I was raised with wild horses…

I was dropped on a manure pile at a very young age and raised with wild horses; that started my obsession with centering my life around cowboy heroes and equine events.  My countless hours spent in the saddle, watching afternoon episodes of Bonanza and being drawn to flashy denim like Dolly, pretty much describes my childhood… that and my lacking in common sense. A confused child with no direction, I turned to horses and mules for knowledge and wisdom.  wink My entire life has been devoted to cracking the mysterious mule code.

Seriously, I started riding on the family pony at age 2. My grandfather was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Cavalry, he was a sharpshooter and a muleskinner for the U.S. Army. He also was a heavy drinker and needless to say, he had a lot of rough edges to him. If he got kicked by a mule, he probably deserved it. But grandfather took riding seriously and insisted that all his grandchildren learn how to ride; and that’s how it all began.

Lieutenant Wilton Willmann warfare drill at Fort Riley, Kansas.

Growing up with 3 brothers and later a little sister, enabled me to become a hardened tomboy that carried my own pocket knife and slingshot. My mom was hopeful that I would turn into lady someday, but honestly, I just wanted to hang out with my brothers or ride any horse that was in the corral.

To keep us busy in the summertime, Dad kept colts in the corral to break out under saddle and then to sell for extra income. Most of the colts were pretty gentle, we didn’t hesitate to climb on the 2 year olds and get them started. If they were too lazy or too gentle, my brothers and I would rig on a bucking strap to see just how those colts would buck. I enjoyed being a kid growing up in the corral with wild ponies and horses; I liked it so much that I decided to extend my childhood. And I believe that my experiences as a kid is what enabled me to commit my heart and soul to mules; I love working with their owners and coming up with solutions to their mule issues.