LTR Blog

Can we count on you to give $30 on the 30th to cover the cost of a mare’s vaccination?


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We know that this is a difficult time for the country and for many of you. If you are not in a position to financially support our work, we completely understand. But for those of you who can, give us a moment to explain why we’re asking for $30.

In Nevada’s Virginia Range, AWHC operates the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses. Next week marks the one year anniversary of the establishment of this historic initiative to prove to the world that there is a humane way to manage wild horse populations that doesn’t require mass roundups, crowded holding corrals, dangerous sterilization surgeries or slaughter.

The cornerstone of this highly successful program is the remote darting of wild mares with the scientifically proven fertility vaccine known as ‘PZP’. Our work on the Virginia Range continues uninterrupted despite the COVID-19 pandemic and our volunteers are working hard, day-in and day-out, to vaccinate these mares.

The price of a single mare’s annual PZP vaccine is just $30.

Compare that to the tens of thousands of dollars the Bureau of Land Management spends on the roundup and long-term holding involved in the removal of a single horse.

Let alone the $5 BILLION figure the Acting Director of the BLM is citing as the cost of a plan to round up over 100,000 horses from public lands over the next decade, with the goal of rounding up as many as 20,000 in 2020 alone.

For those of you who are able, we’re asking if you will spare $30 on the 30th to give our darters in Nevada the resources they need to prevent horses from being removed by using this safe and proven vaccine.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign




The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

Once again I hope this finds you safe and healthy. Our prayers go out for all the families in crisis.

MEET “DESTINY” – As you can see, she has quite the injury and needs vet care as soon as possible. If she cannot be fixed, we would give her a peaceful ending. However, I am hopeful that with lots of TLC we can save her.

URGENT – RECEIVED A PHONE CALL TODAY FOR A NEWBORN (Not sure how many) ON THE FEED LOT. Thankfully, (if you can find anything to be thankful about in these situations) baby gets to stay with Mama for a few more days. When Mama ships, we will need to be there. (I DO NOT have an option to save Mama). It is beyond heartbreaking, but we have to focus on the ones we can save.

SEVERELY INJURED MARE – DESTINY – This mare’s injury is in such a place it may be extremely hard for it to heal. At the very least she needs to be kept off the slaughter truck. WE ARE HER ONLY CHANCE! If you blow up the photo you can see how big her gash is, and that she already has swelling in her tummy. She needs help asap.

I have a vet scheduled for Monday to see if she can help her. (Can’t get her until we raise the funds to save and vet her.) We are also doing Coggins, Health Certs etc. on the other kids. Out of 4 TB colts, only one was healthy. Sadly, our beautiful little buckskin passed during the night. I was told she was eating and drinking but not feeling well, and this morning when they went out to feed she had passed. We have a huge hernia to repair, a big gouge in the chest of one of the colts, and a severely swollen hock on another one.

All of these horses were considered to have no value. They were all “thrown away”. Let’s give them the chance they deserve.

Can you imagine that mare being pushed around in the crowded slaughter truck? Her wound getting bigger and bigger Let’s save her from a horrific trailer ride and imminent slaughter.

I understand many folks are in financial crisis. If you are not in a position to safely donate, please just share this information.

Below, Bruiser and LuLu, enjoying their cuddle time.


-You can go to gofundme 

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

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

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

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



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

We are now part of the WIN Organization

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

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

Donate to Help

Articlephoto Contemporary Mulesfinal

MULE CROSSING: Contemporary Mules


Artillery Pack Mule, 1940_CCMules played an important role in our country during the Reconstruction Period: they patiently worked the fields, packed necessary artillery for the army, and served as a durable riding and driving animal in the westward movement. With the coming of the industrial age, their uses were minimized and they were faced with the possibility of extinction in the march of progress. Today, through the persistent determination of mule enthusiasts, mules are once again emerging as a conceivable asset to our economy and a unique form of athletic achievement and entertainment.

With new and improved training techniques, the mules of today are known for their beauty and outstanding athletic ability, their durability and their intelligence. Their uses are limited only to the imaginations of their owners. It is now commonly known that with proper training, a mule can perform better than the horse it was bred from. Subsequently, mules are not only competing in mule shows, but horse shows as well—in events from cutting to dressage. Cattle ranchers have discovered the mule to be an important asset in their business. He can go all day without tiring and can cover terrain that might discourage a horse, not to mention that the ride is much more comfortable. Hunters caught in the heavy snows of the Rocky Mountains praise their mules for carrying out heavy game and blazing trails through treacherous snowy ground, leading them and their horses to safety. Sales persons are grateful to both mules and donkeys for their humorous contributions in advertising and children appreciate the companionship and affection that mules can offer. Even the army has conceded that mules could make their contribution to the economy through their use in mountain light infantry divisions. The only problem that arises is educating people on mule psychology so that they can train them properly.

Although mules look and often act a lot like horses, there is a vast difference between the two psychologically. If a horse is given green pastures, plenty of clear water, and friends of his own kind, he is generally contented; the mule needs more. He possesses a curiosity about the world around him that requires him to participate and interact. For instance, if you were to walk out into a field where horses were grazing, chances are they would give you a glance and continue their grazing with a certain amount of indifference. Mules, on the other hand, would be compelled to approach you and check you out. Turnout Loafing Sheds 8-12-16 118_CCThey will generally follow you around until you leave the field, begging for attention or simply observing you closely from a safe distance. Mules have a genuine desire to make friends with those other than their own species. Also, they are a very sensitive animal and can read your intentions through the tone of your voice and your body language.

Being the sensitive animal that they are, they have a low tolerance to pain. This contributes to their careful and deliberate way of going—a mule will do everything possible to keep himself safe. He is careful about his footing in treacherous terrain as well as careful about the feed he eats. Knowing this about mules can be a valuable aid in training. If a mule is not doing what you ask and you lose your temper, he will try anything and everything to escape the pain. This is where the old wives’ tales had their beginnings. Those who understand the mule’s low threshold for pain and understand his desire to please will either move on to something different if he is not giving the desired response, or introduce the lesson differently to clarify what is expected. In any case, beating a mule into submission will only cause fear and resentment, and being as intelligent as they are, they will only distrust you. Once they distrust you it is very difficult to make amends since they also possess an excellent memory!

In the early days, mules and horses had to be “broken” and trained quickly due to limited time for such matters. Trainers did not have the patience it takes to bring a mule along “right;” consequently the results were sayings such as: “Stubborn as a mule,” “Kick like a mule,” and “Get a mule’s attention with a two-by-four.” The old trainers may have succeeded in getting the mules to work, but they could never trust them… conversely, with broken spirits, the mules never trusted their trainers either.

Today good mule trainers apply the basic techniques of Behavior Modification (reward system training) in their programs. That is, getting the desired response through positive reinforcement and ignoring, as much as possible, the undesired behavior. Negative reinforcement, or punishment, is used sparingly and is never severe. Voice is an effective form of negative reinforcement. A firm “No” when he is misbehaving is generally sufficient, followed by a few minutes of ignoring him. If you have a mule that bites, a firm pinch on the nose, a “No,” then ignoring him for a bit should do the trick. If you have one who kicks, try your voice first. If he persists, quietly restrain a hind leg in a scotch tie while working on him. If he begins to kick in the scotch tie, stand back and ignore him until he has settled down. When he is settled, reward him by scratching his rear, and then resume your work. He will soon learn that he is responsible for causing his own pain and, preferring the reward, he should eventually cooperate.

Restraints are helpful in dealing with mules but must not be applied so they cause pain. Hobbles, leg straps, and scotch ties are generally all that is needed in dealing with difficult mules. Even if the mule has led a life of abuse, their ability to determine just who is responsible for their pain means that with love and kindness, they can be taught to trust again–it just takes a lot of time and patience. If you find restraints are not sufficient, you may be dealing with an outlaw, in which case it is best to put him out of his misery before he injures someone.

IMG_0038_CCStill, the most important thing to remember is to praise the mule with caressing and scratching when he does what you desire and back it up with the food reward. Mules love this kind of attention and will do their best to get it. If they are rewarded immediately when they are behaving as desired, the desired behavior will eventually become the norm. If bad behavior is ignored or gently reprimanded, it will fade to a minimum. The result is a pleasant, affectionate, and dependable animal.

Though we are still a busy society, with the help of technology we are more able to give the mule the time and appreciation he deserves. Consequently, we are continually discovering new uses for the much maligned mule, enjoying him more, and in the process, we’re putting the old wives’ tales to rest.

Yesterday’s mules sturdy and strong

The days in the fields were often quite long

The man with the whips sometimes evened the score

With a jolt to the head by a stout two-by-four.

“Understanding” a word not common for slaves

Caused many good mules to go to their graves

“Stubborn and cranky are mules,” said most men

Who used and abused them then were kicked or bitten.


When industry triumphed, the mules quickly faded

But the tales remained and were often quite jaded

Twas never the man with the stout two-by-four

Who was wrong from the start to push mules way too far

But the folks who were ignorant knew only what’s said

And since mules cannot talk, their reputation was dead

They’re known to be pushy, vengeful, and cross

So man abandoned the mule for his exquisite horse.


With more time to our leisure the mules of today

Are treated much better and perform just that way

The love and affection the mules can now give

Makes raising and training them a warm way to live.

To meet them and greet them, to own one or not

The mules of today exhibit just what they got!

We’ve banned the “Old Wives’ Tales” and made a new rule

If you aren’t too stubborn, why not ride a mule!

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 Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

© 1985, 2016, 2020 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: Old Western Town Project



Augie and Spuds have been very patient with me for the past year when I did not have time to do anything but grooming once a week and turnout. They were so thrilled to be able to go on another ADVENTURE! Today, we are going to inspect a new project, the false-front town of ASSPEN!

We thought this would be a really nice way to spruce up the big, brown boring wall behind the Lucky Three Eclipse statue and make things even more interesting for our tours! Going through the construction zone gives them a chance to practice their good manners and earn their rewards! Although, Spuds is in the lead out of the barn, he prefers it when Augie leads over and through obstacles.

Whatever works best… it’s always negotiable!

“Hey, Augie! What’s this?!”

“I don’t know, Spuds. It looks very interesting though.”

Augie surveys the situation, “Hmmm…a new obstacle course, maybe?!”

“I’m not sure about this, Augie!”

“It’s really easy, Spuds…and kind of fun!”

“Hey, Boys! Welcome to ASSPEN Town!”

“Here’s the Burro Bank, the ASSPEN Sheriff’s Office & Jail, the Chaney Church

and the Okie Dokey Undertaker

“And concrete, Augie!”

“This must be the boardwalk sidewalk, eh Augie?!”

“Yup, but no boards yet! It would be easier with boards!”

“This is the best part, Spuds!”

“You bet! It’s good to be good!”

“And here’s the Half-Ass General Store, L.J.’s Barber Shop and the Crazy Ass Saloon!”

“It’s a little tight going between the boards and the fence, eh, Augie?!”

“No sweat, Spuds! Just pay attention to where you are going!”

“Did she build all this just for US, Augie?!”

“No, Spuds, I think it is for the people that come for tours, but we get to check it out first.”

“Well, it sure makes for a fun obstacle course, Augie!”

“It sure does and it’s great to be able to get out for a walk!”

“Now we have to pose for the camera, Spuds! Try to look nice!”

“Do I really have to?!!!

“Thanks, Mom! That was fun!!!”

“Yeah, Augie, I like the oats and the ‘snuggles’ afterwards best!”

“I always like our BIG adventures, Spuds!”

“Me, too, Augie!

Boots & Bling Update


The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

During these uncertain times, our thoughts are with you, our AAE community, your families and friends.
We have YOU, thank you!


 Important Updates

Out of an abundance of caution for your well-being and that of our volunteers, participants, supporters, and vendors, AAE made the difficult decision to postpone our Boots & Bling event from May 2, 2020 to a late Summer/early Fall date.
Due to the uncertainties with the current COVID-19 situation, our event venue has a scheduling moratorium in place.  As soon as we can we can move forward with scheduling, taking into consideration the safety of everyone involved, we will announce a new date.
Boots and Bling is critical to AAE’s annual funding, and it is also a very important event where all of AAE’s supporters can come together.
We assure you, Boots will not be canceled.
The BEST part is we’ll have more time to create a BETTER event!!
We hope you are as excited as we are to get the date set!

Again, out of an abundance of caution for our volunteer and community safety,
we have implemented numerous measures related to COVID-19 which have impacted our day to day activities at AAE.
Though we have many horses looking for homes, our ADOPTION VISITS are temporarily on hold.
If you are interested in adopting a horse, we are still working remotely to discuss adoption interest and review inquiries.
Our VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES have been temporarily limited to small teams
carrying out essential activities to assure the horses are well cared for.
We continue accessing veterinary, hoof and dental care, as needed.
NEW VOLUNTEER ORIENTATIONS have been temporarily postponed;
however, we are still collecting information from
anyone interested in volunteering, once we resume normal day-to-day activities.
AAE’S USED TACK STORE is temporarily closed.
We look forward to re-opening and resuming store hours as we can.
Store sales and tack donations are vital to our fundraising efforts.

April’s QUARTERLY VOLUNTEER MEETING has been canceled.

We’ll resume quarterly meetings as soon as appropriate.
We know these are trying times, and we are all feeling the impacts on many ways.
For the good of the horses!

We thank you for your understanding.

We will get through this together!
From all of us at All About Equine, thank you for your continuing support!
If you’re able to continue support us through these uncertain times,
please consider donating today.

When you think of COVID-19, think of GLITTER


Unless you’re conducting essential activities, please stay at home and help flatten the curve!



but we haven’t lost hope

Though things were looking good for HOPE, they took a quick turn, and we were left with no good options.
HOPE came to us because of an eye issue that had been neglected for at least the last year and a half,
likely much longer.

After initial evaluation, no definitive cause could be determined with certainty (e.g. injury, infection, tumor, etc).
We made the decision to move forward with surgery to remove her eye.  Unfortunately, the surgeon found a large tumor (melanoma) behind the eye.  Because melanomas are not typically lethal, and because they can “respond in different ways” (e.g. become dormant, grow slowly, or grow rapidly), the surgeon felt the chance for a comfortable life was possible, and he closed the incision site, giving HOPE a chance.


HOPE made it through surgery without issues.  She was thriving.  Though swollen, she seemed much more comfortable, was eating well, and she was enjoying lots of TLC.  Two weeks passed after surgery, swelling was reducing, and HOPE was doing great!

A few days later, we noticed some new drainage above HOPE’s incision.  A quick trip to the vet for rebandaging resulted in some unanticipated sad news.  It appeared the skin/tissue was dying.

When the doc removed the sutures and the dying tissue, he discovered the tumor had grown rapidly.
The recently empty orbit was now filled with tumor.  Though we hoped for no to slow growth, sadly, luck wasn’t on HOPE’s side.  At the rate the tumor had grown, it was highly unlikely the eye would heal, and the tumor was so large and deep, and there was nothing more we could do other than help her across the Rainbow Bridge.
HOPE lost her battle, but our hope lives on.  HOPE touched our lives in ways we’ll never forget.
Farewell sweet girl, you deserved so much better.
We’re thankful HOPE had some relief, good food, and her final days were filled with love and kindness through the end.
Thank you for helping HOPE.

On another kind of BOOTS note,

we need your ol’ boots!

If you’re like many during the “stay at home” situation, and you’re doing some pre-spring cleaning….
We need your gently used, unwanted boots!
Our decor plan for Boots & Bling includes what, of course?
Boots! and we still need some more.
Also, the if you’re familiar with the R3C Wild Horse Program at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, the inmate trainers are sorely in need of men’s western boots. They currently have 8 inmate mustang trainers, and they need boots. The soles are literally falling off of their boots. The program relies on donations of used boots and thrift store finds. But their sources have been slim pickins, especially since everything is now shut down due to COVID.
If you happen to have any Western boots you no longer need, we can use them for our Boots & Bling event or pass them forward to the R3C program.  These men work hard, without complaint (even about the condition of their boots) & are changing their lives while gentling wild mustangs.
After Boots & Bling, we’ll transfer the decor boots to AAE’s Used Tack Store, where all sales benefit the horses at AAE.  We’ll also be an ongoing source of men’s boots to support the R3C program.  You can donate boots for the R3C program at the store (once we resume store hours).  Be sure to specify the boots are for R3C on your donation form.
Remember to select All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc. as your charity of choice,
AmazonSmile donates to AAE with every purchase, at no cost to you!
This is a FREE and EASY way YOU can help raise funds for AAE.
Daily Horse Care, especially pm shifts (Daily 8a-12p or 3p-6p)
Used Tack Store Support, all areas (Fri – Mon, 12-4p, possibly T, W, Th 2-6p)
Barn/Facility Maintenance
Foster Homes, Long-Term Foster/Sanctuary Homes
Capital Campaign Support
Board Members
Grants – Writing and Research
Volunteer, Project, and Activity Coordinators
Outreach Activities
Youth Programs
Therapy Programs
Veteran Programs
Special Projects
Admin Support
Social Media
Media and/or Photo Librarian
More, more, more
Interested in volunteering or volunteering in other areas?

Employers Match Donations, Does Yours?

Hey volunteers!
Did you know YOU could earn grant money for AAE from your employer just by volunteering?
Many Employers offer money when their employees volunteer.  Here are a few examples:
  • Intel

    provides a $10 grant to a nonprofit per every volunteer hour by an employee, and matches funds dollar for dollar up to $5,000 per employee or retiree.

  • Microsoft provides a $17 grant to a nonprofit per every hour volunteered by an employee.
  • Apple provides a $25 grant to a nonprofit per every volunteer hour by an employee, and matches funds dollar for dollar up to $10,000 per employee.
  • Verizon provides a $750 grant to a nonprofit when an employee volunteers for 50+ hours.
  • State Farm provides a $500 grant nonprofit when an employee volunteers for+ 40 hours.
  • Others top 20 matching gift and/or volunteer grant companies include
    • Starbucks 
    • CarMax
    • Home Depot 
    • JP Morgan
    • Chevron
    • Soros Fund Management 
    • BP (British Petroleum)
    • Gap Corporation
    • State Street Corporation 
    • ExxonMobil
    • Johnson & Johnson
    • Boeing
    • Disney
    • Google
    • Merck
    • Aetna
    • Dell
    • Outerwall (CoinStar and RedBox) 
    • ConocoPhillips
    • RealNetworks
    • Time Warner and subsidiaries
    • AllState
    • and more
Check with your employer.  You could help purchase our next load of hay!

The public comment period to save the Black Mountain burros is almost over [take action]


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

DEADLINE: Wednesday, April 1

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a ten-year plan to round up and remove nearly 80% of the wild burros in the Black Mountain Herd Management Area in Arizona.

Your voice is needed today to speak up for one of the nation’s largest and significant remaining wild burro populations.

The wild burros of the Black Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) in Arizona live in a 1.1 million-acre habitat that runs along the Colorado River, from the Hoover Dam to the north to the Needles Bridge in California to the south.

These amazing animals are highly adapted to the Mojave desert environment where they are an important part of the ecosystem — digging wells that make water available to other important wildlife species.

But now they’re being targeted for mass roundup and removal by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under pressure from hunting and livestock interests that view wild burros as pests.

The BLM is now accepting public comments on a ten-year plan to remove 1,700 wild burros (nearly 80% of the herd in the HMA!) as well as skew the sex ratio of the wild population to achieve 6 males for every 4 females — a manipulation that could increase aggression and disrupt the natural behaviors and social organization of these highly intelligent animals.

Instead of mass roundups, the BLM needs to protect this unique burro population and humanely manage it by ending the eradication predators in the area and implementing fertility control if natural controls are not sufficient to regulate the burro population size.

Please weigh in NOW before the April 1 public comment period deadline: Join us in defending the incredible Black Mountain wild burros today →

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

P.S. — If you are not in a position to donate but would still like to support our work, please use AmazonSmile when you shop online and a portion of your purchase will go toward AWHC. Shop using AmazonSmile here.



Longears Music Videos: Teach Your Mules Amazing Things – Parachute Jump


See more Longears Music Videos

A hard-earned victory for Oregon’s Warm Springs wild horse herd


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:


After years of fighting back in the courts and mounting public opposition, the Bureau of Land Management will not conduct cruel sterilization experiments on Oregon’s Warm Springs wild horses.

One of the most inhumane and cruel ways the Bureau of Land Management outlined as a way for “management” of wild horses is the ovariectomy via colpotomy procedure.

This procedure involves manually severing and removing a wild mare’s ovaries in an invasive and outdated surgical procedure that has been called “barbaric” by veterinarians and deemed by the National Academy of Sciences to be too dangerous for use in wild horses.

Not surprisingly, nearly 8 in 10 Americans oppose this procedure — and we’ve sued twice and successfully blocked the BLM from subjecting innocent wild mares to this cruel and risky surgery.

  • In 2016, our lawsuit prompted the BLM to cancel its plan to perform ovariectomy via colpotomy on 225 wild mares — many of them pregnant – rounded up from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in Oregon.
  • In 2018, we sued again, when the BLM proposed to conduct the same experiments on the same group of mares, many of whom were now nursing dependent foals. This time, the court granted our motion for a federal injunction and the BLM again dropped the project.
  • In 2019, the BLM resurrected the plan incredibly for the third time! We immediately brought the new proposal to the court’s attention, and just last week, the BLM informed the court that it would not proceed with the third proposal.

In each case, we built a coalition, marshalled resources and did what it took to stop these horrific experiments, which veterinarians confirmed would cause extreme pain, bleeding, infection, miscarriage and would interfere with the mares’ ability to nurse and care for their dependent foals.

But that doesn’t mean the BLM will stop trying to surgically sterilize mares. In fact, the agency right now is preparing a management plan for the Swasey HMA in Utah that includes ovariectomy via colpotomy as a management tool.

We must stay vigilant and ready to jump to action to continue to defend wild mares from this brutality. Our victories in Oregon prove that when we work together and fight back hard, we win. 

Please help us build our resources that will be necessary in the fight against this cruelty as it turns to Utah. We can’t do it without your support.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

P.S. — If you are not in a position to donate but would still like to support our work, please use AmazonSmile when you shop online and a portion of your purchase will go toward AWHC. Shop using AmazonSmile here.



LTR Training Tip #7: Feeding Time – Pasture Grazing


Meredith gets a lot of letters and emails from people with training questions about their equines. Here, she discusses how to best utilize pasture time for a happy and healthy equine.

Download Detailed Description

See more Training Tips

Save Your Ass Rescue Newsletter


The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:



 A Breath of Fresh Air to Your Inbox

We are finally into our first couple days of spring! In South Acworth NH our first day of spring we were covered in a couple inches of snow, it was a beautiful morning and all gone by the evening. We genuinely hope our farm updates and stories in this news letter help to distract you from what is going on in the “real” world right now. Ann and I made the decision on Friday to close the farm to visitors for at least the next two weeks. We believe this is the socially responsible thing to do. We hope you all stay healthy and happy!

Our annual Cabin Fever Auction is ending tonight at 9pm on Facebook. We had lots of awesome items donated this year such as tack, tasty food, a safari trip, and lots of hand-made items and art! This auction helps us to pay for a lot of our much needed grain supplies, de-wormers, annual vet care for vaccinations, dental work, blood work, and fecals, fencing that needs to be replaced, and hoof trims.

Our online auction is only accessible through Facebook, we are sorry about any inconvenience this causes you.


Whats new on the farm?

We have quite a few new animals on the farm since our last updates. It is always exciting getting to know and love each individual. Below are all of the new rescue faces!

This past Wednesday we had our veterinarian out for a full day of dentals, spring shots, blood work and donkey and mule check ups. A lot of the animals we take in need some serious dental work, unfortunately for our wallet this time around was a full day of mostly dental work.
Each animals vet work, shots, fecals, blood work, tests, dentals, check ups etc. cost us roughly 500 dollars per equine. We do NOT skimp when it comes to the animals well being, if something needs to be done that our vet recommends and that we think it is best for their health and happiness, we do it. That is why we post so much, why we spend so much time fundraising, Its all for the animals.

Hobie and Walton’s progress

Manny of you have been following the story of the horse and the donkey who we rescued last November. They were nothing but skin and bones, maybe a week away from death. We are happy to announce they are both now thriving! Both of the boys are at a healthy weight and are on arthritis medicine. They are like spring chickens now! Walton runs around the field tearing it up like a wild man, and Hobie takes comfortable walks around the field, and has enough spunk in him to boss around a Belgian draft mule. Not too shabby for a 25 year old horse and a 35 year old donkey! Walton was recently diagnosed with third eyelid cancer, we are working very closely with our vet to monitor him and make sure he is comfortable and not in pain while waiting for his eye ointment to come in. If the new ointment does not work, we will have surgery done where his third eyelid will be removed. Fingers crossed!

A Tribute to Our Mascot 

This is incredibly difficult to write but of course we need to share with all of you. On Saturday we lost our mascot Marlin to colic. He was 36 years old and in excellent health. This loss has taken its toll on all of us at the rescue. Marlin was more than his huge physical presence. He grounded all of us, including the other animals. Gertie his companion is suffering his loss along with us. They were joined at the hip and she is grieving.

I saw Marlin’s picture online in 2009. He was going to ship to slaughter on Christmas Eve. The gentle expression in his eyes reached out from the computer and I knew I had to have him. I had always advised folks against purchasing an animal sight unseen, but I disregarded my own advice and bought him and had him delivered. He was a retired Amish work mule. He knew how to drive, but not go under saddle. I took riding lessons on him for about six months. He became a rock solid trail mule. He became such a well-loved fixture at the rescue that we made the decision to keep him as our mascot. A decision we have never regretted.

He was truly a gentle giant. He touched so many lives. He gave confidence to unsure riders, to little kids, proving that big doesn’t necessarily mean scary, playing his part as SYA’s mascot was a roll he loved and played to a T.

We will miss you forever Marlin, Rest In Peace.

Click Here to See Marlins Tribute Video


Thank you all very much for your continued support and help though all of our tough times, better and warmer days are right around the corner!

With gratitude,
Hannah Exel

One click can make all the difference


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Online shopping is increasing in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and we wanted to remind you that you can continue to support our work while ordering supplies from Amazon and staying safe in the comfort of your home.

With a single click, you can keep powering the fight to save wild horses and burros.

Instead of logging directly on to, go to and place your order the next time you buy online using this link, it’s that simple (and if you can, share the link with a couple of friends or on Facebook so they can do the same)!

And speaking of smiles (which everyone can use more of right now), we wanted to share this cute video of a foal that brought a smile to our faces. We hope it brings you as much joy as it did to us.

Thank you and take care – we will overcome this national crisis by staying strong and standing together.

American Wild Horse Campaign


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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 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Special News Release March 19, 2020


The following is from the American Horse Council:

Special News Release  

AHC responds to pandemic by compiling resources to help equine industry

Human Health, Equine Health & Business Health

Click here for a link to our COVID-19 Resources

Federal Policymakers Outline Massive Stimulus Package to Assist Business, Individual Taxpayers

With the Senate having been recalled this week from a scheduled recess, lawmakers and Administration officials are discussing the outlines of an $850 billion stimulus package to address economic disruptions caused by COVID-19.   The package, which will need support from House Democrats, may include $50 billion in direct assistance to the airline industry, $500 billion in direct cash payments to individual taxpayers, and $250 billion in loans for small business.   Because a large percentage of equine businesses file tax returns as S-Corporations or “pass through” entities, the small business loans could be especially helpful for many members of the horse industry moving forward.  With respect to the half-trillion dollars in direct payments to individual taxpayers, the Administration states that it would seek to disburse the payments in two portions including a $250 billion installment that could be available as soon as early April.  Stay tuned for details related to stimulus, and possible benefits for large segments of the horse industry, as lawmakers turn their attention to legislation intended to blunt the impact of COVID-19.

Economic Impact of COVID-19 on

Equine Industry to be collected

Dozens of equine events have been cancelled or postponed around the world amid an outbreak of a new type of coronavirus. The pathogen’s effect has been felt across a range of industries. To be proactive, we’d like to suggest that the equine industry begin to think about quantifying our losses. Just like the airline industry, the hospitality industry, and other sporting industries we need to gather data that will help us convey our message.The American Horse Council will be conducting a survey to obtain qualitative and quantitative data to help us paint this picture – in the meantime we ask that you start collecting and noting the impacts this pandemic is having on your equine business. And please feel free to reach out to us at 202-296-4031 or email
Be safe & Be well.


The AHC News is provided to you as a benefit of your AHC membership. We hope you find the articles informative and useful.

While the AHC does grant permission for newsletter articles to be passed on, we hope you will encourage those you are sharing the articles and information with to join the AHC so they can stay informed and up-to-date!

Permission to pass on the AHC News articles to your members, readers, or others is granted on the condition that it is forwarded in its original form or directly linked with the AHC logo and a link to the AHC website.

About the American Horse Council

As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day. 

The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen’s associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.




The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

Hi everyone. 1st and foremost, I hope and pray everyone is hanging in there during this time of crisis.

SADLY however, the slaughter trucks CONTINUE TO ROLL! I received a call to see if we can save these 6 beautiful souls from slaughter. We are their only chance as they will not be heading to an auction, simply loaded on a trailer and shipped to their death.

We are working with a local rescue who will be working along side us to help us try and get these kids placed locally.

I have a potential adoption for the shaggy little buckskin and for the 2 year old mare. However, none of them are safe as of right now and they need your help. We will save as many of them as we can, based on our ability to “save them”, get them vetted, transported and have appropriate funds to make sure they are fed and cared for properly. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE ME STAND IN FRONT OF THEM AND PICK AND CHOOSE WHO GETS TO LIVE! That is the worst feeling.

I truly understand so many folks have lost their income and things seem really sketchy right now. Please if you are in that situation just say a big prayer for these kids.

When God puts these kids in front of us I know He expects us to try and save them. We can only do our best, but it is so not fair for them to be slaughtered because I didn’t try.

SO, IF you are in a position to donate or possibly adopt a yearling thoroughbred colt, please do so. Please share this far and wide as it will be a true miracle if we can pull this off under the circumstances.

We need BAIL, TEMPORARY LODGING, HAULING AND VETTING FUNDS, not to mention feed etc. If by some miracle we can save them and there is any money left over, it will go for milk money, hay, feed, vetting etc. for the kids here.

Bruiser is really enjoying his milk and says THANK YOU for saving him.

PEPE’s 1st surgery went well, and after his checkup the vet feels she has a chance to “finish” closing the rest of the tear in his upper throat. So one more surgery and (God Willing) he will be a happy little camper.

You have saved so many lives. Let’s keep on making a difference and saving lives!

Hugs & Love



-You can go to gofundme 

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

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

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

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



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

We are now part of the WIN Organization

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

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

Donate to Help

Our work to defend America’s wild horses and burros continues


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and well during this difficult time.

Like you, we are doing our best to stay up to date on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and also wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a number of developments about our continued work during this time as we take necessary precautions in advocating for our nation’s wild horses and burros.

A Victory For The Salt River Wild Horses In Arizona

This past weekend, we reached out to you about the legislation introduced by AZ Rep. Kelly Townsend. HR 2858 threatened to block lifesaving humane management of the famed Salt River wild horses and was widely opposed not just in Arizona, but also by tens of thousands of Americans all across the country.

Due to concerns over COVID-19, the public was discouraged from attending committee hearings or providing public testimony on legislation. Townsend had publicly stated that her legislation was on hold, only to schedule the unpopular and controversial bill at the last minute for a Monday hearing when the public couldn’t attend.

More than 8,000 of you messaged Townsend and members of the committee to cancel this hearing in a tremendous, last-minute show of force in defense of the Salt River wild horses.

And … good news! The state legislature will only be addressing essential legislation before adjourning at the end of the week, meaning that this dangerous and controversial bill is effectively dead (but we will be carefully monitoring this until the session is officially over to be certain).

Our Work In Congress and On Capitol Hill Continues

As the country faces both a financial and public health crisis, imaginably, this past week was one of the most consequential in Washington, DC in many years.

Most federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, have moved all but the most essential personnel to telework and Congress is doing the same.

This doesn’t, however, put a stop to the legislative work happening in Congress nor will it delay consideration for millions of dollars in additional funding to ramp up the roundup, removal, and potential sterilization of tens of thousands of wild horses in the West.

In fact, Congress’ biggest legislative vehicles, the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriation bills which fund federal agencies and their programs, are currently being drafted with the goal of concluding in the next four to five weeks. We’ve previously highlighted the President’s FY 2021 budget, which asks Congress to throw even more money at the BLM’s broken and inhumane wild horse and burro program (you can read more about it below).

Our fear is that the current appropriations bills will become “must-pass” legislation tied to addressing COVID-19 and the financial crisis, meaning that language and funding that threatens wild horses may slip through as the public focuses on other issues.

That’s why our team was on Capitol Hill last week meeting with Congressional staff in order to have early and influential input on this process in defense of wild horses and burros. Now that Congressional staff, as well as many of our own staff, are working remotely, we’re utilizing every technology available to stay in contact throughout the appropriations process.

The AWHC Legal Team Takes New Steps To Defend Wild Horses In Court

Just as our work in Congress continues, so too, does our work throughout the court system.

Last week, the government filed a motion in our lawsuit against the BLM to stop its proposed ovariectomy via colpotomy experiments on wild mares. Oral arguments are set for March 20th in Portland, Oregon, which has declared a state of emergency.

As a result we will be attending the hearing and providing oral arguments via telephone. This suit is critically important — We partnered with The Cloud Foundation and The Animal Welfare Institute on this suit which is responsible for the BLM decision to abandon its plans to conduct cruel sterilization experiments.

Five days later, on March 25th, our legal team was expected to appear in San Francisco for oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in our lawsuit challenging the BLM’s plan to castrate wild-free roaming stallions in Nevada’s Triple B Complex.

We recently got word that the Courts will be canceling oral arguments for that week meaning that we will either have our hearing rescheduled or the case will be decided on the written briefs submitted previously.

Late last week, AWHC Government Relations and Policy Counsel filed a lawsuit over the BLM’s failure to respond to multiple requests under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking information on various aspects of BLM wild horse and burro policy.

We are seeking records related to a number of secretive meetings between Interior secretaries and BLM officials with livestock special interest groups that may have influenced federal wild horse and burro policy. By failing to provide these records, the BLM and Interior Department have violated the law — So we’re taking action.

Hard At Work: Service Is Uninterrupted At The World’s Largest Wild Horse Fertility Control Program

The great outdoors is, fortunately, one of the safest places to be during this pandemic. That means that our team’s incredible work running the world’s largest wild horse fertility control program on the Virginia Range in Nevada continues on.

Last year, with far fewer resources and staff, our volunteer team of darters outperformed the BLM in providing the birth control vaccine PZP to wild mares — shattering expectations and proving the naysayers wrong.

Each day, we’re proving that there is a better, humane, and far more cost effective way to manage wild horse populations. And each vaccine costs just $30.

Our work continues and we’re so grateful to have your support along the way. Please stay healthy, stay strong, stay safe and stay tuned. We’re all in this together!

American Wild Horse Campaign


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MULE CROSSING: Choosing the Right Jack


By Meredith Hodges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Photo Captions:

1) North Africa 1943 (Library of Congress)

2) Sire-Supreme Little Jack Horner and Meredith Hodges

3) Lucky Three Excalibur

4) Lucky Three Blue Baron

5) Standard Jack, Colorado D.J.

6) Foundation Sire Windy Valley Adam

7) Don Mode driving Foundation Sire Black Bart

URGENT: Hearing tomorrow on anti-Salt River wild horse bill despite COVID-19 limits on public testimony!


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Time is not on our side. AZ State Rep. Kelly Townsend is moving forward with a bill, HR 2858, that WILL block lifesaving humane management, leading to harm, suffering, death and ultimately, could lead to the removal of Salt River wild horses that are beloved by Arizonans and people all over the world.

Last month, and each time the horses have been in danger, the public — this includes you — has stood up for these horses, by writing, packing hearing rooms, turning out by the hundreds to rallies, etc.

Tens of thousands of Arizonans signed petitions, contacted their representatives, and packed every single public hearing in a demonstration of overwhelming opposition to these dangerous bills.

But now that public gatherings are being restricted and the public is being discouraged from attending these hearings, Townsend is moving forward with her dangerous and incredibly unpopular bill with a legislative hearing scheduled for TOMORROW!

That means we cannot be there to oppose it and we need you to stand up for these beloved animals one more time. We don’t have much time to mobilize.

From the safety of your homes, please take action online TODAY to stop this attack on the beloved Salt River wild horses.

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign



From the SWISS BULLETIN: Evidence of mules in ancient times, Part 2


We hope you enjoy Part 2 of the translated historical Longears article written by Elke Stadler,  originally printed in German in the SWISS BULLETIN that comes to us from Switzerland. More articles to follow!

By Elke Stadler

Further evidence of mules in ancient times is shown by finds from various archaeological excavations. The identification of hybrids is more and more illuminated by archaeological research. The finds of mule bones on civil and military sites are scattered throughout Europe.

In Pompeii

Pompeii was an ancient city located in the modern commune of Pompei near Naples in the Campania region of Italy.

In the stable of the house of “Casa Amanti” the remains of equine skeletons were found, five in total, including four donkeys between 4 and 9 years old and one male mule between 8 and 9 years old. The equines were probably used as pack animals for the transport of pastries. An analysis of the food remains in the stable was also taken.

Left: Plan of a horse stable in Pompei, Anthopozoologica 31,2000, pp. 119-123.

Right: Pompeii, Casa Amanti, houses 6 and 7, Insula 12, region IX, Genovese A, Cocca T. 

Pompeii, Insula 9, house 12, room 4, region I, (casa amarantus)

(Berry J., The conditions of domestic life in pompii in AD 79: A case study of houses 11 and 12, insula 9, region I, Papers of the British School at Rome)

In the stable on this area, probably originally a “Kubikulum” (side room), the skeletons of a mule and a dog were found. On the northern wall, remains of wood can be seen, which indicate a feeding rack. The palynological examination of the plant remains showed a variety of grasses and weeds as well as cereals, olives and nuts, indicating forage, litter and dung. Two fortified iron rings near the mule’s head suggest that it was tied up at the time of death.

The large number of amphorae in the “Impluvium” (water collection basin) of the nearby atrium (Roman dwelling house), as well as the remains of a broken amphora in the stable, indicate that the mule was intended to transport amphorae to the city. The remains of a dilapidated “Caupona” (bar, sales room) in the adjacent Insula 11 indicate commercial activity. An inscription on the western front (AMARANTUS POMPEIANUS ROG (AT) and three painted inscriptions, one on the neck (EX POMPEI AMARANTI) and two on the belly of several amphorae found in the building, indicate that Amarantus was a wine merchant, which required the keeping of a mule to transport the amphorae.

Great Britain, London

The mule jaw was found in a landfill. It dates from the Roman period (period II, phase 3) around 125-160 A.D. Age at death of the animal: more than 5 years, perhaps between 11 and 14 years.

The age determination is inaccurate, as the jaw is broken at the level of the incisors. The age can only be determined more accurately on the basis of the wear and tear of the incisors. It was also not possible to determine the sex because of the missing canines, the sex index. They are more developed in males than in females. The pronounced wear in an area of the jawbone (circle) is probably the result of the damaging     pressure from a halter or muzzle.

Examination of the molar profile of the jaw made it possible to determine the London jaw more reliably than mule jaws. It has a very accentuated “V” shape of the lateral cavities of the first molars (cheek teeth). The comparison with the lower jaw of another mule (Dangstetten) shows a strong similarity.

According to Armitage P, Chapman C, Roman Mules, The London Archaeologist, 3/13,1979, S. 339-359)

Kalkriese, Niedersachsen, Germany

The finding region Kalkriese is an area in northwest of Germany, where large quantities of Roman archaeological finds were made.

Archaeologists have identified the bones of eight horses and about thirty mules on the site of the Battle of Kalkriese, which took place in 9 A.D., including two skeletons in good condition at the trenches dug by the Germans to capture the Roman vanguard. The first mule was found in the trench, its bones (head, neck and shoulders) and its harnesses are in adequate position. The animal was therefore not completely exposed to natural decay (which explains the good osteological and anatomical preservation conditions).

The mule had an iron bridle and harness with metal elements and stones, and a bronze bell with iron clapper. The inside of the bell was stuffed with oat straw wrapped around the clapper so that the bells were not heard in enemy territory. The growth of the roots on the stems indicated late summer – early autumn, which made it possible to determine the date of the ambush around September.

In 1999 the fragmentary remains of a second 4-year-old mule were found. It carried a smaller bronze bell and an iron bridle. The animal died of a broken neck, probably while trying to climb the German wall in the general panic of the fight.

According to: Rost A, Wilbers -Rost S; Waffen auf dem Schlachtfeld von Kalkriese, Gladius XXX; 2010, pp. 117-135 and Harnecker J, Franzius G, Kalkriese 4th Catalogue of Roman Finds from the Oberesch. Die Schnitte 1 bis 22; Römisch-Germanische Forschungen vol. 66. 2008 and Wells P.S., Die Schlacht, die Rom stoppte, Kaiser Augustus, Arminius und das Abschlachten der Legionen im Teutoburger Wald, 2003)

Carnuntum, Austria

It is the most important and most extensively researched ancient excavation site in Austria 28 mi east of Vienna.

Horses and mule bones were discovered in the outer ditch and in pits on the edge of the first ditch of this Roman legionary camp. Four mules could be identified from the remains. The sex could be determined based on the development of the canines on the lower jaws. They were only male animals. Two of them died at the age of 6-7 years, the other two at about 15-17 years. The age is estimated on the basis of the abrasion of the teeth. Since mule teeth are harder than those of horses, the age had been underestimated and had to be reassessed.

The height at the withers was determined in relation to the length of the bones found. It was approximately between not less than 140 cm and maximum 155 cm. Apart from one mule, the other three suffered from diseases of the limbs and/or the spine caused by frequent heavy loading. A pathological change in the spinal column of a mule also indicates this. One shows a pathology (exostosis) on the jaw, which is caused by repeated rubbing of a bit or harness.

According to: Kunst G. K., Archäozoologischer Nachweis für Equidengebrauch, Geschlechtsstruktur und Mortalität in einem neuartigen Hilfskastell (Carnuntum-Petronell, Niederösterreich), Anthropozoologica 31; Ibex J. Mt. Ecol 5.2000

Weissenburg, Bavaria, Germany, Biriciana Roman Fort

The Roman fort at Weissenburg, called Biriciana in ancient times, is a former Roman Ala castellum, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located near the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes.

Four skeletal remains of mules were found during an excavation in this Roman camp. The age was determined to be 160 AD after the discovery of eleven coins. They were found in a bag that was left with the mules. The authors raise the question of a possible local breeding or traditional import of mules from Mediterranean countries. When examining the teeth of an 8-year-old mule, it was found that the food in the mule’s environment must have changed until the time of its death. The animal spent part of its life at high altitude, according to the proximity of the camp, probably in the Alps. The investigations show that the animal must have been born and bred in northern Italy. It must have been used for work in the Alps for a while and later on until the end of its life near Fort Weissenburg.

According to Berger T. E., Peters J., Grupe G. Life history of a mule (ca. 160 AD) from the Roman fort Biriciana/Weissenburg (Upper Bavaria), as revealed by serial stable isotope analysis of dental tissue, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology Volume 20, Issue 2, March/April 2010, pp. 158-171.

Further Sources:

Two Wheeled Cart

From the SWISS BULLETIN: Evidence of mules in ancient times, Part 1


I hope all of our friends and fans will enjoy yet another translated historical Longears article written by Elke Stadler, originally printed in German in the SWISS BULLETIN that comes to us from Switzerland. More articles to follow!

By Elke Stadler

The French national stud farm had a collection of different documents compiled to determine the profile of mules in ancient times. One particular difficulty was that the historical evidence was all too often misinterpreted. Often the mules were confused with their parents, horse or donkey, or generalized as such. Furthermore, the term “lumenti” (beast of burden) was often used, which was then understood as “mare” or “horse”. Therefore, a large quantity of historical, iconographic and archaeological data had to be examined in order can clearly define the physical characteristics.

Historical sources

The agricultural and veterinary studies of the ancient authors, from Columella, Pliny, Palladius to Vegetus, show how accurate the knowledge of the mule was, from breeding to handling, and they highlight all its advantages. Historians like Suetonius, the Roman poet Martial or the Greek Aesop show the widespread use of the mule in their fables.

Iconographic sources

Iconography (the science of the interpretation of motives in works of art) has collected numerous proofs of the existence of mules since the earliest antiquity. These are engravings, drawings, illustrations on vessels, reliefs and figures, which can be seen on buildings and monuments in various countries or are exhibited in museums. Bones and teeth have been found and analyzed during excavations. Some of the interesting mule representations and archaeological finds are presented here:

A depiction of an engraved mule from the Assyrian period shows that mules already wore richly decorated harness with metal or textile ornaments (pompons) in this period. (in: John Clark Ridpath Cyclopedia of Universal History Cincinnati: The Jones Brothers Publishing CO., 1885).

Picture on a vase with red figures representing a loaded mule. (in: P. Hartwig, Die griechischen Meisterschalen, Berlin 1883, p. 63).

Drawings that clearly show the basic equipment of a mule with military equipment: Baskets on both sides to balance the weight (the basket is deliberately drawn flatter and wider to make the contents visible) and the bridle to guide the mule.

Ladies riding mules. Greek-Persian relief, Erdemli Yörük Museum, Province Mersin, Turkey.

Mule with amphorae. Clay figures from Cyprus, from the time of the Hellenic kingdoms, around the 3rd and 2nd century BC, in the Louvre, Paris.

Mule with handmade saddle. A broken bronze votive plaque found at the height of the Gotthard pass. Archaeological Museum Bavay, France.

A cart pulled by mules. Scene on the Trajan Column, Relief, Archaeological Museum Strasbourg.

An honorary column erected in 112/113 AD for the Roman Emperor Trajan (98-117 AD) at his hometown Rome.

Light two-wheeled cart (open wagon for short distances) pulled by two mules. Relief picture on the reconstructed and colored “Igeler Säule”, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tomb monument of a rich cloth merchant family, which is in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier, Germany.

Rhyton, single-cornered drinking vessel for drinking sacrifices. Red ceramic figure, ca. 475-450 BC. Pre-Roman necropolis from Casabianda, Corsica. Archaeological museum of the department of Gilort (Jérôme) Carcopino.

Operation of the famous harvesting machine known as the “Trevires” or “Vallus” harvester, described in particular by Plinius. Facsimile of a fragmentary relief found in Buzenol, Belgium.

Drawing that brings together two different fragments from the collections of Arlon and Buzenol, showing the farm workers and the mule harvesting spelt with the harvesting machine.

Some numismatic finds: the mule is depicted on many Roman coins, often pulling a two-wheeled carriage (Carpentum). Below: grazing mules, behind them the two shafts of a wagon with reins.




The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:


Meet Bruiser. He is maybe a couple days old?. He was found lost and alone in the mountains. His condition is fragile at best. He was severely dehydrated and has obviously not had the food he needed from his Mama. Only time will tell why he was left behind to die.

We are heading straight to the vet.

We also had to pick up 2 gorgeous, yearling stud colts. They are also in need of vetting, ie “brain surgery” aka gelding.

Bruiser is going to need 24/7 care along with vetting to give him a chance. Hopefully he n Lil Pepe will end up keeping each other company.

Please help us give these kids the best care possible.

It is only going to get busier from here on out. Thank you Kari Robie n family for providing critical care until we could get him.


LIL PEPE surgery update. He survived surgery. The Doc was only able to close part of the defect, but he has a higher chance of surviva


You have saved so many lives. Let’s keep on making a difference and saving lives!

Hugs & Love


-You can go to gofundme 

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

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

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

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



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.

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