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More News from Christy, Buck, and Tupelo

 Hi Jim,

Hope all is well in Texas. Just thought I'd drop you a quick note with a picture. We went to Horseshoe Meadows in the Sierras (about 10,500 ft) last weekend. Buck was our lead mule, as usual. Tupelo was one of our pack mules on Friday and then my saddle mule on Saturday as my molly had a swollen leg. Both were perfect...couldn't ask for more.

At one point we were going through some thick grass and suddenly Buck just sank up to his belly in a heavy bog. He didn't react in the least. He tried once to get out and couldn't. Then, while Craig dismounted, he thought it best to pass the time by grazing on the grass that was now face level. Then with a little tug of the rope and a smooch he jumped right out and it was business as usual.

We are off to Kernville Mule & Donkey Days this coming weekend. Both will be acting as our gymkhana mules on Friday and then our pack and trail mules on Saturday. Wish us luck!

Take care,

News from Frank and Dixie

Lisabeth writes...
"Frank is thrilled with Dixie..."

News from Scott and Bubba

Hi there Jim,

I've been meaning to write but wanted to get some recent photos of Bubba first. I wanted to let you know that Bubba is a star. A couple of weeks ago we were climbing a hill & got surprised by a descending mountain biker. Bubba froze first and then turned and started to bolt down the trail. Fortunately I remembered the "emergency brake" lateral stop I learned from the Brad Cameron video. In the space of less than a second I had Bubba spun around 180 degrees and facing the mountain biker who was then able to approach and talk nice to Bubba. The training that came with Bubba, the Brad Cameron training video, and our time practicing in the arena all worked together to keep us healthy and just a little bit smarter than before the incident.

The winter was long and the first couple of times out were a little rough but Bubba now just keeps getting better. Last weekend we went out for a ride in some rough hilly country. The sign posted at the bottom of one hill says "No Horses" due to the steepness and a couple of rocky technical spots. Since I'm not riding a horse I figured the sign wasn't particularly relevant. Steep and rocky is the kind of terrain where Bubba really shines. Of course, on the flats his canter is smooth as an Interstate cruise in a Lexus.

I am also getting to really enjoy his personality. While I'm grooming him with one brush he likes to pull the others out of the plastic tote and drop them on the ground. It's a weird little game he likes to play. When I'm down at the barn he always comes around to check out what I'm doing. He is also great with our 6-month old baby boy. I bring my son down to the barn every evening when we do our chores. He rides along in a little backpack as I throw feed and scoop poop. Little Lucas loves hanging out down there and Bubba is always very polite and respectful of his little hands.

One other thing I'll mention is the satisfaction I get when the farrier comes by and just tells me there's nothing he needs to do with Bubba's feet. The mule's been barefoot since we've had him and as long as I get out regularly his feet take care of themselves. That's a nice bonus.

That's my update for now. I'll try to remember to bring my camera down to the barn in the next few days & will send a picture soon. He's still shedding some of his winter coat but he's getting his riding season muscles back. Until next time,

Take care,

News from Janet and Garden Maggie


Hi Dr. Gamble,

I hope your wife, Maria, has made a good recovery from her heart issue of last year. My home is still just a short distance from the Cleveland Clinic and it is still open to you should you hear "those words".

Now then, that mule is something wonderful! It has been almost a year since she crossed the Mississippi and it has taken every one of those days for us to bond but it has happened. Last month I boarded her in a near by barn that has a great indoor arena. I purchased some of the training tapes from Meredith Hodges. We did our lessons exactly as described and boy what results! Too bad she is not a few more hands in height as she is gorgeous in hunter tack.I did have a new harness made for her. I kept her original headstall so we don't look too uppity---she is a garden mule after all. Anyway, we are happy.

Hope this finds you and yours (including Jason) happy too.

Janet K.

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