Sold Mules

Update from Rancho Santiago's Mauda and Linda in Arizona

Jul 15 2009
The first contact that I had from Linda concerning her new mule, Maude, was a telephone message that stated "Dr. Jim what you told me about this mule was not entirely true" ... well my heart skipped a beat ... then Linda's message went on to say "... this Maude mule is 100% better than you told me".
There are many fools out on the trail riding bikes and four wheelers plus a few on goofy horses ... be careful & ride the best of mules!  Here is a on the trail story that happened recently:
From: Linda M-N 
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 10:22 PM
To: James A Gamble
Subject: The Greatest Mule in the World
 Hope all is well with you and yours.  We just got back from a camping trip (Maude and I and my friend Dawn and her mule Sadie).  I had to write to tell you what happened.  Let me begin by telling you that Maude is very leery of bikes and atv's.  She wants to keep her distance from them (as we well know mule eating space aliens often disguise themselves as bikes or atvs).  We left camp about 8:00 am for a 9 mile climb to the top of  Spruce Mt to the forest service fire tower.  It is a 3.5 mile of steep, rocky, switchbacks.  We made it to the top, passing many passersby that all commented on our beautiful long ears.  We started down the other side after a rest and scenery eating picnic (by Maude and Sadie), that was longer, 5.5 miles, but not quite as steep.  About two miles from the trail head, Dawn and I both noticed that the girls were having muscle fatigue issues, so we decided to get off and walk.  The trail was about 3 ft wide, trees on a steep drop on one side and straight up on the other, with rocky ledges and 1-2ft drops and switchbacks.  Dawn and Sadie were in front, Maude and I in the rear.  I was just stepping off and drop off when Maude slammed into me and knock me down flat onto the rocks.  It happened so fast I don't remember everything except I was waiting for her to step on me.  I then heard a male voice say "are you alright", which at the time I thought was the stupidest questions I had every heard.  I remember Dawn asking me the same, I then asked "Are you on foot or a bike"  The man was on a bike and had come flying down around a switch back and around a curve and ran into Maude.  I finally came out of my daze to realize that I was under Maude.  She was "planted" with her front feet down on the lower part of the trail and her hind feet up on the ledge.  Her eyes were huge and I know she was terrified of that bike (after all she was right, it had attacked her).  I literally crawled out from between her front legs, and used her breastcollar to pull myself up.  We managed to limp down the trail a ways and get off so this guy could pass us.  You have to hand it to Maude for keeping her wits about her when that bike came up on her.  I firmly believe that almost any other animal would have trampled me trying to get away.  When we finally reached the trail head, that guy was there with his bike resting against his vehicle.  I want you to know that Maude recognized it immediately and gave it a wide berth.  She is the most awesome trail buddy ever.  She is definitely the worlds greatest mule (not too mention the prettiest, not that I am prejudiced).  I can't thank you enough for Maude.  I also sent you a picture of Maude's "older sister".

Ruby wins at Bishop for Vic

Jul 5 2009

We are so proud of you and your accomplishments with your fine Rancho Santiago Mule “Ruby” at the Bishop show.   A fine mule in a real mule man's hands is wonderful. 

Dr. Jim

At Rancho Santiago


From: Vic
Sent: Saturday, July 04, 2009 2:06 AM
To: 'James A Gamble'
  James,Ruby took 1st place in Green English Working Hunter at Bishop this year. She won about 6 ribbons total.



     I remember our email exchanges as you were trying to purchase Ruby.  I was very pleased that this young very talented and beautiful mule got away from the fool that bought her. Thankfully Ruby went to you, a man that can appreciate really good mules. You shared some pictures of how Ruby had matured and grown out in your care ... she looked great.  I distinctly remember that origional buyer because he came to the ranch and rode her for several days.  Weeks after the buy he called me screaming over the phone that this was a bad mule because “his wife rode her out of the corral and in the hills for hours with no problems, but when she returned from her desert ride the stupid mule would not even go out of the corral gate when he rode her ...” and so on... of course blame the mule since he did not have a clue, but he could have taken lessons & got a clue as he promised.  


At the Rancho 


Diamond Lil living in Las Cruces

Jun 18 2009


OK Men.....  Here's the finest mule in Dona Ana County jumping a fence with STYLE!!!!!!  You have to look real close to see her right hind is just above the fence!  This gal can tuck those legs. came (no microchip, she didn't have the 'gun').  Lil never wiggled until the 3rd shot when she just tensed up briefly, then just relaxed!  The vet was amazed at Lil's beauty and demeanor.  She even gave me a hug of congratulations for picking such a fine mule!!!

Warm regards,  Latana




OK,'s the last "serial e-note" from a very proud and happy Latana.  I'm sure that after our first "billy goat" experience I'll write again....

Tacked her up this morning, rode across the arena, did a U turn and went off down the trail.  Asked for slow, fast, whoa, reverse, stand, dismounted and tightened girth, went over ditches, logs, was attacked by dogs, passed a huge flatbed, rabbits were running amok as they do....and Diamond Lil never NEVER NEVER did a wrong thing.  She "whoa'd" by voice, she steers beautifully now that I do it the way she's been trained.  No speeding up as we turned towards home.
In short, she is everything that you said she was and that I hoped she'd be.  I love this mule gal.  Thanks for putting up with my 8 million questions!!
Warm regards,
Latana, Tom, Patriot, Lil, and Nacho (who pushes Lil around)


Molly mule and the Peacocks

Jun 15 2009
Hello Jim,  
Just wanted to say hello to you and your wife.. We are just fine here and Molly is so happy.. We are bless to have her in our family and she is treated as such... I went camping with her last week and all was good until "The Peacock" arrived...   She got very upset.  Do you guy's have peacocks out there??  I tried to work it out with her but got worse when the peacock raised the tail feathers.  It was funny but I was concerned of her being upset and now I know peacocks will be an issue.. I thought you would enjoy my experience with our wildlife..  Molly is the best mule and are so pleased with her. We'll never own another horse... I hope you all are doing well and life is great...
Thanks for a great Mule, 
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