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News from our friend in Germany about his Rancho Santiago mule and mare

Painted Apache Dancer along with her mare were bought by Manfred & shipped to Germany.  We are proud to have this fine mule and mare in Manfred's care....




Apache's registered paint mare momma recently turned 20 and the barn was decorated for the birthday  party.  


Hello Jim,

thank you for your answer about shoeing and trimming a mules hoof, that helps me a lot.

I will give the info to my black smith.

Attached are 2 pictures. Dancer under the saddle and a picture of Dancer and Silver at her 20th birthday. The kids at the stable celebrated a little birthday party for her.

Thank you and best regards,



Cynthia T and her "Kiowa Eagle Dancer" aka Henry….mule colt from Rancho Santiago


 Cynthia T. purchased Kiowa Eagle Dancer from Rancho Santiago as a yearling john mule 10 years ago.  At that time he had 6 spots on him..... now he has more white spots and the back half of his body has "snowed" out with white.  

This youg mule became her project and she raised and  trained Hentry and Henry trained her .... they develoved into a great team.

Cynthia called us to let us know how gentle, safe and dependable is her "Henry".  Henry loves people and has helped teach her grandchildren to ride.  Henry is friendly to everyone he meets and is a great ambassador for the world of mules.  

We offered to buy him back and she happily laughed at our offer.... these top of the line, gentle experienced mules are hard to locate and almost impossible to buy.  This type of mule is very expensive and worth every cent. 

We are proud of breeding, foaling, and raising this mule to the yearling stage.  Henry is now 10 years old.  His quality breeding shows in his gentle personality and strong conformation.

Dr. Jim  

"Cucumber" and Linda Laughing while safely riding the trails in Arizona


 Note: over the years Linda has purchased 5 mules from Rancho Santiago.  Linda is an excellent hand with a mule. We are pleased to have our Cucumber mule under her saddle and in her knowledgeable hands.  Dr. Jim



Just looked at the website. Thank you for the lovely compliment but I think you gave me too much credit.  It is Rancho Santiago Mules that make me look good.  Dang mules are like potato chips, you can't have just one.  They are very addictive.  Thanks again.  Linda 



       New hand made bridle. 



From: Linda M-N

Date: 12/28/2013 9:34 PM (GMT-07:00)

To: James A Gamble <>

Subject: Cucumber's first official outing in AZ

 Dr. Jim 

 I have had friends ask me why I buy my mules from Rancho Santiago when mules here are less expensive and I can see them before I buy.  I answer "I like knowing about the mule's history, training and personality from a source I can trust.  If Dr. Gamble says the mule will spin three times to the left on one ear, it will." 

 Well you did it again. I got Cucumber from you a week ago. In that week's time we have been working together in the round pen and the arena trail course.  In that time he learned and perfected  the one rein stop, side passing to open and shut gates and to eat cookies. We started our relationship, learning each others personality and to trust. 

 Today we went out on our first official outing to a county park with hikers and other equestrian riders popping up unexpectedly.  It is rocky with a lot of ups and downs that he navigated like a pro. You said he stood dead still while you mounted and waited until you asked him to move off - check. You said he had a nice ground covering walk - check. You said he had a wonderful jog - check.  You said he was safe and sane - check. 

 What you didn't say was he is a goober that had to poke his nose in cactus (on each side of his nose because we all know you have to teach each side of the brain), he wanted to say hello to hikers up close and personal, and last but not least - the little chipmunk that ran across the trail needed to be followed which he did with his nose 3 inches above the ground.  I about laughed myself off that silly mule's back. 

 All in all, it was a wonderful ride, even when he leered at all the "attack" cactus, it was ok.  He is a great riding buddy and I look forward to teaching him all sorts of tricks and useful things. After today's ride he has decided he is going to be my pocket buddy.  Every time I turned around I about tripped over him.  I think he liked his ride as much or maybe more than I did.

As always, your great.  Thanks so much for this great guy and thanks so much for caring enough to make it happen.  Happy New Year and Happy Trails.

 With Love and Best Wishes

 Linda and Cucumber



Apache Spirit Dancer loves kids!



Hello from Janie Besel and Apache Spirit Dancer!


It's only 39 days away! I  hope that you were informed about this great event. Please consider coming! I am definitely participating this year and it would be a chance for you to see one of your best mules. (I don't care how many great mules you have had since him: he is always going to be among your top mules!)
Apache has graced the pages of Western Mule magazine several times over the past years. We participated in a Brad Cameron clinic at the T.O. Ranch in New Mexico.
I had surgery some months ago and I haven't been riding him very often but we now have 39 days to get into shape. We will go to this show no matter what: I can always participate in lead line activities. If you come and would like to ride him in some of the more advanced events, you would  be ever-so-welcome to do so.
If you can't open the link below, please let me know. I will find another way to get the info to you.
Hope this finds you and your loved ones happy and in good health. Thank you again for bringing my beloved equine partner into this world. I love him beyond words.
Janie Besel
Ms. Janiie,
We really appreiate the news and picture.  We are glad you are having fun with this fabulous mule... you deserve it. 
Happy Trails, 
Dr. Jim and the crew. 



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