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Volume 29 • Issue 1
1 • November 2018
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2 • November 2018
has a brand new look!
We’ve updated our website to a clean, sleek look! We have also added new features, including forms to submit address changes and calendar of event listings. Check out our website and Facebook page for newMules mule and anddonkey Moremerchandise! Magazine
Trudy is a 9-year-old, 14,3-hand sorrel mare mule with great confirmation. She holds a saddle really good. Trudy is great to mount and dismount. She has been used in the stockyards to pen back cattle. She walks, trots, and lopes circles. She neck reins and side passes. Trudy is very quiet on the trail. $6,000
P air A D ice •
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M U LE FA R M
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(573)308-2709 - Cell (573) 859-6793 - Home
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Mules and More Magazine
7 Over the Back Fence by Cori Daniels 8 Letters From the Other Side 10 Granny’s Adventure Continues: Grass Valley Travels by Anna Arnold 14 Promoting Mules at Kelso Chuckwagon Races by Angie Mayfield 18 From Across the Pond by Donna Taylor
Volume 29 • Issue 1
20 Mule Crossing by Meredith Hodges
22 When Mules Ruled the Farm by Lonnie Thiele
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24 Mule Racing Returns to Canfield Fair by Sarah Campbell 25 Here’s My Card 28 Midwest Mule Fest 30 Classified Ads 32 Caney Mountain Mule Ride by Anthony and Cathy McAllister 35 My Mud Management Odyssey by Sarah Bulgatz Ozark Mule Days and The Missouri Mule Makeover 38 by Noel Stasiak 40
by Cori Daniels
On Our Cover... Shave Vaughan and Gypsy during the freestyle event during the inaugural Missouri Mule Makeover at Ozark Mule Days in Springfield, Mo., over Labor Day weekend See pages 36-43 for more
Cover photo and the above photo are by Angela Plitsch 4 • November 2018
Ozark Mule Days has a variety of classes, from panty hose race to western pleasure left - photo by Angela Plitsch; right - photo by Still Photography
46 Groundwork is Important at Any Age by Marlene Quiring 48 Cook’s Corral by Vickie Upton 50 Tail End: Fast Mules! Mules and More Magazine
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Mules and More Magazine
Over the Back Fence by Cori Daniels
We welcomed a new member into the Basham family on September 22, 2018. Cole, my brother, and Brianna were married on a beautiful farm just outside of Cuba, Mo. “It’s about time” was a sentiment that was echoed between us all, as Brianna has really been a part of our family for many years. She does Mules and More’s accounting and subscriptions, as well as equine dentistry. But more than that, she has been there whenever I have needed her, between helping with my daughters or feeding my stock. The newlyweds went to Japan for their honeymoon, and on one of her Facebook posts (probably about food, since I think they ate and drank their way around the country) someone joked about them moving there. “They better not!” was my reply, and I was not joking a bit. Sue is still in rehab recovering from her stroke and I couldn’t begin to fill her roles in the office without Brianna’s help. It was truly a perfect day, filled with happy tears, delicious food, and lots of cold beer. With all the stress that we have had in our lives, it was so nice to have an evening to just let loose and celebrate love. Sue did get to attend the wedding and ceremony, and had a wonderful time, as well. She is working hard on her recovery, and anxious to get back home.
(above) Newleyweds COLE and BRIANNA BASHAM (below) The wedding party, including ALISON and CAMRI on the left who were “groomsgirls” for the day (bottom left) Ringbearer WYATT WELLS, son of WESLEY and BRANDY WELLS
photos by Fun Time Photos by Cindy Butler
7 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
Letters From The Other Side... Do you have something you want to share with the mule and donkey world? Send it in! Email - email@example.com Mail - Mules and More, PO Box 460, Bland MO 65014 Post to our Facebook page Facebook.com/MulesandMore
Boone County Draft Horse and Mule Sale Fall Sale
A team of mules toped the 2018 Boone County Draft, bringing a combined $11,400, or $5,700 each. These 7-year-old Norwegian Fjord mare mules were broke to drive and ride. The top 5 mules averaged $4,840 and the top 10 mules averaged $4,220
Lisa Primm, Greenwood, Ark., shared this sweet photo of her granddaughter Reese
“These are two of our spring colts at about a month old,” said BRUCE and LAURA VERMILLION, Plymouth, Ind. “Quigley (above) is a black john mule and Poppy (left) is a molly mule.” 8 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
9 â€˘ November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
Granny’s Adventures Continue...
Grass Valley Travels by Anna Arnold, Romoland, Calif. photos by Cathy Ceci My adventures have been rather mild the last few months. Most of you know that I have asthma and an ongoing sinus issue. The last few months I have not been able to get to some of my favorite events. The world famous Nation Championship Chuckwagon Races in Clinton, Ark., was one I really hated to miss. But once my sinus issue was remedieid, I was ready to go somewhere, and it didn't take long for me to find just the right place. First on my list was attending a packing clinic hosted by the Backcountry Horsemen at the Winchester Western Store in Temecula, Calif., located near the old ranch site. The Red Shank Riders group of BCH brought the mules and Mike Lewis and others did the demonstrations. Members of the BCH go in and rebuild trails and pack in supplies to workers and firemen. This is a great organization, especially if you love the outdoors and want to help keep our trails and wilderness accessible. Join your local chapter. Last year my friend Danny Locke and I attended the Grass Valley Draft Horse Show, in California. What a wonderful spot to hold such an event. Danny couldn't attend this year, as he and his grandson Daniel were going bow hunting. So I contacted my friends to see who could go with me. My buddy Cathy Ceci had just returned from one of her own adventures and had just enough time to wash her favorite cotton drawers and repack to go with me. I drove to her house and stayed the night with her and her husband. The next morning, I left my car there and we headed out to Grass Valley. As we were getting close to the Locke Farm, I called to see if Danny was around and found his plans had changed and he was still home. We went out to breakfast with him and his daughter Mari joined us later. We did a little celebrating over a cup of coffee as it was her 29th birthday, again! After a short visit, we headed east to the Nevada County Fairgrounds to the 32nd Annual Draft Horse Classic. I have many friends who show draft horses and so many were there. The show was attended by a large number of draft horses and owners from as far away as Canada. These magnificent animals were shown from single carts to 6-up hitches and every kind of implement you can imagine. They offered so many ways to show off what these big beautiful horses can do. The Munyon camp out of Lakeside, Calif., was already set up. Sioux Munyon, LaDonne Hatley and the crew had the trailer and draft horse out on a shady, grassy area with a welcome display of what her beautiful Belgian horses had done. Sioux and LaDonne also show and drive donkeys at Bishop Mule Days. It was Sioux’s birthday and the kids surprised her with a great dinner at camp. 10 • November 2018
Sioux brought her Belgian horse Diesel to the draft show for Cameron Horton, one of the young people who help out at her farm. She and LaDonne give lessons there and help young people like Cameron learn more of the rural life and the care of horses. Cameron showed in the Senior Youth Single Driving class. It was a full class of young drivers and he placed second in the class. This was a thrill for the Sioux camp.
Lindsey Michaelis, Sioux Munyon and Diesel in the farm wagon class at Grass Valley
Our buddies Bob and Monica Sievert also joined us. Monica is one tough cookie and makes me smile when I see her out doing what makes her happy. She recently crossed an item off her bucket list and attended the pony swim in Chincoteague, Virg. They had left their big camping trailer at home and like us, stayed in a quaint little spot in Grass Valley.
Ralph Atkinson with Gyp and Jude tearing up the arena in Grass Valley Mules and More Magazine
We visited with friends and came across ‘Mule Camp’ where Ralph Atkinson and Tom Feland were camped. Along with the Easley’s, they represented the mules at the event. Ralph and Tom do chuckwagon racing and chariot racing. The Easley mules did a packing demo. The mules, along with other specialty acts, fill in time slots that give the big hitches more time to get ready for their next classes. Their races give the audience such a thrill. Several years ago I was part of the Mule Camp group. I rode my champion Ciera in the halftime show in barrels and pole bending and did coon jumping with her. One of my biggest thrills was presenting the American flag and escorting the Americana class in. I always get a chill when I see the flag brought in and paraded around an arena and when I hear our wonderful national anthem. We were there for the entire show and didn't miss much. We also free grazed our way around all the camps. I think we ate at every camp there. Thank you all for your hospitality! The Unhitched Ranch and the Popoff family made Southern California proud. Their young sons, Jackson and Sebastian, did such a great job showing along with their parents.
(right) Cheryl and Bill Pritchard show off at Grass Valley • (left) Rosebud makes a solid comeback
Cheryl and Bill Pritchard brought back Rosebud, their Clydesdale mare. Rosebud is talented and a fan favorite. After being unimpressed by the arena and all the noise in earlier years, Rosebud tried to prove she could be a racehorse as well. A lot of really hard work got them back into the Grass Valley competition last year, winning Ladies Singles Pleasure, and even more ribbons this year. Cheryl said she always wanted hair like mine and had found a way to instantly grow her hair longer, so she and I shared braiding tips in camp.
ANNA shares braiding tips with Cheryl Pritchard; the finished product 11 • November 2018
A few issues back I wrote about Cade Peek, a young man at Bishop who did an outstanding job of driving mules, and his great support group. The Edney Ranch supplied the mules and one of the adult men had an outstanding performance with these mules and won Champion Teamster. That man was Luke Messenger. As we were sitting in the contestant’s stands, he just happened to sit down by me. I looked at him and I asked if he was in the construction business and about his mules. I knew the mules before I met him as they used to belong to the late George Cabral. He looked at me like, “Who are you?” I told him I had written about him and the group of men he was with at Bishop and their story was in Mules and More. I think he was relieved as he thought I might have been a mule man stalker. We also put a great drawing someone did of him in the magazine. Then, come to find out the man who owned the mules they used at Bishop knew my nose surgeon! It’s a small world this mule family runs in. Later in the day we met Rick Edney and his wife Lorrie. They had come, like us, to see the great draft horse show. It’s such a nice group of wonderful people It seems like Nolan Darnell, an outstanding draft horse man, has got the ‘mule fever.’ Several years ago he became an AMA judge and was exposed to the mule world. He now has Percheron mules and with the help of others, has put together a 6-up with two Percheron wheel horses, two white Percheron mules, and a lead team of dark brown Percheron mules. The lead team are two that Luke Messenger now owns that were part of the mule team that George Cabral owned. Luke also has George’s old original chuck wagon. Nolan brought this unusual 6-up in at the opening of the show and the judges and dignitaries rode in with him. He also put on a driving exhibition for the crowd. What a hit this was! Sandy Powell and all of her cameras seemed to be everywhere I looked. She does such a great job. She left Grass Valley and went right on out to the Magee Pack Station to take more photos of the Rosser pack string. After her wreck, I didn’t know how she’d be able to recover so quickly but you just can't keep a good country girl down. As we strolled around the grounds and looked at what the vendors had to offer, it was wonderful to have people come up to me that read my adventures in Mules and More. I meet so many nice readers wherever I go that stop me as they did at the show. Please, if you see me, stop and say hello. I am so happy to meet you and hear about your own adventures. As the show came to an end late Sunday afternoon, neither of us had to hurry home, so we looked on the map and planned an adventure for the way back. We headed out to Nevada, stopping to read and visit the statue of Danny's cousin. Before he passed, he had the vision of this statue and tribute to the cattlemen and cowboys of the Carson Valley. His statue was erected at Marsha Park alongside Highway 395 in Minden, Nevada. On we traveled to the home of Lucille and Tony Pitts. Mules and More Magazine
Nolan Darnell’s Percheron mule 6-up hitch at Grass Valley photo by Sandy Powell, Sandy Powell Western Photography, sandypowellphoto.com
This lovely couple had just sold their home and were in the midst of moving, but took the time to visit and share a cup of coffee with us. We then traveled out through Smith Valley, through Wellington where more mule friends live, and ended up in Yerington, Nev. For 10 years or so, I used to travel from show to show with Marsha Arthur. She is quite a fun mule lady and has gone from mule shows to trail trials with her beautiful mules, Annie and Kat. She does very well with both mules. Marsha said she wouldn't be able to see me as she had to work so our plan was to go see Bess Twitchell, wife of the late and great mule man Von Twitchell, and their daughters. The Twitchell’s and I attended shows throughout California and in the Midwest. We loved going to Winnemucca, Nev., and Powell, Wyo., shows. As we drove in the driveway, who was standing there waving at us, but my buddy Marsha! What a wonderful surprise! We stayed there some time and left with a box full of jams, jellies, pickled and fresh veggies. Anything you could put up, the Twitchell girls had done. I got a good sample of all of it, just like last time I was there. It was a wonderful visit with so many wonderful stories told. I love keeping those memories alive. We headed south toward Bishop, Calif., stopping in the cattle town of Bridgeport and having a big burger and fries. Then we headed south on Highway 395 passing through areas of Mono Lake, Lee Vining and Mammoth Mountain, dropping down into Bishop. Sarah Sheehan, the ring steward for Bishop Mule Days, has been my friend for many years and I have stayed at her charming home many times. She of12 • November 2018
fered us a night’s stay and we took her up one it. Her home is on the south side of Bishop with a babbling brook running through her back yard. The view of the Inyo National Forest and mountain peaks of the Eastern Sierra mountains from her back yard is stunning, the perfect view to have with our coffee before we headed south again.
ANNA with the Eastern Sierras in the background
We had stopped at the Alabama Hills restaurant before and had looked at a huge map of the area on their wall, saying we should explore that area on another trip through. So Mules and More Magazine
not to let another chance go by, we decided to go take a look. We ventured out and up toward the porthole of Mount Whitney. At the foothills of the towering mountains there are some remarkable rock formations that go on for miles. Many B western movies were made out here in this amazing area. We followed a map and found a few of the rock formations mentioned on it. Without much imagination, you can easily see images in the rock formations at every angle. It’s a really beautiful and ancient place. One of the places we found during our exploration was a tiny one-lane road through a grassy green valley with some really cute old homesteads out in the middle of the desert foothills. It was such a perfect setting, I said I would be happy to go back to one of them and just sit on the porch and watch the glow on the mountains ‘til the end of my days. It was back to old Highway 395 for the remainder of our trip home. Once arriving back to Cathy’s I throw my stuff in my newly cleaned car (thanks to Mr. Jay for cleaining her up!) and headed out of town. The traffic was slow so it took a bit longer, but all the way home I couldn't get my mind off that little home place out in the hills they call Alabama, just down the road from Bishop. But I will settle for my little home in Romoland, Calif., with my two mules, dog, two cats, and 20+ chickens. This is a happy spot for me. Until we meet up again, watch for me. I'm the granny with a big hat, cool boots and a fine mule.
13 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
Promoting Mules at Kelso Chuckwagon Races by Angie J. Mayfield, Loogootee, Ind. Annual events can often lose their luster over the years, or you find they aren’t really worth driving to a second time. However, some events, like the fourth annual Kelso Chuckwagon Races, get better and better every year. Held at the 1,200 acre Cherokee Hills Ranch at New Concord, Ky., right on the Tennessee border, there is equine fun for everyone, plenty of room to park and camp, and tons of trails to explore when taking a break from the festivities. It was wild and western – and great family fun. The event ran from Wednesday through Sunday, but we didn’t arrive until Friday. In addition to the various chuckwagon and Buckboard races, there was also the Cowgirl Race, Mounted Mule Race, Bronc Fanning, Pasture Roping, the Oklahoma Land Rush, Cherokee Run, Wild Cow Milking, and others, and $10,000 in cash and prizes went to the winners. There was 14 • November 2018
(left) The Enoch family of Kentucky enjoying the races with mule team Buck and Belle • (above) Tucker and his 29 year old mule, Booger
the typical excitement of chuckwagon races that keeps people coming back for more: the wrecks, the nose-to-nose finishes, and the “oh sh**” moments where we are amazed no one was seriously injured. I was most impressed by the sportsmanship displayed. The big mule teams of Kentucky Chaos and Bama Mule stopped to pick up riders or check on animals that went down. They cared more about their teammates than winning. My little 13.3 hand mule Sonny is fast, so I decided to enter the mule race this year. The first day we were next to the gun. When it went off, it scared Sonny and he jumped sideways and tried to bolt the other way. Then, at the end of the race he missed the barrel finish and we had to turn around and go through them. Even with the rough start and finish, we still placed third. Tucker ran Booger for fun and finished seventh. The finals were Saturday, and
I moved Sonny over away from the gun, but between the deep mud and another rider running into us, we still had a rough start. However, we made up for it through the long stretch and the third curve, passing three other riders. I was neck and neck with another rider toward the finish and both of our mules were having a hard time making the last curve to go in between the finish line barrels. I passed him and his mule missed the curve. I could see we may end up on the outside of the barrel, so as a last desperate attempt, I hung sideways on my saddle and pulled Sonny’s left rein as hard as I could and spurred him. We ended up jumping onto the barrel but landed on the inside of the finish line. It was quite a wild finish. Doug and Tucker were cheering and I was still in shock that I won in such a fierce group of competitors. However, the fastest time of the weekend won overall, and I soon learned that we Mules and More Magazine
were two seconds too slow from the previous day’s winner, Connor Ploemer. Still, I was proud of Sonny – and my old ass, too, considering I was the only woman in the race. Friday evening was the adult fun show, and between barrels, the scoop shovel race, rescue race, and the mule race earlier in the day – I was covered in mud and bruises by the night’s end, but smiling ear to ear. Tucker and I won the rescue race and were the only participants on a mule. We were literally hauling ass! Andy Horton Photography captured all of the events on film, and I loved scrolling through his Facebook page each evening looking at all the fabulous pictures and funny moments. Saturday evening was the kids’ fun show and Tucker’s night to shine. His dream of bull riding came to life when they announced kids’ steer riding. As he started to climb on that white 600-pound horned steer, and it began jumping up and down in the shoot, he looked at me and said, “I’m scared, Mom.” I told him there was no shame if he didn’t do it. But 11-year-old Jack Kelso, who is such a good kid and Tucker’s hero, urged him on. “Well, there’d be something wrong with you if you weren’t scared,” Jack said. “But I promise it will go away as soon as they open that gate.” Tucker said Jack was right. He was too excited and didn’t have time to be scared – only to hold on. He only lasted six seconds but it was long enough to win him second place behind Jack, 15 • November 2018
(left) Freaks On A Leash (right) ANGIE and
who won first place in steer and bronc Sonny in the mule race riding in the 9-12 age group. I think photos by Andy Horton Photography Tucker grew two inches that night. I was so nervous I hit the wrong button on my phone and didn’t get a video of it, but I’m a proud momma for sure. Tucker also placed second in the Walk and Trot class, despite being the only mule in the show. In barrels, more mules competed and 29-yearold Booger couldn’t keep up, but they completed the pattern correctly and still finished in 30 seconds. Tucker, Jack, Colton, and a few other boys celebrated the evening with a few games of pool at the trading post. There’s nothing better for a kid than making new friends with a love of equines, bravery, and big hearts in common. The Chuckwagon ceremonies began on Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m. with the National Anthem, Dixie, then the Sons of Confederate Veterans firing off their cannon and muskets. (above) Angie and Tucker Mayfield ridHumbling and inspiring doesn’t quite ing mule Sonny in the Rescue Race • (below) begin to describe it. The announcers JACK KELSO riding a steer were as entertaining as the races, and photos by Andy Horton Photography the pavilion and trading post offered a beer garden, pool table, and lunch and dinner buffets to entertain the racers and spectators alike. There were also vendors. To add to the fun environment of Cherokee Hills Ranch, live bands played a variety of music on Friday and Saturday nights as well. Our favorite was Ethan Torsak and the Gas Money band. They were awesome, and Ethan even played Dueling Banjos with little Tucker on stage before Mules and More Magazine
the show. Mentors like Ethan help inspire kids to pursue their dreams, and our little banjo player enjoyed the attention.
Colton, Jack, and Tucker in the wild donkey race
Our love of mules, adventure, rural lifestyles, and American patriotism were all reinforced to our boys at this event. My kids can’t wait until next year. Kudos to the Kelso family for putting such a dynamic event together. I’m sure we have no idea how much time and work went into it. Mark your calendars for the last weekend in September 2019,
16 • November 2018
Nine-year-old Tucker and 11-year-old Jack Kelso, winners of the kids' steer riding competition.
and bring those mules to Kelso Chuckwagon Races. You won’t want to miss it! Angie Mayfield is a professor, author, and lifelong mule lover who has ridden mules in all 50 states and 6 countries. She can be contacted at profmayfield@ yahoo.com
Doug helping with breakfast
Mules and More Magazine
17 â€˘ November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
From Across the Pond by Donna Taylor Puylaurens, France Firstly, I would like to express my shock and sorrow at the devastation Hurricane Florence brought to the Carolinas in September. I have seen many photos that friends who live in these states have posted on Facebook relating to the loss of so many homes due to the flooding and the high winds. I have seen photos with huge craters in the roads, bridges collapsed, people and animals stranded, homes destroyed. I could go on and on. It is going to take a long time before many towns get back to a normal way of life, but thank goodness for the caring people who are out there helping the people affected. They are doing such a good job. As you know, owning equines and traveling are two of my favourite passions. Mixing the two is even better. I always get my “mule fix” when I
18 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
travel to America and ride my friends’ mules. But there are other places I go to where I don’t even see an equine. I was off again last March on another trip and no expectations at all of seeing many equines. Well, what a surprise I had. I took my mum away for a holiday to the island of Antigua in the Caribbean. Both of us had never been there before so I found a wonderful hotel that looked out onto a beautiful white beach and clear blue sea. Our first few days were spent relaxing on the beach and enjoying catching up. I love living in France, but I really miss my mum, so this was an ideal opportunity to spend quality time together. The hotel provides many excursions and one that I thought would be nice for mum and I would be a guided tour of the island. The guide would pick us up from our hotel in an air conditioned four wheel drive car and we would have a full day’s tour which included visits to Devil’s Bridge, Betty’s Hope, Shirley Heights, Nelson’s Dockyard and the west coast for lunch. Plus we were to visit a donkey sanctuary! Yes, a donkey sanctuary in Antigua! On the day of our tour we met with our driver and guide, Lloyd and another English couple who were on the same trip. I told Lloyd just how important is was for me to see the donkeys, so he made that one of our first stops. Luckily the other couple were so nice and as one was a keen cricketer, he asked mum and I if we minded visiting the two cricket grounds. Of course we didn’t mind, so we all happily agreed about the main attractions of the day: donkeys and cricket grounds. I was so happy when we arrived at the Donkey Sanctuary. We were welcomed by Karen, a very friendly lady who told us a little bit about the sanctuary, then handed each of us a brush and said that we could groom any of the donkeys as they love being fussed over. “Hang on a minute,” I thought. “One brush and approximately 150 donkeys!” This was going to be a very long day. I was super excited to see so many long ears and to get the chance to meet as many as I could. The sanctuary is a non-profit organization run by volunteers and what an amazing job they do. It is a home for abandoned and injured donkeys and is open to the public six days a week. The Donkey Sanctuary opened in 1993 and is part of the Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society Inc. The sanctuary gets their donations mainly from the tourist industry, and there is also a shop where you can buy a t-shirt or cookbook. You can adopt (or sponsor) a donkey too. Many of the donkeys are taken to the sanctuary because they are a nuisance to the community. They roam around the villages and destroy the corn or carrot crops. They also damage the water pipes or taps, wasting a lot of running water. So the sanctuary is a safe haven for them. I could not leave the sanctuary without buying a t-shirt 19 • November 2018
and adopting a donkey. My donkey is named July and is roughly the size of my two donkeys, but much slimmer! The sanctuary has its own Facebook page and if you are going to Antigua for a holiday, I would certainly recommend popping in to see these lovely donkeys. It really made my holiday. Along with visiting the donkey sanctuary, the other highlight of my trip was very scary, but amazing. I love to meet any animal in the wild and there was an organized trip to spend the morning with stingrays and to swim with them. If they had been in an enclosed area, I wouldn’t have gone, but these stingrays live freely in the ocean and as soon as they see the boats turn up they come over to get fed and then swim off again. To meet these incredible creatures was something I never thought I would ever do, mainly because it’s not every day you get the chance to meet a stingray up close and, although I’m a confident swimmer, I’m not confident in the middle of the sea especially surrounded by stingrays. But this something so special. We were taken by boat to a pontoon, and once moored, at least 30 stingrays started swimming around the boat. I was very nervous at this point, but there were at least three guides who were professional and understanding of my fear. They firstly talked to us all about how to be respectful towards these creatures and if we wanted to feed them they would be with us to do that. I think on most people’s minds, especially mine, was the question we all wanted to ask, “Will they sting us with their tails?” We were told that there are two main reasons why they would sting. If they are provoke, or if they are on the sea bed and you step on them. It was so strange because, although we were a long way out from the island, where we moored the boat was so sandy and shallow. I could step down into the sea and the water would come up to my shoulders. For a while I just stood there watching these amazing stingrays swim past me and I could feel their fins/wings brushing next to my legs. It was truly incredible. The stingrays are used to this routine as the guides are there nearly every day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. They appear so relaxed and when the guides hold them in their arms they do not try and get away because they know the guides well and they know that the tourists are not a threat to them. I was fortunate to have my photo taken with a rather large stingray and he certainly felt very slimy and slippery. Of course it is a tourist attraction, but they are not forced into doing anything they don’t want to do. They have a free lunch, get stroked by us tourists, then off they go again. What an amazing time in Antigua. I got to spend ten days with my wonderful mum, tour around a beautiful island, saw approximate 150 donkeys and swim with stingrays. Such super memories. Mules and More Magazine
MULE CROSSING: Keys To Successful Training, Part 2:
Your Working Environment
you, and it will help make training easier and more enjoyable for both of you.
by Meredith Hodges, Loveland, Colo.
The Work Station
It is important that your equine feels safe and comfortable in his surroundings. For this reason, you should use the same place each day to groom and prepare him for his lessons. In the beginning, use a small pen (approximately 400 to 500 square feet) that allows you access to your equine for imprinting, tying, leading and grooming, as described in DVDs #1 and #8 of my series, Training Mules & Donkeys (plus disc #9 when dealing with donkeys), and in Part 1 of Equus Revisited. All the while, you will also be teaching him good ground manners. Remember, routine fosters confidence and trust. Once your equine has mastered tying and leading in the small pen, he can then move on to a designated work station where he will not only be groomed, but will also learn to accept tack in preparation for the round pen. This should be a place that has a good stout hitch rail and easy access to your tack and grooming equipment. When working around your equine at the work station, pay special attention to his body language. If he becomes tense or skittish, acknowledge his concerns with a stroke on his neck, supportive words to him and a reward of crimped oats when he settles down. Always learn to wait for him to settle down before you proceed. Don’t make too much out of unimportant details. For instance, if your equine is pawing the ground, don’t insist that he be still unless you need to 20 • November 2018
approach him and do something specific with him. Many of your animal’s anxious behaviors get unintentionally rewarded by giving him too much attention, which can actually cause the behaviors to escalate. If you ignore pawing, cribbing, throwing of the head, pushing with the nose, stomping and other anxious behaviors, they will lessen over time, provided that you step in, ask him to stop and reward your animal, but only when he is being quiet. Before you begin to groom your equine—whether you’re going to brush, vacuum or clip him—make sure you give him the time to figure out what you are going to do. He will exhibit his acceptance with a sigh, relaxation of his musclesor with a turn or dropping of the head. Once he has accepted the presence of the item to be used, such as a brush, vacuum or clippers, you can begin. Don’t forget to always start at the front and work your way back to the tail. Keep an eye on the pressure you apply whenever using these various grooming tools. Different animals will have different sensitivity to these tools and will tolerate them better if they know you are not going to cause undue pressure or pain. Learn to brush the mane and tail starting at the bottom and working upward, and use a conditioner such as baby oil to keep from pulling or breaking the hair. (Baby oil will also keep other equines from chewing on the tail.) A shedding blade can be an uncomfortable grooming tool when used improperly. When using a shedding blade to remove mud around the head and ears and even on your animal’s body, be careful to minimize his discomfort by monitoring the pressure you apply to each area and working VERY slowly. When bathing him, be extra careful not to get water in his eyes or ears. These types of consideration for your equine’s comfort will help build his trust and confidence in
Tack and Equipment
In order to elicit the correct response from your equine, always make sure you are using the correct tack for whatever you are doing. If you are not sure about what tack to use when, go to the Lucky Three Ranch website for more detailed information, or ask the experts in your area. Make sure all tack and equipment fits your animal properly. If it doesn’t, it can cause adverse behaviors during training.
In the Round Pen
Once your equine is leading well in the small pen, he should be in consistently good posture with square halts, easily negotiating trail obstacles in the open and relatively relaxed while at the work station, he is ready to move to the round pen. Mules and More Magazine
Once in the round pen, you will have an opportunity to assess your animal’s progress so you can begin work on balancing on the circle in good posture and conditioning the hard muscle masses in preparation for performance. The size of your round pen is important—45 feet in diameter is ideal. If it is any larger, as you will have difficulty reaching him with the lunging whip, which means you won’t be able to have enough control over him. If your round pen it is any smaller, it will interfere with your equine’s balance and ability to develop the right muscle groups. It should be made with relatively solid walls and be high enough so your animal cannot jump out. Your round pen can be made of a variety of different of materials, such as 2-inch by 12-inch boards and posts or stock panels. Never use electric fencing, pallets, tires or other non-solid materials. The ground surface should be a three- to four-inch– thick base of soft dirt or sand. While working in the round pen, be aware of how your own body language and verbal commands elicit certain behaviors in your animal. If something isn’t working right, look to yourself and ask yourself what you might be doing to cause the adverse behavior you are seeing. Equines are very honest about their responses, and if they are not doing what you expect, it has to be in the way you are asking. Also, don’t hurry your equine. When asking for the walk, make sure that the walk is even in cadence, balanced and regular—not hurried. Only after your animal is correct in his execution of one gait, should you move on to the next gait. When first introduced to the round pen, it is not uncommon for an equine to begin work at the trot and then, as he becomes more comfortable with the new area, at the walk. If you just let your equine go in an unrestricted frame, he can build muscle incorrectly, which will most likely cause problems later on. To be sure you are building muscle evenly throughout his body, in the correct posture and on both sides, use the “Elbow Pull” self21 • November 2018
correcting restraint I devised, as described in DVD #2 of Training Mules & Donkeys. As explained in DVD #1 of Training Mules & Donkeys, while you were doing passive exercises on the lead rope in the small pen, you were also building the core muscle groups that are closest to the bone. Now that you are in the round pen, you will begin to build your equine’s bulk muscle in strategic areas that will strengthen him and make carrying a rider or pulling a cart a lot easier for him. It will also minimize the chance for soreness or injury, as well as resistant behaviors. Keep sessions short, 30-40 minutes, and only every other day at the most. When muscles are exercised, they need to be stressed to a point just before fatigue, and then rested afterwards for one day before repeating. This is the correct and safe way to build muscle. Any other approach will cause fatigue and actually start deteriorating muscle tissue. Remember to use relaxation techniques and warm-up and cooling down exercises with your equine before and after every workout.
In the Arena
The arena is the place to really start focusing on forward motion and lateral exercises to further strengthen your equine, and it is the place to begin fine-tuning his balance while he is carrying a rider. The arena is also a good place for you to fine-tune your own riding skills, so that you learn to help your equine maintain good balance and cadence, on straight lines and while bending through the corners. In order for your equine to correctly go through the corners, you will be asking
him to bend the muscles through his ribcage so he can remain upright and balanced. Equines are not motorcycles and should not lean around the corners. The power should always come from the hindquarters to keep the front end light, supple and responsive to cues. If his front end is heavy and sluggish, your equine is not adequately stepping underneath with his hind legs and will thus, lose forward impulsion and power and will not properly condition his muscles.
Open areas are good for stretching and relaxing at all three gaits. They can be used for negotiation of obstacles and to execute large flowing patterns. You can also practice stretching exercises, as described in DVD #5 of Training Mules & Donkeys. Then proceed to working on more collection on the short sides of the arena, and go back to stretching exercises again before you quit the lesson. The open areas allow for a wide variety of training exercises by giving you the space to use numerous patterns and obstacles. Try using cones to mark your patterns—this benefits both you and your animal by helping you both stay focused. An arena without cones is like a house without furniture. As far as the open road and in traffic, these areas are for seasoned animals only, so please do not even consider using these areas to school your equine— the results could be disastrous! With the heavy traffic these days, it is really safest to avoid heavily traveled roads entirely. For a pleasureable experience, stick to areas where you and your equine will be safe and comfortable. To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-8167566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. © 2004, 2005, 2013, 2016, 2018 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Mules and More Magazine
When Mules Ruled the Farm by Lonny Thiele
Mules were used for farming in this country roughly 1785 to 1950 or 165 years. Mule numbers peaked in the US at 2.7 million in 1920, but there were still 1.9 million mules in 1940, that included 209,000 in Missouri. The three leading Missouri counties in 1940 in mule numbers were the Bootheel counties of New Madrid (9621), Pemiscot (9650) and Dunklin (7646). The mule was named Missouri’s official state animal in 1995. Quotes used in this column and most of the material used comes from stories in the book, “That Son of a Gun Had Sense: Mule Stories From the Bootheel During the 1930’s-1940’s Era.”
Come on now, get down there and let’s get it--Dads urging mules on
On the farm mules were sometimes called on to pull a load that probably to the mules appeared to be out of the question. But when their owners yelled out urging them on, they often surprised themselves and their owners. Betty Boyers Webb was very young at the time, but she remembers it clearly. “We moved to the new farm in a team and a wagon. When we got to the Aggerman Ditch, there was a log that people could cross on, but the team had to cross it. Pat and Jet pulled the load across; then Pat decided not to pull. Daddy jumped on Jet, and started yelling, and they pulled that wagon right up the bank of that ditch. I can close my eyes and still see that happening. I was 5 the other kids were at school.” Paul Jenkins was raised in Butler County. Jenkins recalls two mules his older brother Harold worked, “They pulled better if they knew my brother was over a wheel. He’d get hold of a back wheel. He had their lines on their hames. He’d talk to them. They’d swing one-way, then the other. Them little mules would get down to where you could hardly see under their bellies. They’d pull really good.” The late Chalk Givens farmed in Cape Girardeau County. Givens recalled, “The ground was muddy. We had about two-thirds of a wagonload. The wagon mired down. I said, ‘Irvin, you run over there and get Jack and Joe and bring them over here. Drive them up to the tongue, stop and hook them up and they’ll pull this whole damn wagon, corn and all, out of here.’ That’s what he done. Them little mules, he just spoke to them when he got them hooked up. They just took that wagon and drug that ole big team out of there.” Bud Henry grew up in New Madrid County. He has vivid memories of this incident. “My uncle had five sons. They were there and they went to laughing and going on saying ‘you think them mules are going to pull that (thrasher) out.’ Daddy said, ‘Let me hook them to it.’ They were still laughing when he hooked it up. He put their check lines on their collars and started talking to them. Man, they went to pulling and got their bellies plumb on the ground. Dad said, ‘Come on now, get down there and let’s get it.’ He didn’t lay a hand on them. He didn’t have a line on them, nothing. They pulled that thrasher out of the slough. Those boys shut up.” For more information, phone Thiele at 573-300-3085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or to purchase a copy of the book, That Son of a Gun Had Sense, mail $24 to Lon Thiele, POB 884, Poplar Bluff, MO 63902. 22 • November 2018
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South Texas Trail Riders, Inc. Come help us celebrate our 60 t h year!
January 31 - February 8, 2019 8 Fun Filled Days (150 Miles) from Corpus Christi, Texas to San Antonio, Texas Promoting the 70th Annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo 14 Free Meals ★ Country Dances ★ Team Roping ★ Trophies Awarded ★ Shuttle Available
For More Info Contact: Trail Boss Michael Dunn (361)779-0715 email@example.com Membership Chairman: Vicki Gannaway 459 CR 311, Floresville, TX 78114 210/378-4846 firstname.lastname@example.org Annual Adult 1st Weekend Only - Adult $40 Membership Fee: or January 31, Feb 1, Feb 2, 2019 $60 (18 & over) Minors (6-17 years) $15 $20 (6-17 years)
application available on our website
23 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
Mule Racing Returns to Canfield Fair by Sara Campbell, North Jackson, Ohio photos by Erica Richter On September 3, 2018, mule racing made its return to the Canfield Fair after a 30 year absence. For many years the mule race was a large attraction at the fair, for racers and spectators alike, where competitors raced in sulky’s (a two-wheeled cart), as well as bareback. Racing Superintendent Elwood Woolman wanted to see more Canfield Fair nostalgia and the Fair Board endorsed it. Mr. Woolman bestowed the task of restarting mule racing at the fair to Sara Campbell, niece of the late Doug Campbell, who was a pillar of racing in Canfield Fair yesteryear. All the hard work done over the summer came together in spectacular fash24 • November 2018
ion on the crushed limestone at the foot of the grandstand, displaying an event to remember for all. Eleven mules traveled to the Canfield Fairgrounds for a chance to win the title of 2018 Mule Race Champion and to be the first to take home The Doug Campbell Memorial Trophy. Jason and Marcia Crist from Greenville, Ohio, made a huge impression, hauling in six mules, four of which returned to the final heat to compete for a purse of $500. Jason’s riders included Emma Jarvis, Katelyn Bookman, Grace Serna and Abagail Schmit, four young ladies that travel on The Ohio High School Rodeo Association Circuit, along with Jason and his wife Marcia. Danielle Helch, Troy Stewart, and Sandy Mahler traveled from Pennsylvania for the return of the event. Sara Campbell riding on behalf of Don Campbell, and Paige Sanor riding on
behalf of Dick Roush, hauled in from North Jackson and East Palestine, Ohio. The racing consisted of three heats, in which the top two from each heat advanced to the finals. To say the mules and riders put on a show for the crowd would be an understatement. For those unfamiliar with the spectacle of mule racing, the mule, with a historic mind of its own, will often put on a show, not only for the crowd but for the rider on its back! The finals were packed with excitement as riders battled for the win but Katelyn Bookman took it with a great run. Marcia Crist took home second place, with Jason Crist not far behind in third. Paige, Danielle and Grace gave the finals their all. We are looking forward to building this exciting event back up and hope to see you in the grandstand on Labor Day in 2019! Mules and More Magazine
Here’s My Card...
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Jiggs Loesch & Barb Strong Spillville, Iowa (563)419-9161 rafter5Lmules.com
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Pair•A•Dice Mule Farm The Bashams
Loren & Lenice 22801 Highway C Belle, Missouri 65013 (573) 859-6793-Home (573) 308-2709-Cell
Color card ads available in the magazine and online, $33.33 per month with a 3 month minimum - $105 or $400 per year Black and white card ads are also available in the magazine and online, $20 per issue (3 month minimum - $60) or $200 per year To place your “Here’s My Card” Ad Email email@example.com Call (573)646-3934 or mail to Mules and More, PO Box 460, Bland MO 65014 25 • November 2018
MILAM MULES at AmBro Mule Ranch 26352 US HWY 61 Benton, MO 63736
A full service Mule Ranch Selling, Raising, Breeding, and Riding
Brock Milam (573)979-1120 MilamMules@yahoo.com
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TUFF ENUFF For All Your Trail Riding and Packing Needs
For your harness needs.. Give Us A Call!
www.hogbranchharness.com Biothane for Work or Pleasure (601) 408-0817 Shop/Sales Ken & Wanda Bauerle
PO Box 290 • Purvis, MS 39475 firstname.lastname@example.org
Carmack Gaited Mules Rick Carmack - Glasgow, Missouri Visit us on Facebook!
Jerry Brown’s Custom Wagons (573)624-4755
Gaited mules with style for sale!
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Chris & Sarah French Where Patience and Persistence is Key to an Overall Balanced Equine
John Cooley Wagram, NC 28396
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The Mule Enthusiast Dave Recker Let me teach your mule to lie down to mount and dismount (573)881-0324 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mules and More Magazine
Calendar of Events... NOVEMBER 2018
Nov 1-3 – Ty Evans Mulemanship Clinic, Artesia, NM (see pg 5) Nov 10 – Reese Bros. Tennessee Mule Sale, Westmoreland, TN (see pg 9) Nov 10 - Open Horse & Mule Fundraiser Show, Flintlock Farms, Reidsville, NC (828)817-0820 www. carolinamuleassociation.com Nov 15 – North Idaho Saddle Mule Club meeting 208/263-4156 Nov 16-18 – Carolina Mule Assn. Trail Ride, Rutledge, GA 864-547-4254 Nov 29-Dec 1 – Ty Evans Mulemanship Clinic, Howlong, NSW, Australia (see pg 5)
Book Review: Miss Royal’s Mules
by Irene Bennet Brown review by Cori Daniels
Set in Kansas in the 1900s, this tale of a down-on-her luck woman who finds a possible solution to her troubles in a herd of mules is an absolute joy to read. After the family farm is lost, Jocelyn Belle Royal meets a mysterious man and joins a mule drive. It’s not always smooth driving. Run-ins with outlaws and thieves attempt to sidetrack her journey. She is pushed and tested, but this tenacious heroin persistently drives her mules onward and to do the job she is hired for, not only changing her own life, but the lives of DECEMBER 2018 Dec 2-8 - Mule Ride at Caney Mountain, those around her. Author Irene Bennet Brown paints a Big Flat, Arkansas (870)688-8686 lovely picture of the turn of the century midwest with accurate historical events Dec 9 – Carolina Mule Assn. Muleskinner Christmas Party, Reidsville, NC and details. Cover art is by Bonnie Shields, the Tennessee Mule Artist. Miss Royal’s Mules 336/349-4723 is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble ($25.95 for a hardcover or $7.99 JANUARY 2019 for the Kindle version). Jan 2 - Carter & Higgins Spring Round Up Sale, Russellville, KY (see pg 32) Jan 2 - Deadline for the 29th Annual Jack The February 2019 issue of Mules and More will be our 29th annual Jack issue. Issue of Mules and More Mules and More can help you have a successful breeding season. Jan 12 – Reese Bros. Tennessee Mule Don’t miss your chance to be in this issue! The deadline is January 2, 2019. Sale, Westmoreland, TN (see pg 9) Visit www.mulesandmore.com/jack19 Jan 23-26 - Ty Evans Mulemanship for information on how to be included, or call the office at (573)646-3934 Clinic, Wikieup, AZ (see pg 5) Jan 24-27 - National Western Stock Show Mule & Donkey Show, Denver, CO (see pg 23) Jan 31-Feb 2 - Ty Evans Mulemanship Clinic, Sahuarita, AZ (see pg 5) Jan 31-Feb 8 - South Texas Trail Riders 60th Annual Trail Ride, Corpus Christi, TX to San Antonia TX (see pg 23)
Attention Jack Owners:
February 7-9 - Ty Evans Mulemanship Clinic, Headland, AL (see pg 5) February 14-16 - Ty Evans Mulemanship Clinic, Brooksville, FL(see pg 5) February 22-24 - Ty Evans Mulemanship Clinic at the Southern Equine Expo, Murfreesboro, TN, (see pg 5) For the full calendar of events, or to submit your event to be included here, visit mulesandmore.com 27 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
Midwest Mule Fest
Midwest Mule Fest was a four day mules only camping and trail ride weekend held September 20-23 at Panther Creek Trail Rides in . AJ Buffalo from Buffalo’s Freeze Branding and Branding Irons was on hand for anyone interested in custom branding irons and/or freeze branding. Melody Canote and her mule Ruby had plenty of riding buddies show up at the flag pole for a short morning trail ride Friday morning. Another short ride was held Friday afternoon. Dave Recker,“The Mule Enthusiast,” held clinics on how to train your mule to lay down for mount and dismount. He was very thorough in instructions. At one point you could have heard a pin drop in camp as we all sat totally silent and
watched an exchange between trainer and a mule who was thinking about what she had been asked to do. The crowd knew what they were watching as it was happening and a complete hush fell as they watch her process the request and then follow through. It was truly a unique moment. Debra Racheter of Crest Ridge Saddlery was available for saddle fittings. Debra is very detail oriented and has one ultimate goal and motive. She is the advocate for the mule. Her voice says to you what the mule would say to you about what you are tacking him up with and she is honest. She doesn’t give saddle advice unsolicited but if you ask for it, you are going get it. She takes the time to teach the person seeking her expertise and it’s nothing short of full on entertainment to watch. Flying C&J Mules, owned by Jerry and Cyndi Nelson,
Saturday’s “Ears and Beers” trail ride 28 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
along with their sons Alex and Billy put on a great jumping demonstration. The Nelson family has been showing jumping mules for over 30 years. They have several state titles including Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas. The Nelsons took us from mule introductions to a discussion about the jumping mule world, while they sent mules over the jumps, starting small and ending at a height were only the mule’s head could be seen as they approached the jump. Dexter, “the golfer,” had the crowd cheering him on as he sized up the jumps and set sail into the air. Saturday’s Ears & Beers Trail Ride was a all day long guided trail ride for mules only. Saturday evening’s cookout was delicious, and the rest of the evening was spent enjoying the company of those in attendance, with campfires, storytelling and music. Sunday morning’s Cowboy Church was followed by a short trail ride, and then it was time to go back start making plans for next year’s Mule Fest.
Dave Recker teaching Debra Racheters mule to lie down
Melody Canote and Ruby Melody and STACY SMITH organized the Midwest Mule Fest
The Ranger was changed to a Mule for the Midwest Mule Fest
Jerry and Cyndi Nelson with their jumping mules
Debra Racheter from Crest Ridge Saddlery conducting a saddle fitting
Ellie Mae, STACIE SMITH’S blue heeler, looking forward to the jumping mule exhibition 29 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
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SORREL DRAFT MULE TO SELL AT PUBLIC AUCTION. Sale date: Jan 3, 2019. Place: Bluegrass Stables, Trenton KY. Will be 9 months old, gelded. 5/8 brother to Shorty Adams’ pulling mule, Tom. For details, contact Rodney Michael, 26447 190th St, Glidden IA 51443. 712-659-2100 11/18
TIN TOP RANCH Bed and Breakfast, oats and stalls to all riding. Located in western Scott County, Arkansas. Totally surrounded by the picturesque Ouachita National Forest. www.tintopranch.com, walls_sa@yahoo. com or 800/436-8199 tfn
COON CRAZY BY BIBBS. This book is about two young brothers and a mule man, their search for a good coon dog, and some of the dogs and experiences they had while growing up coon hunting. $10.99 online at iuniverse.com, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. 11/18
2-year-old Grey Jack, Catalonian variety. Lots of leg, raised with horses. Gentle and sound. Halter broke. $795. Maynard, Arkansas. 262290-1619 11/18 Large standard donkeys for sale. Riding, driving and halter prospects. Weanling on up. Illinois. (217)932-DONK(3665) or (217)9324222. Leave a message. 3/19 Mammoth Jack, 15 hands, dark brown with dun factor. Majorchan type. Mule jack. Gentle, halter broke, sound, good feet and legs, excellent conformation. Maynard, Arkansas. $3500. 262-290-1619 11/18
TACK & TRAILERS
S. A. WALLS handmade Stirrups, Spurs and Bits. walls_ firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sawalls.net or 800/436-8199 2/16 Wagner’s Saddle and Tack. “Saddles that fit the horse, mule and rider.” Handmade Saddles. Fred Wagner, Westcliffe, CO 719/783-2715 www. wagnerssaddleandtack.com tfn
30 • November 2018
THE AMERICAN BEAGLER MAGAZINE – The Magazine Ahead of the Pack: Published monthly for Beagle owners and gundog enthusiasts as well as upcoming trials and results for competition hunters. The American Beagler is $24.00 for one year, $44.00 for two years, and $66.00 for three years. You may order the magazine on our website: www.theamericanbeagler. com with paypal, call 573-859-6866 with a debit or credit card, or mail your payment to: The American Beagler, PO Box 957, Belle, MO 65013. Find us on Facebook. WE WANT YOU IN THE PACK! tfn Enjoy VIDEO MIKE’S mule, donkey, horse training, Bishop Mule Days and more. VHS/DVD. See listing at www. video-mike.com, (707)226-9193 tfn My Life With Harry The Mule by Lonny Thiele. How a young girl and a mule helped save the family farm in the 1930s in Southeast Missouri. Based on a true story. Art by Bonnie Shields. $20 to Thiele, POB 884, Poplar Bluff, MO 63902. Phone (573)300-3085. tfn
Mule Head Bootjack This bootjack is made from cast aluminum and measures approximately 6” x 11”. It’s the perfect accessory for mule lovers, and will remove your boots easier without damaging them. $25
Silver & Brass Mule Head Conchos
Available in all silver OR silver with brass mule head and dots. Please indicate preference. 1-1/2 inches in diameter. These antiqued silver conchos come with an antiqued silver mule head. The conchos come with a Chicago screw in the back. Great for decorating bridles, belts, purses, cell phone holders, dog collars, and many other items. $7.00 each - call for large order discounts
Scrapbooking Mule Stickers
30 Mule heads (approximately 3/4”) and 24 standing (approximately 15/16”) mules per sheet. Small stickers available in Black (88A)
$5.50 per sheet
See www.mulesandmore.com for all of our mule and donkey merchandise, books, DVDs, caps, and more! Mules and More Magazine
Get your Christmas shopping done early at Mules and More!
Also available in “Team Parking Only” Red and white sign. 12”x17-1/2” aluminum with 2 holes for securing to your parking space. $17.50
--decals available in black or white-6 x 8” Small Decal $10 10 x 13” Large Decal $16
Praying Mule Rider Decal - Removable, can be reused. Great for vehicle windows, or decorate a window or mirror in your home or office. Be creative! Available in white in Western or English saddle. $5.75 Window Art - When properly applied, it looks like an etching on your window! Just peel decal from backing, wet face of decal, place on clean window surface, squeegie moisture from under decal. No Glue, No Mess! 5” x 7” $5.35
Decal available in black or white. 5-1/4”x5-1/2”
10” x 14” white aluminum with hunter green lettering. Will not rust. $17.95 each
Magnetic/Vinyl Silhouettes Made for outside application. Each comes in right or left so they may be placed facing each other. Please specify color choice, size and direction
Magnetic Mule Head Silhouette
#81 LARGE - 11” x 10” - $15.25 each Large left or right, available in white or black #83 SMALL - 3” x 3” - $5.00 each Small left or right, available in gold, black, brown or white
7”x3-1/2” Decal is white w/ black mule & lettering $6.00
Vinyl Mule Decal
#85 LARGE - 11” x 10” $6.25 each Large left or right, available in black, brown or white #86 SMALL - 4” x 3-1/2” $3.25 each Small left or right, available in black, brown or white
#84 Vinyl Donkey Head Decal
LARGE - 12” tall. Available in brown left and brown right; and black left and black right. $6.25 each
10” x 14” white aluminum with red lettering. Will not rust. $16.95 each
• • • Love Decals are available with a donkey or mule head and in black or white. 5” by 6”
31 • November 2018
$2.75 each, 3x11-1/2”
I Brake for Mules (white on red) Surrounded by Asses (red on white) Have you Hugged your Donkey Today? (blue on white) Have you Hugged your Mule Today? (red on white) Haulin’ Ass (red on white)
Mail to: Mules and More PO Box 460 Bland, MO 65014 Or call (573)646-3934
Watch the website and our Facebook page for new merchandise! Mules and More Magazine
Caney Mountain Mule Ride Big Flat, Arkansas by Anthony and Cathy McAllister, Southern Illinois The June 2018 Mule Ride at Caney Mountain Horse Camp, Big Flat, Ark., was the first summer mule ride we had planned there. Charles and Teresa Taylor, camp owners, were very welcoming of our group. There was a very good turnout for the ride, and we would like to note that this is a great time of year to take a family vacation. Most schools are out for the summer and these rides are very family friendly. It can be very hot and humid in early June, but everyone still rode daily, with rides shortened up a bit. This was an unusually hot summer according to the camp owners and locals. The trails at Caney are not marked, so you really need to go out with a guide (who is provided by the camp) to see the beautiful bluffs, waterfalls, caves and many other wonders of this area. Bill Smith brought his grandchildren, Shaylnn, age 4, and Gustin McGhee, age 6, to the ride. They were the youngest riders in camp. If you have not ridden at Caney before, this is some really rugged country and I would like to say what troopers these young kids were. Nir Alon, from Israel, definitely traveled the farthest to attend the ride. Thanks to each and everyone who came to the ride. That is what Nir Alon and friends enjoying a ride these rides are all about, getting people together to learn from each other. Teresa Taylor and helpers put on a nice country breakfast buffet each morning and a great evening meal, despite the heat. Many thanks to these ladies because they had no air conditioning to work in and still remained cheerful. There are many other attractions in the area for those that wanted to cool down or just enjoy other activities. Kayaking and canoeing are popular, with plenty of rental places
Brad Hart cooling off in the Buffalo River
Bill Smith with grandchildren Shaylnn and Gustin McGhee
on the White and Buffalo Rivers. Several mule riders spent one day kayaking on the White River. Blanchard Caverns is just a few miles down the road from camp and the town of Mountain View is one of the bluegrass capitals of the world. Musician J.C. Bonds, a local legend from Mountain View and comedian “Aunt Minnie” once again provided entertainment for the mule riders. They really put on a good show and it was enjoyed by all. There were concerns about having this ride in June due to heat and humidity, farming season, hay harvest, etc. After discussing with all those in attendance, it was decided that it was indeed still a good time of year and everyone still wanted to keep it the first part of June. There are many creeks throughout the area and the Buffalo River to cool off in. Why not make your next family vacation the Caney Mountain Mule Ride in June 2019? The December 2-8, 2018, Mule Ride is coming up fast. The ride is filling up but Charles and Teresa Taylor will make room for anyone who wants to come. Please call Teresa Taylor or Brenda Woodring, Caney Mountain Horse Camp at 870-688-8686 for reservations.
TY EVANS MULEMANSHIP: Ground Work Basics DVD Ty’s methods are based off of “feel” and “timing”, which can produce great results in the mules he works with. In this DVD Ty covers the basics of ground work; these exercises are critical elements of a mule’s foundation. $35.00
mulesandmore.com (573)646-3934 $5.50 shipping ($2 for each addition book or DVD) 32 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
Everything We Do Is “Mule Friendly” Unique Mountain, Hunting and Trail Saddles, plus “Mule” Tack
Carter & Higgins Spring Round Up
Draft Mule & Draft Horse Sale
Wednesday, January 2 • 10 a.m.
P.O. Box 94 40 Two Bump Rd., VC Ranches
Ennis, MT 59729
www.ericksensaddlery.com The worst day packin’ is better than the best day workin’
Russellville Livestock Market, 134 Farmers Drive,
Russellville, KY 42276
Sale Order: All mules to sell first followed by draft horses
Carter & Higgins personally invite you to attend the 10th Annual sale. The demand for quality mules and horses has never been higher than it is today. Our record setting prices show that we not only meet our loyal customer’s expectations; we exceed them. We will have a variety of mule and draft horses coming from our consignors as in previous years, as well as from Amish and Mennonite farms, mostly of which will be young and ready to go. 7% Commission with a $175 cap • $40 No Sale Fee • No feed cost • No yardage • Coggins Test required on all animals • On site Coggins test cost $25 All stock must have halter and lead rope • Free trucking available for pick up or delivery to local Amish & Mennonite farmers • For out of state buyers, order buying is available
In the heart of the largest Amish & Mennonite Community in the south Sale barn will begin accepting animals Jan. 1 at 6 a.m. Lunch stand will be available Local accommodations: Econo Lodge (270)726-2488; Quality Inn (270)725-9771
For more inform
Check out our new look at www.themulestore.com
33 • November 2018
Linden Carter (931)561-4519 anytime Barry Higgins (270)726-0991 anytime Order Buyer John Zook (270)886-4964 cst 8:30-8:45 a.m. Mules and More Magazine
Canadian Donkey and Mule Association
Canadaâ€™s only national registry and association for donkeys and mules. Our quarterly magazine, Canadian Donkey and Mule News, is included with membership and offers news and information for longear enthusiasts across North America and worldwide. Editor: Jackie Dunham Email: email@example.com
Annual membership in Canadian funds: Canada: $45 (family $55) USA & foreign: $55 For memberships, send international money order in Canadian funds to
Canadian Livestock Corporation, 2417 Holly Lane, Ottawa, ON K1V 0M7, Canada
Subscriptions now available! (no member benefits) $35 to Canadian addresses, $47 to US addresses.
Order subscriptions on our website at: www.donkeyandmule.com
34 â€˘ November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
By the time I realized the paddock I'd created in October 2017 for my mule, Tyrone, was less than adequate, it was too late. The rainy season in northern California had begun and was well under way in December and January, but the unusually dry, warm weather we had in February had hardened most of the deep mud in the 2,000-square-foot paddock and turned it into a rutted mess. The run-in shelter and adjacent hay/tack barn sat on six inches of compacted road base, which we'd sloped slightly for drainage purposes, but our efforts were woefully inadequate. Rainwater had accumulated in front of the structures since both sat at the low end of a grade, resulting in a fetid, standing pool of water and muck with nowhere to go. To make matters worse, Tyrone suddenly began exhibiting some lameness -- what would eventually be diagnosed as a stifle injury -- likely the result of his having taken a bad step in the uneven, hardened mud. I knew we had to do something drastic to remediate the situation and create a healthier, safer environment for the poor guy.
Tyrone, standing in a fetid pool of water and muck
My Mud Management Odyssey (or “How I Built the Taj Mule Hall”) by Sarah Bulgatz
35 • November 2018
My online search for "mud management" solutions yielded several potential options (including selling our property and moving elsewhere), but what seemed most feasible was installing a system of flexible plastic panels consisting of cells that would be filled with crushed gravel and compacted to form a base of decent footing. A neighbor had created some beautiful footing for his arena using a product called TrueGrid, which consisted of rigid cellular panels; I would ultimately decide on a comparable product called LightHoof, whose distinguishing feature was more flexible panels. The price seemed comparable for both products, but the flexibility of the LightHoof product seemed to be a better fit for the unevenness and slope of my paddock. However, before we installed the LightHoof, we knew we had to create some better drainage to eliminate the problem of standing water. We consulted with a local excavation and construction contractor, Dan Joyce of Petaluma, whom we had used before for a couple of other projects on our property, and together we put together a plan to get the work done. Unfortunately, however, it would have to wait until the rainy season ended and the ground dried out -- so we set our sights on April, a long two months off. In the meantime, I moved Tyrone into another makeshift paddock on higher Mules and More Magazine
ground adjoining my round pen. While muddy, this alternate location offered somewhat better footing and a drier place for him to be. April finally arrived, but to our great chagrin, a period of extended rain during the early and mid part of that month pushed the start of our project out even further. It wouldn't be for another several weeks, until mid-May, that we would finally get to begin work. In the meantime, we placed an order for 21 of the 6' x 12' LightHoof panels. They arrived on a big wooden pallet, which we had delivered at the lower end of our driveway, across from Tyrone's paddock. We would also need an ominous amount of crushed angular gravel with fines to fill the cells in the panels -- between one and a half and two cubic yards per panel. At last, the big day arrived. On May 15, Dan arrived at 8 a.m. and unloaded two of his impressive machines -- an excavator and a bobcat. The first step would be preparing the ground for the installation of a French drain that would run the length of the tack/hay barn and run-in shelter, wrapping around them and feeding out under the gate into our lower pasture. Excavating the trench for the drain, then laying the fabric and installing the drain rock, drain pipe and then more drain rock on top of that took several days. We had approximately 70 feet to cover! My husband, Chris Berkov, and I were amazed at the skill and dexterity with which Dan operated his equipment, alternating between the excavator and the bobcat to dig, scrape, push and move mountains of earth, and then carry gravel wherever it was needed, maneuvering each machine through and around what seemed impossibly tight spots. Dan also brought in all the gravel we'd need, a quantity of over 30 cubic yards of the crushed angular rock in addition to the dozen or so yards of drain rock.
drive it over and pour it on top of the panels. We would rake it into the cells to the extent we would then be able to walk on the panels, then repeat the process with two new panels. By working this way, we succeeded in laying out and filling roughly three to four panels per day. We used four-by-fours and two-by-fours to create a border for the panels along edges where we knew we would need to create a raised surface to keep the gravel in. In other areas, we excavated several inches of the bordering earth in order to tuck the panels in against it. Once the panels were in place and completely filled with gravel, we rented a plate compactor and compacted the gravel-filled panels. Following that, we spread another inch or more of loose gravel all over on top of the compacted base. From start to finish, the entire project took us two weeks.
We canâ€™t overstate the value of the bobcat in bringing in load after load of gravel. Each shovelful would transport and deposit at least a half a yard of gravel all at once
A crucial step in our undertaking was the installation of a French drain. Standing water, begone! Dan Joyce and his excavator, digging the trench for our French drain
By Wednesday afternoon, we were ready to begin laying out the landscaping fabric and then install the LightHoof panels over that. This was a painstaking and laborious process, whereby we'd first tack down the fabric, then stretch out a LightHoof panel and fix it in place with rebar in multiple places along the edge. Then we'd stretch out the next panel and tie it to alternating cells along the edge of the first panel. Dan would then fill up his bobcat's shovel with gravel, 36 â€˘ November 2018
Stretching out, tying together and filling the Light Hoof panels was a labor-intensive process â€˘ We hired our friend Raimundo to help us with the compacting Mules and More Magazine
Tyrone’s paddock now has great footing
One might wonder why we didn't install a French drain in front of the structures in that paddock from the get-go? We've wondered that ourselves. Of course, hindsight is a marvelous thing, but there was no way to predict how or where water might accumulate and the extent to which the earth would turn to muck and mush once a mule starts walking around on it. The LightHoof installation experience would have been easier had the paddock been a uniform rectangular or square shape (so that we wouldn't have had to cut any of the panels) and had it been level rather than sloped. However, we are very glad we did it, pleased with the result, and relieved that it's done. And with respect to the next rainy season, all I can say is: "Bring it on."
“These four daily helpers showed up to pitch in... and they all left together when it was time to go,”said Sarah 37 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
Ozark Mule Days & The Missouri Mule Makeover by Noel Stasiak, US Navy Seabees Ret. The Grand Entry held prior to each evenings events
My first visit to Ozark Mule Days, held in Springfield, Mo., was a perfect weekend. They know how to put together and organize a great event, and have been doing it for over a long time. The weather was decent, and I understand they did have some electrical problems in the beginning of the week, but they were resolved by Saturday. My wife Leigh and I stayed in Springfield at a local motel, which there are plenty of close to the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds where the event is held. We arrived on Friday and did some reconnaissance of the area; parking was easy and close to everything. Participants were still coming in and setting up camp, and the vendors were arranging their wares. If you’re a shopper like I am, you have to get there early so you don’t miss out on a good deal. I bought a nice used Stetson hat, a full-size elk hide, a nice halter for our mini donkey, some hobbles, event t-shirts and a few other trinkets that I couldn’t resist, all at bargain prices. Being a relative newbie at this mule business (or, in my case, mule hobby) I love to meet mule enthusiast I haven’t met before and pick their brain, hoping to educate myself with their knowledge and experience. I found that this is a good way to learn not only valuable information about mules and donkeys but also a fun way to make new friends that share some of the same interests. I have not met anyone so far that was not willing to share some of their equine experiences when asked. The mules and donkeys themselves are relying on our expertise to maintain their wellbeing and all that goes with owning an animal. We owe it to them to do as much as possible to educate ourselves to help make their lives healthy, worthwhile and en38 • November 2018
joyable in addition to making our lives more fun. I ran into some new friends I’ve made along this mule journey, like Rick Carmack, Glasgow, Mo. I’m starting to recognize faces from previous events I’ve been to, I no longer feel like a stranger in a foreign land. Being a fellow mule enthusiast puts you in good company, I’m beginning to feel like one of the crew. We had a delightful conversation with Bonnie and Harold Hoffmeister from St. James, Mo. Now Harold is an old mule skinner from way back and Bonnie has been stuck with him for 60 plus years. I bet she knows every one of his stories by heart. He doesn’t ride anymore but knows a lot about them mules. I picked his brain for a while and Leigh and Bonnie talked about grandkids.
the object is to ride up to the rope with your partner (Allie) on the back of your mule and your partner grabs the rope and hangs on while you (Rob) and your mule make a trip around the arena and come back to pick up your partner and get her back on the mule. This sounds easy, but if the mule doesn’t want to cooperate you could be left hanging for a while. Rob and Allie had both done this before, so they were good at it.
ROB and ALLIE SHREVES
The STASIAK’S and the HOFFMEISTER”S
My friend Rob Shreves and his daughter Allie were entered into an event I had never seen before, the “Monkey in a Tree.” There is a long rope hanging from the ceiling of the arena and
Leigh and I had an opportunity to speak with Tara and Nate Medcalf from Waddell, Ariz. They told us about the terrible accident they were in when a vehicle had a blow out on the highway and came across the median and slammed into the side of their truck and then hit their mule trailer. Unfortunately two of their mules were killed, as well as their dog. Nate was also hurt and is still recovering from back problems. We found out that the Missouri Mule Makeover Challenge held at the Ozark Mule Days had decided to help them out by collecting donations prior to the event, and then holding a small auction and donating the proceeds raised, so they could replace the Medcalf’s mules. They took this money and used it to buy Mules and More Magazine
one of the mules auctioned off from the Makeover Challenge. The Medcalf’s chose Hotshot 19, who was trained by Sharla Wilson. This is what I call sticking together to help your fellow mule skinners. I wish all the best of luck to them with Hotshot. I know what that’s like, I lost my favorite mule to rectal prolapse last February.
The MEDCALF’S and the STASIAK’S
My favorite event is the mule jumping contest. I was training my mule Nina before she got sick and I know she would have been a champion. She’s probably jumping over clouds now and giving angel rides to all the kids. We looked at a couple of mules that were for sale and it’s really hard not to fall in love with all of them. We did some serious inquiring on one particular mule; she had a blond mane just like my wife’s hair. We came back to her stall several times and talked with the owner but on our last walk to see her, apparently she had been sold because the sign was gone and so was she. Oh well, probably not a smart thing to do right then, we didn’t have our trailer and it would have been a buy on impulse kind of thing. Besides, I never rode her or saw anyone else ride her, and all the experts say that’s the wrong way to buy a mule. The Missouri Mule Makeover Challenge was fun to watch. They all looked good to me, so I could never be a judge. The challengers all had around 120plus days to get their mule ready for the competition. There were seven mules and seven trainers, at the end of the competition the mules were auctioned off and the trainers had the option of keeping the money or keeping the mule. The wining mule was a high bid of just over $10,000 and the trainer decided to keep the cash. I don’t blame him. The others were also auctioned off, but some 39 • November 2018
did keep their mules. I wanted to update you on our current herd, since some of you have followed along with our journey into mules since the very beginning. Leigh and I now have one john mule, a regular sized donkey (which we originally thought was a Baudet du Poitou but since are not sure) and a mini donkey. We’d like to get another one to replace Nina and are actually in the process of making a trade (if it works out). A friend is building a log cabin and needs 10 or 12 tall pine trees. Well, we have 76 acres of trees and a lot of them are pine. He has a 20-year-old white mule that is blind in one eye. He has been taking her elk hunting for many years, and he can shoot off her, pack dead elk off the mountain, and is great on the trails. It’s getting a little harder for her in the high altitudes so he’s willing to trade her for some pine trees. She does good down in the lower elevations of Missouri and looks sound and healthy. Hopefully she has a few more good years in her. I haven’t taken possession yet and he hasn’t cut any trees so the deal is still pending. Our mini donkey, Jenny, is about 6-7 years old and is the baby of the family. A friend in the Air National Guard raises cattle in the Ozarks and Jenny was adopting the young calves and not giving them back to the mother cow, so he asked us to adopt her. She is just adorable and loves to explore new things, and is not afraid to try something different. Chad, our oldest mule at 13-14 years old, hadn’t been ridden in six years when we got him. His previous owner was the proprietor of the Mule Trading Post in Rolla, Mo. He still has a lot of catching up training-wise to do but he’s coming around slowly, mostly because I’m not the best teacher, as I’m learning myself. Our regular sized donkey, Blackjack, is about the same age as Jenny, 6 or 7. We got him as a stallion and now he’s a gelding and a perfect gentleman. We thought he was a wooly, shaggy, Poitou because he had all the hair. We got him in the winter and now he has lost most
of the long hair during the summer, so now I’m not sure. Since I’ve gotten into mules and donkeys I’ve discovered a whole new world and made a lot of new friends. I’m learning something new every day and can’t wait for the next mule event to attend. The Missouri Mule Days was delightful. It’s close to home and filled with friendly people. If you have time while in Springfield, I suggest stopping by PFI Western, America’s Western Store, an excellent western clothing and tack store. We stopped by, and of course I can’t just browse, I had to buy something. I wish I would have gotten into mules and donkeys when I was younger. I wouldn’t have had the 76 acres then, but at least I could have enjoyed them and by now I’d be an old mule skinner myself. I’ll be 70 this September and I’m still looking for the perfect mule (that can tolerate a rookie). I’m trying to learn as much as I can about these fantastic creatures and I have to say, after 26 years in the military, they calm me down and are great therapy. I’ll be attending the Donkey Symposium at the University of California, Davis near Sacramento this October to learn even more about these humble yet majestic animals. If you happen to be there, look me up and tell me a mule story, I never get tired of hearing them. I’ll probably be the only one there from the ShowMe State, so just ask for the guy from Missouri.
LEIGH and NOEL Mules and More Magazine
Ozark Mule Days and the Missouri Mule Makeover by Cori Daniels, Bland, Mo.
photo by Angela Plitsch
MATT Caldwell and Lucky 13’s Leslie
photo by Still Photography
photo by Angela Plitsch
40 • November 2018
CHRIS FRENCH and Dixie
SHANE VAUGHAN and Gypsy
“You know what’s crazy? Five months ago I paid $600 for this mule and it just sold for $10,300.” Les Clancy said this about the winning mule sold at auction at the end of the Missouri Mule Makeover Challenge, held during Ozark Mule Days in Springfield, Mo., over Labor Day weekend. I don’t know if I would use the word ‘crazy,’ but I would definitely use the word ‘impressive.’ The amount of work that went into that $600 mule to make it bring that amount deserved recognition, which the winning trainer definitely received. It wasn’t only the winner’s hard work that was on display, but all seven of the trainers who participated in the inaugural Missouri Mule Makeover. They put literal blood, sweat and tears into these animals, and after spending all summer with them, they seemed sad to see them go. To recap the challenge, seven trainers met in April at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. Seven mules stood tied to the fence. Though this event was inspired by the mustang makeover challenges that take untouched, wild mustangs and pair them with trainers to train and later compete with, these mules had not been “untouched.” Though they were not broke to lead or ride, these mules had been handled, but by what means were unclear. The seven trainers drew for the seven mules, loaded them into their trailers, and headed home to begin the long process of building a foundation of communication and trust with their mules. Some posted about their journey almost daily on the shared Facebook page, keeping the public up to date on daily success and setbacks. Others kept their journey quiet. In then end, they were all brought back to Ozark Mule Days held in the same arena they met in April. They showcased their animals in four special events on Friday and Saturday, and were auctioned off Saturday night. Ozark Mule Days has been held for years, and if you like fun shows, and like mules, this is an event you shouldn’t miss. It’s a throwback to years past, when mule folks would gather at fun shows all summer long, competing in traditional classes, like barrels, poles, and match races, but also throwing in some quirkier classes, like dizzy bat, back-toback, and ride-a-buck. I grew up on the back of a mule at these small shows, and learned a lot about riding, mules, and life during those summer shows. Ozark Mule Days captures the spirit of those small shows, and I am thankful it’s held so close to home. My daughters get to experience a part of my childhood, and they have a blast each time we attend. But Ozark Mule Days doesn’t just have fun classes, there are performance classes spread out through the show bill, and Sunday featured a double-sanctioned (NASMA and Pinto) show. Whether you want to go fast or slow, there is a class for you this weekend. Both nights opened with a mutton busting, where the competitor with the highest combined score from both nights received a trophy and PBR tickets. The grand entry followed, where competitors, riding or driving their mules and don Mules and More Magazine
keys, all file in and fill the entire arena. Many carried their home state’s flag, and Les Clancy presented the American flag. Johnny Cash’s “Ragged Old Flag,” played while Les loped around the packed arena on his trusty mule, Luke. The National Anthem was then sung by Savannah Wood, sitting in the arena on the back of a mule, and she began by asking the crowd to sing along with her. It was a patriotic and touching way to start the evening’s events. Spectators were introduced to the Missouri Mule Makeover mules on Friday night, where each trainer took to the arena for a brief introduction of their animal, and a chance to address the crowd and judges directly over the microphone. Most of these mules had never been in an arena in front of a huge crowd, so this time was also a good way to see in real time how the mules handle new situations. The judges, Tom Livengood, Donny Oldham, Wes Clancy and Greg Workman, scored the mules during the events on Friday and Saturday, but the scores were not announced and no placings were given. “I’ve learned a lot,” said Lori Montgomery, Crittendon, Ohio. “Even if it’s things not to do. When I left home I said Summer would learn more this weekend than in the entire time she’s been with me.” As she side passed, loped, and did lead changes she spoke about how she and Summer had begun to trust each other. “Watch what you ask for,” said Matt Caldwell discussing his draw, Leslie. “I said I didn’t care what mule I got, even if it was a fire breathing dragon. And that is exactly what I got.” Though Matt said it took a bit to gain Leslie’s trust, his hard work was evident as he showed off the handle he had put on her. “I tried to give him back to Les, but he wouldn’t take him,” said Tim Cross, about his mule Ozark’s Senior Citizen. “But
photo by Still Photography
TIM CROSS and Ozark’s Senior Citizen
photo by Still Photography
LORI MONTGOMERY and Summer Challenge
SHARLA WILSON and Arizona’s Hotshot 19 photo by Still Photography
photo by Angela Plitsch
LEON RABER and Radar 41 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
somewhere along the line, he became a willing partner.” Tim had been very upfront about Citizen’s progress, but watching him in the arena during the Friday night spotlight, it was hard to believe there had been any setbacks. Chris French’s spotlight was tinged with a bit of sadness, as he first told the crowd about the freak accident that killed Cheers, the mule he originally took home in April. He received a new mule, Dixie, and also explained that even though he had less time with his mule than the other trainers, the mule that he got as a replacement didn’t have the same type of background as the others. “This mule did not have the problems that some of these other mules had,” said Chris. Chris explained that he and Dixie progressed quickly. “Her third ride was in the mountains, and I showed her in a mule show on her eleventh ride.” Leon Raber described Radar as one of the more challenging mules he has had. “It’s been hard. He was scared to death of the saddle,” said Leon. “It took two months to get to where I could collect him. ” Leon said that he has never put as many miles on a mule as he has Radar, and that because of that, he is very confident on trails. Arizona’s Hotshot 19 was Sharla Wilson’s first mule. “I learned more than she learned,” said Sharla. She rode Hotshot primarily in English throughout the weekend, and said she had done a lot of team sorting, as well as jumping. Following the trainers spotlight, Friday night’s Mule Madness began. Spectators were treated to lots of fun classes, including egg and spoon and musical tires, as well as a crowd-judged open gaited class. It was a late night for those who stayed to compete, but everyone I spoke to said the loss of sleep was worth it. Saturday morning began with a halter class for the Mule Makeover trainers and mules, used to judge how the mules handle on the ground. The mule jump followed, as well as poles and barrels. Saturday afternoon, the trainers took the Makeover mules through a trail course, where they worked a gate, sidepassed, and crossed a rocking bridge, . The free-style event was held Saturday night, with each trainer getting time in the arena to present the very best attributes of their mule. They each picked out their own music to perform to and brought their own props to help show off what they had taught their mules over the summer. Les began the night by explaining the process of what went into this challenge. “Some of these mules had their issues and problems,” said Les. “But they are about to show (top to bottom) DON MCGEE, Full Moon Mule Company, Vian, Okla., in a speed hitch event TONYA CUMMINGS and THOMAS ARNOLD in the panty hose race The T-Rex made occasionally visits to the arena, like this appearance in the boot race photos by Still Photography LES and CALEB CLANCY in the panty hose race photo by Angela Plitsch
42 • November 2018
Mules and More Magazine
you what you can do with hard work and determination.” He also announced that he had secured a trailer for the winner of next year’s challenge. All of the trainers and mules put on a show for their crowd. Matt Caldwell went through a waterfall made of pool noodles, walked through a plastic pool, and pushed a soccer ball. Lori Montogmery cracked a bull whip, shot a pistol, roped a barrel and pulled it behind her, then side-passed and jumped the barrels. Leon Raber rode into the arena while sitting on Radar who was standing on a flat bed truck. The pair also went through the noodle waterfall and across the tarp. Sharla Wilson, dressed like a fireman in honor of her mule’s namesake which she chose in tribute to the 19 firefighters who lost their lives in the wildfires in Arizona, showed an impressive display of hunter hack jumping, even jumping through one jump that was on fire. Chris French put his young son up on his mule to make a lap around the arena, as well as doing some cowboy mounted shooting. Shane Vaughan did cowboy mounted shooting, flying lead changes, roll backs and spins, as well as a cutting and roping a cow in the arena. He ended his performance by laying Gypsy down. Tim Cross pulled a tire, crossed a tarp, and pushed the soccer ball. Most trainers got on and off of their mules, as well as picked up all four feet. Once the final scores were tallied and it was time to announce a winner, all seven mules and trainers were called back into the arena. This was the same arena where these trainers were introduced to their mules 120 days prior. I was there the day they picked their animals up, and I saw how they acted on that very first day. I couldn’t help but think about what would have happened to these seven mules if it hadn’t been for this challenge. It wasn’t just a “makeover,” it was a chance at a second life. These mules were given the foundation and the training to make them “productive members of society,” so to say. These mules probably wouldn’t have had much to contribute if it hadn’t been for being selected for this competition, and as I watched from the bleachers, I thought about how I hoped all of the trainers know what an impact they had made on these animals. An auction was to take place as soon as the winner was announced. Les announced that Shane and Gypsy had won the event. The auction began and the number climbed higher and higher, stopping at $10,300. The remaining mules were auctioned off in no particular order. Lori, Chris and Tim all opted to pass on the money and take their mules. Matt sold his for $2,100 and Leo sold his for $2,000. Sharla Wilson sold hers for $4,600, all of which was funds raised by Ozark (top to bottom) SAVANNAH WOODS, Texas, singing the National Anthem from the arena on the back of a mule LES CLANCY and SHANE VAUGHAN with Gypsy photos by Still Photography
Full Moon Cattle Company hosted a cookout at their chuckwagon on Thursday evening, sponsored by the Pinto Association photo by Angela Plitsch
43 • November 2018
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SHIRLEY KERR, Cedar Grove, Ind. BECCA GARRET in halter
ELLA HUCKABY and Pistols and Posies in trail
(left) DREW BRANDT in western pleasure
SHANNON MOELLER on Razzle in trail 44 • November 2018
photos on this page by Still Photography
Mule Days to purchase a mule for Nate and Tara Medcalf who lost their animals in an accident earlier in 2018. Saturday night’s Mule Madness began once the auction was over, kicking off with a crowd judged open western pleasure class. Barrels and poles followed, both with a $200 payback, as well as more fun classes. It was another late night, ending with the youth, women and men’s mule race. Sunday morning started with a church service, officiated by Wes Clancy. Sunday’s show was double sanctioned, with both NASMA and Pinto Association points being awarded. Some of the trainers reflected on their time with their animals. “I’m not good with words,” warned Shane, but he had a very touching message about his time with Gypsy. “Late last night after most everyone went to bed, I walked back through the barn to check Gypsy’s hay and water, and I might or might not have shed one small tear. I got to thinking about what words would describe the emotions that might have caused this. I came up with a lot of words, like ‘happy,’ ‘sad,’ ‘worried,’ ‘lucky,’ and ‘relieved,’ but the main word is ‘blessed,’ for so many reasons. I am blessed for being chosen to be in this competition with so many nice people...and to have gained six new friends. I am blessed for the time I got with Gypsy. I am blessed that I get to do what I love for a living and I get to do it with the love of my life, Amy Heitland.” Gypsy went home with Shane and Amy for another month of training, and Shane reported she had definitely found a good home. “Radar went from being afraid of stepping on blacktop to gravel, to a mule that had so much trust and faith in a human that I was able to hop him on a flatbed trailer and haul him into the arena,” said Leon. “I am pretty dang happy how he ended up. Radar actually competed in a driving class during Sunday’s show with his new owner. “I think he did pretty good for the first time in open blinds,” reported Leon. Mules and More Magazine
“This was a great journey,” said Lori, who sold Summer after the auction. “Summer has a great new home and I told her it was all up to her now. She made me very proud.” Summer has since competed at her first Pinto show with her new owners, who reported she was “amazing!” “Dixie was awesome and gave me everything she had the last couple days,” said Chris. “She didn’t sell, and I really couldn’t be happier for it. She has come a long way with her training over the last 70 days, and I feel she’s only going to get better.” “We have no words!” said Tara Medcalf, who is now the owner of Hotshot. “We fell in love with Hotshot and wouldn’t you know it, she will now be my best friend and partner in all things! We will be back next year to see everyone and have some fun. You have helped heal our hearts in a way that no one could ever understand.” Plans for next year are underway, with some changes coming to the schedule.
MARANDA STITES, BECKI SAMS, and CINDI SLEMP photo by Angela Plitsch
Youth exhibitor TESSA WALKINSHAW and MV Ben’s Dixie Dell won one of the open trail classes with a flawless trail pattern
SADIE GARRETT and Miss Chocolate in the trail class
ED SLEMP photo by Angela Plitsch LESLIE BALLARD, Austin, Ark. photos on the page by Still Photography unless stated otherwise
Rick Carmack and Ellen Rodgers Carmack in the line up during a gaited class 45 • November 2018
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Groundwork is Important at Any Age by Marlene Quiring
After the loss of my two good saddle mules a few years ago, I was left with an older 14-hand mule who’s owner had passed away. Ginger was well known as a sweet, safe mule but as I started riding her, including a trip to the mountains, I found myself experiencing a little more excitement with her than I had anticipated. We were on a trail ride in the Alberta Rockies with Jerry Tindell, Tindells Horse and Mule School in California, and a few others. Ginger and I had a few episodes in which Jerry commented that she was a pretty green mule, despite her age. That shocked me at first, but when I thought about it, how right he was! Although Ginger had appeared to look after my older friend for many years, she was actually relying on herself for decisions as my friend was more of a passenger than a rider. This mule in her twenties that had baby sat my friend for many years was in fact actually rather green. Since that revelation, Ginger and I went back to some basics, including working in a snaffle bit asking for flexion, softness and suppling. We worked on her listening to my aids, including leg cues, until she learned that she didn’t have to be the driver or leader anymore, that was my job. Ginger was lacking in a solid foundation of ground work. Left to her own devices, she was making her own decisions. In donkeys and mules, this lack of completed groundwork can show up in problems later. The good news is that you can go back to groundwork at any stage of your mule or donkey’s life and make improvements. The following thoughts on groundwork and round pen work are inspired by the life and work of Jerry Tindell as he has worked with horses, mules and donkeys at our Alberta clinics over the last several years. I wish I had followed his teaching years ago with the horses I used to ride. It would have prevented several wrecks! You need good movement to train; you can’t train using restraint. A round pen (or square if that is all you have) is the best place to start. Round penning is not chasing your mule around until he gets tired - there is so much more to it. Here is where you can establish good movement, change of direction, control and connection. Once you have mastered these in the round pen, you can move onto work on the halter and 46 • November 2018
lead. There are basic steps to work on from the ground including backing up, moving shoulders over, flexion, moving hindquarters over, stopping and standing still. All of these should be working pretty well before you mount up and are a good check list to go through prior to getting in the saddle. Last year I started riding a new saddle mule. Thanks to Jerry for finding one that is suitable for this senior citizen. Now Ginger is in semi-retirement; reserved for visitors and grandchildren. My new mule Shadow and I still went through all the basic steps to keep us both safe, and sometimes we have to go back to them, when either one of us becomes unsure. Being able to ride in or audit many of the clinics Jerry has taught, I have been able to see and understand the many holes that riders and owners allow in our mules, and then wonder why things don’t always go as we want. Here is another revelation from Jerry: We have all been guilty of saying that our mule is really good, but (fill in the blank). Jerry suggests that, “If you have to add a ‘but’ in there, we aren’t quite stating the truth!’’ We need to work on eliminating the ‘but.’ To fix problems, Jerry does not dwell on the negative behavior but builds on the positive behavior, teaching the mule to do better. You cannot change bad habits; instead you work on replacing them with new good habits. You do this by going back to ground zero and finding and filling in the missing holes. Timing, feel and release...those action words sound so simple, but take lots of practice, consistency and patience to build. They hold the key to successful training and require dedication from us as students. The better you get at these, the better your mule will be. Your mule learns from release, which has to be timed just right and with good feel. If you have a colt to start or a mule or horse with problems, or you want to ramp up your equine education I suggest you check out www.jerrytindell.com for clinics near you or consider purchasing one of his DVDs that have relevant information on starting, training or re-training a mule or horse. Accidents are preventable and Jerry’s focus is on safety for you and your mule or donkey. We need to learn the language of the mule or horse and how to communicate with them. Prevent your next ride from going from safe to sorry! Jerry Mules and More Magazine
has spent his whole life working with and training all breeds and disciplines, and especially loves the mule. Marlene and her husband Roy live on an acreage in central Alberta with six mules, one horse and several spoiled cats. Having raised mules for many years, Marlene now spends her time loving on and enjoying the ones she has and is passionate about educating owners how to best care for and train their equine friends. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Licking, Mo., Chamber of Commerce hosted a mule show in September. This was their first show and it had a great turnout 47 • November 2018
James P. “Jim” Lange, age 75, of Belle passed away on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at his residence. James was born on April 10, 1943, in Jefferson City, a son to the late Victor and Gladys (Mittlehauser) Lange. He was a graduate of the Maries RII school district and a lifelong area resident. In June of 1962, James was united in marriage to Karen Hawkins. From this union, four children were born. Karen survives of their home near Belle. James was a member of the Koenig Methodist Church and belonged to the Masonic Lodge #373 in Belle. James was employed by the Rock Island Railroad on a bridge crew for a couple of years but his main employment was with Kingsford Charcoal. James worked there for 39 years before retiring in April of 2006. James had a love for the land raising crops and beef cattle. He loved working his family’s farm. He was the Belle school board president for several years and his hobbies included mule riding, watching westerns with John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and boating and gigging on the Gasconade River. James enjoyed going to the local cafes later in life to visit with friends but his best times were spent with his family. He will be missed by all those that knew and loved him. In addition to his wife of 56 years, James is survived by: four children, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Mules and More Magazine
Cook’s Corral by Vickie Upton, Springerton, Ill. I’ve really enjoyed Luann Swell Waters campfire recipes and I’m looking forward to trying a few of them. The fall weather is finally upon us and Mother Nature puts forth her most beautiful work. I love the leaves changing colors and when they drop to the ground, even the most familiar trail changes into totally different view. I certainly hope everyone can take the time to enjoy fall riding. Both of this month’s recipes are so simple to make and they taste amazing. The Bacon Wrapped Carrots were brought to camp by Peggy Hamilton, and they are simply delicious. My second recipe is simple, and nothing short of a sugar addiction. Candy Corn is a weakness of mine. It can also be dipped in chocolate, which I have done, but we like it just cut into squares. It does take some serious stirring, but don’t give up. It’s worth it.
Bacon Wrapped Carrots 3 pounds whole carrots 1 1/2 pounds bacon 1/2 cup maple syrup salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your indirect grill or smoker to 400 degrees F. This can also be done in an oven, if needed. Thoroughly scrub and peel each carrot. Wrap each carrot in a piece of bacon, overlapping the ends so they are secured. Sprinkle each carrot with salt and pepper. Place the wrapped carrots on the grill grates (or on a baking sheet, if using the oven). Close the lid and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the bacon is golden and crisp. During the last 5 minutes of grilling or baking, brush the carrots with the maple syrup. Remove when syrup starts to bubble.
3 cups Candy Corn 1 cup creamy peanut butter 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk 2 cups white chocolate chips 1 cup milk chocolate chips (optional) Line a 9” by 9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Add the Candy Corn and peanut butter to a medium saucepan and heat, over low heat, stirring every 30 seconds or so, for about three minutes. Add sweetened condensed milk, stir, and cook for another three minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. (You don’t want the milk to boil; a slight simmer is OK). Add the white chocolate chips and stir until everything melts together. (It will seem like it’s never going to melt...but it will, it just takes time!) Spread evenly in pan. Cool on counter about 15 minutes, then chill until hardened. Cut into squares. If you want, you can dip the fudge in milk chocolate or drizzle chocolate over the top, melt chocolate chips (I added a little vegetable oil to thin them) and dip the bottoms of the fudge squares in the chocolate. Set on a wax paper lined cookie sheet to harden. 48 • November 2018
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The Tail End of Mules and More
November Edition: Fast Mules!
2R Mules/Wyoming Saddlery ...........................................50 A.D.M.S............................................................................34 Bonnie Shields, Tennessee Mule Artist................................34 Canadian Donkey & Mule Association .............................34 Carter & Higgins Sale........................................................33 Ericksen Saddlery...............................................................33
Kelsey Bromeling and My Sweet Cierra, owned by Peggy Hamilton
Jane Heart..........................................................................13 Jasper the Mule .................................................................16 Lucky Three Ranch/Hodges ..............................................49 Midwest Leather.................................................................27 Mischka Calendar..............................................................9 Miss Royal’s Mules/Irene Bennet Brown...............................13 Mules of America with Dave Recker......................................17
Tom Livengood and Stinger jumping hurdles bareback, photo by Kelli Kaye Beck
National Western Stock Show, Denver, CO........................23 PairADice Mule Farm/Basham, Loren................................3 Shop Talk!...........................................................................34 Small Farmer’s Journal.........................................................34 South Texas Trail Riders Ride.............................................23 The Mule Store...................................................................33
Beth Davis, Tennessee, running the 50 yard dash
Tennessee Mule Sales/Reese Bros. Mule Co........................9 Tuskers . .............................................................................32 TS Mules/Evans, Ty ..........................................................5 Wagner’s Saddle & Tack.....................................................34 Western Mule Magazine......................................................34
Maria Rubio at a past Ozark Mule Days
Turn the page for more! 49 • November 2018
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The Tail End of Mules and More
November Edition: Fast Mules!
Southern Outlaws racing in Hardy, Ark., submitted by Chris Gardner
“Penn-Ohio Barrel Racing in Sheffield, Pa.” Danielle Helch
Courtney Elliott Spangler, North Carolina, “EK’S Izzy, who is 23 years running the barrels on Jasper, in this photo, her 4-year-old mule that she Katie Stiles Bageant trained
“Sue’s Pawn at Kelso Chuckwagon Races in Murray, Ky.” Betty Sue Leonard Willard
Crystal Jean Thompson running the barrels on Pearl
“Lady Sophia loves the gymkhana classes,” said Jan Samford. “Hurdles and keyhole are our favorites!”
“Belle, our three month old molly mule won the Dinner Bell Race at Cheyenne Frontier Days this year,” Deanna Owen
“The Little Bit Loud big mule race team from Mena, Ark.” Heather Cheyenne Martin
Kentucky Kaos running at Bearcreek Bash photo by Jeff Tucker
“Walthall Farm racing in Bearden, Ark.” Ashley Walthall Cowboy Mounted Shooting, Carol Mathews, Florida 50 • November 2018
“Opal and Pearl in the big wagon race at our 2016 Church Mule Rodeo, in Tatum,Texas,” Marla Wyatt
Dan Holland, Signature Equine, Morris, Okla., and Hawleywoods Covergirl
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