The American Mule Museum loves to hear from the fans and supporters. Here is a great letter that we wanted to share with all the readers.
Dear American Mule Museum Personnel,
My name is Ryan Damboise and I am from Bristol, Connecticut. I am very thankful to have found the American Mule Museum website because it is providing the benchmark from which my orientation to the American mule is reliably proceeding. My goal is to work as a packer, and much of what I have learned about packmules is the result of your work on the AMM website. I want you to know this because I am preparing for my journey into the mule’s domain, and I am relying heavily on your work to successfully navigate this learning process. It is important to me that I inform you of your role in my self-directed learning, especially because you are helping determine the quality of my preparation as I continue toward my stated goal. I value and appreciate the significant effort involved in your research and writing, as well as the ongoing investment you are making to advance the public’s understanding of the American mule. My progress has been made possible, in large part, due to your concerted effort on behalf of the American mule.
I have begun structuring my knowledge base of mule information by reading all of Ms. Marye Roeser’s Mule Tales articles. I have savored each for its artistic flavor and richly informative gleanings. I have also read the blog, the newsletter archive, and have explored many of the websites under the links tab. In fact, I purchased a copy of Ms. Merideth Hodges’ Training Mules and Donkeys because of the link you provided to the Lucky Three Ranch website. I also purchased a copy of Dr. Robert Miller’s Understanding Horse Behavior — The Secrets of the Horse's Mind because I saw a reference to him on Ms. Hodges’ website and was reminded of having seen his name on the schedule of the Bishop Mule Days Celebration's 50th Anniversary proceedings (which is also linked to on your website).
I am directing all of my resources, meager though they are, to building a properly set foundation that my future packing team-members can be confident in. I have my Bachelor of Animal Science with several years' experience working as a horse wrangler and trail guide (though not currently), however, I don’t yet have experience shoeing. I have begun to remedy this because I know I need to be a skilled horseshoer in order to be a responsible packer. To familiarize myself with the foremost advances in horseshoeing, I have recently participated in the 17th Annual International Hoof Care Summit. The consensus from related conversations was that I ought to attend a horseshoeing school.
My hope is to develop horseshoeing (mules hoeing) proficiency at a program immersed in the mule packing tradition. Would I be correct in thinking the Sierra Horseshoeing School is one such program? Does it continue to operate in Bishop? If it does, would you be so kind as to provide me with the name and contact information of the person with whom I should establish contact? It would be great because I could give a hand at AMM too.
Thank you very much for your generous insight.
With best personal regards,
Ryan, thank you for letting us know that you have found our work helpful and inspiring. We love getting letters to hear how the AMM has touched lives and inspired people to work with, learn about, and teach others about mules. Please feel free to contact us further if we can help you along your path working with mules.