Monthly Archive for: ‘October, 2021’

The Equine In Motion2

MULE CROSSING: The Equine in Motion

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By Meredith Hodges

I have done extensive work in training equines for many years and it seems you can never learn enough. If you learn how to ask the right questions, there is always something more to learn just around the corner. It is no secret that things can happen when you push limits and you can get what might seem to be the right results, but then you have to ask yourself…really? You may, for instance get your young Reining prospect to do a spin, but then you should ask yourself if he is executing it correctly so as not to injure the ligaments, tendons and cartilage in his body. If he is not adequately prepared for the spin with exercises that address his core muscle strength and good posture, then he is likely to do the movement incorrectly, putting his body at risk.

Horse trainers have kept us in awe of their unique and significant talents for centuries, and now that their techniques are more public, many equine professionals will pooh-pooh those who attempt a “kinder” approach to training. Scientists who study the equine in motion—its nutrition, biomechanics, care and maintenance—have   their own perceptions to offer as to what we can learn about equines. Because many of these studies and tests are done in the laboratory, scientists rarely have the opportunity to follow their subjects throughout a lifetime of activity, as well as having the opportunity to experience what it really means for you as a rider, to be in balance with your equine when you work together, whether you are leading, lunging, riding or driving. If they did, their findings would probably yield quite different results. With all this progressive scientific thought, it seems to me that common sense can often get lost in the shuffle and respect for the living creature’s physical, mental and emotional needs may not be met.

It is true that bribery never really works with an equine, and many people who attempt the “kind” approach do get caught up with bribery because they are unskilled at identifying good behaviors and waiting to reward until the task is performed. However, reinforcement of positive behaviors with a food reward does work if you can figure out how to adhere to the program, and be clear and consistent in how you behave and what you expect. In order to do this, you need to really pay attention to the whole equine, have a definite exercise program that has been proven to work in developing the equine’s good posture and strength, and be willing to work on yourself as well as your equine. A good program for your equine will require that you actively participate in the exercises as well. That way, you will also benefit while you are training your equine.

People feel better when they pay attention to their diet and are aware of their posture while practicing physical activities—and, in the same respect, an equine will perform willingly and happily if he feels good.  Horses have as many different postures as do people, and there are generalized postures that you can easily notice and predict in specific breeds of horses. For instance, the American Saddlebred has a higher body carriage than that of the Quarter Horse. However, each individual within any breed is not naturally born in good posture and might need some help to get in good posture in order to exercise correctly.

There are varying levels of abuse and most abuse happens out of ignorance. Many training techniques appear to get the equine to do what you want, but the question then becomes, “How is he doing this and will it result in a good strong body or is it in opposition to what would be his best posture and condition?” Any time you take the equine out of good posture to accomplish certain maneuvers, you are abusing his body, and this can result, over time, in degenerative breakdown. For instance, those who get in a hurry in Dressage and do not take a full year at each level in order to develop their equine’s body slowly and methodically may discover, several years later, that their animal has developed ringbone, side bones, arthritis or some other internal malady. These types of injuries and malformations are often not outwardly exhibited until it is too late to do anything about them.

In my experience with my draft mule rescues, Rock and Roll, this became blatantly apparent to me. When Rock had to be euthanized in December of 2011, a necropsy was performed after his death. When the necropsy report came back and we were able to ascertain the long-term results of his years of abuse, neglect and bad posture, we found it a wonder that he was able to get up and down at all, much less rear up and play with Roll and trot over ground rails in balance.

His acetabulum (or hip socket) had multiple fractures. The upper left photo shows Rock’s normal acetabulum and the upper right photo shows Rock’s fractured acetabulum. The photo at right shows the head of each of Rock’s femurs. Rock’s left femoral head was normal, while the right, injured femoral head was virtually detached from the hip socket and contained fluid-filled cysts. There was virtually no cartilage left on the right femoral head, nor on the right acetabulum. It was the very fact that my team and I made sure that Rock was in balance and took things slowly and in a natural sequence that he was able to accomplish what he did and gain himself an extra year of quality life.

Tragically, many equines are suffering from abuse every day, while they are trying to please their owners and do what is asked of them. Their owners and trainers take shortcuts that compromise the equine’s health. It could be that these owners and trainers are trying to make choices with limited knowledge and really don’t know whom to believe. But ignorance is not a valid defense and sadly, the animal is the one that ends up suffering.

When they don’t have enough time to ride, racing stables often use hot walkers in order to exercise their Thoroughbred horses. But when an equine is put on a hot walker, he is forced to walk in a circle with his head raised and his neck and back hollowed. Since we all build muscle while in motion, muscle is being built on the hot walker while the equine is out of good posture. Consequently, when the equine is ridden later, bad behaviors can arise simply because the animal is uncomfortable. It would be better to develop core muscle strength (the strength around the bones and vital organs) first in good posture before developing hard muscle strength over the rest of the body. Core muscle strength takes time, but once the animal begins to automatically move in good posture, it becomes his natural way of going.

The Lucky Three mules have always been worked in good posture, and spend only as much time on the hot walker as it takes for them to dry after a bath. They maintain their good posture while walking and rarely let the hot walker “pull” them into bad posture.

There has been a lot of scientific research done on equine biomechanics using treadmills, which is one of my pet peeves. It would seem to me that any data scientists have gathered is not viable for one reason. An equine on a treadmill will not move the same way as an equine that is moving over ground. Have you ever had the ground move backwards underneath you? What kind of an effect do you think this would have on your ability to walk, trot or run correctly and in good posture? The very motion of the treadmill throws the body balance forward while you try to keep your balance upright. It actually interferes with the ability to balance easily and therefore, does not build muscle symmetrically and correctly around the skeletal structure and vital organs.

Like many, I am of the belief that mechanical devices that force an equine into a rounded position do not necessarily put that equine in good posture. I would guess that many trainers think the “Elbow Pull” device that I use is guilty of developing this artificial posture. If that is their opinion, then they do not understand how it works. Rather than pulling the equine’s head down into a submissive position, when adjusted correctly, the “Elbow Pull” acts like a balance bar (like a ballet dancer would use) to help the equine to balance in good posture. It takes time to develop good posture. So, in the beginning, your equine can only sustain good posture for a certain number of measured steps, and then he must “lean” on the “Elbow Pull” in between these moments of sustaining his ideal balance on his own. The “Elbow Pull” simply prevents him from raising his head and neck so high that the neck becomes inverted and the back hollowed, but it does not actually pull his head down. The rope itself is very lightweight and puts virtually no weight on his head and neck at all. Note: Because horses react differently than mules and donkeys when hard-tied, a simple adjustment to allow the “Elbow Pull” to “slip” with a horse is necessary.

Like humans, when equines are encouraged and aided in developing good equine posture, core strength with adequate bulk muscle built over the top, they are healthier and better able to perform the tasks we ask of them. With this in mind and other good maintenance practices, you can enjoy the company of your equine companion for many years to come and most of all, he will enjoy being with you!

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.

© 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

IT’S GO TIME – ANOTHER LAST MINUTE 911 – Catcher called – A stock trailer full of horses – Starving, badly injured – WILL YOU SAVE THEM?

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

Another 911! A stock trailer full of starved, injured, wild/domestic horses heading to slaughter. WILL YOU HELP ME SAVE THEM??

We don’t have the funds, the time or the space, but God put them in front of me.

Please help me save them. I already had to postpone my surgery until December, but how do I walk away from a trailer load sitting in front of me.

I am exhausted and overwhelmed and completely worn out. However, once again I will suck it up and do the work if y’all will help us save them.

The injuries are horrific and a couple may have joint infections which could be deadly. They are both in excruciating pain and need our help asap!

Molly the mule is in the hospital for a bad case of colic. The good news is hopefully I will get to pick her up tomorrow and she has a wonderful new family waiting for her.

The truck is still broken, but God has always blessed this rescue, and I know we can save these horses! Thank you for all you do!

Please check out the New Adoption page!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/543121366934903

If anyone wants to help,

Supplies can be sent to

Palomino
Chilly Pepper
12965 Green Saddle Drive, #233
Golconda, NV 89414

checks to PO Box 233,

Golconda NV 89414

or Donations can be made at:

CashAp-$LauriArmstrong
Venmo – @Lauri-Armstrong-2
Paypal-Palomino@chillypepper.org

THANK YOU for everything we have received. **

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

Mule Ing Around

Longears Music Videos: Mule-ing Around: Jasper and Kids

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Only ONE WEEK LEFT to get tickets for our annual Stay Wild Event !!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We’re officially one week out from our Annual Stay Wild Fundraiser!! If you haven’t had a chance to get your tickets yet, now is the time to do so!

GET YOUR TICKETS >>

Join us as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act — the foundational law that protects these cherished animals on Western public lands.

The virtual event will include inspiring pieces on America’s wild horses and burros, special appearances including celebrity ambassadors, like Kaitlynn Carter of MTV’s The Hills, shoe designer Chloe Gosselin, and musicians like the award-winning pop duo Aly and AJ!

The event also includes a knock-your-boots-off Silent Auction featuring items like a beachfront vacation in beautiful Santa Barbara, a trip to see wild horses on Nevada’s beautiful Fish Springs range, VIP tickets to a night of grand illusion at David Copperfield’s Las Vegas show, incredible wild horse photography, and so much more!

GET YOUR TICKETS >>

This is our ONLY big-ticket event of the year, so you don’t want to miss it!

We hope to see you there! And remember, Stay Wild!

American Wild Horse Campaign

TT48 PrepForLunging Slideshow

LTR Training Tip #48: Preparation for Lunging

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Is your equine ready to start lunging training? Ask yourself these questions before beginning.

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Help us make this year’s Stay Wild event the best one yet!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We wanted to make sure you got Suzanne’s email yesterday! To those of you who have already chipped in and helped us fund these needs for wild horses — thank you!

We’re less than two weeks away from our fourth annual Stay Wild event. That means now is the time for us to get a head start on fundraising for the event.

This is our only big-ticket event of the year, and it plays a huge role in how many resources we have available to protect wild horses and burros.

So,will you help us get a head start and fund one of these needs today?

FUND A NEED

Thanks for your help!
AWHC Team

P.S. Time is running out! If you haven’t already, you can purchase a ticket to our online event here.

———- Forwarded message ———

The American Wild Horse Campaign’s (AWHC) fourth annual Stay Wild VIRTUAL event is just a few short weeks away!

This is our most important — and only — big-ticket event of the year. To make the event extra special, we’re pulling out all the stops. The online event will bring together celebrity ambassadors, like Kaitlynn Carter of MTV’s The Hills and shoe designer Chloe Gosselin, musicians like the award-winning pop duo Aly and AJ, and the public to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. 

The Gala will raise funds for our lifesaving programs that ensure America’s wild horses and burros stay wild for generations to come.

So, to be extra prepared for this year’s event, we’re getting a head start. Can you help us fund one of these needs for wild horses today?

Each of these areas is critical to our work. From the dart guns we use to carry out the world’s largest wild horse PZP fertility control program, to the video equipment we use to document each roundup, to the legal funds we need to continue to defend wild horses and burros in court — we wouldn’t have the reach or ability to protect and preserve America’s wild horses and burros without these necessary resources.

So, will you help us prepare for our annual Stay Wild fundraiser and get a head start by funding one of these needs today?

FUND A NEED

Thanks for your help,

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

We’re getting everything in order for this year’s Stay Wild event. Want to help?

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The American Wild Horse Campaign’s (AWHC) fourth annual Stay Wild VIRTUAL event is just a few short weeks away!

This is our most important — and only — big-ticket event of the year. To make the event extra special, we’re pulling out all the stops. The online event will bring together celebrity ambassadors, like Kaitlynn Carter of MTV’s The Hills and shoe designer Chloe Gosselin, musicians like the award-winning pop duo Aly and AJ, and the public to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. 

The Gala will raise funds for our lifesaving programs that ensure America’s wild horses and burros stay wild for generations to come.

So, to be extra prepared for this year’s event, we’re getting a head start. Can you help us fund one of these needs for wild horses today?

Each of these areas is critical to our work. From the dart guns we use to carry out the world’s largest wild horse PZP fertility control program, to the video equipment we use to document each roundup, to the legal funds we need to continue to defend wild horses and burros in court — we wouldn’t have the reach or ability to protect and preserve America’s wild horses and burros without these necessary resources.

So,will you help us prepare for our annual Stay Wild fundraiser and get a head start by funding one of these needs today?

FUND A NEED

Thanks for your help,

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

A big win for wild horses in Congress

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Earlier this week we shared an exciting win with you. On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee released their fiscal year 2022 bill for the Department of the Interior.

In this bill, $11 million was reallocated away from the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) roundup funds towards implementing “a robust and humane fertility control strategy of reversible immunocontraceptive vaccines” for America’s wild horses.

While we have some other objections to the bill’s allocated funding for the BLM, this is a big step in the right direction for America’s wild horses and burros.  

We’re grateful for the help of AWHC supporters who contacted their members of Congress and advocated on the behalf of wild horses and burros. Your help provided our Government Relations team with the necessary support to work with Congress to get a meaningful funding provision passed.

Meredith, your help up to this point has been critical. Will you stand with us once again today and make a donation to fuel our Government Relations efforts?

DONATE

This $11 million in funding is crucial in furthering protections for America’s wild horses and burros. The Senate Appropriations Committee took a historic step towards reforming the Wild Horse and Burro Program by including this language. While there is still more work to do, this provision will help keep wild horses in the wild, where they belong!

Our team is working around the clock to make sure this fertility control language is included in the final spending bill. Will you make a donation today to fuel our Government Relations work so that we can continue to create meaningful change for America’s wild horses in Congress?

DONATE

Thanks for your support,

AWHC Team

Another QUICK UPDATE – When it Rains, it Pours! – Chilly Pepper needs you now! 42 Horses in WA at Camp

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

Above – some of the latest group.

The horses just keep coming. However, EVERY SINGLE HORSE in the photo would have shipped to slaughter if you had not helped save them.

On top of the “normal” emergencies, Clifford, our rescue truck, is down. It is being “assessed” today. It broke down on the way to WA and is sitting in OR. I need funds to get that truck fixed asap to get these ponies home. We were warned it could be bad and that he might have “thrown a rod”.

There were 42 horses here a few days ago. Sadly, we had to end Uncle Fester’s suffering. He was starved beyond measure, 25 plus years old and his blood work showed signs of cancer. He was miserable and ready for peace.

We need your help now!! Standing in front of all the horses going through the chute, I said YES to way more than I should haveHowever, every single horse I said “no” to, shipped to slaughter. I am literally sick.

I did not have anywhere close to enough funding to pull so many horses, but I am running on faith and trusting that everyone will come through so we can afford to get these horses vetted and safely home to NV until they are adopted. I need to buy more feed and milk pellets as well.

It is a new and horrifying world for me. However, If I don’t “pick and choose”, they will ALL ship. So please say a prayer I can keep doing it and that folks will step up and help me save them.

Please check out the New Adoption page!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/543121366934903

If anyone wants to help,

Supplies can be sent to

Palomino
Chilly Pepper
12965 Green Saddle Drive, #233
Golconda, NV 89414

checks to PO Box 233,

Golconda NV 89414

or Donations can be made at:

CashAp-$LauriArmstrong
Venmo – @Lauri-Armstrong-2
Paypal-Palomino@chillypepper.org

THANK YOU for everything we have received. **

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

RichardShrakeClinic8 11 2010 195CC

MULE CROSSING: Myths About Desensitization

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By Meredith Hodges

You really don’t want to desensitize your animals to everything. Here is Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of the word “desensitize”:

1) to make (a sensitized or hypersensitive individual) insensitive or non-reactive to a sensitizing agent.

Some people have the misconception that, in order to desensitize an animal, you have to make it numb to its surroundings and any stimulus it encounters. Not true! What you really want to do is sensitize your equine to different body language and cues from you, as the trainer. So “desensitization” does not mean achieving a total lack of sensitivity. Rather, it should be approached as a way of training your equine (in a way that is quiet and calm) to be less sensitive to certain objects or events that may be cause him to be fearful, so he can move forward with confidence and the right sensitivity toward the communication between the two of you.

When incorrect, harsh or overly aggressive desensitizing techniques are used on equines, the handler is met with either a very strong flight reflex or a stand and fight reflex.  In either case, an equine will either put up a fight and be deemed a rogue and, therefore, untrainable, or eventually just “give up” and succumb to the trainer’s wishes. This is  a sad situation because the equine is not given the opportunity to make reasonable choices in his relationship with his trainer. The equine’s instinct to warm up to the person training him is hampered by his fear of more desensitization techniques. Thus, he becomes resigned to his work and is not fully engaged in the training process.

Often, trainers will put obstacles such as a trailer, tire or tarp in an equine’s pen in the hope of getting him used to it by making him live with it. But ask yourself this: How much rest would you get if someone put a blaring radio in your bedroom to desensitize you to noise? Equines have many of the same reactions to their personal space that we do, and they do much better when their place of rest is just that—a place of rest and comfort. And when lessons are approached in a considerate, respectful and rewarding way, an equine is more likely to approach them with an eager and positive attitude that facilitates better learning. It is always better to turn your equine’s fear into curiosity than it is to just assault his senses.

When doing obstacle training, it is better to allow your equine a gradual approach with small steps and great rewards for his honest effort than to whip and spur him through just to get to the other side. When his fear is converted to curiosity, the chance of his refusal to go forward is lessened and his trust in you as the trainer allows you to, eventually, ride through any obstacle at the slightest suggestion. This is because he trusts your judgment and has not been frightened, hurt or made uncomfortable during the training process. This is your equine developing sensitivity to your demands and learning to willingly comply so he can become a participating partner in each activity.

Some trainers believe that breaking down tasks for the equine into tiny steps is a waste of time and that giving a food reward prevents an equine from learning to respect the trainer, but I disagree. When you break tasks down into understandable steps in the beginning stages of training, you will eventually begin to get solid, reliable behavior from your equine. You will have to pay attention to a lot of little details at the beginning stages of training (and that can seem overwhelming at first), but if you take the time to pay attention to these small steps in the beginning stages and through the ground work and round pen work that will follow, when you finally do move on to riding under saddle the lessons will go much more quickly.

Each stage of training should become easier for you and your equine to master. For instance, it actually takes you less time to train in something like a side pass if you have done your groundwork training with the lead line and drive-line lateral training before you even get into the saddle. It also follows that the side pass will come more easily for your equine if he has first learned to move on an angle in the leg yield before having to move straight sideways. This is an example of taking things in small, logical steps, keeping your equine sensitive to his surroundings and tasks without fear. It also greatly lessens the chance for a fear or anxiety-driven blow up from your equine later on.

There is a physical as well as mental aspect to all of this technique. While you are training your equine to perform certain movements and negotiations over obstacles, his muscles, ligaments and tendons are all involved in his actions. When an equine is asked to do a movement for which his muscles have not first been properly conditioned, he will not only execute the motion incorrectly, but his premature attempt will undoubtedly compromise his muscles, ligaments and tendons. Even if he can adequately assimilate a requested movement while he is young, he could easily be creating problems in his body and joints that will cause him escalating problems as he ages.

If you were asked to go on a 25-mile hike with a 50-pound pack on your back, how would you prepare in order to safely and successfully perform this task? You would break it down into small steps, working up to it by first running a short distance with a very light weight, and then gradually increasing the distance you run and the weight you carry, which may take as long as a couple of years of careful training and conditioning. But if you tried to prepare for this kind of grueling hike by simply walking around the block a few times for a couple of days, you’d wreck your muscles, compromise your health and probably fail—all because you attempted to do the task when you weren’t physically or mentally ready. And depending on how much you strained your body, you just might discover down the line that the damage is permanent and will worsen over the course of your life. I use this illustration to show that, just as with humans, when it comes to training and conditioning your equine, it’s always better to take it slowly—one step at a time. Your equine will learn to enjoy being a partner in your challenges and goals if you give him the time he needs to be able to do these activities comfortably and with success.

An equine that learns in this sensitized way can also make judgments that might even save your life when you might not be paying attention. This is because when your equine is calm and well rested, he actually seems to be able to anticipate consequences, making him more likely to stop and wait for your cue. The equine that is “forced” during training will most often become anxious about a challenging situation and will seldom stop and calmly alert you to a potential peril—and he most likely will not trust your judgment.

It is because I have trained my mules in this sensitized way that I once avoided going over a 100-foot drop up in the Rocky Mountains while on a trail ride. On that particular day, I was in front, riding my mule, Mae Bea C.T. with four horses behind us. When we came to a giant boulder semi-blocking the trail, I told the people on the horses to wait and rode ahead. I soon found that the trail had narrowed to an impassable two feet wide and a rockslide had wiped out the trail ahead completely! It was straight up 100 feet on one side of the trail and straight down 100 feet on the other side and there was no going forward. The horses behind me were still on the wider part of the trail on the other side of the boulder and were able turn around, so they were safe, but backing my mule around the boulder on that treacherous trail would be very dangerous. I thought we were stuck. At that point, my mule calmly looked back around at me as if to ask, “Well, Mom, what do we do now?” I thought for a minute and then shifted the weight in my seat toward my mule’s hindquarters. This movement from me allowed her to shift her weight to her hindquarters. Then, with pressure from my right leg, she lifted her shoulders, pivoted on her left hind foot and performed a 180-degree turn to the left on her haunches, and with her front feet in the air, she swept them across the open precipice of the cliff and turned us back around to face the wider (and safe) part of the trail. After completing the turn, she stopped again, looked back at me to see if everything was okay and waited for my cue to proceed back down. I believe, without a doubt, that my mule’s incredible and calm response to a life-threatening situation was the direct result of the sensitized training methods I used that created our unbreakable bond of trust.

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.

© 2013, 2016, 2018, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

ANNOUNCING: Our Annual Stay Wild Silent Auction is now LIVE!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We’re rapidly approaching this year’s 4th Annual Stay Wild fundraiser — in fact, we’re almost two weeks out from this exciting show! 

If you haven’t yet had a chance to get your tickets, you can do so here:

GET YOUR TICKETS >>

And with just a few weeks until this big-ticket event, we’re thrilled to announce that our Silent Auction is now live!

Featuring items like a beachfront vacation in beautiful Santa Barbara, a trip to see wild horses on Nevada’s expansive Fish Springs range, VIP tickets to a night of grand illusion at David Copperfield’s Las Vegas show, incredible wild horse photography, and so much more! Our silent auction is sure to knock your boots off!

VISIT OUR SILENT AUCTION

The virtual event will include inspiring pieces on America’s wild horses and burros, musical guests, and special appearances! 

So, what do you say? Will you join us for our annual Stay Wild event?

GET YOUR TICKETS >>

We hope to see you there! And remember, stay wild!

American Wild Horse Campaign

QUICK UPDATE – Meeting with Catcher yesterday – Sorting today! LOTS & LOTS OF MILK BABIES!

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

Met with the catcher yesterday. There are LOTS of milk babies.

IF we don’t save them, they literally have no other chance. They will not survive on their own.

Logically I should walk away. However, this is God’s rescue and it runs on faith and your love and support.

Do we save these tiny lives or let “nature handle it”? It is so heartbreaking. I am heading over there this afternoon to say “yes” or “no” as they are run through the shoot.

It’s up to you – do they live or die?

I know everyone is tired of these emergencies, but the cold fact is that if I didn’t ask y’all for help, every single one of the horses we have saved together would be dead. I will do the work but I need your love and support to make it happen!

THANK YOU for all the wonderful donations of milk pellets, syringes, gloves etc. The babies are devouring the pellets and their milk. THANK YOU!

Please check out the New Adoption page!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/543121366934903

If anyone wants to help,

Supplies can be sent to

Palomino
Chilly Pepper
12965 Green Saddle Drive, #233
Golconda, NV 89414

checks to PO Box 233,

Golconda NV 89414

or Donations can be made at:

CashAp-$LauriArmstrong
Venmo – @Lauri-Armstrong-2
Paypal-Palomino@chillypepper.org

THANK YOU for everything we have received. **

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

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MULE CROSSING: Benefits of Postural Core Strength Training

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By Meredith Hodges

Most equines can be taught to carry a rider in a relatively short time. However, just because they are compliant doesn’t mean their body is adequately prepared for what they will be asked to do and that they are truly mentally engaged in your partnership. We can affect our equine’s manners and teach them to do certain movements and in most cases, we will get the response that we want…at least for the moment. Most of us grow up thinking that getting the animal to accept a rider is a reasonable goal and we are thrilled when they quickly comply. When I was first training equines, I even thought that to spare them the weight of the rider when they were younger, it would be beneficial to drive them first as this seemed less stressful for them. Of course, I was then unaware of the multitude of tiny details that were escaping my attention due to my limited education. I had a lot to learn.

Because my equines reacted so well during training, I had no reason to believe that there was anything wrong with my approach until I began showing them and started to experience resistant behaviors in my animals that I promptly attributed to simple disobedience. I had no reason to believe that I wasn’t being kind and patient until I met my dressage instructor, Melinda Weatherford. I soon learned that complaining about Sundowner’s negative response to his dressage lessons and blaming HIM was not going to yield any shortcuts to our success. The day she showed up with a big button on her lapel that said, “No Whining” was the end of my complaining and impatience, and the beginning of my becoming truly focused on the tasks at hand. I learned that riding through (and often repeating) mistakes did not pose any real solutions to our problems. I attended numerous clinics from all sorts of notable professionals and we improved slowly, but a lot of the problems were still present. Sundowner would still bolt and run when things got a bit awkward, but he eventually stopped bolting once I changed my attitude and approach, and when he was secure in his core strength in good equine posture.

I thought about what my grandmother had told me years ago about being polite and considerate with everything I did. Good manners were everything to her and I thought I was using good manners.  I soon found that good manners were not the only important element of communication. Empathy was another important consideration…to put oneself in the other “person’s” shoes, and that could be attributed to animals as well. So I began to ask myself how it would feel to me if I was approached and treated the way I was treating my equines. My first epiphany was during grooming. It occurred to me that grooming tools like a shedding blade might not feel very good unless I was careful about the way I used it. Body clipping was much more tolerable for them if I did the hard-to-get places first and saved the general body for last. Standing for long periods of time certainly did not yield a calm, compliant attitude when the more tedious places were left until last. After standing for an hour or more, the animal got antsy when I was trying to do more detailed work around the legs, head, flanks and ears after the body, so I changed the order. Generally speaking, I slowed my pace and eliminated any abrupt movements on my part to give the equine adequate time to assess what I would do next and approached each task very CAREFULLY. The results were amazing! I could now groom, clip bridle paths and fly spray everyone with no halters even in their turnout areas as a herd. They were all beginning to really trust me.

There was still one more thing my grandmother had said that echoed in my brain, “You are going to be a sorry old woman if you do not learn to stand up straight and move in good posture!” Good posture is not something that we are born with. It is something that must be learned and practiced repetitiously so it becomes habitual for it to really contribute to your overall health. Good posture begins at the core, “the innermost, essential part of anything.” In a human being, it lies behind the belly button amongst the vital organs and surrounded by the skeletal frame. In a biped, upon signals from the brain, energy impulses run from the core and up from the waist, and simultaneously down through the lower body and legs. The core of an equine is at the center of balance in the torso and energy runs primarily horizontally from the core in each direction. Similar to bipeds, they need the energy to run freely along the hindquarters and down through the hind legs to create a solid foundation from which to allow the energy in front to rise into suspension to get the most efficient movement. When their weight is shifted too much onto the front end, their ability to carry a rider efficiently and move correctly is compromised. To achieve correct energy flow and efficient movement, the animal’s internal supportive structures need to be conditioned in a symmetrical way around the skeletal frame. People can do this by learning to walk with a book on their head and with Pilates exercises, but how can we affect this same kind of conditioning in a quadruped?

The first thing I noticed is when we lead our animals with the lead rope in the right hand, we drop our shoulder and are no longer in good posture. When we walk, our hand moves ever so slightly from left to right as we walk. We inadvertently move the equine’s head back and forth. They balance with their head and neck and thus, we are forcing them off balance with every step that we take; and since movement builds muscle, they are being asymmetrically conditioned internally and externally with every step we take together. In order to correct this, we must allow the animal to be totally in control of his own body as we walk together. We are cultivating proprioception or “body awareness.”

During the time you do the core strength leading exercises, you should NOT ride the animal as this will inhibit the success of these preliminary exercises. It will not result in the same symmetrical muscle conditioning, habitual behavior and new way of moving. The lessons need to be routine and done in good posture from the time you take your equine from the pen until the time you put him away for the best results. Hold the lead rope in your LEFT hand keeping slack in the lead rope, keep his head at your shoulder, match your steps with his front legs, point in the direction of travel with your right hand and look where you are going. Carry his reward of oats in a fanny pack around your waist. He’s not likely to bolt if he knows his reward is right there in the fanny pack.

Plan to move in straight lines and do gradual turns that encourage him to stay erect and bend through his rib cage, keeping an even distribution of weight through all four feet. Square him up with equal weight over all four feet EVERY TIME you stop and reward him with oats from your fanny pack. Then wait patiently for him to finish chewing. We are building NEW habits in the equine’s way of moving and the only way that can change is through routine, consistency in the routine and correctness in the execution of the exercises. Since this requires that you be in good posture as well, you will also reap the benefits from this regimen. Along with feeding correctly (explained on my website at www.luckythreeranch.com), these exercises will help equines to drop fat rolls and begin to develop the top line and abdominal strength in good posture. The spine will then be adequately supported to easily accept a rider. He will be better able to stand still as you pull on the saddle horn to mount.

When the body is in good posture, all internal organs can function properly and the skeletal frame will be supported correctly throughout his entire body. This will greatly minimize joint problems, arthritis and other anomalies that come from asymmetrical development and compromises in the body. Just as our children need routine, ongoing learning and the right kind of exercise while they are growing up, so do equines. They need boundaries for their behavior clearly outlined to minimize anxious behaviors and inappropriate behavior, and the exercises that you do together need to build strength and coordination in good equine posture. The time spent together during leading training and going forward slowly builds a good solid relationship with your equine and fosters his confidence and trust in you. He will know it is you who actually helps him to feel physically much better than he ever has.

Core muscle strength and balance must be done through correct leading exercises on flat ground. Coordination can be added to his overall carriage with the addition of negotiating obstacles on the lead rope done the same way. Once familiar with the obstacles, you will need to break them down into very small segments where the equine is asked to randomly halt squarely every couple of steps through the obstacle. You can tell when you have successfully achieved core strength in good balance when your equine will perform accurately with the lead rope slung over his neck. He will stay at your shoulder, respond to hand signals and body language only and does what is expected perfectly. A carefully planned routine coupled with an appropriate feeding program is critical to your equine’s healthy development.

The task at the leading stage is not only to teach them to follow, but to have your equine follow with his head at your shoulder as you define straight lines and gradual arcs that will condition his body symmetrically on all sides of the skeletal frame. This planned course of action also begins to develop a secure bond between you. Mirror the steps of his front legs as you go through the all movements keeping your own body erect and in good posture. Always look in the direction of travel and ask him to square up with equal weight over all four feet every time he stops and reward him. This kind of leading training develops strength and balance in the equine body at the deepest level so strengthened muscles will hold the bones, tendons and ligaments and even cartilage in correct alignment. Equines that are not in correct equine posture will have issues involving organs, joints, hooves and soft tissue trauma. This is why it is so important to spend plenty of time perfecting your techniques every time you lead your equine.

The equine next needs to build muscle so he can sustain his balance on the circle without the rider before he will be able to balance with a rider. An equine that has not had time in the round pen to establish strength, coordination and balance on the circle with the help of our postural restraint called the “Elbow Pull” will have difficulty as he will be pulled off balance with even the slightest pressure. He will most likely raise his head, hollow his back and lean like a motorcycle into the turns. When first introduced to the “Elbow Pull,” his first lesson in the round pen should only be done at the walk to teach him to give to its pressure, arch his back and stretch his spine while tightening his abs. If you ask for trot and he resists against the “Elbow Pull,” just go back to the walk until he can consistently sustain this good posture while the “Elbow Pull” stays loose. He can gain speed and difficulty as his proficiency increases.

Loss of balance will cause stress, and even panic that can result in him pulling the lead rope, lunge line or reins under saddle right out of your hands and running off. This is not disobedience, just fear from a loss of balance and it should not be punished, just ignored and then calmly go back to work. The animal that has had core strength built through leading exercises, lunging on the circle and ground driving in the “Elbow Pull” before riding will not exhibit these seemingly disobedient behaviors. Lunging will begin to develop hard muscle over the core muscles and internal supportive structures you have spent so many months strengthening during leading training exrecises. It will further enhance your equine’s ability to perform and stay balanced in action, and play patterns in turnout will begin to change dramatically as this becomes his habitual way of going. Be sure to be consistent with verbal commands during all these beginning stages as they set the stage for better communication and exceptional performance later. Although you need to spend more time in his beginning training than you might want to, this will also add to your equine’s longevity and use-life by as much as 5-10 years. The equine athlete that has a foundation of core strength in good equine posture, whether used for pleasure or show, will be a much more capable and safe performer than one that has not, and he will always be grateful to YOU for his comfort.

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.

© 2018, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Chilly Pepper – 911 – Urgent help needed!!!! Catcher called AGAIN!!! Clock is ticking…

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

Catcher called again!!!! 24 HOURS!

My heart is breaking as I write this. I am so full, but the only chance for any of these horses is us, our Chilly Pepper Family. My funds are low, but my Faith is high!

IF there is a chance for me to pull any, I need your help. Even with the wonderful donations from some of our treasured donors, the vet bills still linger close to $5000+. (We just had 2 euthanasia and burials, and bunches of coggins). Blood work for Uncle fester was covered by our wonderful angels Jan and her crew.

I HAVE to be able to support and care for ALL the horses. We need to raise funds for bail, vetting, transport, and to feed and care for them through winter, at the very least.

I have to go pick tomorrow! This is an emergency situation. I truly hope we can at least pull some of them.

I have to start transporting the un-adopted to NV in between my pre-op and the surgery. This is an urgent situation!

THANK YOU for all the wonderful donations of milk pellets, syringes, gloves etc. The babies are devouring the pellets and their milk. THANK YOU!

Please check out the New Adoption page!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/543121366934903

If anyone wants to help,

Supplies can be sent to

Palomino
Chilly Pepper
12965 Green Saddle Drive, #233
Golconda, NV 89414

checks to PO Box 233,

Golconda NV 89414

or Donations can be made at:

CashAp-$LauriArmstrong
Venmo – @Lauri-Armstrong-2
Paypal-Palomino@chillypepper.org

THANK YOU for everything we have received. **

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

Can’t make Boots & Bling? Register now, and you can join us virtually for the silent auction, today from 4-6p!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

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Boots & Bling is TONIGHT!

SOLD OUT!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Forni Building

Doors open at 4pm

Catered BBQ dinner, no host bar (beer and wine), DJ Music and dancing, and fabulous live, silent, and dessert auctions.

We are grateful we can celebrate together in person this year!

Thank you for your support – We can’t wait to see you all tomorrow!

Due to the Caldor Fire postponement,

we MAY have a small number of tickets available for walk-in guests,

but no guarantees at this point

Boots & Bling Silent Auction!

If you aren’t able to attend in person, but still want to join the fun and support AAE, the silent auction is open in person AND online this year! We have some wonderful and exciting items available! The live auctions are exclusive to attendees.

Registration for the silent auction is open now. Once registered, you can preview items until the auction opens. Bidding starts at 4p (PST) tonight, Saturday, October 16. The auction closes at 6p (PST).

Help horses from home!

Register for the silent auction now!

How to Register

Register Now!

Winning items may be picked up at the AAE Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs or shipped at winning bidder’s expense.

Questions? Email bandb@allaboutequine.org.

 

We look forward to celebrating with everyone tomorrow and raising more funds to help more horses into 2022. Horses like Maisy and Trace!

Maisy

Sweet Maisy is getting better every day. She’s got a few more days of treatment to go, and so far, so good. We’re looking forward to learn more about this gal. Keep your fingers crossed all continues to go well.

Trace

This guy, Trace, is healing well and feelin’ good. He’s gone from nearly losing an eye and resulting limited vision to an incredibly positive outcome. He does NOT have cancer, he will not lose his eye, and he will be coming out of retirement to go back to work serving the community. Look how well that incision is healing! High five to Trace and the docs at LBEMC!

Donate

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MULE CROSSING: Leverage Versus Abuse

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By Meredith Hodges

“Leverage” equipment refers to any restraining device or substance that is used to get an equine’s attention and obtain compliance, but many leverage practices often have the reverse effect and have the potential to cause distress and pain. This includes harsh bits, chain leads, twitches, hobbles, stocks and even medications. There are times when our equines can really be a handful, so having a little leverage when needed can be a good thing. However, deciding which equipment to use and learning how to use leverage without it becoming abusive can be a bit daunting. There are so many different types of tack, equipment and restraints that it becomes difficult to determine which would be best to use on your equine to correct a particular problem, or if you really need to use anything at all. It may only be a case of needing to be clearer in your approach, in which case, leverage equipment may not be needed. It is important to make an informed decision when using any leverage equipment to be sure that what you are using is helpful and not abusive.

One very common behavioral problem that seems to identify the need for more leverage is the mule that bolts and runs when on the lead rope. This seems like an obvious disobedience to the handler, and the first thing that comes to mind is to use a lead shank with a chain to gain control of the mule. Normal use for a lead shank is during a showmanship class at a show and it should rarely be used in training unless the equine will be shown at halter and/or showmanship. And then, training with the lead shank should be done only after the animal is following well through all required movements while in his halter and on a lead rope.

Chains are severe and when not used properly, can damage the fragile bones in the underside of the jaw, and the cartilage and bone over the nose of the equine. If the chain is pulled while simply run under the jaw and attached to the ring on the opposite side, a quick jerk can bear down hard into the delicate mandible (jawbone). If the chain is run over the nose, when abrupt pressure is applied it can injure the nasal cartilage or the incisive bones. Because they occur internally, these injuries are often imperceptible to the human eye. The only thing you might see is broken skin, scabs or bumps that arise from repeated use. When properly fitted, the chain on a lead shank goes through the ring of the halter on the left side, threads under the chin and through the ring on the right side of the noseband, and is attached at the throatlatch ring on the right side. This keeps the halter balanced and the action of the chain less severe. When using the lead shank for leverage during training, it can work on some animals but others may decide to fight which can result in injuries such as fractures, causing more severe trauma to these areas. So it is best to avoid use of the lead shank until after completing leading training with the halter and lead rope. Even then, you should learn to use the lead shank properly with the least amount of pressure possible. Avoid using halters that are made with chains. Those types of halters should only be used when showing cattle and can do serious damage to equines.

If you train for leading with a step-by-step program that incorporates a reward system during training, the mule is much less likely to bolt and pull the lead rope from your hands, and horses will not need any more leverage at all. This kind of training invites the equine to remain with you and he is rewarded lavishly when he does. If a horse spooks, you can usually stand still in balance, hang onto the lead rope and quickly regain his attention by staying calm and deliberate yourself. Normally, mules learn to comply with the reward training. However, if a mule has been spooked, he may not care much about the reward in your fanny pack and you might have the need to use something with more leverage. In this case and in cases where a mule doesn’t always comply willingly, I use a new positioning of the lead rope called a “Quick Twist.”

To employ the “Quick Twist” restraint, just take your lead rope and create a loop and feed it through the noseband of your nylon halter (rope halters are too loose and do not work) from back to front and then over the mule’s nose. When you pull on the rope, it will tighten around the end of the his nose below the incisive bones and over the cartilage, making breathing just a little difficult. Don’t keep pulling—just stand quietly and hold the tension snug. Let the equine come forward to you and slacken the rope himself by coming forward and allowing a free flow of air through his nostrils. Then, if the mule does not follow, just walk a step or two, creating tension on the rope, and then stand still again. When he does come forward, stop long enough to reward him with the oats reward before you proceed forward again. Keep the lead rope short and stand still in a balanced way so he cannot get ahead of you and jerk you off your feet. If you are standing still in a balanced position, it will be difficult for him to jerk the lead rope from your hand and leave.

If, after you’ve employed a kind, considerate and respectful approach along with a food reward, your equine is still being uncooperative, it may be appropriate to use equipment with more leverage such as the “Quick Twist,” but not necessarily chains. Chains do need to be used in some cases, such as with work harness (and most curb bits are now fitted with chains), but when not used correctly, these chains can be abusive. The chains on the pleasure driving harness should clear the legs and heels of the driving equine, and the chin chain on a curb bit should be adjusted so that it is twisted properly and lies flat against the animal’s jaw with an allowance of two fingers between the chain and the jaw, thereby minimizing any chance of injury. If you have a generally compliant equine, it is better to use a leather chin strap on your curb bit rather than a chain.

Old-time twitches were made with a chain that could be twisted around the upper lip and used to distract the equine from shots, tube worming and the like, but the main focal point for the equine then becomes the equipment and not the task and, in the wrong hands, this piece of equipment can do a lot of damage to the equine’s sensitive upper lip. Most often, the equine can be more easily distracted by a simple rap on his forehead using your knuckles. Using a twitch at all can become a source of confrontation for many equines. If a twitch must be used, choose a more humane one that is made from aluminum and has a smooth surface. This will clamp down tight enough to hold, but not so tightly on the upper lip that it causes pain or even injury.

A lot of activity when loading can cause the equine to become anxious and noncompliant and he becomes overstimulated. When having difficulty loading your equine, things will usually go better if you simply give him time to survey the situation and not allow him to back away from the trailer. One step at a time while offering a food reward (and a food reward waiting inside the trailer), with frequent pauses and encouragement to move forward from behind with a tap of the whip, will usually accomplish the task without confrontation. Most equines will willingly follow you right into the trailer if prior obstacle training has been done properly and successfully. Leverage equipment such as butt ropes only refocus the equine’s attention on the equipment and will result in confrontation.

Hobbles are another form of leverage equipment and there are many different kinds of hobbles for different purposes. The hobbles that have chains on them should be avoided, as the equine can become entangled and the chains can do damage to their legs. Thin leather hobbles or coarse rope can chafe the hair right off the skin around the pastern and can cause severe abrasions that may never heal. Thick leather hobbles are best, as they will break when under extreme stress, releasing before damage to the equine is done. If so inclined, all mules and some horses can gallop in hobbles, so hobbles really aren’t all that effective for leverage. Tying
onto a hyline (a rope suspended between two trees that acts as a hitching line for overnighting equines in the mountains) is a better choice, and if the horses are tied, then the mules should not have to be tied or hobbled because they will generally stay with the horses.

Sedation and tranquilizers are another form of leverage that is used all too often and, in some cases, can be very dangerous. Mules and donkeys may receive the correct dose, but they can be unaffected when they get over-stimulated, excited and confrontational. They can actually “pop out” of sedation if they get excited enough to release adrenaline in their bodies. In these cases, administering another dose of drugs can easily become an overdose and could result in death. Sedating an equine that is to be trimmed or shod can be dangerous for both the farrier and the equine because the animal is not able to stabilize his balance and his reactions are, for the most part, uncontrolled. The farrier may not have time to get out of the way and the animal could stumble into trouble.

Power tools can be of help to a veterinarian or an equine dentist when doing teeth. Old-fashioned rasps are safer than power tools, but they are clearly more of an aggravation to the equine. However, if power tools are to be used at all, they must be carefully monitored. When floating teeth, the equine dentist must be skilled in the use of his grinding tool and should do only what is necessary to remove sharp points on the equine’s teeth. Power tools can be a good thing when you are dealing with an equine’s mouth and jaw, as having their mouths held open for long periods of time is very tiring for them, so speed is essential, but accuracy and skill are also essential.

I do not approve of using power tools on the equine’s hooves at all. In order for the equine’s body to be properly balanced in good posture, the hooves must first be properly balanced. Power tools cannot possibly shape the hoof with proper curvature in the sole, alignment of angles and equal balance over the hoof walls with appropriate pressure to the heels and frog. This demands hands-on custom sculpting, as each foot on each equine will be different and all four feet need to be aligned with each individual’s legs and body in mind. The hooves are the basic foundation for the entire body, so they must be done correctly or everything else will be off. This is especially true with the tiny hooves of mini donkeys and mules. Minis can often be kept calm for trims simply by keeping things at their eye level and rewarding their good behavior with crimped oats.

There are things that may seem to allow for shortcuts through certain tasks, but when you are dealing with living creatures there really are no shortcuts. It is always better to take the necessary time to implement training techniques that allow your equine to learn and grow in a logical, step-by-step process that will not overwhelm him or bombard him with too much stimulus at any stage, so that he can become a comfortable and cooperative individual. If you use the correct methods right from the beginning, the need for excessive retraints (that can cause pain and even more resistance) will be greatly diminished and the long-term results will be undeniably better.

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.

© 2013, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

View all Mule Crossing articles

Chilly Pepper – YOU kept 11 horses off the slaughter truck, but we need funds to feed, vet & care for them!

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

We did it! We saved 11 livesOnce again I went on Faith, as we had enough to save them, but need more help to get them home safely.

We had enough funds to purchase the horses, and now I need to pay for the hay that has been delivered. I have 27 horses with me at camp, not including the ones back in NV. I needed $1500 worth of hay delivered to “camp”, and this was definitely not in the budget.

Sadly, Jan had to be euthanized due to a horrific injury she has suffered with for a very long time. (I tried to treat her but knew immediately she needed emergency vet care.) She literally had a broken bone sticking out of her side. What a horrible feeling to try and remove something that was actually her broken bone. Doc pulled out numerous pieces of bones that were floating inside her. It was horrible and devastating. I thank God that you all made it possible to give her the help she so deserved. She is finally pain free and running free in Heaven. I just can’t do this sometimes. It’s too hard!

As you know, I do all of the vetting I possibly can. I deal with mass amounts of pus, have to remove chunks of dead flesh etc, but when I try to remove what looks like a scab and find out it is literally her broken bone, it is not only sickening, heartbreaking and devastating, but it is way beyond my ability to care for properly. We have had horribly high vet bills due to the number of devastating injuries we have had.

The vet bills are in the thousands, or close to at both places. I have another batch of Coggins scheduled for Friday, but need to pay off Harrah prior to that. Harrah Veterinary – $1364.58 is what is needed BEFORE Friday. If I don’t get that paid, I most likely can’t get the Coggins on the new batch and I won’t be able to go home in time for my surgery.

The total for Goldendale Veterinary stands at $3524.87, and that does NOT include the starved “Uncle Fester’s” recent visit and specialized blood work.

We are in desperate need of help for these vet bills. Having so many lives saved brings a serious need for help. Thank you for keeping them off the truck, but these horses are still in need of your help!

Please check out the New Adoption page!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/543121366934903

If anyone wants to help,

Supplies can be sent to

Palomino
C/O Melody LeBeau
1630 Pumphouse Rd
Toppenish, WA 98948

or Donations can be made at:

CashAp-$LauriArmstrong
Venmo – @Lauri-Armstrong-2
Paypal-Palomino@chillypepper.org

THANK YOU for everything we have received. **

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

PS – The paypal link is once again working properly.

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

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MULE CROSSING: Train for the Pleasure of It

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By Meredith Hodges

As humans, we tend to complicate our lives—filling them with people, things, goals and tasks, until we’re too busy to think. For a mule or donkey (and even other equines), it’s different. The equine has no “to do’s,” no “ought-have’s,” or “ought-to’s.” He takes things as they come, considers his response in the moment, and stays open to possibility. This year, why not resolve to be more like your mule or donkey? Consider your priorities and look at your relationship with him from his perspective. Stop to smell the roses, and during those inevitable challenging moments, put yourself in your mule’s shoes. Think like he does and you may be surprised at the response you get.

No doubt, this is a tall order. After all, we humans tend to begin with the end in mind, and the process is just a means to that end. Training, for example, is a process. We attempt to train with a goal in mind. Our goal at the Lucky Three Ranch is to improve the equine’s performance as well as our own. Most of us train with the expectation that improvement will occur, and most of us add the self-imposed pressure to improve within a certain amount of time. The notion that the training—the process itself—could be the goal is foreign to many of us. But consider it. What if we trained for the pure pleasure of spending time with our equine while using the values we hold dear like respect, kindness, consideration and consistency in our behavior? How different would the experience be for us and for him?

Today’s general horse training techniques do not generally work well with mules and donkeys. Most horse training techniques used today speed up the training process so people can ride or drive sooner and it makes the trainers’ techniques more attractive, but most of these techniques do not adequately prepare the equine physically in good posture for the added stress of a rider on his back. Mules and donkeys have a very strong sense of self preservation and need work that builds their bodies properly so they will feel good in their new and correct posture, or you won’t get the kind of results you might expect. Forming a good relationship with your equine begins with a consistent maintenance routine and appropriate groundwork. Most equines don’t usually get the well-structured and extended groundwork training on the lead rope that paves the way to good balance, core muscle conditioning and a willing attitude.  This is essential if he is truly expected to be physically and mentally prepared for future equine activities. With donkeys and mules, this is critically important.

No matter how old or how well trained the equine, they still need time doing the simplest of things to get to know you before they will learn to trust and have confidence in you. The exercises that you do should build the body slowly, sequentially and in good equine posture. No human or equine is born in good posture. It is something that needs to be taught and practiced repetitively if it is to become a natural way of moving the body.

When the body is in good posture, all internal organs can function properly and the skeletal frame will be supported correctly. Just as our children need routine, ongoing learning and the right kind of exercise while they are growing up, so do equines. They need boundaries for their behavior clearly outlined to minimize anxious behaviors and inappropriate behavior, and the exercises that you do together need to build their strength and coordination in good equine posture. The time spent together during leading training and going forward builds a good solid relationship with your equine and fosters his confidence and trust in you because you actually help him to feel physically better. A carefully planned routine and an appropriate feeding program is critical to healthy development.

I have found that equines, especially mules and donkeys, bond to the person who trains them. When they go away to other people, they do not get the benefit of this bonding and can become resistant over time when they return home. After all, you wouldn’t ask someone else to go out and make a friend for you, would you? This is the primary reason I put my entire training program in books and videos, in a natural order like grade school is for children, for people to use as a resistance free correspondence training course instead of doing clinics and seminars.

I embraced this philosophy long ago. Through a painstaking process that involved a fair amount of trial and error, I determined that my ambitions as a competitor made little impression on my equines and that it was the level of respect, compassion and empathy that I brought to my relationship with each one that served us best in the show ring. My animals would do anything for me, but not because they had the same lofty performance goals I had. It’s because we truly enjoy being together regardless of what we’re doing or working on. Really, it’s because we’re friends, and that’s what friends do for each other. It’s a very unselfish relationship.

My friendships with my equines are as integral to their outstanding performance and versatility as their physical training. In my training series, Training Mules and Donkeys, and the complementary  manuals and DVD series, Equus Revisited: A Complete Approach to Athletic Conditioning, I explain how to build that relationship even as you develop your equine’s physical foundation. Just as he learns to move in balanced frame day by day, moment by moment, your equine also grows to trust you and take pleasure in your mutual effort.  In fact, training for the pure pleasure of it is what your mule does. He’s not thinking about the next show, or how much better or worse so-and-so is. He’s not even pondering what happened yesterday or what might be coming down the pike tomorrow. He’s out there, with you, experiencing what’s going on right now, period. In that respect, he’s no different from his ancestors who spent their days roaming and grazing. So why not join him? Why not assume a degree of responsibility and respect for him that says: I will set my goals and work to achieve them, but never at the expense of our friendship.

We love our animals, but sometimes we forget to enjoy them! It’s my ultimate goal, to learn from them. I believe it’s our ultimate responsibility to let them be who they are and give them the care, love and respect that they so richly deserve.

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.

© 2007, 2016, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc.  All Rights Reserved

TT47 SidePassingT Slideshow

LTR Training Tip #47: Side Passing the T

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Side passing the “T” is an advanced move, and a good challenge for testing your equine’s lateral abilities.

 

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Don’t get colt feet 🐎 … join us on November 4th for our annual Stay Wild event!!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We’re less than a month out from the American Wild Horse Campaign’s (AWHC) annual Stay Wild event! Are you coming?

On November 4, celebrity ambassadors, top philanthropists, conservationists, and members of the public will come together for our annual virtual event streamed live from San Francisco.

This is our ONLY big-ticket event of the year, so we can promise you won’t want to miss this!! 

GET YOUR TICKETS >>

The fourth annual event will be an action-packed adventure, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act — the foundational law that protects these iconic animals on Western public lands.

We’ll take guests on a journey through time, stopping at landmark years to see how AWHC’s initiatives are working to end decades-old issues — for good.

Don’t get colt feet  … join us on November 4th for this awesome event!!

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Stay wild!
— AWHC Team

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