Friday, January 27, 2017

Mules and More’s 7th Annual Trail Riding Guide


ATTENTION TRAIL RIDERS: 

We are working on our 7th annual trail riding guide for the April 2017 issue of Mules and More. Do you have a favorite place to trail ride, a destination trip or local trip, that you would like to see featured? Send your story and photos to us! Email mules@socket.net or mail to PO Box 460, Bland MO 65014. If you email photos, be sure to send them in their original file size and format, and at least 300 dpi. The deadline is March 1. Also - the last several years we have chosen our April cover from submissions to the trail guide. So this might be your chance to be on the cover of Mules and More!


ATTENTION TRAIL RIDE OWNERS: 


Do you own a campground, trail ride or overnight campground? Let us help you start the season out on the right foot, by getting your business in front of the eyes of thousands of mule owners! Contact us for information on how to advertise in the Trail Riding Issue, which comes with a complimentary spot in our online Trail Riding Guide. This year’s deadline is March 1. 

Big South Fork, Tennessee: A Beautiful Fall Adventure

by Angie J. Mayfield, Loogootee, Idaho
Tennessee is a beautiful state, especially in the mountains when the leaves are changing colors and the air is perfect for a warm campfire. I physically mourned when I heard the gorgeous Gatlinburg area was on fire. As a kid that was our annual family vacation, and I have so many fond memories of the mountains and wildlife there. 
Another gorgeous area of Tennessee not, affected by the fires, lies further north, bordering Kentucky, and that is the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. It encompasses 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau and surrounds the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. With miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, there is a wide range of equine trails and other outdoor recreational activities. Rich with natural and historic features, it’s a great place to pack up the family and the long ears and spend a weekend or a week. 
There’s a lodge and several equine campgrounds in the Jamestown and Oneida, TN areas of Big South Fork. The first time we went we stayed at True West, which was very nice, but I must admit as an extreme trail rider I was a little disappointed at the wide, road-like trails. However, our November trip this year gave me a whole new appreciation for South Fork. This time we stayed at Honey Creek Campground, about 30 minutes north of Jamestown near Allardt. More secluded but with a bunkhouse, a clean, roomy shower house, and numerous stalls and electric campsites, we were impressed. And the owners are sweethearts who were so helpful and friendly. We even met some great mule Facebook friends from Nashville, Debra and Wilbur Brooks, who came over to visit, sit around the campfire, and listen to Tucker play the banjo.
The trails, however, really won me over to the Honey Creek area. The camp connects to 150 miles of scenic equestrian trails that vary from easy to OMG! We loved it. One trail was literally named the “Oh Sh**” trail, and some rock hopping was required. Little Tucker was with us, and he managed the trail fine, except when he lost his toy pistol and was quite upset. But we ended up finding it and then he was back to having a blast on his little mule, Booger. 
Many of the trails out of Honey Creek run along the beautiful winding White Oak River. The White Oak runs along the old O&W Railroad bed, which served the old mining and timber camps in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, and has since been turned into part of the park's equestrian trail system. After a firm swat on the rear, we convinced the mules to cross the old O&W railroad bridge over the river. It was quite exhilarating and great practice for our upcoming adventure to the Grand Canyon with our mules in March. 
Friday it was 73 degrees and sunny. Saturday it was 42 degrees and cloudy. And I thought 30 degree changes only occurred in Indiana! Thankfully I had packed our long underwear, gloves, and hats. The cold front didn’t stop us from riding 20 miles Saturday, making a big loop along the scenic overlooks and then following the river. Then we explored some of the more adventurous trails on the way back to camp, barely making it in by dark. Fortunately, it didn’t rain as predicted. The outcroppings, giant boulders in the river, and various flora from holly bushes and mountain laurel to pines and hardwoods were breathtaking and distracted us from the cold wind. Most of the trails were covered with a layer of colorful leaves or pine needles, and we didn’t see a soul on the trails all weekend. It was magical and one of the most relaxing weekends I’ve had in awhile. And oh, how good that campfire felt after the ride. 
Our trip reminded me never to let a first impression of a place be my last one. Big South Fork is definitely on our annual trip list now. It’s not far from home but offers great trails, scenery, and camps for all types of mule riders. There are also plenty of gravel roads and fire trails around to bring your wagons so we plan to bring our mini mule and cart next time. We’re going to spend a few days at Honey Creek and then drive down and ride at Cades Cove next year. My New Year’s resolution is to trail ride as many miles and visit as many places as I can, including the final two states in the U.S. I haven’t ridden in. So many trails, so little time! 

Angie J. Mayfield is an author, professor, and columnist for three magazines who has ridden in 48 states and six countries on her mules and logged more than 6,000 trail miles just since she started keeping track in 1999.
View from the O&W railroad bridge at Big South Fork

Doug, Tucker, and mules at the Double Arches near Honey Creek Campground

2017 Jack Index

Looking for a jack to breed to, or to buy a jack? 
Then save these two pages. Here is all the information you need, gathered in one handy spot.

Want your jack or farm to be featured in the online version? Contact us at any of the ways below: 
Mules and More Magazine
(573)646-3934










Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Beautiful Day And A Great Ride

by Bob McCormick, Chehalis, Washington
When my Appaloosa Dusty was nearing retirement, about 20 years ago, I started raising mules. My second mule baby turned out to be the replacement for Dusty. Fred grew into a big mule, which is what I wanted at that time. I always thought ‘big’ was the way to go, but as time went by I got shorter and Fred seemed to grow taller!
I underwent shoulder replacement and couldn’t get the saddle on Fred very easily, and when I did get the saddle on, I couldn’t get on! So, Fred got a job with a Southwest Montana Outfitter, and I began looking for a new, shorter, mule.

I answered an advertisement in Mules and More from a man in Iowa who had a smaller molly mule for sale. After he answered all my questions I felt really good about this little mule, Lucy. Lucy happened to be in Missouri on a trail ride, which was my good fortune. A friend of Loren Basham’s (Pair-A-Dice Mules in Missouri) picked Lucy up and took her to Loren so he could ride her for a week. Loren said she was a good mule, so I bought her and had her shipped to Washington in October 2014. I underwent the shoulder surgery right after that and wasn’t permitted to ride for almost a year, so Lucy got a vacation. I was finally able to ride and really fell in love with Lucy.

Last spring Lucy’s left eye started weeping and I could see a little dimple in her cornea. The local veterinarian treated her for a couple of weeks for an eye infection. Following that treatment he gave the okay to resume riding Lucy, but after a week the eye was weeping even worse and she was not tolerating light in that eye. This time I took her to Northwest Equine in Hobart, Wash., about 90 miles from my place. She was diagnosed with an ulcer in her eye. A lavage tube was inserted into the upper eyelid and the tube was stitched to her forehead and along her neck. I was required to administer four types of medicine four times a day. Lucy was tolerant throughout; she never fussed or refused to be caught. This treatment lasted five weeks, until the vet was satisfied that it had healed sufficiently. The eye has very little scarring, in fact, if you don’t look closely it isn’t noticeable. Lucy seems to see out of that eye just fine, because when we are on the trail she will swipe a bite along the trail on the left. We have been on several rides in the Cascades this fall and she has been fine.

The photos were taken by Selena Davis of our ride to Goat Rocks Wilderness, along the Pacific Crest Trail. The mountain in the distance is Mt. Rainier and the Goat Lake is visible in some of the photos. During all of the eye treatment I realized what a great mule I have; Lucy has personality, loves people, and is never crabby!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

2017 Jack Issue & Index Information

Mules and More’s 26th Annual Jack Issue Information

Featured breeders and jack advertising package - $100 - includes both print and online advertising!
This year’s Special Jack Issue will go in the mail January 25, 2017.

Deadline for regular advertising is January 4, 2017
You can’t think of February without thinking of love, and when you raise mules and donkeys, February also means the start of breeding season. Each February, mare and jennet owners look to the February issue of Mules and More to play matchmaker and search for the perfect cross.  

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get your  jack in front of potential clients!  

Find more information here: http://mulesandmore.com/jackinfo.html

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

31st Annual National Championship Chuck Wagon Races

by Sue Cole, Mules and More Editor
photos by Porch Pig Productions
video
My yearly trip to Clinton, Arkansas, to watch the National Championship Chuck Wagon Races is one of the highlights of my year. This was the 31st  year for the event held on the Bar of Ranch. I was once again joined by friends, JoAnn Edwards of Eureka, Mo., and Virginia Bertz of Higginsville, Mo.
Not long after I purchased Mules and More, 26 years ago, my late husband Gene and I had been hearing about the chuck wagon races held on Labor Day weekend. So, we drove down on a Friday just to check them out. At that time the races weren’t nearly as popular, or as well attended, as they are today, and we were able to find a motel room at the small motel in town. Today, if you are wanting to reserve a room, you must call several months in advance. I still remember meeting one of the contestants Jason Wilf of Pleasant Plains, Ark. at the motel; Jason has a way of never meeting a stranger, and he and his family are still competing with their mules.
Ordinarily Labor Day weekend in Arkansas finds the temperatures in the 80’s, 90’s and sometimes 100+ degrees, with high humidity. The first year we attended I don’t remember it being extremely hot, but I do remember it pouring down rain, and almost all of the spectators gathered beneath the roof of the pavilion Dan had constructed; this pavilion is still standing, but it certainly wouldn’t hold but a very small portion of those watching the races (held rain or shine) from the top of the bluff. This year the weather was absolutely perfect, for the first time I can remember.
The races are still as exciting as they were the first time I attended, only now there are just a lot more events and a larger number of contestants. Over the years I’ve watched Dan and Peggy Eoff add new events and entertainment, as well as adding the length of time people are permitted to camp at their ranch.
Everyone entering the gates to the ranch is required to purchase an arm band; these arm bands have the wording “Horses & wagons have the right of way.” Looking out from underneath our little canopy on the bluff, right below Dan and Peggy’s house, campers are assembled below as far as the eye can see. We have an excellent view of the race track/field, being able to see both the starting line and the finish line, as well as the entrance into the river for the Snowy River Race.
We arrive on Friday before noon in order to get settled in by the time the Oklahoma Land Rush race begins promptly at 1 p.m. From that time on there is something happening on the track for the next 2-1/2 to 3 hours. 
Next up is the Saddle Mule Race, the most exciting event of the weekend for our family, as my grandson, Cole Basham of Bland has competed in this event for the past nine years, winning eight of those nine with his black molly mule BB. Eleven riders on mules were lined up this year, ready to mount when the gun was fired. Once again BB won the first heat with a time of 46.2 seconds, the fastest time of the weekend.
The 4-Up Mules consisted of 17 wagons and was won  for the second year in a row by S&S Express, Benton, Ark., Jeremy Sumler and Lee MacDonald. 
The Oklahoma Land Rush had 38 entries and was won by Triple B, of Marshall, Ark.,  young driver John Wayne Daniel. Outrider winner was Kateland Allen, Dike, Tex.
The Bronc Fanning event had 12 contestants and was won again for the second year in a row by Patrick Wood, with 162 points on two head.
The Buckboard event had 34 wagons competing and was won in a run-off by Bar H Ranch & Rodeo, Pleasant Plains, Ark., Brent Henderson, Madelin Martin, Cody Bean. 
The Big Mules  race had 38 teams and was won by Dumb & Dumber, Wilberton, Okla., Cary MacFadden, Perry Murdock, Ben Hartwick. 
The Snowy  River Race  had 8 entries and was won by Mark Brown. It was a thrill to watch Linda Bailey of Wild Bunch Horse & Mule Co., Malvern, Ark. competing, as I have watched this young lady grow up on the back of a mule. She is quite the cowgirl.  
The Classics Division had 40 wagons competing and was won by Cadillac Cowboys, Quitman, Ark. Austin Dotson, Kenneth Barger and Lane Holman.
Among veteran participants acknowledged were Jason Wilf, Pleasant Plains, Ark., and Jason Swart, both for 30 years, and Pee Wee Harris, Travis Mannon, Larry Stallings, Jim Waddle of North Little Rock, Ark., and Jill Rhoda for 25 years. Five, ten, 15 and 20 year veterans were also acknowledged.
Announcers Danny Newland, Dean Holman and Andy Stewart kept the crowd informed of times, winners and information about contestants.
Vendors row is a great place to shop for that new pair of boots you’ve been needing, tack for your mule, or just about anything ‘country and western’ you could wish for, I even found a new purse to purchase. Food vendors provide everything from a cold drink to a huge turkey leg or that delicious bloomin’ onion.

Dan and Peggy have thought of everything to keep you entertained while enjoying some great Arkansas hospitality in the small town of Clinton, and especially on the Bar of Ranch. I can’t begin to describe how exciting and entertaining the National Championship Chuckwagon Races are, so mark your calendars now for Labor Day weekend 2017…we hope to see you there.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING?

Looking for a last minute gift for that special Mule or Donkey person, we’ve got a deal for you. Order a one-year subscription for a new subscriber (not a renewal, or for anyone having been a subscriber in the past 10 months, we can help you with that info if needed) for the old rate of $30. Along with this we will send a gift card letting them know they will be getting this as a Christmas Gift from you. 

HURRY! This offer expires 12/15/16