Pictured is my anvil I use to shape the horse shoe to fit mule feet. A horse shoe when bought does fit a horse pretty well without a lot of pounding. However, for mule feet, a lot of pounding is required to shape the shoe to fit the feet.
As the picture of anvil shows from constant use, it has been severely bent and is no longer effective to use. I can either get this one fixed by a welder or get what is called a “Stall Jack”.
Does anybody have one they no longer need? Due to my 75+ years of age, I have no longer the strength and force using a hammer. I thought I might get more leverage with a stall jack. Last image is of a stall jack.
NOTE: Shoes are made specifically to fit mules. However, they are hard to find and more expensive making them impractical for us as we shoe on average about every three weeks.
UPDATE 9/19/2020: In 2015 the Mules were traveling through Ventana Wilderness in Monterey County where we had the pleasure of staying at Rancho Salsipuedes owned by Timothy Bottoms. We enjoyed our stay at the Rancho and learning of its unique history, which is documented in our original blog post below.
Rancho Salsipuedes is a rare place. About 12 miles inland in Big Sur, it is one of the LAST standing California Homesteads that is not owned by the government or by a corporation. It has been in the hands of The Bottoms family since 1975. It has been untouched by overdevelopment, remaining in all of its glory. It has been looked after with true, pure, authentic love for the natural world.
We have come to find out about the Dolan wildfire that started August 18, 2020 and one month later continues to burn with only 46% perimeter containment. This wildfire ravaged thru and over the Rancho Salsipuedes, which we are very sorry to hear about.
In 2015, We left our palomino mule, Who Dee Doo, at Rancho Salsipuedes and glad to see in the photo below that he made it through the fire okay.
The Bottom’s family friend, Caitlin Ackerman, has organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to help the remaining horses and rebuild Rancho Salsipuedes. Please click on this linkto read more about this special place and donate if you can. Warning, there are graphic images of the animals domestic and wildlife that didn’t survive.
Here is our original blog post that we wrote October 20, 2015:
October 20, 2015 – Rancho Salsipuedes:
Three Mules and one monk were walking south through Fort Hunter Liggett on a road bordering the Los Padres National Forest when a gentleman by the name of Timothy Bottoms stopped his Jeep, got out, introduced himself and asked if the kids needed water or hay for he had brought some. The monk responded, “No. We are okay. Thank you.”
He then invited us to his ranch to take a break. We said yes that would be nice. So we walked to his ranch, which is surrounded by the Ventana Wilderness, and took a break.
Tim asked if we needed anything in the way of supplies, gear, etc. The monk responded with a yes. Our pack boxes were over 25 years old and worn to the bone. Tim said he would be glad to help so he did by supplying us with four new pack boxes.
Who Dee Do, our third mule will be staying at Tim’s ranch. He never became easy for me to shoe. He had to be sedated and that was not a practical scheme for us walking through the Megatropolis.
Who Dee Do will be living with Tim’s horses and mules, a great place for Who Dee Do to live.
The Mules say thank you to Timothy Bottoms for his kindness and support he has shown the mules, the identifiers of this ages old nomadic way of life living with respect and reverence for this beautiful place called Earth, the home of human beings. ~The Mules
About Rancho Salsipuedes: “Nestled in the verdant, peaceful valley, stands the thick adobe walls of the Mission San Antonio de Padua’s Portreros Mulos built by the caretaker friar and several neophytes…it established ranch support for the mission mules.
After secularization in 1834, the property came under the private ownership of Vicente Avile, who purchased the drought stricken Rancho for the stately sum of $13, all he had in his pocket. The Rancho remained in the family estate for over one hundred years.
The Avila Ranch, a 160-acre homestead, became known as Salsipuedes (“get out if you can”), which was later sold to Timothy Bottoms in 1975 as a family refuge.”
On the ranch is an old stone cabin and oven built sometime in late 1800s/early 1900s.
The trails surrounding the property are very difficult to travel and impassable with overgrown brush and fallen trees. During the time we were waiting for our pack boxes to arrive, we spent our time clearing these trails.
The Mules posted if anybody had a stall Jack that they weren’t using and willing to donate it to the Mules. We want to thank all those who gave a positive response offering the Mules a stall jack. However, the folks at Wind Wolves Preserve offered to repair our old anvil we’ve used for so many years. Thank you Jesus, Alejandro, Alberto, and Landon for repairing our old anvil. A very nice job.
The Mules want to thank Paula and Larry for allowing me and Little Girl to stay on their property until February 28th when we will see the urologist in regards to the swollen prostate which has pretty much kept us from practicing our nomadic lifestyle of walking all day, every day.
During the storm, Paula and Larry lent us their strong and sturdy REI tent since our tent poles broke. They said we could keep the tent, however it is way too big to carry on Little Girl all day. A tent half this size would fare us well. 6 foot x 5 foot x 40-inches high or something very close is what works best for us. The poles need to be able to fit in the pack boxes.
We have found that tents under $50 sold on the internet are of such poor quality and strength and not usable under our circumstances…tent material is usually paper thin with fiberglass toothpick-like poles or poor quality zippers that break with only a few uses. We are looking for a high quality tent 6 foot by 5 foot by 40-inches and haven’t found one yet on the internet. If you find one that fits what we are looking for, please let us know. Send link so that we can read the dimensions to ensure that the collapsed poles will fit in the pack boxes. Or, if you have a tent these dimensions that you are no longer using, please send us a photo with dimensions and length of collapsed poles.
Back on June 6th, we posted the following question: “Can anybody out there make us a green-colored, 1000 denier nylon tarp measuring 75″ X 105″ (8’9″ X 6’3″) with 1/4-inch grommets on all four corners and on the middle of each side? Color preference is green, tan, brown or grey, not black as that would absorb and retain too much heat. This is not a tarp that we can simply purchase at a hardware store. If so, please message us with total cost (material, labor and shipping to California), time to deliver, and contact info.”
Thank you to those who took time to research and send us information on places that we could contact. We followed up on each lead sent to us. Most places quoted 4-6 week time frame to make or could only make the tarp in black color, which we did not want.
On Tuesday, June 21, Raj Sharma, owner and president of Tent City Canvas House in Fresno, contacted us that he read our story, looked at the 3 Mules website, understood our request and specific need, and wanted to make and donate the tarp as described for the Mules. We said thank you and accepted his kind offer.
We were 25-miles away in Reedley. Mr. Sharma said that this is Tent City’s busy season as they make tents all over the country and around the globe since 1958, but he would make it a priority to get this done for us to pickup on Friday morning, our estimated our arrival to Fresno.
On Friday morning, the Mules arrived at Tent City. Everyone was very nice. The tarp was made exactly to our specifications. The Mules are very appreciative to Mr. Sharma and his staff at Tent City for their effort and support as this tarp is a necessary item in our day-to-day nomadic way of life.
Everything the Mules and Monk carry in our nomadic, minimalistic lifestyle that we’ve been living for over thirty years has specific purposes and must meet specific criteria that must withstand the test of time and the harsh elements we face living outside all day every day. Harsh elements include weather resistance to hot/cold temperatures and rain, abrasion and tear resistance from tree branches, brush and jagged rocks when the Mules walk against them, dust resistance for our electronics, and break and leak resistance for our canisters that hold our liquids (water, cooking oil, gas).
About seven years ago, I had this 1000 denier nylon tarp custom-made in Arizona with specific dimensions measuring 75-inches by 105-inches. I don’t remember where I ordered the nylon or who custom sewed to these dimensions, else I would be returning to them. Our current tarp is worn out and needs to be replaced.
We use this tarp for many applications. The main application is to cover our top load while traveling against the scraping of brush and trees and to protect our gear by holding it together in place and protecting it from the elements when we travel. It is also used as a ground cloth when we sleep with or without a tent.
Can anybody out there make us a green-colored, 1000 denier nylon tarp measuring 75″ X 105″ (8’9″ X 6’3″) with 1/4-inch grommets on all four corners and on the middle of each side? Color preference is green, tan, brown or grey, not black as that would absorb and retain too much heat. This is not a size that we can simply purchase at a hardware store. If so, please message us with total cost (material, labor and shipping to California), time to deliver, and contact info. Thank you. ~The Mules
The Mules demonstrating the down to the bone nomadic way of life. Able to erect shelter in a moments notice, take it down the same. Leaving a place the way it was when they arrived. Using their energy to live in harmony and respect with nature not in confrontation with nature. The Mules demonstrating this most valued and respected way to live on this earth to one and all as they walk down the city street right under your kitchen window to see, feel, experience the absolute necessity to yourself and the future of your children for a strong healthy Natural World.
The Mules are calling forth a thousand Monks walking with their animal companions all over this country for thousand of years or until the Buffalos return breaking over the horizon like water breaking through a dam, restoring the health of the Natural World and all who reside within.
The Vision will grow in scope and size it comes through the door of infinity it knows no limits.
Back in 2014 while walking along La Palma Avenue, the Mules met Mary and Earl Carbone. Mary took some pictures and asked questions as to our journey, then wrote an article for the Orange County Register published March 12, 2014. (Click here for article.)
Yesterday, we posted our need for horseshoes and Mary and Earl responded.
Upon meeting up with her and Earl in front of Walmart, we remembered our initial meeting with them.
Thank you Earl and Mary for the kindness and support you showed the Mules with the much needed horseshoes.
For over a year, we’ve only been two mules (Lady and Little Girl) and the monk. Originally, Pepper, the third mule, traveled with us for 14 years, and did a very good job. Her tendon in one of her legs broke down and she was not able to do the job anymore. She had to be retired and currently lives as a pet on a property in Malibu with other horses and donkeys that she has for company. When Pepper retired, we were given another mule named Fred, who was injured and had to be put down. Thus for over a year, there has only been the three of us.
This past weekend, we got a third mule in a magical, mystical sort of way after we were invited to spend a few days at the horse arena in Norco. While grazing up in the hills above the arena, it started to rain. Then all of a sudden, some ladies appeared coming up from down below asking a few questions and we gave them a few answers. Then they said, “Do you want a mule?” We said sure, even though we really didn’t. Moving and living in the Megatropolis with two mules is enough. Denise had originally bought the mule to be a riding mule, but found that he was a follower and didn’t like to lead. As well, the mule doesn’t have a left eye and only sees on his right side.
We considered the complexity in adding a third mule to the pack (need to find a place to stay, food, water, more horseshoes, and the new inter mule dynamics to name a few things). As well, we considered the dangers of the Megatropolis of having a mule blind on one side by not being able to see cars, light poles, and other obstacles. At 11 years old, the mule is strong, healthy and full grown. We thought that we’d give him a try and see what happens. We renamed the mule Who-dee-doo (original name was 9-to-5).
We take Who-dee-doo back to the corrals and start having second thoughts. Why are we taking a mule that has only one eye? It is hard enough to move through the Megatropolis with mules that have both eyes! Well, we got him now, so we better find out what he can do even though the negative voice within says no way will never be able to do the job.
While in Norco, Julie introduced herself to us and wanted to learn more about 3 Mules. During our stay, she got gasoline for our stove. As Who-dee-doo was being prepared for our next journey, Julie asked where we were going. We responded that we had to go to Thousand Oaks to get a saddle. Julie said that she had a saddle for us and brought it back with cinches, saddle blankets, straps, and a brand new proofer. Another gentleman approached us on his horse and joined the conversation. Asked if I needed anything. More horseshoes. He brought back horseshoes with nails. Unfortunately, I didn’t get his name or picture.
Tuesday morning, we left Norco on a bright sunny day filled with lots of energy acquired from the hospitality, kindness, and generosity of so many people, which we are very thankful. We met many people and we can’t remember everybody’s name to give them proper credit. We proceeded into the belly of the Megatropolis.
We walked along the river before arriving in Riverside where Who-dee-doo clipped a telephone pole and scraped a fence. Since those two occurrences, Who-dee-doo has been moving around getting around as well as you could expect from any two-eyed mule. So how is this possible? We didn’t know. The Monk was setting up and Little Girl was grazing a vacant lot taking a break when all of a sudden Pepper and Fred, the two mules that are no longer with us, appeared in our minds’ eye together.
So there’s the answer as to why Who-dee-doo is moving around and getting around so well. Pepper and Fred have come from the energy to be Who-dee-doo’s blind side. So when you see this place of one human being and three mules (3mules.com) walking through your neighborhood, Who-dee-doo the one-eyed mule has brought a whole new dimension to 3mules.com.