Our focus has always been on a mule that had a good mind and was a joy to work with. Our mule moms of choice are Missouri Foxtrotter mares, more about the MFT on the mares page. Gaited mules were not all that plentiful or popular when we started raising them back in 1997. We had raised a couple of mules from other mares and I was determined to make better, smoother riding mules. It was about the same time that we got internet. I searched every corner of the net to find information about gaited mules but there wasn't much information out there and the general information out there made it sound impossible to do but I already had my MFT fillies and was determined to find a jack by the time they were old enough to breed.
After almost 2 years of shopping for a donkey jack and not really finding anything suitable, we were back in our own neighborhood and found our first jack, a sorrel mammoth, at Three Jumps Farm just 8 miles from home. Tank was a great jack to start with. He learned quickly and was quick to breed the mares and made some of our finest gaited mules. Five Hills Tornado Joe, TJ, was his last foal and born after Tank had died. He was fine in the morning and found dead and already bloated in his pen, a twisted gut was the killer. We had raised several mules by then and thought we would just stop breeding and enjoy what we had already but we were really enjoying the foals and the market was great and we missed Tank so much we went looking for his replacement.
We took what we had learned over the years and went out to find another jack on our own and I had a few more contacts and knowledge this time so it didn't take long to find Ed Alexander and his jacks. Ed was the nephew that Ben Czeschin raised after Ed's parents passed away when he was a boy. Ed was raised in the business and continued the tradition long after his famous uncle had passed on. Ed had a short hiatus from the business after his beloved wife passed away and some of his stock was sold. It wasn't long before he was back in the business with his grandson carrying on the family business. Ed had the perfect jack for us and we were blessed when he gave us a detailed pedigree on this yearling jack. He called him Bocephus and he was registered with ADMS as Five Hills Bocephus. He has been a joy to be around. Bo was easy to train, breeds mares in a chute or pasture breeds and was prompt in his job. Quick to learn, he has never left a mark on a mare although he would take a lot from the mares at times. We have been very pleased with his foals and at this time, he's been offered for sale (sale pending).
I know we'll regret this but we're at a time in our life with grandkids and all that we want things to slow down. We have bred more outside mares the past 2 years than our own so it's time. We have TJ (Tanks last mule foal) and we will still have the mares so there will always be a foal here and there but not the way it used to be. We plan to enjoy the ones we have and hope to keep hearing from people who have bought their mules from us over the years. Don't be surprised if there is an occasional mule foal around here, I'm not sure we can really quit cold turkey this way so come back and check in once in a while. We're always going to be up for breeding one of our mares to the jack of your choice for your very own, custom made mule too so just ask. I'm also "Always" available to answer your questions about mules in general as well as training mules.