What's New: Augie & Spuds

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Mini Grooming

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“Well, Augie, it finally stopped raining! I wonder what we are doing today?”

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“Ooh La La! Isn’t SHE lovely? Augie, check HER out! Nice socks, Honey!”

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“She doesn’t look all that impressed with you, Spuds!”

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“Maybe she’ll like ME better! She really IS kinda cute!”

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“Hmmm! Stealin’ my action eh, Augie?! Well, she doesn’t look all that impressed with you either!

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“Let’s just play hard to get and maybe she will change her tune, Spuds!”

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“I guess two can play that game, Augie…now she’s pretending she’s asleep!”

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“But she IS so cute, Spuds!”

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“WOMEN! You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them, so what’s a guy to do?!”

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“Where’d they go?!!!”

 

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 Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

© 2015, 2017, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Ground Drive Obstacles

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“What’s up today, Augie?” “Not a clue, Spuds, but it’s not the carriage.”

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“Whoa!” What’s this, Augie?” “Spuds, quit runnin’ into me! I can’t see it!”

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“REALLY, Spuds?!” Quit being so dramatic…it’s just the tarp!”

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“Okay! I get it. You want me to lead this time!”

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“Hey, Spuds! We’re playing follow the leader and I get to be the leader!”

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“It’s no sweat, Spuds!”

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“Hmmmm…there’s grass in here!”

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“Uh, do we really have to stop right here?!”
“We’re working on core strength, Augie!”

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“…and then again here?” “Hey Augie, pretty slick move! (I hope I don’t have to do that!)”

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“Uh, oh, Augie! It’s my turn!”

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“This is a cinch, Augie!”

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“Darn! We’re back to the tarp again…HELP, Augie!”

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“Don’t worry, Spuds! I’ll show you how to do it.”

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“This isn’t so bad, I guess!”

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“You’re right, Augie! That was pretty easy and lots of fun after all!”

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“It’s even more fun when we do it TOGETHER!”

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 Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

© 2014, 2017, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: 2nd Hitch to Cart

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“Here we go again, Spuds, but something feels really different and strange.”

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“Did you say strange, Augie? Well, I’m outta here!”

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“I think she said “Whoa,” Spuds!

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“Whew! I’m glad she switched the lines back BEHIND the terrets instead of in front of them!
It was putting a kink in my neck, Spuds!”

“Me, too, Augie! Besides, I like it much better when I can really FEEL her hands.”

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“I’m sure glad she took the time to review ground driving before hitching us up again!”

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“Okay Spuds, now let’s get lined up straight for her!”
“No problem, Augie!”

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“Hey Augie, I recognize this! It’s the hourglass pattern we’ve been ground driving for
the past few months!”

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“Are Sean and Steve in sync with us, Spuds?” “They sure are, Augie!”

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“Get ready, Spuds, we’re gonna WHOA!”

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“And we’re off again, Augie!” One…two…three…four…”

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“Yup Spuds, I’m really glad she decided to go ahead and cross the lines BEHIND the terrets even though she said it was ‘against the rules’!”
“Hmmm, this grass looks pretty tasty, Augie!”

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“Whew! What a long workout for twenty minutes!…I’m tired, Augie!” “Me, too, Spuds!”

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“Hey Spuds, how about next time you pull and I push like Sean and Steve are doing?!”
“Not a chance, Augie!”

NOTE from Meredith: Equines are always honest in their reactions to training. When things go wrong, it is always the handler’s fault. Everything I have learned about driving said that when driving a team, put simply, you should thread the inside lines through the terrets of the opposite equine making the lines cross in an “X” just in front of the terrets. With my larger equines, this never really posed a problem…until I tried it with Augie and Spuds.

I had always ground driven Augie and Spuds single and then together as a team with their lines going directly from their mouths through their terrets on their harness saddles and to my respective hands. I could then clearly feel the connection from my hands to their lips holding all four lines. This never posed a problem until I decided that maybe I should thread the lines in the more conventional way with the lines crossed in front of and running through the opposing equine’s terrets. It worked fine until they got uneven. When I said “Whoa” and pulled back on the lines, the inside lines acted like “drawreins” with too much leverage for their short little necks. The only direct and light contact I had was on the nearside (left) and offside (right) lines of the team. When they could no longer feel the even contact on both sides of their mouths, they both bolted as shown in the picture above. I immediately changed the lines back to their original position with the lines crossing into my hands BEHIND the terrets instead of in front of the terrets. I could then feel the connection on both sides again and so could they. The result was immediate compliance! We were again “connected!”

When using split lines, the draft lines go from the nearside bit ring of the near side equine and the offside bit ring of the offside equine direct to the driver. A series of holes in the coupling lines allow for adjustment. The nearside coupling line passes through the inside terret of the nearside equine and across to the bit ring of the offside equine and vice versa. To avoid any confusion for the equines, I think it is important to train with two sets of lines in the beginning, until they are clearly aware of their job and actually can feel the connection to your hands. I would not advise split lines for beginning training. The connection from your hands to their mouths is too loose and it is hard for them to understand your intent, especially in the case of miniatures since the distance from their mouth to the terrets is so short and the action on the lines can be so severe. Once proficient with four lines, they can then “graduate” to split lines for your convenience.

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Hitch to Cart

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Hey, Spuds, where are we going today?!”

“Well Spuds, we’re in the grass. Maybe we get to graze?!” “Not likely, Augie!”

  

“Here comes the cart, Augie!”

“I knew she had something up her sleeve, Spuds! At least we’re not going forward and back in the Tack Barn again!”

“Hey Spuds, do you think she know she’s supposed to release the brake?!”

“I’m glad she finally figured THAT out! We’re really goin’ now, Augie!”

        “Tee hee! This isn’t so hard! We just have to listen to what she says!”

“Even if it’s the first time ever hitched in the open, it’s actually kinda fun, Spuds!”

“I’m glad those two guys are finally out in front and out of our way, Spuds. Now we can really do our thing…one…two…three…four…”

“Look out for the turn, Spuds!”

“I got you covered, Augie! We’re a team and in it together for the long haul, you know!”

“Nice goin’, Spuds!” “Thanks, Augie, you, too!”

“And…Whoa!

        “Really nice job, Boys!” “We know, don’t we Spuds?!

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 Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

© 2014, 2017, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Ground Drive Hourglass Pattern

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“What do you suppose we’re doing today down here in the dressage arena…hmmmm?!”

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“Whatever it is, Spuds, I get to go first!!”

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“Hey, Spuds, this is really easy and lots of fun!”

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“Look Spuds, I finally learned the rein back!”

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“And…I did it perfectly!”

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“Your turn now, Spuds!”

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“Like you said, Augie, this is a breeze!”

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“Can we trot yet?”

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“Now we get to do the hourglass pattern together, Spuds! Whoohoo! What fun!”

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“Don’t forget to stay in sync, Augie! One…two…three…four!”

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“And Whoa! Good job, Augie! Good job, Spuds!”

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“And…back!”

“It’s okay Augie! Just take it one small step at a time. She’ll wait for us!”

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“Not a bad lesson, Spuds!”

“Augie, don’t you know that we’re the BEST?!”

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 Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

© 2014, 2017, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Bathing with Roll

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WN-SA081114-01Leading“Oh, look Augie… it’s Roll!”

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“Hi, Spuds, Hi, Augie! Fancy meeting you here!”

“Hey, Roll! Why are ya all wet?”

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“You’ll see soon enough!”

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“Uh, hey you guys, I’m over here! Oats, please?!

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“Hey, Spuds, where’d she go?”
“She’s giving Roll some oats. You know she never plays favorites, Augie!”

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“Oh, no, it’s bath time again!”
“So soon? It’s already been a year, Augie!”

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“If I can just bury my head into the fanny pack…”
“Augie, maybe if I get into the act she’ll do us both at once and we’ll get done quicker!”

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“I’m not sure this is such a good idea, Augie!”

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“You okay, Spuds?”
“Uh, yeah…”

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“Look at it this way, Spuds…you’re almost done!”

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“And now I AM done, Augie! Am I ever.”

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“Hey, Roll! Why don’t YOU have to dry on the hotwalker?”

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“Because he’s bigger? What kind of an answer was that, Augie!”

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“Because he IS bigger, Spuds! Need he say more?”

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Pulling A Drag – Arena

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“Hey, we haven’t seen you guys in a while! How have you been?! We get to go for another adventure with Meredith today!”

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“What do you suppose she has in mind for us today, Spuds?”

“I don’t know, Augie, but we’ll find out soon enough! Let’s just stand still while she gets the gate…just like we always do!”

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“Going through the gate is always easier when you do it the same way every time!”

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“Uh, what’s this, Spuds? I’ve seen this somewhere else before…oh, yeah, in the round pen! This should be easier to pull with more room to move!”

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“It’s just as I thought, Spuds…no sweat! It’s the same as we did in the round pen, only we can pull in long straight lines now! It’ll be your turn in a few minutes…I just have to finish the hourglass pattern.”

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“You were right, Augie! This is actually easier than the round pen and it’s nice to have the “elbow pull” to remind me not to lift my head too high and to pull from my hindquarters…it’s just like people have to lift with their legs and not with their backs!”

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“And when you do, Augie, it’s easy to halt in perfect posture!”

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“When we’re both taught exactly the same way, teamwork is a cinch!”

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“When you have strength in good balance, even lateral moves, done as a team, are easy and fun…shall we dance?!!”

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“Don’t be silly, Spuds, we’re working not dancing, so pull your share! She’ll tap you on your rear if you don’t keep up!”

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“You boys are the very best!!!
“Aren’t we though?!”

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“Confidence is a good thing, too, huh, Augie?!
“Yeah, Spuds, as long as you learn good manners with it!”

 

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 Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

© 2014, 2017, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Pulling a Drag – Round Pen

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Mini donkeys Spuds and Augie are always up for a new challenge–like adding a new element to their round pen workout routine!

“Hey, Spuds! What do you think she has in mind to do today with all these straps?”

“Oomph! She told me to go forward just like we did before, but something is holding me back…oh, now it is coming behind me! What’s happening?!”

“You’re attached to a tire! Here, follow me!”

“Oh boy, now it’s my turn, Augie!”
“Don’t worry, Spuds. I’m right behind you…this tire’s not that scary.”

“Excuse me, Spuds! I had to stop to pee. Just go ahead and pass me and I’ll catch up to you when I’m done!”

“That was really easy, but now what is she doing, Augie?”


“Whoa! Hey, Spuds, where are you going?”
“Sorry, Augie, she forgot to say ‘Gee!”


“Okay, now this is MUCH better and a lot easier to pull as a team!!!”


“You got that right, Augie!”

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: The Dirt Piles

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There’s a lot of construction going on at the ranch, but Spuds and Augie sense the opportunity for adventure!


“Hey, Spuds, what’s with all this junk? It looks a little iffy to me!”
“Just chill, Augie! It’s just another great adventure…no sweat!”


“Oh wow, Spuds! We have our own Rocky Mountains in the driveway!”
“Hmmm…I don’t know about this, Augie!”


“You were right, Spuds…no sweat!”


“Wait a minute, Spuds, this doesn’t look so easy!”
“Can’t stop now…I’ll see you at the bottom, Augie!”


“I think I’ll try it this way…look out below! Here I come!”


“Whew! We made it! Now what’s going on over here?”


“Hi, Dean! Oh, well this isn’t all that exciting…been here, done this! No lead rope this time, eh?!”


“Your turn, Augie…come on over here!”


“Hey, Spuds, you don’t need to be tied when you have oats! Oats are the tie that binds!”


“Get a load of this! Mini foot, draft trimming!”


“What do you think, Spuds, should we go for it?”


“You go first Augie. I’ll follow you this time!”


“Hang in there, Spuds! You can make it! I know you can!”


“We made it! YAY! Boy, that was quite an adventure!”

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Baling & Stacking Hay

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It’s summer time, and there are tons of adventures to be had for two mini donkeys on a bustling ranch like Lucky Three. Today, Spuds and Augie explore the hay field with Meredith and test their bravery against a fearsome, loud machine.


Hey, Spuds! I hear Meredith calling…what’s up?

She’s kinda silly, Augie. Who ever heard of saying “how do you do” to a swather, Augie?


Whoa….look what’s coming!!!


WOW!!! That’s super noisy and REALLY BIG!


Oh look, Spuds, it’s not so scary. This is how they make our hay!


Yeah, and look how they pick it up with this other big machine so they can put it in the barn!


What a fun adventure in the hayfield…we learned a lot today!

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Farrier & Grooming

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“Hey, Augie…watcha doin’?!
“I’m practicing my halter stance…you know, four-square!”


“Good idea, Augie! I guess I’ll practice my halter stance right here!”
“And I will wait for my turn at the hitch rail…I wonder what’s up today.”


“Hey Augie, you’ve got some pretty dirty feet down there!”
“Cut with the wise cracks, Spuds!”


“I sure like it when they come down to our eye level, Augie.”
“Yeah, it’s not as scary as it is when all you see is their legs…whatcha doin’ back there, Dean?”


“Your turn, Spuds! This isn’t bad at all!”
“Yeah, it’s all peace, love and OATS!”


“It doesn’t get any better than this!”


“Dang, I was working on a Mohawk…it’s the IN thing with donkeys, you know!”
“Just be happy with your crew cut, Spuds. Crew cuts are always IN!”


“Oooh, here comes the baby oil again!”
“Aah, nuts! Now I can’t chew on your mane and tail…baby oil tastes just awful!”


“Yeah, but we sure are handsome now!”

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Surcingles and Obstacles

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Hurry up, Augie…we get to go to the indoor arena and play with the obstacles today!

“Hurry up, Augie…we get to go to the indoor arena and play with the obstacles today!”

Are we supposed to go over the bridge or around it? She’s so tall I can’t tell by her face!

“Can’t we just go around this way, Augie?” I think we’re supposed to go over, Spuds, but she’s so tall I can’t tell by her face!”

When she comes down to our level, I understand what she wants!

“Oh good, now she’s at our level!”

Turning around in a tractor tire? On the ground? That’s pretty cool.

“Turning around in a tractor tire is kinda cool.”

A serpentine through the cones? Easy as pie!

“Doing a serpentine through the cones is easy as pie!”

It’s a little tricky going through the tires here, but she’s supportive!

“A little tricky through the tires, but she’s supportive! Hey, Spuds, whatcha doin’ back there?”

It’s okay, Augie…just take it one step at a time!

It’s okay, Augie…just take it one step at a time!”

Here I am, right behind you, Augie! Looking good!

“Here I am Augie! Right behind ya all the way!”
“Sure you are, Spuds!”

Oh, I shouldn’t have been joking around…now it’s my turn!

“Oh no! OI shouldn’t have made fun of Augie…now it’s my turn!”

What was it you said to Augie…one step at a time?

“What was that you said to Augie…one step at a time?!”

Here we go, the cones…no problem!

“Cones…no sweat!”

Whoa, this tire’s a lot bigger than me! Help!

“This tire’s a lot bigger than me! Augie, HELP!”

I’m getting out of here!

“I’m leaving…Hey, Augie…where are you?”

Back on the bridge… this is actually pretty fun now that we know what to do!

“Actually, this was pretty fun!”

Yee-haw! Let’s play!

“Yee Hah! Let’s play!”

Oh yeah, the gate again—this is easy now, too!

“Oh yeah…the gate!”

Aww, I guess it’s time to go back to the barn… and I was just getting warmed up, too!

“Well, Augie, I guess it’s time to go back to the barn until our next big adventure!”
“Darn it, Spuds… I was just getting warmed up!… ’til the next time!”

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 Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

© 2012, 2017, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: More Ground Driving 8-20-12

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“Hey, Augie! Vacuuming isn’t scary when Mom is the same size as us!”

 “That is so true! And she is really careful not to hurt us!”

 

“Say Spuds, what are the long lines for?”…”Who cares, Augie, when there’s oats on the floor?!”

“Okay Augie, you get to go first! Walk on!”

 

“I get it! This is why she wanted us to go ahead of her the last lesson!

 “And Gee means go right! Wow! This is easy and even kinda fun!”

 

“I see what you mean, Augie! Haw means go left!”

 

“And then we just keep on walking ahead of her! This really is fun!”

 

“Okay, now she has us tied together again. What do you suppose she’s going to do now?”

 

“Hey Spuds, Now we get to walk on together. I think I like the games she plays with us!”

“And now a back up…we can do that!”

“You little guys are the best! Thanks for a great job!”

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, 2017, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Another Augie & Spuds Adventure: Castration

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It’s a special time in any young equine’s life, when he makes the transition from boy to… gelding. Our brave mini donkeys Spuds and Augie recently made the switch, thanks to the steady hand of our trusted veterinarian and a little something to encourage their naptime. When they woke up, the procedure was already done… perhaps it was only a dream?

A brave Spuds stands with Meredith.

 

“Oh, boy…another big adventure! I wonder what’s in store for us today!”
“What’s she doing?!” “I dunno, this seems a little different from our normal haircuts!”
“I’ll get to the bottom of this! Right after I… take a little… nap…”
 “Yawwwwn! Much better. Now what was I gonna do a minute ago…?”
“Hmm, something seems different. But what?! I’ve still got my ears, my tail, my nose…”
“I’m gonna be a gelding? What does THAT mean? And will it make me any taller?”
“All done! Time to wake up, Augie!”
“Why’s everyone staring?” “I’m not sure… just keep standing here and looking cute!”

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Mini Mania

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Spuds and Augie had a very special adventure this week. Though the two mini donkeys have been getting along with each other and the mules in the neighboring stalls, they’d never met the other “minis” on the ranch—Frances, Franklin and Mirage. That changed today when they all came out for a playdate in the indoor arena. Seeing all these little guys working together really proves that size doesn’t matter!

“Yippee! It’s a good day for an adventure!”
“Hey, who are these guys in our usual spot?”
Augie and Spuds, I would like you to meet Frances, Franklin and Mirage!
“Wow, I’ve never seen so many minis in one room!”
“Whatever's next, I guess we’ll want to look good for our new friends!”
“Oh, Spuds, quit being silly. It’s just the indoor arena!”
“Hey, where is Meredith going? And where are those other little guys?”
“Oh, here they come! Looks like we get to hang out with them in here, too.”
“This playtime is pretty fun with so many minis!”
“Spuds, what could be next?”
“We’ve never been in the round pen with them! I wonder if they’ve been practicing like we have?”
“Hey, Spuds, turn around—I think we’re supposed to follow the others!”
“Okay, I get it—look at us go!”
“Oops, Spuds, did she just say ‘Whoa?’”
“Move a little faster, Augie, I can’t get this horsey hotshot off my 'ass'!”
“Hey, Spuds, they’re gone now—let’s go play!” “Just a minute, Augie, I’m being praised.”
“Come on, Spuds, she’s calling us. It’s time to go!”
“Hey hotshot, get out of here! It’s our turn first.”
“I told you so!”

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