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MULE CROSSING: The Rein Back

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By Meredith Hodges

Many common horse training techniques used today work well on either horses or mules. However, being creative and using less technique with a more logical approach to training works better with donkeys. In the case of the “rein back,” the problems are universal. Some equines seem to “rein back” more easily than others. Similarities exist within the equine species regarding personality types, but there are also differences in environmental behavior during training. Horses that are resistant to backing either shake their heads violently from side to side or rear up and try to throw themselves over backwards. Resistant mules try to walk sideways or forward, and resistant donkeys are either stone statues or terrific “leaners.” All of these tendencies are an expression of discomfort in the equine and can pose serious problems for the trainer.

In order to get the best results, before teaching an equine to “rein back” you must understand the animal’s body mechanics and his mental attitude. The “rein back” is a reverse, two-beat, diagonal gait. When executing a straight “rein back,” the equine is unable to see what is directly behind him, but he can see peripherally on both sides. Because of the way the eyes are set in their head, mules can actually see all four feet when facing straight forward where a horse cannot. The depth perception of an equine is questionable at best, but when an equine must “rein back,” his vision is even more impaired because he can’t see directly behind him. This causes him to become tense because the equine must trust the trainer not to back his precious little rear into anything that might hurt him! If the trainer has been even a little abusive in the past, the equine will not be able to trust and will become resistant. On the other hand, if the animal has been brought along well and is being asked to “rein back” on the long lines, he may simply not want to “back over” the trainer. This could be perceived as disobedience when it is only consideration for the trainer.

In order to execute a straight and smooth “rein back,” the equine must be able to lower his head, round his back and step back and underneath himself easily with the power initiated from his hindquarters. If the rider has not prepared his equine for the “rein back” by allowing the animal to take one step forward first and round under his seat, the animal will be resistant. This is why one step forward before executing a “rein back” is essential. Otherwise, the equine may raise his head and hollow his back, making it very difficult, at best, to perform the “rein back.” If you have trouble visualizing this, get on your hands and knees and try it yourself to see how it feels, first with a hollowed back and then with an arched back.

Before you begin to “rein back,” take that extra couple of seconds to relax and prepare your animal. First, let him take one step forward. Then, alternately, squeeze your reins and ask him to lower his head a little (not too much at first). Keep your legs snugly hugging his barrel, and lift your seat ever so slightly by leaning forward just a little. Check over your shoulder to be sure that he won’t back into anything. Then, with corresponding rein and leg cues, squeeze and release alternately from side to side: first, right rein, right leg; then, left rein, left leg. By pulling first on one side and then the other, you actually allow him to see more directly behind, thus eliminating much of the apprehension that he feels when he cannot see. Pretend that you are pushing him backward with your legs, directly after giving a gentle tug on the corresponding rein. In the beginning, be satisfied with one or two steps, and don’t forget to praise him.

Do this exercise in a two-beat fashion, with the squeeze/release action on the rein coming only a split second sooner than the corresponding leg. This prevents the hindquarters from resisting, and it is here where most resistance in backing originates. If you pull both reins at the same time, the hindquarters are not affected and this may cause considerable resistance. Animals that learn to “rein back” correctly will eventually learn to “rein back” on a mere tug of the reins and a shift of your body weight, but that is not the way to begin. Speed comes much later.

Horses and mules learn to “rein back” more easily than donkeys. As far as donkeys are concerned, why go backward when you can turn around to go forward? Because donkeys have a natural agility, this is not such a far-out way for them to think. However, if a donkey tried to turn around on a narrow trail with a rider aboard, his balance could be severely affected. Chances are, the donkey would make it, but the rider might not. The donkey needs to learn to “rein back” on command, because safety is of the utmost importance.

The simplest way to encourage your donkey to “rein back” is to ride or drive him into a three-sided tie stall, or anywhere that he has no way to escape but backward. Ask him to “rein back” with the cues outlined, and praise him for each step backward. If you are ground driving, just alternate long line pressure while you step backwards in unison with his back legs. Keep your squeeze/release action on the long lines minimal—pulling on your donkey’s mouth too much will only defeat your purpose. If your donkey is hitched to a vehicle, make sure that the weight of the cart or carriage that he has to push is not too heavy for him to manage. Adjust the breeching tightly enough so that your donkey can lean into it with his rear, and be sure that it is not so low that it will inhibit the motion of his upper hind legs.

If you have checked all of these factors and your donkey still will not back out of the stall, ask someone to act as your assistant, and have them wave a fearful object (such as a brightly colored scarf or plastic bag) low and in front of your donkey. He should dip his head to focus on the object (arching his back) and begin to “rein back,” apply the proper squeeze/release cues and after a few steps, reward him. You have set up a situation in which you can predict that his reaction will be the correct one. Once he has done this a few times, he should begin to make the connection between your cues and his action. Always keep your cues gentle, but clear. Be prepared to immediately praise those first one or two steps, and don’t ask for too many steps too soon. Just as an animal is conditioned to perform any other maneuver, his body must also be conditioned to “rein back.” Doing a “rein back” without conditioning the muscles that will be used can cause injury. Taking it slowly and cautiously diminishes the chance for resistance. Work up your speed in the “rein back” only after your equine is backing straight and easily. When he has had time off, be sure to take the time to recondition those muscles before again asking for speed.

I can’t count the hours that I have spent sitting on-board my donkey, waiting for a foot to move, giving the cue to just one side over and over again. Patience is the key to success with any animal, but with donkeys, it’s a necessity. Be patient and deliberate with your training. Don’t get upset, and don’t try to be forceful. Remember, he has to move sometime. Even donkeys get bored standing in one place for too long!

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

© 2014, 2016, 2017, 2022 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This article is an excerpt from the book, Training Mules and Donkeys by Meredith Hodges, 2014

 

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MULE CROSSING: From Mules to Riches

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By Meredith Hodges

Long before the Founding Fathers drafted our constitution, America began as a religious nation under God, and the mule has his roots in religion just as does the country he has helped to build. The mule of today’s ancestor is the donkey, mentioned in the Bible numerous times as an animal respected by God and blessed by Jesus Christ. The donkey was even chosen to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and, later, acted as the mount Jesus himself used for his ride into the city of Jerusalem.

Here is an ancient story, quoted directly from the Bible, illustrating the mule’s wonderful sense of humor: “So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon.” I Kings 1:38

“And Absolom met the servants of David. And Absolom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the Heavens and the earth, and the mule that was under him went away.” II Samuel 18:9.

Mules are the true professionals of slapstick humor and professional psychotherapy! When you get into an altercation with a mule, you will seldom get hurt, but you will surely be set straight in a most humiliating way.

In the early days of what was to become the United States of America, mules and horses perpetuated the expansion of the colonists into the Western territories of America. Since these early times, the American mule has acted not only as a pack animal for miners and fur traders penetrating the West, but it has also played an important part in our country’s defense, being able to cross terrain not accessible by any other means, and carrying and pulling heavier loads of weaponry than horses could even begin to carry.

When the fight for freedom from England’s rule was launched with the American Revolution, donkeys and horses were used in varying capacities to help win the battle for our country’s liberty.

Freedom was won as a result of the combined efforts of humans, animals and faith. One need only examine the humble traits and character of mules and donkeys to see that they indeed possessed the faith and the strong constitution to make some very important contributions to this country’s independence.

Drivers and mules, Gary, W. Va., Mine, where much of the mining and carrying is done by machinery. Location: Gary, West Virginia.

As they say, an army “marches on its stomach,” so it was a natural for Americans to progress further and delve into agriculture. Because of the extraordinary ability of mules to work for longer periods of time in sometimes harsh and unrelenting climates, their surefootedness and resistance to parasites and disease and with their ability to work long hours, the mule became the gem of agriculture. He learned his job quickly and put his heart and soul into every task.

When American coal mining was booming, the mule was such a valuable member of the mining process, that a good mining mule was considered to actually be more valuable than a human miner. Mining has always been a dangerous business, and the mining mule’s innate sense of self-preservation was well known. “Mules are very smart…They know what they can do and would never do anything they couldn’t or would not want to do. Mules were known to pull at least three full mine cars full of coal. If you hooked up a fourth car they would balk at any commands and just stand there. No way would they pull the fourth car!” 1

“Mules are the living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West. Mules were the pack animals of Spanish padres and grizzled prospectors. These animals have a dominant place in frontier history. From 1883 to 1889, the 20-mule teams moved 20 million pounds of borax out of Death Valley, California, to Mojave—165 miles away—traveling 15 to 18 miles a day. The 20-mule teams, the dramatic solution of a transportation problem, soon became a world-famous symbol, the trademark first of the Pacific Borax Company and, today, of the many products made by U.S. Borax.” 2 So began the mule’s vital contributions to industry and the economy.

Man and donkey out on Tanner Ledge, Grand Canyon, Arizona

In 1976, under the direction of the North American Trail Ride Conference, the Bicentennial Wagon train became a notable event in American history. Commemorating the trek West that was made so long ago by brave and adventurous pioneers, the Bicentennial journey went from California east to Valley Forge, retracing the steps of these first U.S. settlers. The outriders brought back scrolls of signatures signed by enthusiastic citizens to reaffirm their belief in the principles upon which America was founded. State by state, wagons met up with the main train and joined the trek. No doubt, many of these Bicentennial wagons were pulled by our beloved mules. “Going through my deceased folks’ stuff, I found an ‘Official Souvenir Program’ of the Bicentennial Wagon Train Pilgrimage. It’s interesting reading about the program in 1995–‘96, to have a Conestoga wagon or Prairie Schooner from each of the 50 states across the country on historic trails, ending up at Valley Forge on July third.” 3

Although some Americans have become concerned about the impact donkeys may have on the environment and, in particular, on our state parks, there is no evidence that the burro will reproduce at a rate that will threaten the ecosystem, especially that of the Grand Canyon. In fact, it is possible that the burros have already been in the Grand Canyon for centuries. There is evidence that the erosion attributed to the burros is more often due primarily to other invasive forces, such as humans and the natural erosion that occurs from geological forces and the canyon’s climate. There is also some concern that the donkeys pollute water holes, but the defecation of burros (and mules) has never actually been proven to pollute anything in their environment. Currently, there is an effort to prevent mules from being used in the Grand Canyon, but they are clearly the safest way to traverse and enjoy the beauty of this American natural wonder. Mules and donkeys learn their jobs well and cannot be dissuaded from their purpose of carrying inexperienced tourists to the bottom of the canyon and back up again—with a remarkable safety record. Their smaller hooves do little damage to the trails, and their handlers have the integrity to maintain the trails just as they maintain their precious mules. Cyclists, hikers and motorized vehicles in the parks have the potential to do much more irreparable damage to the environment than any mule or donkey. In truth, it is the human element, rather than mules and donkeys, which does most of the damage to our delicate ecosystem.

America’s journey has been one of courage, determination and great faith. It has been defined by its sequential growth phases of religion, defense, freedom, agriculture, economics, industry and ecology. We have worked alongside mules and donkeys for centuries and have often taken their generous contributions for granted in the course of our fast-paced growth. But the mule and donkey are likely to remain with us as long as they can find a way to make their contributions to society.

Those of us who attend Bishop Mule Days every year and many Longears lovers across this country are very well-acquainted with the incredible assets of the mule, and look forward to singing his praises every year on October 26th, when Mule Appreciation Day rolls around. Let us never forget to thank our trusted equine companions for all they have done to make possible this great country of ours!

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

© 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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1Mine Stories, The No. 9 Mine & Museum,Lansford, PA

2Mr. Longears, Volume 6, Number 21, Summer 1979

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TMR Rescue needs your help this Giving Tuesday

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The following is from TMR Rescue:

Support TMR Rescue this Giving Tuesday and have 100% of your donation matched!

Starting at 7:00 am cst this tuesday December 3rd Facebook’s Social Good program will match the first 7 million dollars donated dollar for dollar.These funds are generally used up in the first 15 to 20 minutes so to get your donations matched it must be done as close to 7:00 am CST as possible.  The links below will direct you to the donation page and to our email if you would like a reminder by txt message or email on tuesday morning. 100% of your donations will go towards helping donkeys like baby JoJo.

Abandoned Day Old Baby Donkey Left to Die

Left: On way to the vet.   Right: Jojo receiving IV for dehydration

4 Week old JoJo on the gogo

 

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THE LIVES YOU SAVED, AND THE MINIS ARE COMING – WELL, WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM Y’ALL, WE CAN SAVE 10 MORE LIVES

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

The above are some of the lives you just saved. As you can see, some are barely alive and others are looking ok.

ANOTHER PHONE CALL – The mini’s we have been on standby for, since a couple of months ago, will be ready for us in the coming weeks. However, we need funds as always to get these kids to safety and vetted etc. Do you want to save these little cuties? See photos below.

In the meantime, Matt picked up a 20+ mare yesterday. It seems like they are coming out of the woodwork. She is beautiful, but definitely a grandma, and needs TLC and her lil hoofers done.

The other days was a really rough day. In the midst of all that is going on, we lost one of our most recently rescued donkeys. So now as we get ready to head to WA to pick up the babies, we are filled with so many emotions. Two days ago we lost our beautiful “Long Ears”. He had been adopted and was about to be loaded for his new home, when Matt told me he “was not feeling it – as far as driving that day”. We have both learned to listen to that little voice because over and over God has kept us safe when we listen.

Hours later I would be calling the vet to come out. Long Ears had went down and . did not get up. At first he was not concerned. He was in good spirits and just lay there reaching out and grabbing bites of hay. We spent most of the day with him, giving him a chance to rest and trying to help him when he wanted to get up. I spoke with the vet and even before she arrived, Long Ears let me know without a doubt that he was done. Thankfully it was a quick change, and he did not lay suffering for hours. The vet said he was a very old man, and due to the starvation he went through, who knows what damage was done internally.

Long Ears came in skin and bones, with basically no muscle in his back end. From the second Matt picked him up to the last few minutes we spent with him, this wonderful and amazing donkey was surrounded by love. He was happy and very vocal when it was time for dinner, and just LOVED to be loved on.

Although once again, my heart was in pieces, I was thanking God for not letting that little girl lose her new donkey. Sadly for me, but luckily for the little girl waiting for her forever donkey, I had one other little mini donk that we were planning on using for the Sunshine & Smiles program. So unbeknownst to that little girl, we sent him instead. Today, they are together and it is a match made in heaven.

So now we are getting ready to pick up the babies in Yakima. Matt delivered 3 of the kids to their new homes yesterday and our friend in Idaho took 3 of the babies from the last rescue, to help us place them.

The good news is that out of 9 horses y’all just saved, 5 have been adopted, and 3 are staying here for some much needed TLC! As always, we have been running non-stop and want to THANK Y’ALL from the bottom of our hearts for helping save these beautiful souls. Obviously several of them would have not even had a chance at survival if y’all had not stepped up!

We appreciate the love and support and are confident that we can once again “git ‘er done”, and save the 10 minis that we are once again on stand by for.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundmel

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

                                                                             ->You can donate via check at:

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

295 Old Hwy 40 East, # 190

Golconda, NV 89414

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

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GOD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

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_

Donate to Help

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Wrangler’s Donkey Diary: Sarcoid Treatment

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7-20-18

Wrangler has almost completely shed out and during my last weekly grooming, I discovered a small sarcoid on his left forearm and decided to consult with my veterinarian, Greg Farrand. Wrangler munched in the fanny pack while we talked.

Dr. Farrand Carefully inspected the sarcoid and determined that it was not a candidate for removal because of it’s precarious location. There was no way to grab loose skin around it like there was with prior sarcoids on other animals.

I shaved the area around the sarcoid so we could get a good look at it and so it would absorb the treatment the most efficiently.

In 2011, Rock had a sarcoid on his neck in front of the withers where there was a lot of fatty tissue and the skin was loose enough to pull the sarcoid away from the body. So, we shaved his neck and removed the sarcoid with surgery. We then had it biopsied to find it was not a serious sarcoid (Better to be safe than sorry!) and it eventually just went away. In the eighties, if we removed a sarcoid, it would have had a follow-up of injections to be completely rid of it. In the nineties, veterinarians discovered another way to treat sarcoids that involved taking a piece of the biopsied sarcoid and reintroducing it as an implant in the neck to prompt an immunity response. Before he could remove one of three sarcoids the from Lucky Three Eclipse, he rubbed one and tore it open. Before we had the chance to biopsy one of the sarcoids for an implant, as if a miracle, his immune system was stimulated by HIM, kicked in and all three sarcoids just disappeared…and no, they were not anything else.

Lucky Three Cyclonealso developed a sarcoid on his jaw which we successfully treated with surgery since it also was in a fatty area where we could pinch the skin around it easily. No follow up was necessary…just stitches removal.

Since Wrangler’s sarcoid was in such a delicate area, we opted to use a topical approach with Xterra, applied with a Q-Tip.

We will apply the Xterra once a day for a week, then stop for a week.

Then we will resume applying the Xterra for another week, stop after a week again and then see how it is progressing.

We will continue like this until it is gone. Xterra is surely a better way than the way we had to treat these in the eighties! Wrangler will be sure to keep you posted on his progress!

SYALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

July 28, 2018

Ears the news…

It’s hard to believe that July is nearly over. Time flies!

I’m happy to report that adoptions have FINALLY started picking up. It was slow going for a while. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to when an animal will be chosen. I am pretty fussy about where the animals go and will not adopt out a singleton donkey unless they will be going to a home with an existing donkey. I will not adopt donkeys or mules to be used as guardian’s so I am sure both of those policies eliminate a fair number of potential adopters.

Our little Esme’ went to her new home this last week as did Zelda and Sassy. John Henry, our big, beautiful clown of a mule has found a SUPER home with a donkey and a horse as companions. Luke & Nelly and Oliver & Nellie have moved to their new homes recently too. Hope and Ivy’s new home is almost ready for them.

Our annual calendar photo contest has begun!

Submit your photos of your favorite Long Ears for the 2019 Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue Calendar Photo Contest!

New for 2019–No entry fee! You may submit three photos per email address, free of charge, but if you can, please consider donating a bale of hay –only $5.00– to our longear friends at the rescue when you submit your entries. Entries close August 20.

Click here for Entry requirements and instructions.

Email any questions to Joan Gemme at syacalendar2019@gmail.com.

All photos that fit the requirements for content, quality, and size will be included in the calendar, and the favorites of our volunteer judges will win the coveted month and cover locations!

We can’t wait to see your best shots of your long ear friends! We hope to have the calendar available at our annual show, which will be held on October 13th at the usual spot, Millot Green in Alstead, NH.

Volunteerism takes on many forms. I am very grateful to friend, and volunteer Andria Elliot for being my travel buddy on transport missions. I do not feel safe transporting alone, “just in case”. It’s great to have a co-pilot to help spot wildlife crossing, work with GPS, and generally oversee my driving! We are on the same drink coffee, find restroom schedule, so it works out great!

Mike Dunham deserves another shout out as well as he continues to work patiently with the animals, teaching them new skills to make them more adoptable. I would be remiss to leave Hannah Exel out of my thanks as she has been studying hard and has become such a wonderful trainer. I am so proud of her and the work she is doing. SYA is so lucky to have her. Annie Kellam is still spoiling the animals rotten…thankfully! I am grateful to all who help.

If anyone locally wants to help out we sure could use help with “manure management” a few days a week. Yeah, I mean scooping poop! It’s really quite contemplative work and gives one a bit of a work out! If you are interested please contact hannahexel@icloud.com if you would like to help.

A huge thank you to all who are members of our Take A Long Ear to Lunch program. Your support is so very important and helps us enormously. We are grateful!!!

Enjoy the duration of the sauna like conditions and remember to hug your long ears…

ChEARS,

Ann

President & Shelter Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

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YALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

April 24, 2018

Ears the news…

To quote the Beatles, “It’s been a long cold, lonely winter” but FINALLY! “Here Comes the Sun”! It has been the winter from H. E. double hockey sticks. I have never been so grateful for the arrival of spring.

The winter seriously tapped our finances and our morale. We had several sick animals, we lost a dear donkey named Merlin to colic. His buddy of 14 years Rupert, also colicked badly and we thought we were going to lose him, but with good veterinary intervention and the commitment of dedicated care givers he rallied. We got him a donkey buddy to help him overcome his depression over the loss of his best friend and now Rupert and Mr. Peabody are thriving and are ready to be adopted. Rupert was also battling with his chronic equine “asthma” while being so sick from the colic episode. He is on daily medication that he will need forever so his potential adopter needs to have the financial resources to ensure he will get his medication.

       Rupert & Mr. Peabody

On April 2nd we welcomed Zelda’s foal after an arduous wait! She gave us a healthy baby girl. We had a name the baby contest which was won by Barbara Henon whose name was chosen by randomly selecting a name from a bucket containing all the female choices. The little one has been aptly named Sassafrass, a.k.a. Sassy, and man oh man does she live up to her name! She is one sassy little one. She zips around her paddock, jumping over hay piles and the other day, right over the back of her mom who was trying to nap in the sun. Sassy is a sweet heart. She is already learning via clicker training, to pick up all four feet for the reward of a wither scratch.

Sassafrass & Zelda

As you know about me, if you have been reading this newsletter for any length of time, I HATE having to ask for help. Call me stubborn <G> but I seem to think I should be able to take care of things myself. Well, REALITY SLAM! I simply cannot, which is why I am reaching out for help yet again. This winter took its toll on our finances. We needed a lot of veterinary care, medications, special diets and for some reason hooves have been growing like crazy which necessitates more frequent farrier visits. It feels like it’s always something. One step forward; three steps back. The reality of financially managing an equine rescue can be mind boggling at times.

Our contract states that if an adopter can no longer keep the animal(s) they adopt from SYA, they must come back to the rescue. I want to know for sure that no animal we have helped will ever end up in the slaughter pipe line. We have had three families have to surrender multiple animals of late, due to no fault of their own, aging, illness, financial issues, life changes. Of course we are happy to take these animals back in to the fold, but it’s more financial strain.

f you have not already, please check out our Take a Long Ear to Lunch program. By donating any amount you chose on a monthly basis you can feel great knowing you are helping the animals every day. Any way you can help out will be very gratefully appreciated.

Thank you to all of you who are already supporters. I am on beyond grateful to you.

ChEARS,

Ann

President & Shelter Manager

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SYALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

 

Dear loyal SYALER friends,

As I write this Ann is out doing chores this frigid night, lugging hot water from her house to make mashes for the animals who get them, carrying and spreading hay for each group so every donkey and mule has access, graining and medicating those who need it, filling water troughs (yikes, don’t let the spigot run over and cause a skating rink now!) and most importantly checking that each animal appears bright and healthy as the day flips from dusk to dark.

In that manner, Ann works her way around to all four barns until every creature on the farm is fed, watered and content.

Come daylight, she will do it all again and hope once chores are complete she has the energy to go back to scoop manure and add fresh shavings so her charges can be as comfortable as possible.

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SYALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

Ears the news…

I hope everyone had a lovely, relaxing Thanksgiving. I certainly have a lot to be thankful for. Thanks to you, our loyal contributors, Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue has found great new homes for 36 animals so far this year!  We exist to help long ears in need and your financial gift makes this possible.

a lazy day at the rescue

Your donation is very important to us as it offers immediate resources that go directly to the current needs of the animals and the rescue itself. We have one, amazing paid farm hand, everything else is done by volunteers.

Hannah with her assistant, Daisy… sporting the shades.

Your gift of $500.00 will make a long term impact on the animals in our care. Please send a donation today to help us meet our annual fund raising goal of $35,000.00. You, our loyal supporters are the reason we celebrated our tenth year of running Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue as a 501 c-3 non-profit donkey and mule rescue this September. We could not do what we do without YOU!

Please take part in making this year’s fund raiser a success. You can mail a check to SYALER, 23 Saw Mill Road, South Acworth, NH or make a payment via PayPal by clicking on the DONATE button.

I thank you very much in advance.

Warm regards,

Ann

President & Shelter Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SYALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

Ears the news…

I apologize for the lack of newsletters. Between heading off to CA for the Donkey Welfare Symposium, coming home just long enough to unpack, wash my clothes and repack. I was then off to set up and (wo)man our booth at Equine Affaire along with great helpers Jennifer Molnar, Pamela Simmons, Joan Gemme, and Mike Dunham.  As always it was great to see many old friends who stop by every year to see what’s new for merchandise and to share stories of their donkey friends, many of whom were adopted from SYA! I also look forward to meeting new friends every year at this exhausting, but fun event.

Just before leaving I had a call about a very sad donkey named Sal. Sal’s person suffers from mental illness and had left his home for parts unknown leaving poor Sal behind. A kind neighbor called to see if Save Your Ass could help. Of course we were happy to take him in.  This poor fellow had not had his hooves trimmed in a very long time. They were sadly overgrown and misshapen.

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Breeding Letter from George Washington

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A letter from George Washington, written in 1786, was recently put up for auction by bookseller William Reese. The letter is in regards to a donkey sent to Washington’s Mount Vernon ranch for the purpose of breeding. Washington is well-known for his agricultural brilliance and for breeding the first American mule. The correspondence was written a during a breif period of retirement and a few years before Washington became president. washington-letter

Washington writes: “Dear Sir, When your favor of the first inst., accompanying the she ass, came to this place, I was from home – both however arrived safe; but Doct. Bowie informs me that the bitch puppy was not brought to his house. Nor have I heard any thing more of the asses at Marlbro’, nor of the grass seeds committed to the care of Mr. Digges. I feel myself obliged by your polite offer of the first fruit of your jenny. Though in appearance quite unequal to the match, yet, like a true female, she was not to be terrified at the disproportional size of her paramour; and having renewed the conflict twice or thrice it is to be hoped the issue will be favourable. My best respects attend [Mrs. Sprigg] & the rest of your family. With great esteem & regard, I am Dr. Sir Yr. most ob. serv. Go. Washington.”

SAYLER Update and Auction Items Needed

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Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue is planning for their 2016 Cabin Fever Auction (March 6-13) and are accepting donations of artwork, jewelry, gift baskets, gift cards, tchotchkes, hand- made items, services …anything you think someone might enjoy and be excited to bid on. Donated items do NOT need to be donkey or animal related. Contact them though their website to arrange for donations. Below is an update on Stan, a donkey they recently rescued.

Stan the Donkey“We recently took in a 35-year old donkey who’s long-time buddy passed away. Stan came into the rescue in pretty rough shape. He was not at all friendly and wanted nothing to do with people or the other donkeys. He was covered in burrs and his poor tail was so matted it looked and felt like a club. His forelock and flanks were chock full of burdocks stuck tightly to his skin. He was examined by our vet and it was discovered that he is blind, with large cataracts in both eyes. He was also in dire need of dental work – it’s doubtful that he had ever had dental work in his lifetime. He had such sharp points on his molars that they actually punctured his tongue, and he had so much tartar build up on the outsides of his molars that the inside of his cheeks had become ulcerated. Every time Stan moved his jaw he must have been in excruciating pain. No wonder he was not friendly!

Dr Lea Warner sedated him and floated his teeth, my helpers Annie and Hannah worked on getting the burrs out, and our farrier, Matt Caprioli, worked on getting his feet trimmed while Stan was in la la land.

Well, in the weeks since then Stan has blossomed! He is a new man! He must feel so much better! He is now friendly and seeks attention. He did not want to be touched when he first arrived and now he enjoys being groomed and has a big honk for me in the morning when I go out. He gets on very well considering his age and disability.”