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"BiG ADVENTURE" Diamond Lil saves her rider and the day

Jul 30 2009
Latana This is a wonderful sharing.  We are so proud of you and your mule ... your are making a real mule rider.  Congratulations,  Dr. Jim At Rancho Santiago  

From: Latana
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009 1:07 PM
Subject: Big Adventure



 All I can say is, WHEW.  I barely know where to begin, actually!! Lilly of course loaded fine, traveled fine, stood like a dream for tacking up, mounting etc and off the 3 of us gals other mule and a large horse.  This trip was up a gorge in the mountain range with the GOAL of hitting the summit and hooking up with the trail down the other side.  That never happened! Picture a mountain made of boulders....ones the size of VW Beetles.  Picture torrential rains funneling all the surrounding ridge water down this gorge.  You know the power of water!  What was left was devastation.  Solid boulder sluiceway littered with tree trunks 3' and more in diameter, steep banks, you name it.  We ended up leading our animals much of the way because we had to traverse these steep banks IF we were lucky to be out of the boulders.  Lilly only had one mishap, which was an error of VISION.  I was leading her through a skinny boulder space.  On my right were some bushes that looked about 2' tall.  She opted to swing to my right and go through the bushes, not realizing that they were concealing a large flat rock at an impossible angle.  Her feet hit that and down she went, not TUMBLING down, just WHOOMP, down on her stomach with her legs tucked up like she was lying down.  She scrambled up, came to me, and was TOTALLY not upset in the LEAST.  She did cut herself on the inside of her right ankle, which bled pretty good for a few minutes.  Didn't bother her, never was ouchy, fine this morning.  Mule tough, as you said.  I hated to have that happen to her though, especially on our first outing.   

Lessons I learned: 1.  Don't ASSUME that Lilly can see everything and will make the right decisions 100% of the time.  In the future, I'll make sure to watch where she's putting HER feet, too! 2.  We need work at home on "stay", and "stay back".  Leading her was OK sometimes, but at other times she wanted to pass me (she married the mare that was in the trailer with us) .  I did lots of arm flapping to keep her back.  The terrain was just not conducive to much else. Jim, she was/is incredible.  Jumping her up onto banks or over logs is so much fun it made me giggle!  The horse launched itself over stuff or up onto stuff.  Lilly and Jack just sort of FLOATED over and up!  No throwing the rider around or anything!   Finally after about 3 hours of mostly leading, Jean said even SHE had had enough....the terrain, she said, was the most dangerous and difficult she'd ever encountered.  It was so steep in places that I had to let go of Lil and just let her catch up to Jack.  She'd just stand there and wait for one point she dragged me behind her with me hanging onto her tail.  So then we had the joy of going DOWNHILL through all that. So I've been initiated.  It was a ride I wouldn't have wished on Lil and I, but we survived, the equipment caused no problems, and my mule is awesome.  The slip and fall could have happened anytime....but let me say that on the way down she didn't make that mistake again!!  She ate half my lunch (there was tons of grass up there so she got some good grazing as well), wouldn't drink out of the river puddles, didn't sweat much.  At the trailer I sponged her off with Vetrolin and warm water....she appeared to enjoy my labors! This picture shows the very EASIEST part of what we navigated.  I'd love to have pictures of the hard stuff, but we were NOT thinking, "photo op"....we were thinking SURVIVAL! Lilly is all you said and more.....MUCH more.Warmest regards, Latana 

Mule YOGA in California

Jul 30 2009
Ally, Sally, & Mark,  Many thanks for the fun yoga pictures.  We are so pleased that “Sally Goodin” is living with you. Happy trails and yoga, Jim & Maria At Rancho Santiago 

From: Ally 
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 12:40 PM
To: Rancho Santiago Mules
Cc: allymcSubject: Fw: Ally and Sally
 Here are some new pictures with Sally and I doing Yoga together in California.  She is an amazing mule THANK YOU!!                                                                                                                             Hugs, Ally----- Original Message -----

From: Mark Mc

To: Ally Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2009 9:44 PMSubject: Ally and Sally

Betsy saves the day!

Jul 27 2009

Lanette,  We are so proud that this really better mule gal is in your competent hands.  What an adventure! Many folks do not understand that a truly quality mule can be the difference in life or death. 
 JimAt Rancho Santiago  
-----Original Message-----

From: lanette@
Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2009 11:29 PM

Subject: [Website Contact] Betsy saves the day!


LaNette I. sent a message using the contact form at 

Just came back from a carriage drive along the ditch bank in Carlsbad.  My friend took his pair mules hitched to a flat bed.  On our way back to his barn some kind of insect (he just got a glimpse of something)flew down the right ear of Sally's ear.  She went berserk. After some violent thrashing and rearing my friend got the pair stop in the intersection of Muscatel and Orchard road. 

The reins were all messed around and hooked on the oppositeheads and hames. Cars were stopped and my friend desperately needed another set of hands and it looked as if things might just blow out of control again if we didn't get the pressure off their mouths.  I got out ofmy cart and hooked the reins around the seat.  We got the reins off the wrong head and hame and everyone straightened out.   

I went back to Betsy who was standing calmly and absolutely motionless.  Man, I love that mule!


 She really looks good right now too.  She been driven regularly both in a team and singly and she can go 4 hours on a challenging wagon train and come back dry. Hope you are doing well. 


LaNette I.

Dudly, life long cowboy has passed ... he loved his Rancho Santiago mules.

Jul 20 2009



Dudley and Pam of Oregon bought two of the best appaloosa mules that we raised through our appaloosa mule breeding program at Rancho Santiago . We are sadden by the loss of this fine man. We are privileged to be their friends through our mules and shared interests. God Bless.  

Dr. Jim at the ranch.

 -----Original Message-----
From: mulzrus
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 1:05 AM
Subject: [Website Contact] just wanted to say HI
 Pam G sent a message using the contact form at Hi.... Its been three years since Dudley passed.  All our mules got goodhomes.  I couldn't take care of everything financially and didn't want toshort our mules on anything.   Robert E Lee was bought by Red and JulieWykoff.  Red trained him and Julie fell in love with him, and Dud was alittle shy with a young mule because of his back.  We had just gotten him areally nice mule two months before he died.  I See Spots Edith, orLittlefoot was trained by Laurie Warren and when Dud died, my daughter andher boyfriend took her and the new mule up to Laurie who made sure thatboth of them got really good home.  She's like am, if I don't like yourlooks or get bad vibes, you ain't gettin' my baby. I just want to thank you for the joy of owning a loving and being aroundthe mules.  I miss them, I miss Dud.  He had been a horse man since the dayhe was born, and went totally over to mules.  He loved their intelligenceand wileyness and the fact that they were loving, but figured things out. Bob kept stealing the key out of the quad when we'd clean his pen.  We hadto turn off the quad, put the key in our pockets and he'd bug your pocketswhile we were raking and shoveling.  There was no bigger advocate for themule than Dudley Green.  Thanks again for one of the best parts of Dud's and my life together. Now,I miss them all, but keep happy memories. Its nice to see our mules are still on the opening of your page. It makesme smile... alot.... Happy Trails...... hope all's well with you guys     Gratefully,   Pam Green
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