In This Issue

On Television

What's New?

Featured Product

Longears Limelight

Training Tip

From Our Readers

Our Guest Writer

Bonnie's Bit

Greetings From ADMS!

On Television
Catch Jasper: A Christmas Caper on Rural TV on
Thursday, December 19
Tuesday, December 24
at 7pm ET.

What's New?
www.LuckyThreeRanch.comAugie and Spuds, now three years old, had their first lesson in pulling a drag (tire) in preparation for driving. First, each of them was introduced to the tire individually and pulled it alone with no problems. Then I hitched them both to the tire and they learned their lesson of pulling together in record time! Taking things in small steps and in a slow, sequential order makes training a real pleasure and truly resistance-free. Read more about this in “What’s New?” on our website.
Longears Limelight

"Another horse girl suckered over to the mule side!" - DJ and Jen, enjoying their new saddle

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Featured Product 
Time sure flies when you have little ones, and here we are, with Christmas right around the corner! Whether you’re a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, a teacher or just know a little boy or girl whose eyes light up at the thought of Christmas, here’s the perfect gift for the holidays!
Jasper the Mule and his friends have been entertaining children for years with his funny and exciting adventures. Now you can get the Complete Jasper Collection, The Jasper Movie Bundle or the
Jasper Reading Bundle!
Just go to
and make this a truly magical Christmas for the special little ones in your life. 
Break Free From
the Herd

Explore the possibilities with TMD Equine University, a certified, online university program providing extensive courses in the care, maintenance and training of equines. This intensive program is approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education Private Occupational School Board.

for more details.
Video On Demand!

Watch Meredith’s award-winning shows and films on your computer or TV, any time! Get started
training right now with
Training Mules & Donkeys

or watch equine documentaries with
Those Magnificent Mules. 
Plus, we have all five Jasper the Mule animated films available for kids!

 Click here to instantly rent the programs to watch on your computer, or find out how you can watch Vimeo programming on your TV here

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Meredith HodgesDear Friends,
Where does the time go? I can’t believe it is almost Christmas again! As most of you have probably heard, this past August, the state of Colorado was hit with the worst flooding in over 100 years. The incessant rains filled over six different rivers with water that then came rushing down from the mountains and created a sea of islands along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. I am fortunate enough to live on the top of a knoll at the base of the foothills leading to the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon, so I suffered only minimal flooding. However, it all but completely wiped out the access road through the Big Thompson Canyon from Loveland to Estes Park. The people who live in the canyon are being allowed to use the temporary “pioneer” dirt road that is under construction now, but it will take an estimated two years to get the road rebuilt to the point that it is safe enough for public traffic. Meanwhile, visitors to Estes Park have to take the long way around.
I am proud of the way the Coloradoans have banded together to help each other in the reconstruction of the eastern part of our state. We are are truly a state of hard working, loyal, patriotic Americans who are always ready to help when needed.
The animals had to be kept in their stalls and runs and off the flooded turnout areas here at the ranch for several days. They weren’t really all that happy about it, but it is always better to consider safety first in a situation like this (and even be prepared to evacuate, if necessary). When the animals finally did get out, they fully enjoyed their freedom and the lush green grass that grew back like crazy after all the rain. Lucky Three Ranch had our last tour of the season shortly after the flood and were not sure if our guests would be able to make it out to the ranch, but a hearty group of seniors made it up from the Denver area and told us that, in addition to their Lucky Three tour, they really got quite a tour of Northern Colorado under water! Because I-25, the main highway from Denver, was closed (as were many main county roads), they had to take backroads all the way to the ranch, but they loved the ranch tour and said it was worth the adventurous journey to get here.
Typical of Colorado, I didn’t have to wait too long before we got our first snow on October 18th. Although the temperature dropped significantly overnight, the scene I woke up to in the morning was nothing short of glorious, and I was once again reminded of the wonderful blessings that are bestowed upon us with every new day. As the Loveland Museum and Sculpture Park at Lucky Three Ranch continues to grow and blossom, the ranch is rapidly becoming the place I always dreamed it could be, and I will always enjoy sharing this special place with all our visitors. I hope you will have the opportunity to include the Loveland Museum and Sculpture Park at Lucky Three Ranch in your future vacation plans. Meanwhile, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Best wishes and Happy Trails,


Training Tip: 

Question What is your opinion of using the Henderson drill method of gelding for donkeys and mules?
 I had not heard of the Henderson drill method of castration until your email, but after reading about it, I’m not so certain that it would be any safer than a really good veterinarian, as tools are only as good as the person who is handling them. I think this could potentially pose a problem with certain vets who look for short cuts and may think it is a quicker way to get things done (to make more money). In the hands of an incompetent vet, the following potential problems are exponentially escalated. In a quote from an article on the website,
  • “In very young, small breeds, the spermatic cords will often slip through the pliers. The smaller bull clamp might be an option for these horses.
  • It is not recommended for retained testicles;
  • Dead or low drill batteries can be problematic;
  • If the clamp is not secure in the drill, it can’t be used;
  • Infection is a risk, as with any other surgery;
  • The spermatic cord can be torn if the practitioner places extreme tension on the cord;
  • Bleeding from large scrotal or skin vessels (more often seen in older males) is a potential complication of any castration, Reilly noted that cross-clamping the skin prior to removing it minimizes bleeding. Also, cross-clamping and removing the skin piece allows only one surgical site compared to two (one over each testicle) with other methods.”  
When you employ good management and training skills so your equines accept things calmly and obediently, there is nothing better than using a skilled veterinarian who can make judgment calls right there on the spot. I feel the same way about mechanical trimming tools. They will never replace the care and knowledge of a well-schooled and competent farrier. Mechanical dental tools are often necessary, but again, they are only truly safe in the hands of a skilled equine dentist. In all of these cases, for the sake of the welfare of your animals, it is worth it to take the time to find and pay what’s necessary for a skilled, credentialed and professional individual.

                      Holiday Sale Extended! 

There's still time to give the gift of Resistance Free Training!  Visit our store and get 10% off all individual items and 20% off our bundles!  We're even including Jasper! 


From Our Readers:

Just to let you know, that this is the best four-legged friend site to be found on Facebook or anywhere....I love the way you engage with your animals—the love for them is displayed in your very handling and care you give them. I salute you. Glad to have found your website. You are a star—no, a super star. Keep up the wonderful work. Blessings and sincerest good wishes.

Our Guest Writer: Jan Pollema

Executive Director, Hearts & Horses

Hearts and Horses is a therapeutic riding center that offers a depth and breadth of programs designed to empower participants, promote self-sufficiency and encourage growth, both inside and outside the riding arena. We’ve developed a variety of therapeutic and educational programs utilizing our herd of incredible four-legged therapists.

We teamed up with Meredith Hodges for our annual "Lucky Hearts" Gala.  In our 13-year history of holding the gala, this year was by far the most successful—ever! At a stunning venue donated by Cumberland and Western through the City of Loveland, we hosted 370 generous guests, had the most table sponsors and raised the most money from the auction items in the history of Hearts and Horses. We are continuing to hear great feedback that our guests had a fabulous time and are asking about the date for next year! We are so proud—it was a complete and total success!

Meredith made a significant contribution to the Hearts and Horses for Heroes program the night of the event. Contributions to this program go directly to provide scholarships for our heroes. We believe we owe our veterans the opportunity at Hearts and Horses to heal their minds, bodies and spirits so that they may continue their hero’s journey.

Meredith’s invaluable and continued support over the years has given Hearts and Horses the resources necessary to become one of the premier therapeutic riding programs in the country. 

Interested in helping us to continue our mission of changing lives every day?  Read on to learn about the amazing programs we offer at Hearts and Horses.  

Warm Regards,

Jan Pollema,
Executive Director - Hearts and Horses, Inc.

Sign Up for our Newsletter 

Background and Mission of Hearts and Horses
Nestled in the foothills in Northern Colorado, Hearts and Horses is a well-respected PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International Premier Accredited Facility that has an outstanding record serving those with physical, mental and emotional needs since 1997. We teach approximately 160 riders per week with the primary assistance of a wonderful herd of equines and over 1,300 volunteers annually. Our PATH International Certified instructors and therapists are highly experienced, several with over 20 years of experience in the field of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. We are also a highly regarded training facility and host a number of workshops and certification courses throughout the year.

Therapeutic Riding & Hippotherapy
  • Therapeutic Riding – Children and adults with disabilities work with certified instructors in equestrian skill-based lessons to develop independent skills that carry over to their everyday lives.
  • Hippotherapy – Physical, occupational and speech-language therapists partner with equines to provide a powerful therapy team. The equine’s movement can improve balance, strength and coordination for individuals with disabilities.
Changing Leads: Youth-at-risk find friendship, develop trust and form a deep connection when partnered with equines. Emotions and behaviors are explored in a safe setting to reflect, learn and grow in order to improve the development of trust, respect, empathy, self-respect and confidence, accountability and conflict resolution.

Hearts and Horses for Heroes: Wounded service personnel and veterans interact with horses and mules to nurture self-awareness, trust, coping skills and relationship skills, contributing to improved quality of life and hope for the future.

Riding in the Moment: This program helps facilitate seniors with Alzheimer’s and Dementia in finding joy in equine-related activities. For some it is a chance to experience past memories and for others it is a new adventure.

Summer All Abilities Horsemanship Camp:  Bringing together children with and without disabilities, our All Abilities Summer Horsemanship Camp is an exciting opportunity for campers to explore and celebrate their differences, while learning the importance of diversity, compassion and respect. 

Bonnie's Bit:Bonnie Shields, the Tennessee Mule Artist

Fall in north Idaho was nothing less than spectacular this year, and Iris and I did what we could to take it all in with some glorious rides in the woods and along the roads. Other than encounters with traffic and alpacas, all went well for Miss Iris and she is now up to her ankles in mud and dirty snow, so I guess it is all over for some many months.
September was its usual busy time with Hells Canyon Mule Days and the big draft horse and mule International here in Sandpoint. Then, the long-awaited trip to Scotland Oct. 1-7. Scotland is wonderful and I want to see more. One week is not enough, though we packed a lot into it by renting a car and wandering the countryside—in abject terror from the narrow roads and driving on the left. Terry drove and I screamed!

While in Scotland, we met up with some dear friends from North Carolina State days and the married-student housing project there. Brian and Minou Button have been friends of ours for all these years and we have stayed in touch despite not seeing each other for 50 years. They have a timeshare at Tigh Mor and invited us to stay with them for a few days and “catch up.” I was worried I might not recognize them, but no problem there, as Miss Minou is still beautiful and Bryan is still the quintessential nuclear physicist and sweet guy.  We also explored the Highlands and Loch Ness and the eastern coast.  NO MULES, very few donkeys, not many more horses and only three Clydesdales from the road. See, I need to go back there. Trouble is, that awful flight getting there. Oh, well, I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to just go and see.
Now I am locked to the drawing board trying to get my act together for NFR and Cowboy Christmas in Las Vegas. Have a pretty good supply of my mule and donkey Christmas ornaments and my Jasper books and tapes, so anyone in LV during NFR—look me and my cartoonist buddies up in the Convention Center. Cowboy Cartoonists International.  Booth #700.
In the meantime, hug your mule and donkey and have a very Merry Christmas.


Greetings from the ADMS:
Leah Patton, office manager, ADMS

We often see confusion with the ADMS registry books and other registries, and sometimes in the letter usage for ADMS.  It’s the Donkey and Mule Society, not mule and donkey. We fondly remember our co-founder, the late Betsy Hutchins, stressing WHY this was so. “Donkey first. No donkey, no mule, therefore we are the donkey and mule Society.” While Betsy liked, trained and had owned mules, her first love was always for the donkey. Additionally, she personally held out that a herd of matched gray-duns was the prettiest thing she could imagine. Not that she would have turned away any donkey, but she held a fondness for the ancestral coloration.
Popularity for the various colors of donkeys always seems to be seasonal and regional, but one should always remember that a good equine can never be a bad color. Each of the colors and patterns have, in turn, been popular, been pushed out of favoritism by others, and then risen again. What one breeder or owner treasures as the be-all color and pattern for their carefully selected herd may not appeal to the next person. Some people like to see no light points on their donkeys and mules, others do not. Keeping good conformation under all those colors is the key to keeping the various breeds and types viable for the future. The equine markets go through slumps and surges, and always manage to recover somehow, but care has to be taken to preserve a breed for the future. Over-saturation or breeding for color fads doesn’t do any breed any good. 

Shows are a good way to showcase your best stock, but you don’t have to show to be able to display your top animals. With the Internet at our fingertips, you can let buyers worldwide see the outstanding animals you have to offer. Photos are easy with digital cameras and even those built into our cell phones now. Take a day and do a photo shoot.  There’s an old adage that when shooting pictures of children or animals (when a roll of film had 24 or 36 frames), you’d be lucky if you got one useable shot off the roll. Today, with the click of a button, you can erase the blurry, ears-back, head-swung-round, tail-switching cull photos and fill up your 1000-photo digital chip in a matter of a few hours.  It’s far better to glean over the entire set of photos and use only the best than to snap one or two mediocre ones and call it quits. Beside, you never know what crazy things might happen and what stories you’ll be able to tell later of your photo shoot!
Share photos any time with us on the ADMS Facebook page, or send them in for the BRAYER magazine. When cold weather does set in and you are warming your toes after feeding the hungry hee-haws, you may be able to look at your favorite media and say, “Hey, that’s a darned good photo after all!”
Until next time, give all those furry longears an extra hug and pat! 

Leah Patton, office manager, ADMS

The Am. Donkey & Mule Soc. PO Box 1210, Lewisville TX 75067 (972) 219-0781. Newsletter: the BRAYER magazine, 100+ pgs 6X/yr, $27 US, $37 Canada, $50 overseas. We now accept Paypal, Visa/MC (+$1 courtesy fee appreciated). Reg info, forms, fees on our website at
The statements, views, and opinions by contributors are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of Lucky Three Ranch and Meredith Hodges.

Copyright © 2013 Lucky Three Ranch, All rights reserved.
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