Greetings Dr. Jim!
Last I heard from you, there were some serious health issues in your family. Someone just asked me where I got my mule because they want one just like her, so I went to your website. VERY glad to see that you're back in business!!!!
My mule, now called Diamond Lil, or "Lilly", will be 13 this spring. From what everyone says, this is a perfect age for a mule but honestly, I can't imagine her being any MORE perfect!! I just did a gymkhana with her, hosted by my local mule and donkey club....first time doing ANYTHING like that for not only Lilly, but for ME!!! I was smart....didn't do any "games" where the arena had other animals in it. Lilly is afraid of chaos....she doesn't bolt, she just tries to duck out of the way. Can't blame her. Anyway, we did 4 events and got 3 ribbons!!! But the best part? EVERYONE there, horse riders and mule riders, just kept going on and on about how stunning and elegant Lilly is!!!
I do lots of trips with her...she's SO easy to deal with! She's superb about loading in ANY trailer, even a big stock trailer with horses in it! She is sociable....I can turn her in with horses she's never met, and there is no drama. She just quietly walks away when approached!
We've had 3 negative experiences since I bought her in 2009. If I was YOUNGER, the outcomes would have been different I think! Well, actually one was an equipment failure on a saddle one year old. Anyway, from all the stuff I read on mule groups, Lilly is a rare one in that she's dependable, rugged, eager to please, and extremely affectionate...TO ME. She's kind of a "one woman mule", which is fine.
Hope all goes well with all of you at Rancho Santiago. Molly Bryan says hi! Imagine my surprise, way out here in NM, to know that she knows you!!
Lilly showing off her SPECTACULAR coat! She only gets grass hay, NO supplements....but she has the most glossy and SOFT coat I've ever seen or felt. Of course, her WINTER coat is another story. Still soft, but here where there is no humidity she's one giant DUSTBALL! I clip her neck and head....and by the way? She LOVES the clippers, no joke! Her head goes down, her eyes close....she just zones out with the attention
Latana Jan B
Northern New Mexico
Lilly at the gymkhana: