Monthly Archive for: ‘February, 2023’

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MULE CROSSING: Joining Up With Equines


By Meredith Hodges

The first time I ever saw a horse, I was mesmerized by its beauty and the fluidity of its motion. Watching herds of horses on television as they galloped across the plains was like watching uniquely colored rainbows in motion. Their silky manes and tails floated behind them as they ran, and my heart soared with the promise of acquiring a sense of freedom like theirs. Their long, inviting backs beckoned me to ride!

No doubt, many have experienced the same sensation while watching horses. But how many of us ever believed that we could be trainers of such a wild and unconstrained beast? I thought that only the most macho of men could tame these animals, and their secrets would never be revealed to the common person. After all, these were special people with a special talent that I could never possess…they were the “Horse Whisperers.” So, I began my equine career riding horses that were already broke by someone else. It wasn’t until I was nineteen years old that I attempted to train my first horse. This two-year-old buckskin Arabian/Quarter Horse mare bucked me off before every ride, but she eventually became the dam of five of my very best mules.

I suspect that she bucked me off because I didn’t know what she needed from me to better perform. I avidly watched the horse trainers in action, read everything I could get my hands on, took clinics from trainers and drooled at the thought of ever riding as well as the horsemen of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. I was crushed to discover that the school didn’t accept female riders.

Over the years, I was able to ride my horses in many equine activities, but my real equine education took place when I began to interact with mules and donkeys. They were the teachers that clarified my part in the equine experience. With every “Longears” interaction, I began to realize that I really could become a trainer—it was not some great mystery or talent that I would never possess. Even activities as simple as grooming or leading revealed the more intimate connections I could have with these amazing animals.

Mules have incredible strength due to the donkey influence that often leaves our most popular equine training techniques virtually ineffective when the approach is not to their liking. Their remarkable athletic ability and agility renders us helpless when we are unfairly insistent with them. It didn’t take long after my introduction to Longears before I realized that my approach to training needed to change drastically, but I was really surprised when they taught me that the way to cooperation between us was simply mutual respect, good manners, with a routinely consistent program that addressed their physical development. When this is done properly, it makes them feel good to be with you and they will actually choose to go with you over their stablemates…no herdbound problems anymore! It is a much easier approach in the long run.

Granted, we can get a mule, donkey or horse to “Join Up” in a round pen fairly quickly, but this does not always adequately address their correct physical development in good equine posture and it will still be a long road to finessed performance in any specific events. When we think of conditioning an equine’s muscles, we generally think more about bulk muscle development and not about core muscle development that supports good equine posture, allows more freedom of movement and promotes optimum functionality of internal organs. Equines that are properly physically conditioned, feel better all over and are much better able to perform the things that we ask of them. They do realize that you are the one responsible for their comfort.

True bonding is a lot more than just having them like you. True bonding is a real show of gratitude from your equine for being kind, considerate and thoughtful of his needs. Food rewards are not withheld, corrections for aggressive behaviors are handled quickly and fairly, and the equine should never be separated from his “friends”as a punishment. Isolation is not good for anyone and will only promote hostility. When you are thoughtful and kind in your approach, trust and cooperation are built and true bonding emerges.

Today, as an older and wiser equestrienne, it is my mission to share with others what Longears have taught me so they too can have a safe and satisfying relationship with the equines they love. What amazes me most? That having this kind of relationship with equines is really so simple. It just requires having the right attitude toward training and knowing what to do in an order that makes sense to the equine, an order that always has his best interests at heart. When you do, he will learn to trust and take good care of you in return.

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

© 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2023 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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LTR Training Tip #82: Good Equitation


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TAKE ACTION: 3 steps you can take NOW to help wild horses and burros in 2023


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

In an unprecedented move, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) still has not announced any new roundups for Fiscal Year 2023. This is good news! At the same time, that doesn’t mean wild horses and burros are out of harm’s way — helicopter roundups still may be scheduled for this summer, and many of the animals who have already been removed are in danger.

Once these animals are captured, they become part of a government holding system where more than 60,000 wild horses and burros are confined — a system that’s at its breaking point. In 2022, the BLM conducted assessments of some of its facilities, and  the results were shocking. These assessments showed widespread animal welfare violations, including inadequate access to food and water, lack of basic care, and poorly maintained facilities that put animals at a higher risk for injury and disease.

AWHC is taking action to address this crisis and proactively ensure that wild horses and burros are treated humanely, both in holding and in the wild. But we cannot do it alone! Here are three actions you can take NOW to help support the safety and freedom of our cherished wild horses and burros in 2023.

  1. Urge Congress to Support Wild Horse and Burro Protection
    Contact your member of Congress today and urge them to support humane, common-sense, and fiscally responsible reforms that would stop the endless cycle of removals and keep our magnificent mustangs and burros in the wild where they belong.
  1. Call on Congress to Mandate Camera Installations at Wild Horse and Burro Capture Operations
    In order to ensure transparency and accountability during wild horse and burro roundups, we must urge legislators to mandate cameras on helicopters and at trap sites. Ensuring cameras are installed at roundup operations to record and document potential violations will provide a record of activities most Americans never see.
  1. Tell DOI and BLM to Address Holding Facility Conditions
    The BLM’s holding system cannot safely hold the thousands of additional wild horses that the agency intends to capture over the next few years. We must demand change today. Please contact Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning and ask them to ensure the humane care of wild horses and burros in these facilities.

Thanks for taking action, team.

— AWHC Team

Who’s Ready to Party? Ballerini’s Bash is Today!


This is an update from All About Equine Rescue.

All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc.

Are you ready to party?!

Ballerini’s virtual birthday bash is today!

Ballerini’s cake smash will be live streamed today from our barn at 12pm (PST)!

 You can also look back at Ballerini’s first 12 months with a special video.

 Click on the button below just before noon to join the celebration. The party will probably last about 10-15 minutes


Attend Ballerini’s Virtual Birthday Bash!

Can’t party at noon? No problem! The festivities will be available online to view at a later time, too. Just use the same button above!

But what do you get a horse for her 1st birthday?

You can show Ballerini (and all of her herdmates) some love with a gift to her birthday fundraiser! Your donation will help support all of the horses of AAE!

Donate to Ballerini’s Birthday Fundraiser!
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MULE CROSSING: Handling Your Mule’s Ears


By Meredith Hodges

Just how sensitive is a mule about having his ears touched? If a mule is handled often and properly, he should be no more sensitive about his ears than he is about any other part of his body. However, if he is rarely handled, mishandled or handled roughly, he can become quite sensitive about any part of his body and in particular, his ears. Bearing this in mind, take the time to desensitize your mule to touch and handling by paying attention to how he likes to be touched in any given area, and then by being polite about handling those more sensitive areas. This is an important part of any training program, both for general management and for safety purposes. This is the heart of imprinting.

The mule that has an aversion to having his ears handled poses a problem with management convenience, but more than that, he can be a safety hazard in many situations. Here are some examples of lack of desensitization causing inconvenience and possibly, a dangerous situation. Inconvenient: Your mule does not want his ears touched, so you have to disassemble his bridle each time you put it on him. Dangerous: Should you accidentally touch his ears while putting the bridle on him, he could possibly thrash his head around and knock you silly! Inconvenient: If you get into a difficult spot on a trail where you have to dismount and move quickly, you may be unable to take the reins over your mule’s head in order to safely lead him. Dangerous: While you try to get the reins over his head without touching his ears, your mule could inadvertently knock you down or lose his balance and fall down while trying to avoid you. The moral is this: If your mule is to be a completely safe riding animal, he must be appropriately desensitized all over his head and body—including his ears—and trust that you will not harm him.

Desensitization should be humane and considerate—never abusive. When we say we want to desensitize an animal, it simply means that we want him to become accustomed to touch and handling all over his body, particularly in areas such as his head, legs and rear quarters, where he is apt to be the most sensitive. An animal that has not been politely desensitized will tend to react more violently to touch. When properly teaching your mule to become desensitized, your touch should be presented in a pleasurable way, so that your mule not only learns to tolerate it, but to actually enjoy it and look forward to it. An old-time method such as “sacking out” is a somewhat crude technique that is used to desensitize an animal by tying the mule in a corner where he cannot flee, and then flinging a tarp or large canvas all over his body, including the head. Often times, it creates more problems than it can solve because it is rarely done politely. A mule that has been “sacked” about the head can actually become more sensitive because this inconsiderate approach teaches him that humans cannot be trusted. He perceives that they will fling things over his head, blinding him and causing him anxiety for no apparent reason. The mule will stand still only because he cannot move, but if he is given the opportunity to flee or fight back, he will more than likely do so. Thus, the old “obstinate mule” myths are actually most often the result of some fault of the trainer, and not the mule. Sacking out more politely will eliminate these kinds of potential bad habits.

Desensitizing a mule that is sensitive about his ears is a long-term process. First, you must maintain a firm, quiet and tolerant attitude. Nothing your mule does should make you angry enough to lose your temper or your patience. Make sure your mule is tacked with a stout, non-breakable halter and rope. While stroking his nose in a polite and soothing manner, ask your mule to come forward, one step at a time, to a stout hitch rail. If he won’t come easily, just snub your lead on the hitch rail so he cannot go backwards, and keep coaxing him forward until he comes. Take up the slack with each step and then hold until he takes another step forward toward the hitch rail. Wait as long as it takes for him to gain confidence enough to come forward. Do not get into a pulling or pushing match with him—you will only create resistance in him and perpetuate avoidance behaviors—and he will win because he is stronger and he weighs more!

When his nose is finally up to the rail, run your lead around the post and come through the noseband on his halter and around the post again. Then tie him off snugly, so that his nose is tied as closely as possible to the hitch rail, making sure there is no slack. Now begin softly stroking your mule’s nose, using gentle yet firm strokes. Next, work your way up his forehead, and finally toward his ears. NOTE: Remember to use soft, gentle yet firm strokes, going with the grain of the hair and never against it. Do not “pat” your mule—it’s too threatening.

Let the tips of your fingers find the base of your mule’s ear (away from the open side) and stroke upward, toward the tip. At this point, he will probably thrash his head back and forth to avoid your touch—just remain slow, deliberate, reassuring and gentle about your approach. When he has allowed you to stroke the ear, even if for only a couple of seconds, leave your hand resting on the ear and use your free hand to feed him an oats reward. Don’t take your hand away from the ear until he is chewing calmly and no longer worried about your hand on his ear. Do this with each ear no more than one or two times each session and then go to his shoulder and work your hand in a massaging fashion over his neck, toward his ears. While your thumb cradles an ear, let your fingers move over his poll. With your thumb, gently stroke upward on the back of his ear, while leaving the rest of your hand over his poll. If he jerks away, just keep going back to the same position of thumb cradling the ear and fingers moving over the poll.

When he will tolerate this, you can then cradle the ear in your fingers and with your thumb, begin to gently rub upward on the inside of the edge of his ear. Do not go too deep into the ear at first. After he is calm with this, you can begin rubbing downward into the ear with your fingers, while cradling the ear in your opposite hand, being very careful not to go too deep. Watch his eyes and allow him to “tell” you how deep to go. If it feels good, his eyebrows will raise and flicker. If he doesn’t like it, he will simply jerk his head away and that is your cue to lighten up. Most mules love to have the insides of their ears rubbed, so find the areas inside your mule’s ear that actually give him pleasure. Each individual mule will be different.

In the next step, you will be in the same position, but you will close your hand around your mule’s ear and hold it with just enough pressure that he cannot jerk your hand loose. Do not hold too tight, grab or pull the ear—just maintain a quiet, gentle hold on the ear and go with his movement. If he pulls away, just slightly tighten your grip on the ear until he stops pulling and then lighten your grip again. Tighten only when he pulls away, and then immediately release when he stops resisting—tighten and loosen your grip as needed, and be sure to follow his movement. He will soon learn that if he doesn’t fight it, there is no discomfort. Never tightly grip his ear and do not tighten your grip any more than you need to in order to hold onto the ear—you never want to induce pain. Once your mule is tolerant of you holding his ear in this fashion, you can introduce the clippers, should you desire, using the same guidelines of tightening gently yet firmly when he pulls and releasing when he submits. However, introduce the clippers only after he has completely accepted you holding his ears.

Introduce the bridle by holding your right hand flat on the poll between your mule’s ears, and by using your left hand to raise the crown piece over his nose and up to his forehead. Slide your right hand down his forehead a little to meet your left hand. When your hands meet, transfer the crown piece into your right hand, insert the bit with your left hand, and then raise the crown piece up to the base of his ears. Slowly transfer the crown strap back to your left hand. Gently cup the fingers of your right hand around the base of his right ear. Now bend the ear forward and under the crown piece and slide it over your hand (and the ear) into its position behind the ear. While keeping your palm firmly on your mule’s poll, slowly move to the left ear and repeat the same movements.
The bridle should now be in place and you can reward your mule. Do not put on and remove the bridle any more than once per session. Your mule needs to clearly know that this is not just some annoying past time you have discovered, but an act of necessity. He will soon learn that if he cooperates, it won’t take too long. Once the bridle is on, get right to the business at hand and forget the ears for a while.

When you return with the difficult mule, tie him as before, stand directly in front of him (with the hitch rail between you) and gently remove the bridle with both hands lifting and sliding the crown piece over both of his ears simultaneously, so there is little pressure on his ears as it slides over them. If he still holds the bit in his mouth, hesitate for a minute when the bridle is off his ears and allow HIM to drop the bit. Removing the bridle this way will help to avoid chafing the ears and will avoid the bit hitting his teeth before you remove the bridle the rest of the way. Always removing the bridle in this fashion will encourage him to drop his head and will prevent bad habits such as pulling away or flinging his head.

When your mule gets used to having his ears handled and being bridled while snubbed and haltered, you can then begin dropping the halter and loosely tying him while he is being bridled. Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks before you can drop the halter—this will vary depending on the individual mule, so just be patient. Your quiet, gentle perseverance will eventually win out and your mule’s ears will be desensitized and quite manageable. After you have mastered his outer ear and inner ear, you may find that your mule actually enjoys having his inner ear stroked or scratched, and bridling becomes easy. Integrating washing his face and cleaning his nostrils and ears during the grooming process should further help him to accept having his ears handled. Handling your mule’s ears can actually become a truly pleasurable experience for your Longears.

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

© 1992, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Hearts from AAE!


This is an update from All About Equine Rescue.

All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc.


Brodie is a very handsome 2009 (est) Appy gelding. He arrived at AAE with pasture-mate, senior mare, Kyrie, in March 2021 when their owner was moving cross-country. The new home she arranged for them fell through at the last minute, and she reached out to AAE. Brodie lived with Kyrie in a large pasture, and he enjoyed following her lead, though he wasn’t too sure he wanted to follow her into the trailer when it was time to leave, though he did.

Once at AAE, his teeth and hoof care were updated, and he received vaccines, deworming, and microchip. This sweet guy was big and athletic, but he was like the cowardly lion. His confidence came from his ol’ gal pal. If he wasn’t with her, there was a bit of a crisis. He would get mighty anxious and nearly lose his mind. Over time, his confidence has grown, and he’s evolving into a bit of a gentle giant.

Brodie is a beauty as you can see. He’s also a big sweetheart. He’s got the looks, the body, and the brain is coming along. Before our move, Brodie spent time with a trainer (on his own) building his confidence and learning new things. Besides basic groundwork, he was introduced to a saddle. Though he looked mighty handsome, and he tried hard to understand and do what was being asked, it was really hard. He needed more confidence to carry a rider, so we gave him more time.

Brodie lives comfortably in the middle of a herd of ten with no major issues. He’s neither dominant nor a pushover. He can be pulled out of pasture without a meltdown now for handling, grooming, or work. Sweetest of all, he really enjoys his time with humans. Brodie has come a long way. He loads, but needs some patience so he can check things out. He’s fairly good with the farrier, even shoeing his front hooves (he has thin soles), but may need a little patience. All in all, he’s pretty easy to handle, appreciating a little extra time when introduced to something new.

This big guy needs a person of his own, one that will adore him and continue building his confidence. His person will continue his growth at his pace with patience and kindness, embracing his inner cowardly lion as he learns to roar. Brodie is going to make somebody a really special partner one of these days.

We’d be so happy if Brodie could find his forever home! If you think you sound like a good match for Brodie, please visit his page to learn more and submit an “Adoption Inquiry”.

 Can’t adopt but want to help Brodie? Share his story with your friends, family, co-workers, and other horse people in your life! You can also sponsor him to help cover his costs of care until he finds his perfect person.




You’re Invited!

Join us as we look back at Ballerini’s first year and enjoy watching her partake in the first birthday smash cake tradition!

This will be one virtual party you won’t want to miss! (No festivities will take place in person.)

 Web link to follow.

Can’t party at noon? No problem! The festivities will be available online to view at a later time, too.

But what do you get a horse for her 1st birthday?

You can show Ballerini (and all of her herdmates) some love with a gift to her birthday fundraiser! Your donation will help support all of the horses of AAE!

Donate to Ballerini’s Birthday Fundraiser!

Behind the Scenes: How supporters like you power our lifesaving programs →


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The donations supporters like you make to our organization power the important work that we are doing day in and day out. We often tell you in these emails that we’re working in the field, in court, and on the Hill to protect wild horses and burros. And we are. Every dollar you donate to the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is critical to powering our work in each of these areas. 

So today, we wanted to share a little insight with you about just how critical every single dollar donated really is to each of our lifesaving programs. For every $1 dollar donated to AWHC, 80 cents goes directly to powering the programs we operate to preserve the freedom of America’s wild herds:

  • In-the-Wild Management: Not only do we currently operate the world’s largest fertility control program for wild horses, but this year we are on track to jumpstart several other programs for at-risk herds across the West.
  • Government Relations: Your contributions fuel lobbying for the passage of the SAFE Act to stop slaughter, securing funding for humane management to divert funds away from brutal roundups, and working with members of Congress to introduce legislation to secure meaningful protections for wild horses and burros.
  • Investigations: Thanks to you, we have been able to bring to light the atrocities occurring as a result of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Adoption Incentive Program (AIP) and dive into our investigation into holding facility conditions.
  • Advocacy: We are bringing the issue of wild horse and burro protection into the mainstream by launching awareness campaigns through billboards, television and digital media, our celebrity ambassador program, and traditional media.
  • Rescue: Your generosity allows us to grant funding to rescue organizations in need of support to get mustangs and burros out of kill pens, transport animals to safety, and cover costs of care and treatment.
  • And so much more. 

And the other 20 cents? That money is invested in the operations that allow us to continue these very programs. Check it out:

Being this transparent doesn’t scare us – it’s exactly why we have a 100% rating from Charity Navigator, are a 5-star Top Nonprofit by Great Nonprofits, and have received the Guidestar Gold Transparency rating. We’re proud of our status as a strong, vibrant, and effective non-profit.

None of this would be possible without our staff, our volunteers, our advocates, and without supporters like you. You make this work possible and we’re proud to fight alongside you to keep our wild horses and burros wild. 

Every time you donate, you help our team prove to the BLM, Congress, and the American public that there is a better way to manage our wild horses and burros – whether it be in the field, in court, or on the Hill.

Thank you so much for your support,






Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

Spuds and Augie standing in the snow

Longears Music Videos: Snow Play


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Chilly Pepper – Another horse dumped on Hwy 97, heartbreak and some desperately needed repairs on the vehicles


The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

It’s been quite the couple of weeks.

Above you see Lenny, our latest Hwy 97 rescue. Lenny came in late at night after being dumped in the same place as Trooper and Smokey.

He apparently spent a night out there before I got him, and was HIT BY A VEHICLE. I have no idea if it was the 1st night or not, or how long he suffered after being hit. However, it is clear he had been suffering for some time with his cancer. He had broken glass all over him, and you can clearly see he was split open on his hindquarters.

Lenny was the sweetest and most beautiful soul ever. He planted his head on me and begged for help. Doc had me give him Banamine to see if we could ease his pain enough to properly assess his injuries. As you can also see he had penile cancer and had it for a VERY long time.

It was excruciating for him, and was spreading internally which is why Doc thought he was starving.

After he got the banamine he could finally urinate. It was obviously extremely painful and clear that he had not done so for a very long time. You could see the relief through the pain as he emptied what seemed like gallons from his bladder.

Sadly, with the extent of how far the cancer had spread and being hit and old, Doc said the best thing for him was to end his suffering. We talked about amputation, but that would be horrific for him and with the cancer and injuries from being hit, it would be stupid and cruel.

I was so desperate to be able to help him. So we had to let him go to end his suffering.

I didn’t have time to fundraise, and after we let him go I just couldn’t even bear the thought of doing an update until now.

On top of that, the truck is in the shop and I need over $4,000 to get it out. I had to put tires on the hay trailer to the tune of $1303.26, and the vet bill shown above DOES NOT include the last 9 Coggins or the vet fees to end Lenny’s suffering.

So we are in a pretty tight spot. I also purchased over $3,000 in hay in the last month or so, and we still need more. That includes no grain or supplements.

I am hoping and praying that we can get the vehicle expenses covered and some help with the vet bill.

Rescue is so expensive, but so many of the cases God sends us are end of life and need to have their suffering ended.

Thank you as always!

Doc’s number is 509-773-0369 if you want to help with the vet bill.

Thank you for your continued help with these precious lives.

I know God keeps sending us lots of emergencies, BUT IT IS TRULY LIFE AND DEATH for these horses. It is not just grabbing the cute ones, or the easy ones, or creating orphans so you can fundraise. It is stepping up and figuring out how to do the impossible. YOU, MY CHILLY PEPPER FAMILY, are the ones who do that. YOU are doing the real rescue for the horses with no other options. Let’s do it again. These horses are absolutely precious and deserve every good thing for the rest of their lives.

At this point folks are asking why we are not getting the babies off the reservation. The babies being brought in are “ordered” and roped off their healthy Mama’s. It is part of a few folks idea of “range management’. I would agree wholeheartedly, but not until they are of the age to wean. So many of the “manufactured orphans” will die because your average folks have no idea the work it takes and how easily these babies crash. If you watch on the internet you will see new babies coming in to be “matched to Mama’s:, while their real Mama’s are heartbroken, and they have been stripped from their natural families as newborns or week old to month old babies. Chilly Pepper will NOT be involved in that. It breaks my heart, especially watching how long Mercedes suffered,.

We will always take actual orphans, or the injured etc. The gentleman I work with normally doesn’t even start rounding them up until June to give the babies time with their Mama’s.

Chilly Pepper will continue to do exactly as we always have. Be there for the real orphans, and horses in need, to the best of our ability.

If you want to help with the Vet Bill, call Goldendale Veterinary at 509-773-0369.

I appreciate every single one of our Chilly Pepper Family. God has truly blessed this rescue!

Have a safe, blessed and life saving 2023!


-<You can go to gofundme<-

You can go to Paypal<-

PLEASE NOTE – Paypal shows Wild Horses in Need, as we are dba- Chilly Pepper

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.



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.

An update on Colorado’s horse slaughter bill


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Yesterday, the Colorado Senate Agriculture Committee narrowly passed an amended version of Senate Bill 23-038-007 concerning the Unlawful Transportation of Equines for Human Consumption. 

Bill 23-038, led by Colorado Voters for Animals, was originallydrafted to Prohibit Equine Slaughter for Human Consumption but was weakened to meet the approval of the Senate Agriculture Committee and is now limited to addressing conditions of transportation to slaughter for human consumption. The bill title was also narrowed and constrained to the topic of transport. Unfortunately, once the scope of a bill title has been narrowed, it cannot be widened and amendments must comport with the bill title.

Next, the bill moves to the full Senate for a vote. If it passes, it will move to the House for a committee hearing, most likely in the House Transportation Committee. We will continue to monitor the bill as further amendments are introduced.

You can read the full text of SB23-038-007 here.

Thank you for caring about wild horses,

The AWHC Team

Tell the BLM: End the Cash Incentives for Wild Horse and Burro Adoption!


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We’ve got a lot to share with you in this week’s eNews, including: an inside look at a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) adoption event, an opportunity to take action against the diastrous Adoption Incentive Program (AIP), and the latest update on our groundbreaking fertility control program on Nevada’s Virginia Range.

Read on to learn more and speak up for our cherished wild herds! >>

Help End the Cash Incentives for Wild Horse and Burro Adoption

A white mustang stands behind the bars of a holding facility pen

AWHC’s investigative team is continuing to monitor and track the consequences of the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program (AIP), which pays individuals $1,000 to adopt a wild, unhandled horse or burro.

In fact, since the start of February, we have identified over 30 BLM-branded wild horses and burros in slaughter auctions across the country. Unfortunately, we know that this is just the tip of the iceberg and many more are shipping directly across the border for slaughter. It’s time to end the cash incentives that are sending hundreds, if not thousands of our beloved wild mustangs and burros into the slaughter pipeline.


Eyewitness Report: BLM Adoption Event in Florida

A dark brown stallion stands very close to a handful of other horses all in an enclosed holding pen

Last weekend, AWHC volunteer Gail Clifton traveled to Okeechobee, Florida to attend and document a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) adoption event. As part of our ongoing investigation into the agency’s Adoption Incentive Program (AIP) that is sending droves of mustangs and burros into the slaughter pipeline, we are ensuring the documentation of these events. Read more here 


Humane Wild Horse Management in the News

Several mustangs gallop and splash playfully in a puddle

The collaborative effort on Nevada’s Virginia Range for a cherished herd of mustangs is making headlines! At the beginning of the month, AWHC held a press conference to unveil the latest data from our volunteer-run fertility control program that is helping to stabilize the horses’ population as their habitat continues to be swallowed by development. Read about those results below!


Thanks for reading. And thank you for continuing to stand up for our cherished wild horses and burros!

— AWHC Team

Save Your Ass Rescue Newletter


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:



Need A Long Eared Valentine?

Let’s give some love to the rescues this Valentine’s Day! All the long ears at SYA are looking for you to be their date on Valentines Day!

It costs $20 a day to shelter and feed one rescue donkey. With a $20 donation you can take one long ear of your choosing on a donkey date day! Thank you for being their date on a day where they don’t have their own home yet. Because of you and your support they will soon!

Take A Donkey On A Date!

Thank you for your help and support to get the long ears this far, we couldn’t do it without you! We hope your day is filled with love and donkey hugs. ❤️


The SYA Crew and all the animals! Paloma, Bunny, Apollo, Athena, Benjamin, Finley, Fern and Stephen.

2023 Calendars are 20% off now through the end of February.

Take Me To The Shop

Kicking off 2023 on the heels of some major wild horse and burro wins in Washington >>


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

At the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), we’re committed to securing the safety and freedom of wild horses and burros every way possible – working in the field, in federal court, and on Capitol Hill.

As our team is gearing up for 2023, we wanted to share with you some of the major legislative victories we achieved in 2022! Last year, our government relations team worked tirelessly with U.S. House Natural Resources Committee staff to craft the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Protection Act of 2022, which was introduced in October. This historic piece of bipartisan legislation would restore protections for wild horses and burros that have been eroded over the past few decades.

This bill would enact sweeping changes to the way the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) manage our wild herds. This includes putting an end to the disastrous cash incentives that are driving adopted wild horses and burros into the slaughter pipeline, prioritizing humane methods of population management like fertility control vaccine programs as an alternative to cruel helicopter roundups, and much more.

The introduction of this historic bill was a huge victory – but now, our team is working to get it re-introduced in the new session of Congress. Can you make a donation today to help ensure we have the resources we need to keep our staff on the Hill and continue our legislative efforts to protect wild horses and burros?


In addition to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Protection Act, we achieved another huge victory on Capitol Hill by securing language in the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations bill dedicating up to $11 million in funding specifically for humane fertility control as an alternative to inhumane helicopter roundups. 

This proven and safe method of population management allows wild horses to stay in the wild where they belong. Our own PZP fertility control program on Nevada’s Virginia Range has reduced foaling rates by 62%. And hard-hitting data like this has helped us demonstrate to the public, Congress, and the BLM that there is a better way to manage our wild herds. 

We wouldn’t have gotten these wins in Congress without your support, but we have to keep up the momentum. Can you make a donation today to help power our Government Relations team’s continued work on Capitol Hill to protect wild horses and burros in 2023?


Thank you!


DEVELOPING: A pattern of cruel conditions in BLM holding facilities >>


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Our Investigations Team works day in and day out to ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to uncovering the consequences of removing wild horses and burros from public lands and stockpiling them in Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holding pens. 

Every investigative report we write, every legal inquiry we pursue, and every Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request we file, reveals the same: 

America’s wild herds are living peacefully on the public lands they call home → The BLM conducts brutal helicopter roundups to maintain pre-determined and unscientific population levels → Innocent horses and burros are crowded into government holding facilities plagued by disease outbreaks, or worse, are sent into the slaughter pipeline through the Adoption Incentive Program. 

Using FOIA, our Investigations Team recently uncovered the deaths of 45 innocent burros held captive at the BLM’s Axtell holding pens in Utah. They are the latest known victims of this cruel and costly system. Rush a donation now to power our investigative work to expose and change the way these treasured animals are treated. →

a group of burros stand in a holding pen with tags around their necks

These burros were rounded up by BLM helicopters from Nevada’s Blue Wing Complex in August of last year. Within two months of their capture, 45 of these burros died. 

  • 31 died due to hyperlipaemia, a preventable blood condition that occurs in burros who have suddenly stopped eating — most likely due to stress and an inability to adapt to confinement in this instance, according to a DVM and donkey specialist consulted by AWHC.
  • 6 died from hemorrhaging after gelding, a routine and generally low-risk procedure.
  • The remaining 7 died from causes listed as either: “old age,” “no teeth,” “colic,” or “other”.

These devastating casualties highlight the stress and danger wild, free-roaming animals face in BLM holding facilities, which are often overcrowded and understaffed.

We can’t change what we don’t know about, so exposing these conditions is the first step towards better protections for wild horses and burros on and off the range. Our Investigations Team is determined to end this suffering, but we need supporters like you to help us move forward.

Please make a donation of any amount you can — we can’t let these innocent animals die in the dark or in vain.


Thank you for choosing to be a part of this mission, Meredith. It means so much to us, and everything to them.

— American Wild Horse Campaign

Attention Party Animals! You’re Invited!


This is an update from All About Equine Rescue.

All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc.

Join us as we look back at Ballerini’s first year and enjoy watching her partake in the first birthday smash cake tradition!

This will be one party you won’t want to miss!

Web link to follow.

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!

[[Red Alert]] The Teddy Roosevelt wild horses need your help now


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We have an urgent opportunity for you to speak up for the Teddy Roosevelt wild horses. Take action now to protect them!

We just received word that tomorrow, Thursday, February 9, the North Dakota Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will meet to hear SCR 4014, a state resolution that urges the Secretary of the Interior and the Director of the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve this cherished wild horse herd. 

As you know, the NPS is currently considering a management plan that would result in the severe reduction or total eradication of these mustangs. The Governor has already spoken out against this plan and the legislature is now following suit!

Here’s where you can help: You can provide written and/or in-person testimony that will be considered for the record. In addition to including any personal stories you may have about the horses and their importance, here are some talking points that you might consider when sending in your testimony in support of SCR 4014:

  1. Wild horses are integral to the scenery, native wildlife, and wilderness qualities of the Park – the landscape that inspired President Theordore Roosevelt and still inspires visitors today.
  2. The horses in the Park are descendants of the original Badland horses with historical lineages that trace all the way back to the horses surrendered by Sitting Bull in the late 1800s.
  3. The Teddy Roosevelt horses are North Dakota’s only wild horse herd and should be protected as such.
  4. The Teddy Roosevelt herd must be kept at at a minimum of 150 horses in order to ensure a genetically viable herd.
  5. SCR 4014 will help support ecotourism and business development in North Dakota by protecting the horses.
  6. SCR 4014 is consistent with the wishes of 80 percent of Americans who want wild horses protected.
  7. If the horses are removed, I will not spend tourism dollars in the state.
  8. Vote YES on SCR 4014 to support humane, scientifically recommended methods of managing these wild horses on the public lands they call home.


Thank you for speaking up for wild horses, 

The AWHC Team

TT 81

LTR Training Tip #81: Body Clipping for Show


Body clipping in a natural order with respect for your equine’s patience will help the process go much more easily.

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TWR1 1Replacement CC

MULE CROSSING: Neonatal Isoerythrolysis


By Meredith Hodges

“Neonatal isoerythrolysis (NI) is a condition in which the mare creates antibodies against the foal’s red blood cells, and then passes these antibodies to the foal via the colostrum. Once the foal absorbs these antibodies, they result in lysis* of the foal’s red blood cells within 24 to 36 hours after birth. This red blood cell destruction is widespread throughout the foal’s body and can lead to life-threatening anemia and/or jaundice. (This is similar to the human Rhesus, or Rh, factor, where a woman who is Rh-negative gives birth to her second or subsequent child that is Rh-positive, resulting in destruction of the newborn’s red blood cells.)1″

All legitimate mule breeders should be aware of this condition, especially because it can occur more often when breeding donkey jacks to mares than it does when breeding stallions to mares within the same species. If the hybrid foal’s blood type is the same as its mother’s, then there is no problem. However, when the jack and the mare have different blood types, and the foal possesses the jack’s blood type, there is potential for NI to occur.

On the surface of the mare’s red cells are antigens that will stimulate the production of antibodies against incompatible red blood cells (RBCs). There are basically two ways that these RBCs can get into her system:

1) If the foal’s RBCs enter the mare’s circulation via the placenta during pregnancy or during delivery.

2) If the mare obtains these incompatible cells during a blood transfusion.

If neither of these conditions occurs, the mare can carry, birth and nurse her foal with no problem. However, if the incompatible red cells do somehow get into her system, she will begin making antibodies against those cells that, in turn, will be passed into the foal’s system via the mare’s first milk, or colostrum.

“Signs of neonatal isoerythrolysis depend upon the rate and severity of red blood cell destruction. Affected foals are born healthy, and then typically develop signs within 24 to 36 hours. In severe cases, the signs of NI may be evident within 12 to 14 hours, whereas in mild cases, signs may not be present until three or four days of age. NI foals will develop progressive anemia, thus leading to depression, anorexia, collapse and death. These foals may also develop pale mucous membranes that later become yellow or jaundiced.”2

The mare’s blood can be tested ahead of time to determine if she has a different blood type than the jack (or stallion), but a positive test result does not necessarily mean that NI will automatically occur, only that there is the possibility for occurrence. Blood samples from the mare and jack should be taken two to four weeks before the mare is due to foal to determine if she is producing antibodies against the foal’s red blood cells. If the blood test is positive, then precautions must be taken to save the foal at birth by making sure it is prevented from nursing its dam for the first 24 to 36 hours. The foal should be muzzled and bottle-fed colostrum from a mare that has not produced these same antibodies, and therefore is compatible with the foal. To be absolutely safe, the colostrum should be obtained and tested from a mare that has never had a mule foal.

For the best results in building the foal’s immune system, this “replacement” colostrum should be collected within the first six hours after birth. The mare being used does not need to be the same blood type as the foal, but her blood must not contain antibodies to the foal’s RBCs. The quality of the colostrum will determine the amount fed to the foal. Immediately after birth, the foal should be given two to three feedings of colostrum within the first two hours, and then be given milk (for energy) for the first 24 to 36 hours after that. Goat’s milk is best for this purpose. After 24 to 36 hours, the foal should be able to be safely returned to its dam’s milk. If NI is present but is caught early enough, the foal can be transfused with blood and there is a chance that it may live, but this transfusion procedure has inherent risks and there are no guarantees of success.

Research on NI has been done over the years on Thoroughbred horses, and statistics indicate that 20 percent have incompatibilities between dam and sire, yet only one percent of foals develop NI. The incidence in mule breeding suggests that the rate is higher. The Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins, the University of California at Davis and the Louisiana State University all have laboratories set up to do this initial NI testing on mares. Consult with your veterinarian about contacting any of these facilities for information on how to collect and ship samples for NI testing.

Out of concern for future mule offspring, the Lucky Three Ranch—with the assistance of our veterinarian, Kent M. Knebel, D.V.M.; Colorado State University researcher, Josie Traub-Dargatz, D.V.M., M.S.; and Louisiana State University researcher, Jill McClure, D.V.M., M.S.—began thorough testing of Lucky Three Ranch stock in the early nineties, with particular attention paid to our breeding jack, Little Jack Horner. It was discovered by Dr. McClure that Little Jack Horner’s RBCs were resulting in unidentifiable antibodies in many of the horse mares that carried his foals. The mares that were sampled had antibodies present, but Dr. McClure was unable to “type” the antibodies found in the mares.

The next step was to immunize some research horses at L.S.U. using Little Jack Horner’s RBCs. If they made antibodies, Dr. McClure would have a more readily available source of antibodies for further research. She also took samples from some burros from another L.S.U. project and discovered that they, too, had the same RBC factor that occurred in Little Jack Horner, but the antibodies produced in the mares were still unidentified. There was already quite a bit of medical and scientific data on N.I. that could help in the prevention of this potentially fatal condition. However, this discovery of new antibodies stimulated by the jack and produced by the mare proved that there was still a lot more that needed to be learned. All of Little Jack Horner’s tests showed him to be of a compatible blood type to the mares if he was a stallion of the same species, and yet these unknown antibodies were being produced. Perhaps future research will hold the answer to this puzzle.

A debt of gratitude is owed to veterinarians like Dr. Kent Knebel, who take time out of their busy schedules to collect samples for this research, and to dedicated researchers like Dr. Josie Traub-Dargatz and Dr. Jill McClure, who continue with this important research that benefits our mule industry and its future generations. Their ongoing research will continue to have a significant impact on mule breeding programs, not just here in the United States, but all over the world.

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

© 1990, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Riding In The Open Arena10 6 20 21

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


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!

LMV Classroom

Longears Music Videos: Teach Your Mules Amazing Things – In the Classroom


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