<<First Name>>, your Lucky Three Ranch news for March 2020 has arrived!
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Message From Meredith Hodges

Dear Friends,

What a fantastic winter we have had! We truly enjoyed our annual Christmas Party! Each year our Christmas Party becomes more of a costume party and it makes for a fun-filled evening of great food, music, dancing and tours! My crew and I got completely inspired with Christmas decorations, inside and out, and the whole ranch became a whimsical LONGEARS LAND! Our first substantial snowstorm came just before our Christmas Party, but we had nice weather afterwards.  By the time the party date arrived, we had the roads cleared and were able to give tours of the LTR Christmas Lights. They were magnificent and everyone enjoyed a wonderful evening! 

Jasper even played Santa Claus and handed out candy canes after my welcome speech and before the light tours! December wrapped up with another snowstorm and made for a White Christmas...just beautiful!

We thought that the JASPER CAROUSEL would be finished by the end of November, but there was a delay at the foundry.  We were disappointed that the figures for the carousel would not be done for a while, but we were pleasantly surprised when they notified us that our statue for the backyard of the JASPER BUNKHOUSE was ready for delivery. 

“BUCK-A-ROO BURROS” is yet another extraordinary bronze by Robin Laws that will grace the grounds of the LOVELAND LONGEARS MUSEUM & SCULPTURE PARK at Lucky Three Ranch on the east side of Jasper’s rose garden.

And, we added yet another exhibit for the children’s tours honoring Disney’s beloved EEYORE! I have collected a lot of Longears statues over the years and we finally got enough EEYORES to warrant an actual exhibit! What fun!

After my birthday at the beginning of February, we had yet another awesome surprise! The JASPER CAROUSEL figures had been pushed forward to the end of March, but they had some extra time at the foundry and began working on them. 

They got so excited about them that they did not want to quit working on them and go back to the other jobs. They called us to help with a small snag in mounting the Western stirrup on JASPER’S saddle. When we got there, we found that they had finished them ALL and were only waiting to fix the stirrup and seal the patina...then they will be all DONE!!! They took our breath away! What an amazing Valentine’s Day present!!! Now, if the weather will just get a bit warmer, we will be able to finish painting the center pole, lay down the Astro-Turf on the turn table and mount the figures in their permanent home inside the carousel frame! We will have more pictures for you in our next newsletter in June! 

It’s never dull here at the Lucky Three Ranch! I hope you will have the opportunity to come and visit us!

Best wishes and Happy Trails

Click below for our SPRING OFFERS
Call to book your 
tour for 2020!
Have a question for Meredith or want to give us feedback?
LTR Training Tip #4

and Equines

Meredith gets a lot of letters and emails from people with training questions about their equines. Here, she talks about how to best communicate with your equine.

View many more training tips on our YouTube channel.


Question: My mule won’t stand still and stop pawing. How do I teach him to stand still?

Answer: Longears love routine! You can greatly reduce your Longears' anxiety and bad behaviors by having a familiar place where he is groomed and tacked up. Younger equines in particular will tend to be impatient and will exhibit anxious behaviors. Being patient, respectful and consistent in your approach helps him to relax and enjoy being with you. Try to be understanding and ignore their anxious behaviors. Ask them to stand still only for the time you are doing something with them. They will generally respond to your presence by standing still if you just do a quick slap under the belly and say, “No!” Then as soon as they stand still, immediately give their reward of crimped oats and do what you need to do. They will learn that you are being fair, they enjoy their time with you and being herd bound is no longer a problem. Learn a lot more on my website at under TRAINING and in the STORE. LEARN TOGETHER...EXCEL TOGETHER!



From Our Visitors

“This was our June Day Trip for 56 people in our group. When we arrived at the location, we were greeted by very professional ladies, showing us where to park our charter bus and assuring us that they were anticipating our arrival. The host of our tour was Meredith Hodges, world-recognized authority on training donkeys and mules to championship status. The tour was 2-1/2 hours in duration, including a 40-minute video of things to be covered in the tour. The stalls for her animals were immaculately maintained with clean sawdust and plenty of water and chemical-free nutritious feed. Throughout the tour, she would show and explain about the many bronze statuary located throughout the ranch. Our people really enjoyed the tour and were very vocal about things they did not know about mules and their forebears.”


 “Beyond Expectations - Unimaginable, A Must See!”


“I hardly know where to begin. It was the most fascinating, educational, and informative experience that went far beyond our expectations! We spent 4 hours with Meredith, her staff and of course her 'Longears'. Beyond belief how her philosophy, and love regarding the care, treatment and training of these wonderful animals has made champions of them. After meeting Meredith's Longears, and learning about their remarkable abilities - I can no longer think of mules as dumb or stubborn but rather as amazing. This is a MUST for anyone in or near the Loveland area. You simply cannot afford to miss this opportunity! Meredith,  thank you for allowing us into your life and into that of your precious Longears. What an unforgettable experience. I wish you continued success.”



From Our Readers


Jasper: The Story Of A Mule by Meredith Hodges

 “When I was a young boy, my father would read to us from Uncle Wiggly books. Uncle Wiggly was a rabbit. Later, in elementary school, our teachers would read from Freddy the Detective books. Freddy was a pig. Later, I read to myself, books in which the main characters were animals, but no mules.

Now as an old man, I finally read a child’s book in which the main character is a mule. The book, Jasper, The Story Of A Mule was written by Meredith Hodges and illustrated by Bonnie Shields (more about these two later). I wish I had young kids or grankids that I could read this book to, or have them read it to me however, I don’t. But, I can still highly recommend it for others. Jasper is a young mule learning to go over obstacles, sold to a rancher, saddled and ridden, learning to be a cow mule, being in a fire, Oh, heck, buy it and read the book to your kids. I guarantee a few nights of pure enjoyment.

If one reads a history of western exploration and settlement, one finds mules up there with cowboys, stagecoach robberies, Bat Masterson, cattle drives and other things we associate with the west.

Besides that, it is fun to read about new things.

Meredith Hodges lives on the Lucky Three Ranch in Loveland, CO. She is a writer, trainer, mule judge and makes movies. Google to see more of her books.

Bonnie Shields, who illustrated the book is known as the mule artist. She is a founding member of Cowboy Cartoonists International (google this group to see more about fine cowboy cartoonists) for more about her, go to

I cannot say enough about how well the author’s prose and the illustrator’s pictures fit each other.

The other day, while at the doctors, I was asked what I did for fun. I told the MD, I review books for Rope Burns. What’s the latest book you read? My reply was Jasper, the Story Of A Mule. Wow! Kids books was her reply, that sounds like fun. Get the book for your kids, get in on the fun.”

                        Bob Kisken


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Keep checking back on our
new and improved
website for regular updates!

Our website has a lot of information about all things equine!



The LTR BLOG has stories from around the world. ABOUT LTR tells about Meredith and the Lucky Three Ranch, TRAINING has Questions & Answers, Mule Facts, Video TRAINING TIPS, VIDEO ON DEMAND (RFD-TV Shows and more) MULE CROSSING articles, LONGEARS MUSIC videos, Misc. Music Videos, What's New With Roll? (Story of the Rescue Draft Mules, ROCK & ROLL), Another Augie & Spuds Adventure (Training miniature donkeys) and Wrangler's Donkey Diary (Management & training of our new donkey gelding). Check out our TOURS (personalized clinics) and keep up with the latest developments in the equine industry with RESOURCES/NEWS (Longears Calendar of Events, Classifieds, Longears Clubs, Therapeutic Riding, Equine Rescues, Equine Welfare in the News, Wild Mustangs/Burros Campaign and Horse Slaughter facts & FAQ's).

And of course, you are welcome to peruse our STORE.
This website is like no other! WE AIM TO PLEASE


Author Meredith Hodges and illustrator Bonnie Shields are proud to
introduce a brand new book to their JASPER THE MULE
series of books and videos with their latest edition,

And don’t forget to visit 
for lots of fun, entertainment and the ultimate 
Longears Learning experience!


Bonnie’s Bit

Is it spring yet???  Gee, I HOPE it is spring yet!  But this is north Idaho and I know better. There is still white stuff all over the place and Iris, my mule, is still hairy and collecting dirt.

Luckily, no more falls on the ice but I am sure being careful these days.  However, I am truly sick of snow boots, cleats and changing footwear 2 or 3 times a day.  Encourage me here.

Been working on a book for some sweet folks in Nevada and have several more such assignments waiting in the wings, so I have been busy--when not fighting ice.  Also, sneaking up on Bishop preparations.  That keeps my mind on the future and maybe some sunshine and fun times.  I'll miss my buddy Debi Gulo, but have an innocent mule-loving volunteer all lined up to take her place this year.  Was hoping for some young, handsome feller to go with me and do all that heavy lifting but, old ladies just don't get those kind of offers anymore.  Bummer.

Hope everyone's winter has been good to them and they have gotten a lot of stuff done over these long days.  Somehow, things around here don't really get cleared out like I keep hoping they will and instead, MORE just keeps coming in the door!  Place is looking like a MUSEUM!!  Maybe Meredith can use this stuff FOR the MULE MUSEUM we are planning for.  One can hope, can't they? 

Keep 'em tight till spring out there,

 Visit our Lucky Three Ranch 

to purchase new art from 
 ​Tennessee Mule Artist 
Bonnie Shields

And don’t forget to visit her website to find out more
about the Wild and Wonderful World of Bonnie Shields,
Tennessee Mule Artist, Cowboy Cartoonist and True Artist!


Hearts & Horses to Help Children's Hospital Colorado
Learn Why Therapeutic Horseback Riding Benefits
Children with Autism

After showing that a 10-week therapeutic horseback riding intervention reduced irritability and hyperactivity, while improving the social communication skills of youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus researcher and Children’s Hospital Colorado psychologist, Dr. Robin Gabriels, has received a $2.5 million grant to investigate why the therapy works. Hearts & Horses is one of two sites where the research will be conducted over the 5-year research study. 

The grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, will fund the study that looks into the physiology of why equine assisted activities and therapies produce such positive results compared to a no-horse barn activity control.


Hearts & Horses is actively recruiting participants for the study.  If you are interested in learning more about the study or to see if someone you know qualifies for the study, please contact: Robin Gabriels, PsyD by calling 720-777-3404 or by email

Read more about the study…CLICK HERE

Meet Mia, whose life was changed as a result of participating in the study in 2014.  

For more information about Hearts & Horses visit their website: 

Jan Pollema, Executive Director

Give the Gift of Joy and Healing
Through an incredible depth and breadth of programming, Hearts & Horses impacts every life we touch. Support the wonderful effects of therapeutic riding for individuals by supporting Hearts & Horses today!

Longears Limelight

One of my favorite sculptors and Longears Lover is noted artist, Cammie Lundeen. I have admired her work with Draft Horses for years and then began collecting her Longears sculptures. I particularly enjoyed this Facebook post from her:
There were times I'd put just $10 worth of gas in my tank, while other times $50. I've had just $5 to feed myself and I've also had $200 to go out to eat. I’ve had a house full of food and I didn't have any. I’ve been in stores cashing out with no worries and I’ve also had to add it up and put things back on the shelf. I’ve paid my bills in full and I’ve had to pay it late, too. I’ve given money and I too have had to ask for it.

We all have highs and lows in life, some certainly more than others, but we’re all just trying to make it.

No one is better than anyone else, and my heart is sad for those who think that they are. No matter how big your house is, how new your car is, or how much money sits in your bank account - we all bleed red and will fade from this earth. Death has no discrimination neither should your life.

The people who pretend they love you so much will leave you standing in all the storms just so they can shine...

Be kind to others.
We are all here to serve.
Stop the power tripping. Your over sized ego wont get you anywhere.
And know that not everyone has the same heart as you... 


I challenge you to copy and paste this.


Checking and cross checking. 

Humans are forgetful.  We get so many things going in our brains at once that sometime we have THAT THOUGHT right at the forefront, and then boing... something happens and we go off on a tangent, and that item gets forgotten.  Whether it was to add sour cream to the shopping list or make sure the farrier visit is scheduled for a Tuesday and not a Thursday or remembering to sort the clean old towels and restock the foaling kit - that task may resurface later or it may be lost. 

Making lists can help.  We rely on electronics for many things these days - smart phones, email, social media.  This can be helpful in that you have a written note in front of you in your email folder (which I personally find to be most helpful in dealing with animal names, that way it is more likely to be correct in written form than translating from the phone to a paper note).  But a paper note, DATED and clearly written, can be just as useful.  Don't be afraid to look at paperwork, make notes (sticky notes are your friend) and leave reminders for yourself.  

Look at your animal paperwork when in comes in, make sure everything is correct.  Sometimes there are mistakes, and sometimes one has to accept fault.  A typo, information that wasn't given correctly,  both of these things are common.  That's one reason we ask people to make sure they copy both sides of applications, since vital information in on the back side.  That's all the notes we have gathered up over the years.   

We get asked a lot of questions in a similar vein.  We've written out the notes so many times there are standard answers saved in email.  We understand.  People forget.  Or they misremember.  We get it.   That's why we keep written notes to each other in the office, use email and Facebook private message rather than talk on the phone.  It's a cross check for us as well.   It saves some time and frustration.  Hopefully, that good old pen and paper can help you avoid frustration as well.  It's foaling and breeding time, so get out that notebook, find a pen with flowing ink, and make notes.  Record signs of foaling in your jennets, her heat cycles, and please, please don't forget accurate breeding notes.  Help the breed in the long run by having accurate pedigrees on your animals, from verified matings.  The EU is moving towards much stricter rules for all livestock and it may mean a change in the way our European friends can purchase donkeys.  And it's all going to come down to a lot of paperwork, checking and crosschecking.  It's never too late to start better habits! 

Until later, tucked behind mounds of paperwork,

Leah Patton, office manager, ADMS 

The Am. Donkey & Mule Soc.
PO Box 1210, Lewisville TX 75067
(972) 219-0781.
Newsletter: the BRAYER magazine 76+ 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


Watch Anytime, With Video On Demand.
Did you know you can watch Meredith's award-winning training anytime, on all your devices? Watch all the episodes of Training Mules and Donkeys 
plus Give Your Equine the Athletic Edge.

More in the mood for some entertainment? Catch Those Magnificent Mules or let the kids go have an adventure with Jasper and his friends.
All six Jasper the Mule specials are available with special features.

Three day rentals and all videos have closed captions!


March 17th  2020 
is your lucky day!

50% off  A Guide to Raising and Showing Mules
50% off  Jasper: A Christmas Caper book



Buy “Jasper: An April Mule's Day” book
and get “Jasper: The Story of a Mule” and CD Free

PLUS GET 30% Off
“A Guide to Raising & Showing Mules”

And on APRIL 1st, 2020 
Get 50% off
“Jasper: An April Mule's Day” Book! 


May 10th - 1 day only
50% off

and May 25th - 1 day only
and the


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