LTR Blog

“The passion that Meredith Hodges feels for the equines that she has fought for all her adult life is still as fresh, inspiring and infectious as it was when she first discovered the world of horses, donkeys and mules. She has never wavered in her devotion to them and in her mission to carve a lasting and honored place for them in our world. They are lucky to have her as their champion, but Meredith actually sees it a bit differently. She feels honored and privileged to be a part of their world.”

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Ground Breaking – Raising the Barn

Hearts and Horses broke ground on a new arena where they will continue to change lives through therapeutic riding. The new arena will be called Lucky Hearts, as much of the funding for the arena was given by Lucky Three Ranch.


Hearts and Horses Raising the Barn Fundraiser


MULE CROSSING: Good Basic Training Includes Common Sense, Part 4

By Meredith Hodges In Part3, your equine was properly strengthened and balanced in good posture during the more passive exercises in leading training over obstacles. Now, in the fourth and final part of this article, you and your equine will head to the round pen and learn how to balance correctly on the circle at the faster gaits. You’ll also learn the more advanced and quicker moves that are required under saddle and in harness. Only after you have adequately completed lead line flatwork and obstacle training is your equine ...
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From the SWISS BULLETIN: The Mule Media Archive

 By Josefine Jacksch   History of the Mule Media-Archive  Shortly after the foundation of the «Interessensgemeinschaft für das Maultier» IGM (Mule Association of Switzerland) in 1989, an archive was established. The first part contains association-related documents such as minutes of meetings and assemblies, preparations for association activities, etc.  In addition, newspaper clippings, reports from horse magazines and other magazines, scientific articles and books were collected. VHS video cassettes, DVDs, CDs and individual pictures and photo albums completed the collection.  One of the goals, that the IGM has set itself, is to ...
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MULE CROSSING: Good Basic Training Includes Common Sense, Part 3

By Meredith Hodges In Part Two of this article, your equine was introduced to the ground rails, cavalletti and bridge obstacles. This helped develop his confidence and trust in you, his handler, while focusing on your animal just getting through each obstacle with true forward movement without hesitation. First, he learned the basics of negotiating these obstacles in Stage One. During Stage Two, when he went back through same the obstacles, he learned to do them in good posture and balance. Now, in order to continue your equine’s mental and ...
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MULE CROSSING: Good Basic Training Includes Common Sense, Part 2

By Meredith Hodges Proper training is much more than just teaching your equine to do “movements.” You are conditioning his body so he can do those movements easily, which in turn produces an equine with a happy and healthy working attitude. In order to do this, you need to be prepared to spend plenty of time during the leading stage of training both on flat ground and then over obstacles, conditioning the “core” muscles that support your animal’s skeletal frame. When training any equine for saddle or driving, you will ...
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MULE CROSSING: Good Basic Training Includes Common Sense, Part 1

By Meredith Hodges Many times I have been asked, “Is training a mule any different than training horses?” The answer to this is “Yes.” Since a mule is half horse and half donkey, the trainer must learn to appeal to the donkey half of the mule as well as the horse half. Donkeys are very sensitive animals requiring infinite patience and understanding. They possess a natural willingness to please which is evident when their training is approached properly.  When training is done incorrectly, they will exhibit resistant behaviors that include ...
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MULE CROSSING: Winter Fun with Your Equine

By Meredith Hodges After Spring, Summer and Fall come and go, the cold days of Winter can easily become an excuse to slow down and do less, but Winter can be just as fun and full of activities with your equine as any other season. Along with the basics—food, water and shelter—your equine needs activities to keep him fit and happy. Like any of us, he doesn’t want to be active only part of the year and then left alone during the Winter months, bored and lonely (not to mention ...
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How a Sturdy Mule Triumphed Over 198 Champion Horses in the Great American Horse Race of 1976

We hope you enjoy this intriguing and inspiring article that was submitted by one of our contributing writers, Tara Edwards, Trimepil: Sometimes, miracles do happen. Such was the case in the not so distant 1976, when a proper underdog proved to be better than the competition. The competition being over 198 champion horses who were gunning for the title. A simple mule came out on top when put against some of the most treasured horses from all over the world. But was this outcome truly miraculous, or was it a ...
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From the SWISS BULLETIN: The Mule as a Workhorse in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

By Elke Stadler The history of mankind is closely connected with the use of the working force of animals. Animal power was of special importance in transport and traffic - before motorization it was the only available movable driving force, almost at any time and versatile. What people themselves could not wear or pull; oxen, mules, horses and donkeys carried or pulled. In the past, despite their essential importance for working life and the economy, the working animals were hardly noticed in literature. The work of the animals was so ...
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From the SWISS BULLETIN: Opening of the Swiss National Museum in 1898

Please enjoy this historical post about their Longears from our friends in Switzerland! Opening of the Swiss National Museum in 1898 By Josefine Jacksch This year (2018) the Landesmuseum (Museum of the Country) in Zurich will be 120 years old. It is the most visited historical museum in Switzerland. Since January 2011 it has been part of the Swiss National Museum. Due to an increasing lack of space, it was extended from 2013 to 2016 with a modern extension that offers space for exhibitions, a library and a lecture hall. A ...
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From the SWISS BULLETIN: The last packer of Zermatt Belvedere

Please enjoy this article from our friend, Josefine at the SWISS BULLETIN. Mules have made their mark helping people with their tasks all around the world and their stories are nothing short of amazing!  Loving Longears is something special that we all have in common despite our different languages. Read it, below: The last packer of Zermatt Belvedere Mules in the service of transport and travel in ancient times  By Alban Lorenz The Valais lies in the southwest of Switzerland and is our little California. This canton is known for ...
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Mule Finds at Theodul Pass

Swiss Mule Magazine 2018-1 This article is written by Elke Stadler and from my friend, Josefine, editor of the Swiss Mule Bulletin in Switzerland! Since we share a love for Longears, we like to share each other’s respective mule historical experiences with our friends and fans. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did! Thank you so much, Josefine! In the future, we look forward to more news from Switzerland in support of Longears: The Theodul Pass The name is derived from St. Theodul, the first ...
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Sybil Ludington: The Female Paul Revere

This article is a repost of Valerie DeBenedette's article at Mental Floss.   "… the midnight ride of Paul Revere, On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five: Hardly a man is now alive …" Yes, the famed Paul Revere set out on horseback on this day in 1775 to raise the alarm that British troops were on their way from Boston to Lexington. Revere rode about 20 miles through what is now Somerville, Medford, and Arlington, Massachusetts, knocking on doors to raise people to defend Lexington. Another rider, William Dawes, was sent by ...
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Compassionate Training – A Historical Example

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017! Let’s go forward loving and learning together with our equine companions! When kindness is used in training, greatness can happen. That is the story of Beautiful Jim Key. The sickly colt was adopted by “Dr” William Key, a freed slave and self-taught veterinarian. Using his veterinary skills and training with no force, the colt grew into a healthy adult with some special abilities - he could read, write, spell, do math, tell time, sort mail, cite Bible passages, use a telephone and cash register. Together, they ...
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Mules and Donkeys in the Bible

When I posted this on Facebook about mules in the Bible… Origins: The mule is mentioned in mankind’s earliest records. Consider this passage from the Bible: “And Absolom met the servants of David. And Absolom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the Heavens and the earth, and the mule that was under him went away.” (II Samuel 18:9). If you choose to ride a mule, you ...
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Dressage Mule Slate Helps Spread Awareness of Working Equines

This is a repost from Brooke USA. Lexington, Ky.  - November 15, 2016 - Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Vicky Busch and her mule "Slate" continue to spread awareness of the plight of working equines in the developing world and the work of Brooke USA. Most recently Slate and his young rider, Busch's student Isabella Rodwig won their Training Level Test 3 class at the dressage schooling show at Amen Corner Farm in Folsom, LA. The pair did so in style and with a nod to Brooke USA, with ...
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