!

Thank you for those who came through so we could save the 2 mares and her unborn baby.

Look at this beautiful baby. Will you help save him n others like him?

This is the link to our Chilly Pepper’s Wild Horse & Orphan Foal Adoption Page,where you can see the progress and new lives of the horses YOU HAVE HELPED SAVED! (I can’t believe I didn’t do this years ago, but it is so fun to see the horses, babies and critters that are enjoying and thriving in their new lives.)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/364129998164107/

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/55-0882407 If you shop at Amazon, please go to this link.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundme

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

->You can donate via check at: (PLEASE NOTE NEW PO BOX #)

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab

We are now part of the WIN Organization

WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_

If there are ever funds left over from the cost of the rescue itself, the monies are used to feed, vet, care for and provide shelter and proper fencing for the animals once they are saved.

Donate to Help

WDDRiding In The Open Arena10 6 20 27

WRANGLER’S DONKEY DIARY: Riding in the Open Arena: 10-6-20

3

A lot of people tell me they have problems when their jennets or molly mules are in heat. And, they expect the behaviors of their gelding to change drastically when they are castrated. In my experience, it really doesn’t make much difference if you have a fair and equitable management and training program. When their bodies are managed in a healthy way and they are consistently taught good manners, they will be willing and able to perform well regardless. I always approach training in a fair and equitable manner that does not throw too much at them all at once so as to avoid anxiety. Wrangler and Chasity both appreciate this (as did my jack, stallion and other females). It wasn’t until AFTER this lesson that I realized that Chasity was in heat and Wrangler was EXCITED about it! This program is a slow, logical and sequential approach that the equines truly appreciate and respond to positively no matter their mood. The results are miraculous!

Today, we were to begin with an interview about donkeys. Wrangler watched intently while Robbie wired me with the microphone. Then we went to the center of the Round Pen where I set him up and asked Wrangler to stand quietly while we did the interview, and he did what he was told. Such a good boy!

After the interview, Wrangler did his exercises of five rotations at walk, trot and even a little bit of canter. He is getting really good about stretching his spine from head to tail and his flexibility is greatly improved.

Since Wrangler had previously bolted with the lunge line in the dressage arena, I thought another lesson might be in order. I asked for the halt. Then we went to the open arena where I tied the end of the lunge line to the his bit with four inches to spare that I ran under his chin and snapped to the bit ring on the other side. This would prevent the bit from being pulled through his mouth.

I first lunged him to the right at walk and trot, halted him and changed the line to the other side. I gave a slight pull on the lunge line as his outside front leg was in suspension as a cue to keep him on the arc of the circle.

Wrangler did very well, so I stopped him and he stood quietly while I rolled up the lunge line. He followed me when I put away the line and stood still again while I prepared to mount.

Once mounted, the reward was in order followed by a rein back. He was offering more steps in each new lesson with only very slight squeeze/releases from my little fingers.

We did a very well-balanced turn on the haunches and made our way into the Hourglass Pattern. Wrangler proceeded forward with an energized working walk.

Wrangler remained erect in his body carriage as we made our way through the pattern, bending his body appropriately through his rib cage to the arcs of the turns and moving in good posture on straight lines.

Wrangler remained soft in his response to my hands, seat and legs. Donkeys are notorious for leaning against pressure, so it was imperative that I kept myself relaxed and “giving” to his movement.

Wrangler’s internal pendulum kept him moving through the Hourglass Pattern in a very nice balance, first through the pattern one way, across the diagonal and again in the opposite direction. My inside leg at the girth on the turns helped  him to stay erect while my outside leg was well back to support the bend and encourage impulsion.

Wrangler obediently executed a square halt followed by a nice rein back with the lightest of cues from my fingertips. When you are patient and spend the time to train your equine this way, it makes a world of difference in their gaits and produces an incredibly smooth ride!

Wrangler stood quietly during the dismount and went through the gate perfectly! It was truly a resistance-free lesson! That is what you will get when you spend time on accuracy and wait for speed to come later.

Wrangler and Chasity both stood stock still while I got Chasity untied, then we all walked happily in sync together back to the Tack Barn! Leading them together is never a problem! The boundaries to good behavior have been established from the very beginning. They both know clearly what is expected!


Saddle Mule FeetCCCC

MULE CROSSING: Hoof Differences in Horses, Donkeys and Mules

6

By Meredith Hodges

The old saying, “No foot, no mule” is literally true, as it is in any nomadic animal. If the hooves are not trimmed and balanced properly, it will offset the balance of the equine’s entire body and can compromise longevity in the animal because his entire internal structure will be compromised. Most equines will need to be trimmed or shod every 6-8 weeks whether horse, mule or donkey.

Horse’s hooves in general are proportionately larger, rounder and more angled than that of the donkey or mule. The sole of the foot is flat on the ground promoting good circulation in the foot through the frog.

Regardless of the size of the animal, the hooves of the mule will be smaller and more upright than that of a horse of equal size, and should be well sprung and supported, not contracted. They should have a smooth appearance and look sleek and oily. No ribbing should be apparent and the frog should be well extended, healthy and make adequate contact with the ground for good circulation to the hooves. The shape of the mule or donkey foot is more oval and the bottom of the foot is slightly “cupped” which accounts for the surefootedness in the mule and donkey. When being trimmed, the mule should be left with more heel than the horse to maintain the often more upright position that complements the shoulders and hips. If the mule or donkey has a better slope to the shoulders, he might have an angle that is similar to the horse, but he will still grow more heel than the horse. The shape and condition of the hooves of the jack and the mare are both equally important when considering foot development in the mule.

Because donkey and mule hooves are different from a horse’s hoof in that they are more oblong, cupped in the sole, they need more heel left during a trim than the round, flat sole and low heels on a horse. There are, however, a few exceptions to the rule as there are in most generalizations. Most donkeys are relatively inactive and live on moderate ground, so they do grow out in that time period. Some donkeys, like my own Little Jack Horner, are much more active and will wear their feet down naturally.

Miniature Horse

 

Miniature Mule

 

Miniature Donkey

 

Saddle Horse

 

Saddle Mule

 

Saddle Donkey

 

Draft Horse

 

Draft Mule

 

Mammoth Donkey

 

Of course, those that do not have the benefit of good training and conditioning would still wear unevenly and would still need to be trimmed, however, with the correct training and conditioning, they may wear evenly and may not need to be trimmed more than once a year! The same goes for those who would live in rough terrain. They may wear their feet down, but they would still need to be trimmed for balance. Those who are moving correctly may wear down evenly and would not require trims as often.

Failure to have your mule’s hooves regularly trimmed in order to maintain their balance and shape can result in an imbalance in your mule’s feet, which will then cause an imbalance throughout his entire body, inhibiting his performance. However, if trimming is done consistently, the risk of imbalance, accident or injury will be greatly reduced.

There are a lot of things to consider when trimming and shoeing all equines. If the animal is to have shoes, for instance, then they would need to maintain the flat surface of the sole for the shoes to fit properly. It is important that the equine have relief from shoes when they are not being ridden as much. We usually take any shoes off during the winter which keeps the heels from becoming contracted from wearing shoes and promotes good circulation to the foot as the frog can then make contact with the ground more consistently than it can with shoes. A good understanding of the anatomical differences among horses, mules and donkeys is essential for healthy hoof care.

When your farrier is trimming your equine, he should take into account the angles of the shoulder, the forearm, the knees, the cannon bone, fetlock, pastern and the general angle to the entire body when at rest, not just trimming off the excess. This is an anatomical call and only people who are schooled and skilled in this profession should even attempt it or you could run the risk of injuring your animal.

It is commonly known that, when it comes to horses and mules, light-colored hooves are softer and more likely to break down under stress than are the darker, black hooves. Even though the black hoof is naturally harder than the light-colored hoof, if it does not contain sufficient moisture, it can become brittle and can chip away as destructively as can the lighter hoof. Whichever breed of equine you own and whatever the color of their feet, remember that good hoof care is essential for all domesticated equines.

For better or worse, an equine inherits his hooves through his genes. If your equine has inherited good feet—black, oily-looking, and with good shape—then you are fortunate and hoof care and maintenance should be relatively simple. If he has inherited a softer or misshapen foot, you will need to discuss more specialized care with your farrier. Beware of generalizations as they can often be misleading! Each animal should ultimately be assessed individually.

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2016, 2019, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

IT’S GO TIME AGAIN. ANOTHER 911 – 2 MORE MARES, 1 HEAVILY PREGNANT, HEADING TO SLAUGHTER IF WE CAN’T SAVE THEM

0

The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

THIS BEAUTIFUL MARE NEEDS YOUR HELP!

She and her unborn child will be shipping to slaughter if we don’t save them. As you know, donations have been deeply affected by the current economy.

If we don’t get the funding in time, I will NOT be able to save them. The other mare shown below is also shipping.

I honestly have no idea what the future holds for rescues everywhere. I am praying I can keep saving lives with your help.

Thank you for those who came through so we could actually cover the initial rescue costs for the last 6.

If you would like to save this Mama and her baby and keep them safe, please skip a coffee or meal out and send whatever you can. All I can do is ask for help and pray we get what we need in time.

Look at this beautiful girl below. She does NOT deserve to die. Those eyes….

This is the link to our Chilly Pepper’s Wild Horse & Orphan Foal Adoption Page, where you can see the progress and new lives of the horses YOU HAVE HELPED SAVED! (I can’t believe I didn’t do this years ago, but it is so fun to see the horses, babies and critters that are enjoying and thriving in their new lives.)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/364129998164107/

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/55-0882407 If you shop at Amazon, please go to this link.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundme

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

->You can donate via check at: (PLEASE NOTE NEW PO BOX #)

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab

We are now part of the WIN Organization

WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_

If there are ever funds left over from the cost of the rescue itself, the monies are used to feed, vet, care for and provide shelter and proper fencing for the animals once they are saved.

Donate to Help

Happy Valentine’s Day

0

The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

Taking a moment to wish you all a Happy Valen-swine’s Day from our newest intakes – Oliver & Oscar! These two ol’ guys came recently from a with a couple of horses from distressed sanctuary. They are senior, very overweight potbelly pigs in much need of some TLC. We have been playing phone tag with the piggy doc and will know more soon.

Hogs & kisses! We appreciate all of your love & support.

 

NEED A LITTLE MORE 💖 IN YOUR LIFE?

These beauties are all lookin’ for their lifelong LOVE!

Learn more about each horse by clicking on its name

If you are interested in exploring adoption,

please learn more about our adoption process

or submit an Adoption Inquiry.

Martina

Blue

Diesel

Carly

Shooter

Chesney

 

Mabel

Tegan

Big

Rustic

Marlee

Clare

Sandy

 

Teea

Frankie

Allie

Merle

Curly

For more information, click on the name to visit the horse’s or donkey’s webpage, and submit an Adoption Inquiry if you’d like to explore adoption.

Donate

Thank you for your support helping horses each and every day!

Your donations, volunteering, adopting, and social media shares & likes

allow us to make this work possible!

Show your Valentine you’re wild about them

0

The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! It’s a day to celebrate love and we need to look no further than our magnificent wild horses to appreciate the true meaning of this emotion.

Wild horses live in tightly-knit communities. Mares never stray too far from their young, stallions fight to protect their families from danger, mutual grooming is a daily occurrence, and herds hold vigil when one of their own passes away. 

We wanted to spread some love of our own with you today in the form of downloadable Valentines for the sweetheart in your herd! 

Your love for wild horses and burros inspires us every day. Thank you for everything you do to create a brighter future for these amazing animals.

We hope that you have a beautiful Valentine’s Day!

The AWHC Team

Riding In The Open Arena10 6 20 24

CHASITY’S CHALLENGES: Riding in the Open Arena: 10-6-20

0

Chasity and Wrangler enjoy working with each other nearby and seem to learn things a lot quicker with a lot less resistance. It also affords me the ability to work more animals in less time. It’s a win-win situation. It doesn’t mean they won’t work by themselves. They will do that as well when they get to work with and without each other. This consistent routine with minimal variety greatly reduces anxiety and bad behaviors. The “Elbow Pull” is convenient for tying one while the other is working. There is no need to fuss with halters and lead ropes. I tie Wrangler while Chasity waits her turn patiently. It is a passive way to teach them to stand quietly when tied.

Today we will be going to the outdoor arena for riding in the Hourglass Pattern, but I opt to do some warm-up in the Round Pen first because I do not want to ask Chasity to trot in the Hourglass Pattern just yet. It is better to get her exercise done first, so we can then work on fine tuning her response to the aids: hands, seat and legs. Trotting will come later when she is consistent in her good posture, ultra-light in the bridle, moving off my legs easily and is following my seat.

Wrangler is tied outside the arena just as he has been tied outside the Round Pen. Chasity comes through the gate, stands squarely and receives her reward with no abrupt changes to the routine.

Chasity stands quietly as I mount, settle gently onto her back and politely receives her reward. She is enjoying being in a larger space, but is not anxious to walk off. She will do so only when I ask.

Chasity’s rein back is greatly improved and she is offering more steps upon request each time. She will only step one step at a time as I ask for them, and will also stop when I relax my seat and loosen the reins. I maintain a light connection to her mouth and I give the cue to move forward with my calves wrapped lightly around her belly. I maintain this contact with my legs and just nudge her on each side through the turns while I give a slight squeeze/ release with my little finger in the direction of travel.

Chasity enjoys the feeling of “being hugged” by my legs with only gentle nudges from each side that push her into the direction of travel, and a nudge from both sides at once should she lose energy.

Most of the time, my legs lightly hug her sides and allow her the freedom to move while they simply support the even balance through the straight lines in the pattern.  As we turn, the inside leg will move forward to the girth to keep her erect while the outside leg is back further and supports the bend to the arc of the turns.

When Chasity is balanced in self-carriage, the “Elbow Pull” remains loose, she is light in the bridle and sensitive to my seat and legs. Wrangler watches her with intense interest! He knows he will soon have a turn!

Keeping lessons short, slow and accurate will enhance Chasity’s ability to learn. We track once around the Hourglass Pattern with circles at the cones, then cross the diagonal and do the same in the opposite direction.

In the beginning, I do not use the ground rails as I did for leading exercises. It is more important for Chasity to focus on balancing my newly added, shifting weight before asking her to shift her own body weight and mine over any obstacles. I want her secure in her own balance with me aboard before we do any obstacles.

Chasity is learning to execute an energetic, forward working walk in complete postural balance. She makes a smooth turn, maintains her forward energy and tracks up the centerline of the pattern.

Chasity comes to a nice, balanced halt, waits patiently for a few seconds and then reins back easily upon request.

I dismount, loosen her girth and release the “Elbow Pull.” Chasity remains attentive and then stretches her neck and spine before we exit the arena. It was a relaxing and comfortable workout for us both. Maybe next time, we will be able to add the trot…if she offers it! We want to keep things controlled and accurate so she builds up the core elements in her body symmetrically. This is vital to good health and optimum performance!


6 WILD HORSES – SAFE AT CHILLY PEPPER BUT NOT YET FUNDED – CHILLY PEPPER NEEDS YOUR HELP – PLEASE!

0

The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

CHILLY PEPPER NEEDS YOUR HELP ASAP!

For the first time since I started this rescue, we failed to raise enough funds to save the 6 wild horses who were shipping to slaughter.

LUCKILY for the horses, I went on faith and saved them even though we haven’t yet raised the funds. This means that monies slated for feed and vet bills has not been put back, and the horses really need your help.

This is a first,and sadly a result of the current times. We simply did not raise enough funds to cover the cost of saving them, transporting them, drawing blood work and getting brand inspections, health certificates etc.

Yesterday we had to geld 4 stallions, so the wild ones can find safe and loving homes.

I am praying hard, as the world simply seems to be upside down. I have no idea where the rescue is headed due to the general economy. For now, I am hoping we can raise enough funds to pay for the gelding, vetting and transport.

THE 3 SKINNY, PREGNANT MARES HAVE A WONDERFUL HOME OFFER at a private sanctuary in California. I almost cried when she said she would offer them a forever home. HOWEVER, we need funds to transport them safely, get health certificates, brand inspections etc.

The simple truth is that Chilly Pepper STILL needs help for these horses, even though they are SAFE and we kept them off of that horrible truck!

I also had a “behind the scenes” rescue of this beautiful little girl shown below. She is crippled and definitely did not need to be an appetizer somewhere. Meet “Phoebee”.

THANK YOU!

This is the link to our Chilly Pepper’s Wild Horse & Orphan Foal Adoption Page, where you can see the progress and new lives of the horses YOU HAVE HELPED SAVED! (I can’t believe I didn’t do this years ago, but it is so fun to see the horses, babies and critters that are enjoying and thriving in their new lives.)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/364129998164107/

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/55-0882407 If you shop at Amazon, please go to this link.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundme

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

->You can donate via check at: (PLEASE NOTE NEW PO BOX #)

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab

We are now part of the WIN Organization

WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_

If there are ever funds left over from the cost of the rescue itself, the monies are used to feed, vet, care for and provide shelter and proper fencing for the animals once they are saved.

Donate to Help

IMG 9401CC

MULE CROSSING: Do Mules Need to Be Shod?

0

By Meredith Hodges

Do mules need to be shod? Those who are familiar with mules might be tempted to say, “No,” but the answer is a little more complicated than you might think. Although the mule generally has a tougher and more durable foot than the horse, all mules do not have the same feet, nor do all mules apply the same kind of stress to those feet. Therefore, each individual animal has to be considered when answering the question, “To shoe or not to shoe?”

It is commonly known that, when it comes to horses and mules, light-colored hooves are softer and more likely to break down under stress than are the darker, black hooves. Even though the
black hoof is naturally harder than the light-colored hoof, if it does not contain sufficient moisture, it can become brittle and can chip away as destructively as can the lighter hoof. Whichever breed of equine you own and whatever the color of their feet, remember that good hoof care is essential for all domesticated equines.

For better or worse, an equine inherits his hooves through his genes. If your mule has inherited good feet—black, oily-looking, and with good shape—then you are fortunate and hoof care and maintenance should be relatively simple. If he has inherited a softer or misshapen foot, you will need to discuss more specialized care with your farrier.

Climate and weather greatly affect the condition of your mule’s feet. Damp weather and muddy footing will tend to soften the walls of any hoof, and perpetual exposure to mud and dampness can cause deterioration of his feet. With the light-colored hoof, which tends to soften more easily, this could spell disaster. It is wise, therefore, during damp weather or if you live in a damp climate, to provide a clean, dry place for your mule to stand. Conversely, extremely hot and dry weather can cause your mule’s feet to become dry and brittle, and they may start to crack due to contraction and expansion of the hoof. For this type of dry weather or climate, you may want to overflow your water tanks regularly so your mule has a place to “cool his feet.” If it is excessively dry, you may even need to manually lubricate your mule’s hooves as needed with one of the commercial products available. But before you use an artificial hoof lubricant, first check with your farrier to make sure that it is actually needed. Many people use hoof products too frequently, which can cause hooves to become too soft. When this begins to happen, you will see horizontal rings appear around the hoof wall, and sometimes, vertical lines. Try not to let the hoof get to this point by using lubricants sparingly, but if you see that these rings are beginning to appear, immediately discontinue use of the lubricant and allow the hoof to harden. Then check with your vet to make sure it is not a founder condition. It does not take much to adequately soften the hooves of an animal with rock-hard feet. During the really dry seasons, lubricant application once a week is usually sufficient.

Assuming that your mule has a normal set of dark, healthy hooves, he will probably not need to be shod, as long as he is used strictly for pleasure or only sporadically. However, if you are going to use your mule on excessively rocky or hard ground, you might want to look into getting shoes for him. Mules that repetitively participate in more stressful and demanding activities (such as parades, showing and endurance events) should be shod to protect their feet and to keep them healthy. Prevention of bruising or cracking and maintenance of good foot and leg posture is critical to the equine athlete.

The pack and pleasure mule that is not used much or is used on softer terrain and in places where he does not require shoes must still be trimmed for balance regularly to assure that his feet are evenly worn and that he is not putting undue stress on any joints, muscles or tendons. Failure to have your mule’s hooves regularly trimmed in order to maintain their balance and shape can result in an imbalance in your mule’s feet, which will then cause an imbalance throughout his entire body, inhibiting his performance. However, if trimming is done consistently, the risk of imbalance, accident or injury will be greatly reduced.

I believe that horses and mules, doing what they would naturally do alone—on terrain that is neither hard nor rocky—do not need to be shod. But mules that are asked to repetitively perform with a human on-board in varying surface situations should be fitted with the proper kind of shoes to help protect them from the additional weight and other demands that will be put upon their bodies. For example, my trail mules wear regular shoes on all four feet when they are being regularly used for trail riding and a variety of other activities, lessening the potential for injury. Then, when there is an occasional misstep on hard ground or rocks or when we trail-ride in the more challenging mountains, the shoes help to absorb some of the shock that would otherwise be absorbed by the hoof itself. It is my experience that young mules (and horses from two to four years of age) bear most of their weight on their front legs until their bodies are carefully and properly conditioned, and this is when you will see the most wear and tear on their feet. Because of this, my young mules that are just beginning saddle training wear regular shoes on the fronts only until their bodies are balanced and their activities clearly defined. Our broodstock, youngsters (under three years of age) and equines that are not used under
demanding conditions can go barefooted year-round, but they all still get regular trims every six to eight weeks.

All my other stock is shod for the specific purpose for which they are used: The Reining mules wear slider plates during the competition season, and the jumpers are fitted with either regular shoes, a tap and die shoe with studs or a borium shoe for non-skid, depending upon the terrain they will be negotiating.  If I were to ask one of my mules to race, I would fit him with the lighter-weight racing plates. Each equine athlete is given a set of shoes particularly designed for the best performance in his event, just as is the case with the human athlete. In the winter, if my mules have the need to wear shoes, I add rim pads to their shoes to help prevent “snowballing.”

Granted, there are a lot of mules that may not need to be shod, but there are also many that do need shoes, so each individual mule’s feet must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Because of this fact, the generalizations that “mules don’t need to be shod” and “all equines should go barefoot” are not always correct. You must take into consideration how your particular mule’s genetics affect his hooves, what he will be used for and how harsh the demands put on him will be on his feet. These important factors will determine whether or not he needs shoes, and if he does need shoes, what kind of shoes will best suit him. And don’t forget to check your mule’s shoes on a regular basis to make sure that all is well and that his shoes are staying on tight, but most of all, that he is comfortable and happy.

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2014, 2016, 2019, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The wild horses of the Surprise Complex need you to speak up

0

The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Speak Up for the Wild Horses and Burros of the Surprise Complex on the California-Nevada Border

Once again, the BLM’s reliance on unscientific “Appropriate Management Levels” for wild horses has set the stage for the roundup and removal of over 1,000 mustangs that call Nevada’s Surprise Complex home. What’s worse, the BLM “doesn’t manage” for wild burros in this area, so every burro living there will be captured and removed as well. The BLM’s goal of leaving only 283 mustangs in the Complex — just one horse for every 1,400 acres — would open even more land to the thousands of sheep and cows allowed to graze on public lands in the area.

This means once more, we need to speak up for a better way: Replacing brutal and inhumane helicopter roundups and cruel sterilization procedures with humane and proven fertility control methods.

Will you speak up for the Surprise Complex horses and burros today? Submit a public comment advocating for use of the PZP birth control vaccine and revising the plan that favors commercial livestock over federally-protected wild horses and burros. >> Take Action <<

One Nevada Roundup Nears End, Another Set to Begin

Since before the New Year, AWHC’s Field Representative has been onsite for the vast majority of the roundup and removal of wild horses from the Eagle Complex outside of Panaca, Nevada. Braving the frigid winter elements and grueling days, he has been the only member of the public on the ground to document the daily operations and bring the news to you. As is routine, the BLM sometimes keeps public observers so far from the capture site that documenting what’s happening is close to impossible. At the Eagle roundup, the BLM has also prevented daily observation of temporary holding pens, making it dififcult to assess the condition of the just-captured horses in a roundup that has had an unusually high number of deaths. 

This roundup is the third time in four years that the BLM is removing wild horses from the Complex. At the time of this email, 872 wild horses have been captured in the current roundup and 22 have lost their lives. >> Read the Report <<

Here are a few heartbreaking images from the operation:

Once the Eagle roundup is over, BLM-contracted helicopters will move on to the neighboring Silver King HMA beginning on or about February 5. This HMA consists of 574,962 acres of public land and is currently home to just 343 wild horses, including the 2020 foal crop. The BLM wants the public to believe that this nearly 900-square-mile habitat can only support 60-128 horses and it intends to permanently remove up to 258 of these federally protected animals from their homes on our public lands. This one roundup of a wild horse population that is clearly not overpopulated could cost taxpayers more than $14 million over the lives of the horses removed.

Our field representative will be onsite at the Silver King roundup to witness, document and bring you the latest on this unjust system that we are all working so hard to change.

Records Reveal Veterinarians Didn’t Back Plan to Brutally Sterilize Wild Mares

One of the more egregious plans the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released over the last several years for the “management” of wild horses is the proposed surgical sterilization procedure called ovariectomy via colpotomy.

This outdated procedure is a blind surgery in which a veterinarian inserts his arm into a mare’s abdominal cavity through an incision in the vaginal wall, manually locates the ovaries, then twists severs and removes them using a rod-like tool with a chain on the end. The surgery is outdated, inhumane and dangerous, and will result in pain, suffering, and potentially life-threatening complications for wild mares.

Despite multiple lawsuits, federal injunctions, and overwhelming congressional and public opposition, the BLM continues to push this option, culminating in its most recent decision to move forward with conducting this procedure on wild mares from Utah’s Confusion Herd Management Area (which AWHC promptly sued to stop). Throughout it all, the agency continues to say that veterinarians are in support of the procedure, though recently obtained records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) tell a different story. >> Read More <<

Meet the Mustang: Rapunzel

AWHC operates the world’s largest humane fertility control program for wild horses in the world on Nevada’s Virginia Range. And as such, the team of darters and documenters have come to know many of the 3,000 mustangs that are part of the program!

In our newest series, the volunteers who make this program a success will introduce you to the mustangs they have spent time with on the range, often watching them grow up. First in this series is the story of Rapunzel, written by Deb Sutherland, a volunteer who had the pleasure of watching this beautiful mustang take her very first steps in the wild. >> Read More <<

Donate

WDDRiding The Hourglass Pattern9 29 20 21

WRANGLER’S DONKEY DIARY: Riding the Hourglass Pattern: 9-29-20

0

There are differences in jacks, geldings and jennets, but I have found them all to have their individual redeeming qualities. Wrangler is carefully surveying the environment while Chasity walks obediently at my shoulder. Wrangler is much more playful while Chasity is sedate. My jack, Little Jack Horner, was always an energetic, enthusiastic, fully-charged male with extraordinary ability! What they ALL have in common is their exceptional intelligence, energy conservation and strong sense of self-preservation. What has produced the most success in the management and training of all my equines has been a logical, sequential and equitable approach, executed with a polite attitude, good manners, kindness, consideration, respect and a fair reward system. If I want the best from them, I have to set a good example myself. Chasity and Wrangler politely go through the gate into the area where each will not be interrupted and will patiently wait their turn.

Wrangler is now light in the bridle in the Round Pen and ready to begin work in the Hourglass Pattern in the open arena. Since I have to use both the Round Pen and the open arena, I tie Chasity in the obstacle area so she will not need to be moved until it is her turn. Then Wrangler and I proceed to the Round Pen for his warm-up exercises where he will lunge five rotations in each direction at walk, trot and canter in both directions with a reverse in between. Too much shuffling around can cause anxiety. I prefer that they both remain calm and obedient, so I set them up for success.

Wrangler politely accepts my adjustment on his bridle, “Elbow Pull,” saddle placement and girth, then proceeds forward at the walk in good equine posture. His “Elbow Pull” remains loose and is only there as a reminder in the Round Pen and as a support should he need it when I add my extra weight under saddle in the open arena.

Wrangler trots obediently upon the verbal command and after five rotations transitions to canter. He is now up to three rotations at canter in each direction. I will add one more rotation in each direction with each new lesson.  

I slow him to a walk, do a well balanced reverse and he then proceeds once more at the walk for five rotations.

Wrangler picks up the trot promptly upon request. After five rotations, he canters for three more rotations. I will add one more next time. His overall balance at canter is slowly improving with each new lesson!

Improvement comes rapidly when you don’t try to get too much too quickly. Wrangler is eager and ready to be ridden!

I ask Wrangler to come through the gate and he turns back to me to receive his reward. Then I mount and give him another reward from his back. I truly appreciated his well-practiced good manners!

Once mounted, I ask for the familiar rein back and we then proceed forward into the Hourglass Pattern. Wrangler stays light in the bridle and takes gentle directional nudges from my calves in sync with the direct rein cues.

Wrangler remains upright in his balance, bends through his rib cage through the arcs in the pattern, and halts squarely and promptly upon command.

Preparing your equine with PLENTY of groundwork, the right kinds of exercise and use of the “Elbow Pull” to help build his core strength adequately in good posture to support a rider BEFORE you get on makes all the difference in the world! You are building a new HABITUAL way of moving.

Wrangler is strong in his balance, light in the bridle and promptly responsive to the cues from my seat, legs and hands. He halts squarely and reins back easily when asked.

When their balance is not constantly interrupted, they only need a weekly workout and can practice their posture efficiently in turnout each day on their own! If you WANT to work more, you can, but always be ready to leave one day of rest between 30-40 minute workout days. I always want my equines to ENJOY being with me and not get sour!


LTREquines2007 029CC1

MULE CROSSING: Breeding Quality Mules

1

By Meredith Hodges

Windy Valley Ranch broodmare and mule foal.

In the past, mares unsuitable for improved horse-breeding programs were the mares used for mule breeding. Looks and conformation were of little concern, since the animal that was produced had limited use for draft and farm work. In 1967, with the founding of the American Donkey & Mule Society, a new type of mule began to emerge—the American Saddle Mule—limited only by the imagination in his uses. As the mule’s popularity grew, so did the need for more carefully organized breeding programs to try to produce only the most superior mules in overall appearance and athletic ability.

In what I refer to as Phase I of our Lucky Three Ranch breeding program, my mother, Joyce Doty, successfully bred attractive, athletic and versatile mules at Windy Valley Mule Ranch in Healdsburg, California, between 1973 and 1979. They were bred for pleasure, work and show from 60 head of assorted breeds of mares. These mares included Arabians,

Thoroughbreds, Tennessee Walkers, Morgans and Draft horses, but no Warmbloods.

Windy Valley Ranch champion mules, 1978.

We learned that the jacks would produce a stronger and more durable offspring, but that the heavy-boned Mammoth Jacks were not necessarily producing the most athletic—or the most attractive—saddle mule offspring. It seemed that the smaller, more refined Large Standard (48″ to 56″) and Standard Jacks (40.01″ to 48″) were better for the production of Saddle Mules. This led to Phase II of our breeding program.

Little Jack Horner doing Second Level Dressage, 1992.

Little Jack Horner, a Large Standard, was the last jack born at Windy Valley Ranch before its dispersal in 1979. In 1980 I brought him to my new Lucky Three Ranch in Colorado to become the sire supreme. My main focus was on the production of attractive, athletic, amiable and multiple-use saddle mules that would be suitable for the widest variety of uses. Beginning in 1982, Little Jack Hornerwas used with a number of different breeds of mares, including Quarter Horses, Appaloosas and a Half-Arab/Half-Quarter Crossbred. Over the next six years, as the offspring aged and matured, their abilities were quickly recognized. They excelled in all events at the shows and gave the Lucky Three its current reputation for breeding only the best.

In late 1985 I began taking a special interest in Dressage and Combined Training—the Breed shows no longer held a challenge for me. Our Quarter Horse, Appaloosa and Arabian mules competed against horses in Dressage and Combined Training and our mules were quite competitive. They were exceptional in their gaits, responsive, submissive and lovely to watch. Only two real major problems became apparent if we were to continue on this path: 1) The mules were a little too small (only14.2 to 15.3 HH) and, 2) the Quarter Horse influence caused them to be built slightly downhill, creating problems with overall balancing. It was time again to revise our breeding program.

Foal Midnight Victory(“Vicki”) and Trakehner mother Vinesse.

Midnight Victory (or “Vicki,” as she was nick-named), a Trakehner cross, was born just before midnight on June 21, 1990. I had seen only one Trakehner-bred mule in my entire life, and it was the most elegant and refined mule I had ever seen, with conformation to spare. And now I had one!

Vicki was everything I have always bred for in a mule, exhibiting quality in her looks and her movement, and in and the kind of intelligence that is exalted by horsemen and women everywhere. She was the product of 17 years of selective breeding, which, in the case of the hybrid mule, can be a very lucrative and frustrating business. Frustrating because of people’s preconceived ideas about mules, because of the close attention that must be paid to selection of the right jacks and mares, and because of genetic considerations when breeding, such as Neonatal Isoerythrolisis (a condition that occurs when the mother’s blood is incompatible with her foal’s—similar to the RH negative factor that can occur in human mothers and babies).

Midnight Victory (“Vickie”) at 20 years old.

Why a Trakehner cross? We spent years breeding donkeys before we finally got Little Jack Horner, a sire that predictably throws refined, attractive and athletic offspring, as well as producing some of the top halter mules in the country. Crossing him on Warmblood stock seemed like the natural thing to do next. We did need to be careful in choosing the type of Warmblood mare that would make the best match.

“Vicki’s” younger full brother, Lucky Three Vindicator (“Vinnie”) at 19 years old.

 

 

The Trakehner horse was carefully bred as a versatile and durable animal, with refinement and elegance in mind. Today, this horse plays an important role in the evolution of the mule from an ugly duckling into another beautiful swan in the American Horse Show ring.

After careful consideration of refinement and movement, we decided that the Trakehner would be the best cross. We feared that some of the other Warmblood breeds might produce too heavy an animal, something we had spent the last 17 years breeding out. In using caution and a careful breeding program, the Lucky Three Ranch was well on its way to producing the best in Sport Mules. Heartier and more athletic than their Thoroughbred and Trakehner dams, they were capable of performing in more versatile ways than were ever before imagined.

Phase III was the most exciting phase of the Lucky Three Ranch breeding program. The size and “downhill” problems had been solved, and the offspring made our dreams come true and their “presence” known. My deepest gratitude goes to all the conscientious people in the Thoroughbred and Trakehner industries for their special attention to selective breeding programs that have made it possible for us to produce such a lovely and remarkable hybrid.

It’s hard to put your finger on it, but there’s just something a little more special about Vicki. She is way above average when it comes to mules and she definitely commandsyour attention. She embodies the spirit of free expression and an almost eerie reincarnation of a perfect dream…with long ears! Could this “presence” be something genetic, passed down through the ages of Trakehner (and possibly Arabian) breeding? It would seem so.

The mules of Lucky Three Ranch are living proof of what quality breeding produces. They are elegant, first-class animals that are easy keepers, inexpensive eaters and loyal, personable companions—you need only feast your eyes upon these mule offspring to be convinced!

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 1990, 2011, 2016, 2019, 2020 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

ANOTHER 911 – HORSES SHIP WEDNESDAY! 2 VERY PREGNANT MARES, A STALLION AND 2 WEANLINGS – PLEASE HELP NOW SO WE CAN SAVE THEM!

0

The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

URGENT ACTION NEEDED NOW to save these precious lives.

I got another call today. In the middle of sending out donation receipts, caring for our special needs kids here and trying to prep for baby season, it’s GO TIME! *It doesn’t matter that it is not convenient.*

This is an emergency, and these horses will be loaded onto the slaughter truck on Wednesday if I do not say YES!

PLEASE help me save these precious souls. The clock is ticking and you are their only hope.

Please donate now! We are already stretched beyond tight, as I have to get Colostrum (IGG) for the newborns, Foal Lac Powder, Foal Lac Pellets and about a hundred other items to be ready for the 2021 baby season. Lately it seems like we are doing as many big kids, but this is what God is putting in front of us.

THANK YOU! I simply cannot save them without YOU!

This is the link to our Chilly Pepper’s Wild Horse & Orphan Foal Adoption Page, where you can see the progress and new lives of the horses YOU HAVE HELPED SAVED! (I can’t believe I didn’t do this years ago, but it is so fun to see the horses, babies and critters that are enjoying and thriving in their new lives.)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/364129998164107/

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/55-0882407 If you shop at Amazon, please go to this link.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundme

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

->You can donate via check at: (PLEASE NOTE NEW PO BOX #)

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab

We are now part of the WIN Organization

WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_

If there are ever funds left over from the cost of the rescue itself, the monies are used to feed, vet, care for and provide shelter and proper fencing for the animals once they are saved.

Donate to Help