John Henry - One of the World's Nicest Mules
Fan Letters


John Henry generates quite a bit of wonderful fan letters. I have decided that these nice people, that took the time to write and share their thoughts, should be acknowledged.

Hello Kathleen,

I just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I like John Henry and how you really helped to inspire me to buy a mule here in the UK. I have had my mule, Widget, for a year and think she is fabulous. She was a walking skeleton when I bought her and I knew nothing about her except that I just loved her. Now, a year later, she has learned to jump, hunt, drive and will now do dressage. I have included a link to some photos if you want to look.

Once again, smashing mule in John Henry and hope there are many years to come.

Helen Pring

there are three pages

Hello Kathleen,

Wait till you see this year's Walnut Hill Patrons' Brochure. You and John Henry are one of the featured photographs. You're going to have to secure a publicist, or at the very least, a press secretary after our brochures hit the mail.

Looking forward to seeing you and John Henry once again in August. In fact the local papers may want to do a telephone interview with you. I have plenty of photographs to provide them. You may very well get a call from them.

Bill Remley

Dear Kathleen,

I was emailed your website and really enjoyed the pics and write up, are you planning a follow up? I am dying to know more about your experiences training John Henry. I also love the pic of the fall colors and church, do you sell these prints, I want one for my house! I moved to CA 4 years ago. Fall colors don't exist out here, and as a fellow fox hunter and draft cross lover/owner, it's one of the things I miss most!

I bought my mare from the Amish (perch/QH). She is a gorgeous champagne color with light hazel eyes. I have had her for going on 8 years. She is adjusting to the CA lifestyle but I know she misses her 14 acres of grass. I laughed out loud when the Amish guy tried to pawn the wrong mule off on you. When I asked the breeder of my mare why he chose to cross his beautiful hitch of pure bred percheron mares to a paint , a standardbred, and a quarter horse, he offered this remark " oh, you English will by anything!" can you imagine? Oh well, she is a great horse and the Amish are a rare people! grin. Thanks for the fun web page, please let me know about that picture.....

Beth Esfandiari

Hi Kathleen,
I just read your story about John Henry. What an amazing mule! But, do you have the rest of the story written somewhere? I'm interested in knowing your training process.


I enjoyed reading your web site. I too, have an animal that reminds me of your mule. I spent 8 years looking for him, He is from Texas, 16.1 brown mule. He rides, drives, does cattle, jumps 4 feet at a stand, and has most importantly, a beautiful temperment. We have started to enter him in horse events , but riding and driving.

Just thought I would get in touch with you.

Linda Weinberg

Hi--thanks for sharing your JH story online. I got a GREAT big kick out of it (no pun there) and am inspired to do greater things with my new draft mule Sunshine. Shine is a blonde Belgian/Mammoth 15.3hh cross. She was Amish broke to drive double and terribly green to ride when I got her. I'm doing some basic ridden dressage with her, and then will be driving her single to our Roberts Express Wagon.

I never thought I could aspire to CDE's with her, but you have shown me differently. We also have a pair of 50-52" mules that we drive both single and double, and trail ride with.

Many smiles to you, and many more kudos to JH.

Hi Kathleen,

I live on Orcas Island in Washington State. I've founded an equestrian center here and am in love with mules! In my correspondence with Trumbull's, one of the ladies told me about having met John Henry and told me he has his own website.

I have a rescued Belgian who is probably the world's nicest draft horse...his name is Don. We just did a fund raiser in our village pulling a 300 lb. pumpkin this last weekend.

My name is first on the list to get two Percheron/Mammoth mule foals next year from Knute's Kustom Mules in Montana. It will be my very first mules.

John Henry's site is fabulous and I'm so happy to see people loving mules and see such dedication for them.

Triana Elan

Hi Kathleen:

I am on fire to get a mule and John Henry is my paradigm!

The actual plan is to breed my 17 h TB mare to get a mule out of her...she is a big tank of a thing (size 3 shoes in front!), built more like a Cleveland Bay or Holsteiner, so hopefully, if I choose the right jack, I'll get a lovely mule out of the bargain.

But I might just have to have something in the meantime and the Amish have been on my mind as a place to go look for good mules. So, your story of how you acquired John Henry was a great read AND useful in affirming that PA is one good place to start looking!

Anyway, thanks for sharing your mule's story and pictures on the Web...continued best wishes for your success with John Henry!

Kind regards,
Carole Pivarnik
Tulip Hill Farm


thanks for forwarding the links to JH at the bottom of your welcome letter to me on the CD-L mail. I enjoyed it very much!!

Good Katy, my 13.2 h mule is not real "horsey" like JH is, he is built like a horse with superb conformation. Katy is built more like the donkey father she had! She is way too slow to do one tenth of what your mule has done, but I know nothing about driving and am brand new to whole thing. At least she is as close to bomb proof as I've ever met, and very knowledgeable. She will do anything we ask of her and as we're up to 2 hours a night driving (walk and what my husband calls a "mule jog" a slow trot) I'm learning quite a bit from her.

Don't know the "right" way of driving, can't even begin how to figure out how to steer her one handed, I'm using two hands and LOTS of voice!!!! but we're getting along well (heck, she gets along with EVERYONE) and I'm starting to enjoy driving her---traffic still scares the heck out of me, my husband drives her thru the really tricky parts for me.

If you are ever in the NJ/PA area with John Henry, let me know, I'll be glad to come out and meet you both!!!

thanks again, Lisa

Dear Kathleen,

I think it's wonderful what you are doing with John Henry--I'm sure his story is an inspiration to all mule owners--isn't it amazing what love and proper training will accomplish???? I still contend that the majority of the horses being taken to auction at New Holland are a result of people not knowing how to properly train the animal, or not being smart enough to ask for help when they run into difficulties when training.... I subscribe to the Western trainer's (Dave Jones) theory--he said people often call him and say "I'm having a problem with my horse!!!!".... Dave says that when he gets to the person's place to survey the situation 90% of the time it is the horse that is having a problem with its owner!!!!!

I may be wrong, but I have been into horses in one shape or form for about forty years--I don't feel that the average horse is very well trained, and people are asking an arm and a leg for them, and apparently get it!!!! The average horse buyer doesn't even have a clue about what constitutes a well-trained equine and will pay far too much for it.... I think we need better trained people (horsemen) and then maybe we will be rewarded with better trained equines.... People get too hung up on all this New Age training and supplement kick and such, when they should be listening more to the animal itself and what it is trying to tell them.... Common sense goes a long way when training too!!!!

Sorry for the rambling, but reading your story and looking at your pictures of John Henry it just illustrates what can be done if people love their animals enough to make sure they do the right kind of job the first time around.... If more people would be that committed to their animals there would be a lot less throw away equines at the auctions, in animal rescues and in the slaughter pens!!!!!!

I have a little Thoroughbred mare I bought for $500. that has been passed from person to person--I was her sixth owner in eight years... She is a perfectly good horse, yet no one kept her for more than a year (except the person who bred her--he had her for five and a half years)..... She was a mental wreck when I bought her, but I was committed to making her right, and making our union work--now she is an excellent horse!!!! This year we will be working on basic dressage and I expect to start driving her.... Most people just have no patience!!!

Best of luck with John Henry this year!!!!!!
Most sincerely,
Wendy Sue Luck (aka "Cherry")

Hi Kathleen,

I just finished visiting your website and it is lovely. I especially loved the story of how you acquired JH. There is no doubt that JH is an exceptional animal and a lot of the credit for that has to go to you but I also think you had wonderful material to work with in the first place.

I have a strong affection for John Henry and every time I seen him or hear about him, I am reminded of my childhood experiences with our farm mules. So much fun to look back.

Give John Henry a big hug and kiss and extra carrots and apples this Christmas for me and I'll be looking forward to seeing you both again sometime.

Merry Christmas and all the best of the New Year,


Dear Kathleen,

I've been enjoying John Henry's exploits in The Brayer and truly admire and respect all that you have accomplished. I have just checked out your website since I was curious where you were located in New York.

Just about fell off my chair when I saw Green Meads Farm in Richmond, MA. mentioned. I grew up in Canaan, New York, and whenever we went to Pittsfield, MA I always wondered what was behind that big white fence. That was 50+ years ago. I recognized so many of the places mentioned in your website. It almost made me homesick!

Two years ago my husband gave me a miniature donkey for Christmas. Best gift I ever received! I was able to name her and that was a thrill since for years I had dreamed of owning one of these sweet creatures and already had a name. Donkey-Oaties Dream. Of course she needed company so I now have four.

I've been bitten by the donkey and mule bug and some day hope to have one of the large variety I can ride and drive. You and John Henry are awesome and I just wanted to say hello and tell you how much I respect and admire you both.

Sally Armstrong
Johnson City, TX

Hi Kathleen!

I just wanted to say that it was a pleasure to see your beautiful fella, John Henry! He is indeed a wonderful looking and wonderfully behaving guy!

I so enjoyed watching Jeff Morse work with him!!!

Thanks for the opportunity to see John Henry and watch a beautifully trained animal!

Patty Jaycox

Dear Kathleen,

What a wonderful site. I'm new to the world of driving but had never considered the possibility of driving a Mule! I'm so impressed with your story and your pictures.

The therapeutic center where i work has had some bad luck with the wrong mules so our new driving program will probably not see a mule in its near future. But, if my little mare at home doesn't take to driving I will certainly expand my thinking and search for the "right Equine", not just the right horse, for the job!!

I will definitely be passing this website along!

Diana Beardsley

........You are such an inspiration with your mule. It always tickles me and makes me smile to read of your events and how well you compete against horses and do everything with such style. You are going to do great with your mule pair! Thanks for the invite to NY - that is very nice of you. I don't know if I will haul animals out that way, but I'd like to come east sometime and view some eastern events. If I ever do, I will certainly stop and say howdy!

Jeanine Rachau

Hello Kathleen,

This is just marvelous: the site, all the time you have put into recognizing one terrific mule. The perpetuation of mules, and what they can be, a quality experience that many could only wish for.

I have been thinking about writing a poem or anecdote about my experience with a mule. But other things in life, have taken precedence. Fast-forward 21 years and hear I am. And he was 18 when I purchased him!

I really want to ..... not brag, but boast! , in a modest way........ of what a terrific mule I was fortunate enough to get lined up with. And how entertaining it has been.

My 13 year old daughter has had fun with, Red Mulrooney, and undoubtedly this experience will be life long for her as well.

Mulrooney, is beginning to show his age, so I picked up a new young mule, a 12 year old. I ended up on my coconut, my wife, on her keester. But we will persevere. The picture is of my daughter with Red Mulrooney just after our local community summer parade. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were in the parade as well, with their Musical Ride entourage. They displayed their sense of humor by posing for the picture. We live near Edmonton, Alberta.

There is one thing that I did not notice with John Henry. Did you ever Team Rope? I didn't think so. Red Mulrooney won the Novice Heeler in 1989. Yep, at 14.2 he could catch bulls, cows, calves and steers.

You have done a tremendous job in recognizing your mule and the two of you, with your accomplishments. This is just one darn good way to perpetuate the good news on mules.

I will refer your site to my friends.

Yours truly,


Dear John Henry,

Though we've only met once I can't stop thinking about you. You are the most amazing Equine on the face of the planet. Move over Trigger, Silver and Mr Ed there's a new #1 and its you, John Henry. I regret I can't get to visit easily as I live 1200 miles away in Florida. I just want you to know that I truly love you and if I was a Mule I'd trot right up there to spend the rest of my days with you.

Love ,
Cousin Tommy

Dear Kathleen,

I was wondering if I could share a few photos of John Henry o my mule's website? Fenway Bartholomule has a great deal of respect for the accomplishments of John Henry and would like to encourage his own small fanbase in their appreciation of your mule. With your permission, Fen would like to run a little bio of John Henry and a couple of images frkom your website.


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