September 2007
In This Issue
Sign Up
Quick Links
Dear Friends

We've had another busy summer here at Lucky Three Ranch. In addition to all the work around the ranch, we put the finishing touches on Jasper: A Turkey Tale, the latest sequel in the Jasper the Mule series. We took delivery on the DVD version of my video training series, Training Mules and Donkeys, and we began production on two new programs for our documentary mini-series Those Magnificent Mules.

In June we hosted a training clinic with my friend Richard Shrake, and that same week, shot enough footage for at least six new television shows for RFD-TV, all in high-definition!

During the clinic equine massage therapist and rehabilitation expert Joanne Lang and I gave a special session on assessing your animal's physical condition and rehabilitating the injured or under-used animal. Our message was simple: Condition your equine for the task, not during the task. It's so important to make sure that your mule, donkey or horse, has the proper physical conditioning before you advance in your training. Only through patient and methodical exercise can you ensure that your animal will have the strength and athletic conditioning required to keep both of you safe from injury.

I hope all of you who are training will take this message to heart. You can find out more about my resistance-free, sequential training techniques at www.luckythree and on my program Training Mules and Donkeys on RFD-TV.

Again thank you for your continued commitment to proper equine training and care and best wishes for continued success and pleasure in the arena, on the trail, or wherever your equine takes you.


Summer Greetings from the American Donkey and Mule Society
Hello all! Summer is going by quickly, and it will soon be fall. That means the show season in full swing! Registrations are up for the smaller sizes of longears (mini mules and miniature donkeys) but larger mules now have a variety of show venues. Wherever you decide to show your mules, don't forget to give the registry time to process your paperwork. Mules can also be double-registered (with more than one registry) so they can earn points with different clubs.

ADMS also has awards programs for the Versatility Hall of Fame, Driving, and even Merit of Breeding (for your mule's parents). Just about anything your longear can do can earn points. From parades to shows, visits to nursing homes or 4-H presentations, why not earn some extra accolades while you're having fun?

On the home front, our whirlwind stop by Lucky Three Ranch in July to see Meredith and the mules was a wonderful event, as usual. If you have the chance to visit Colorado, be sure to call ahead and see if you can visit the sculpture park at Lucky Three. There are some fabulous life-size bronzes there. All reflect Meredith's love for mules!

And speaking of Colorado, a mare mule in that state has recently been verified to have given birth! ADMS is in contact with the owners, and we're eagerly following up on the more extensive DNA testing of the foal. Kate the mule is one of the few DNA verified cases of fertile mare mules. (It does happen, but the odds are about one in one million!) Now it will be interesting to see what kind of genetic makeup this foal has. For more on mule fertility, visit the ADMS FAQ page at our website

Don't forget that the ADMS staff is always here to answer questions. We appreciate Meredith for allowing us to work with her and for her help in educating everyone everywhere about our favorite subject--Longears!

Until later,
Leah Patton, Office Manager, ADMS

Masterpiece in Production
Meredith's commissioned, life-size sculpture of Lucky Three Mae Bea C.T. wowed crowds at Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Loveland Invitational Sculpture Show this summer, before it was permanently installed at the ranch. Artists Robin Laws and her project partners John Taylor and Tim Joseph have begun work on the next life-size bronze to immortalize one of Lucky Three's champion mules. This one will capture the image of Meredith riding Lucky Three Ciji sidesaddle. Meredith and Lucky Three Ciji posed for the artists earlier in the summer, and the team hopes to complete the piece by early 2008.

If you'd like to see Lucky Three Mae Bea C.T., Lucky Three Sundowner and other sculptures by Robin Laws, as well as "Leap of Faith," by Bonnie Shields, and other works, you can go to, click on "Ranch Tours" and request a tour of the ranch and our unique Longears Sculpture Park.

Banner Ads on
Now you can advertise your equine-related product or service on our web site. Reach an average of 4,000 unique users each month, by purchasing a banner ad on It's easy to do. Just go to our store at www.luckythree, select and purchase the ad size you want, submit your artwork, and we'll take it from there.
Question: My mule is running off in the drivelines. What do I do to make her stop?

Answer: First, I have, over time, come to appreciate the fact that different equines have different personality types. It does seem that a general rule applies: the larger the animal, the more docile the personality. I've also learned that when a donkey or mule has a tendency to bolt and run, it's typically because they don't agree with what you're trying to do, or how you are trying to do it. It is ALWAYS the handler's fault!

I have a mule that is acting the same way. She will allow me to walk beside her and drive her that way, but if I get too far behind her, she'll run off. I have had to deal with this problem with a few mules and donkeys in the past. What I do is continue to walk beside her and gradually lengthen the distance one inch at a time until she has accepted the drivelines correctly--no matter how long it takes. I will work her no more than 20 to 40 minutes every other day. I will make sure she gets her treats for "Whoa" and "Back." I will do a lot of "Back" while still close in to her and repeat "Back" frequently at every increased or decreased distance behind her, and I will keep things at a very slow walk until I feel her relaxation through the drivelines (not a trace of pull). I will always be calm and slow around her, willing to take all the time in the world if necessary. I will constantly review the lessons in showmanship in Video #1, Video #8 and Video #9, going to and from the work areas, and during any ground interaction to help her really, truly bond to me on a very personal level. I will treat her as my very favorite. (I actually treat them all this way anyway, but sometimes there are those who are less confident and need this extra moral support.)

These types of personalities simply take much longer to come around, but with great patience, kindness, trust and respect, they eventually do. I just wouldn't necessarily use them for driving, but they can be very good under saddle. In fact, once they do bond more strongly with you and look to you as their "Protector," they are the ones who will have more "Go" and thus, more athletic aptitude and ability. Figuring out what kinds of things they like to do naturally also helps.

I have dealt with many animals that were the same way, and I know it takes tremendous patience, but I also know they can come around. You might just need to back up and do things even more slowly and more meticulously than you ever thought you needed to, but you should get positive results if you do. Lower your expectations of her for a while, and try to have more fun with the basics.

When she does bolt, never hang on to the reins, lead, or drivelines. Just let go of her if you are on the ground or let them loose if she bolts under saddle. Just make sure you work in areas that are adequately and safely fenced, so you can catch her easily again. Whether on the lead line, in the drivelines or under saddle, once she realizes that you aren't going to play "tug-o-war," that she will get a reward for staying, and it is a waste of her energy to keep running, she will do it less and less
A steady stream of guests toured Lucky Three Ranch this summer and, by all accounts, enjoyed themselves immensely. Here's what two of our visitors had to say:

Dear Meredith:
I [wanted] to tell you how very much my husband Dale and I enjoyed our tour this morning with the Loveland Connections Group. I grew up on a dairy farm in Idaho and feel like I know quite a bit about horses and animals in general, but I had no idea how much I didn't know about mules and donkeys! Along with being a working ranch your beautiful sculptures and landscaping make it a showplace as well. I was so impressed with the cleanliness, your knowledge and willingness to educate us about the longears. It's the best kept secret around! So sincere thanks to you and your efficient staff for a wonderful morning at the ranch!

Marlene and Dale

To schedule a tour of Lucky Three Ranch, go to, click on "Ranch Tours" and submit a tour request. Please try to submit your request at least two weeks in advance.

Tours of Lucky Three Ranch are free. Donations are accepted and appreciated.

Check the "Events Calendar at If you know of an event that is not on our list, please let us know.
Training Mules and Donkeys DVDs have arrived at our warehouse and are now available for purchase!!! DVDs of our award-winning, resistance-free correspondence equine-training course include the following:

- 40-50 minutes of detailed instruction.
- A print-ready, PDF version of the corresponding instruction manual.
- Other extras, including music montages and interviews.

Special Offer!!!
Purchase videos 1-8 on DVD and receive FREE the 200+-page spiral-bound manual Training Without Resistance: From Foal to Advanced Levels, a $19.95 value.

Purchase videos 1-10 on DVD and receive FREE two spiral-bound manuals, Training Without Resistance: From Foal to Advanced Levels and Equine Management and Donkey Training, a $39.90 value.

Training Mules and Donkeys is also available in VHS format. Videotapes are 50% off while supplies last.

For more information and video clips from the series, please visit Our Store at
Those Magnificent Mules!

Coming this fall! Don't miss two new episodes of Those Magnificent Mules airing on RFD-TV. This two-part special will examine the benefits of therapeutic riding programs featuring Hearts & Horses Therapeutic Riding Center in Loveland, Colo. Meredith is a long-time supporter of Heart & Horses and, earlier this year, she and Loyd Hawley of Hawleywoods Mule Farm in Arkansas were instrumental in supplying the center with two new mules. Brandie and Sadie have become client favorites and helped establish longears as a viable part of any therapeutic riding program.

Meredith's documentary mini-series, Those Magnificent Mules airs throughout the year in the Training Mules and Donkeys time slot. Please check your local listing or visit for program schedules.

Reach Your Customers on RFD-TV

RFD-TV now welcomes advertisers, and we've put together a terrific, new advertising package for Training Mules and Donkeys. RFD-TV services more than 28 million homes in all 50 states and beginning Nov. 1, 2007, the station will launch RFD HD, a new 24-hour channel in high definition. The new station will be offered as a basic channel along with other HD channels such as ESPN HD, Discovery HD, CNN HD, etc., carried by your cable or satellite provider. Viewers interested in receiving RFD HD should contact their local cable and/or national satellite system provider to request and/or confirm that your system will be carrying RFD HD.

If you'd like more information about advertising rates for Training Mules and Donkeys on RFD-TV and RFD HD, please contact us at
Jasper: A Turkey Tale, the latest adventure in the Jasper the Mule Series, will be available for purchase in September!

This latest holiday adventure finds Jasper, Moxie and the gang preparing for Thanksgiving. But near disaster threatens their plans, and Jasper and Moxie are stumped by a mysterious visitor. Join in the fun as the two friends try to solve the mystery and along the way, learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Written by Meredith Hodges, with full-color illustration by Bonnie Shields.

Only $24.95. To order your copy, visit our store at or
Submit a photo of your special mule or donkey in action and qualify to win a free copy of Training Without Resistance: From Foal to Advanced Levels, a $19.95 value.

Just e-mail your non-returnable photo as a 300 dpi jpg file to newsl Winner will be randomly selected and announced in our next issue on November 27, 2007.
Hi, everyone: Finally finished the 70 illustrations Jasper book #5 (Jasper: A Turkey Tale). Also have returned from a ten-day odyssey into the wilds of Montana. No, it wasn't a pack trip, it was like gathering experiences and characters. First stop was the home of Deloit and Twila Wolfe in Missoula. Actually, they live on the top of a mountain next to a national forest. Deloit is the owner/operator of the super mule named "Horse" that wows them every year at Challenge of the Breeds at Spruce Meadows in Calgary. "Horse" is once again into intensive training for her appearance there in September, but she took time out to give this ole mule artist a couple of trail rides. Thank you "Horse" and Deloit.

Then it was on to Deer Lodge, Mont., with my friends Mike and Nancy Kerson (Video Mike) to document on tape the putting up of loose hay on the historic Grant-Kours ranch. This ranch is now part of our National Parks system and both historic and beautiful. The intent of videotaping the haying with the Beaverslide kinda grew over the last few months into a full-blown documentary of the ranch and its history and activities, including the loose haying. This is going to be an awesome DVD, friends. I expect it will not be out until late this fall, as Mike is buried under several projects besides this one, but when it is available. you are going to want to see it. Not many opportunities to see this method of haying with the horses and the equipment. Unfortunately, no mule teamsters showed up for this year's haying which was a big disappointment to Mike and me, but there are some beautiful draft horses to feast on, in their place. August is the "Moon of the Houseguest" in north Idaho, so ole BS is gonna hafta give up art for hostess for a while. I will see you next at Hells Canyon Mule Days in Enterprise, Ore., the weekend after Labor Day.


Don't forget, Jasper: A Fabulous Fourth is now on sale! Visit www.jasperthe

Lucky Three Ranch

phone: 800.816.7566