General Information: I have roughly four decades of experience in training equines and helping people get along with them. I have broke, trained, packed, driven, ridden, cared for, and gamed equines and mules and I am happy to share what I have learned.
As an instructor & trainer: One of my favorite roles is to help others by teaching them what I have learned and practiced. Here are just a few examples:
- Pierce College Mule Training Program: I am proud of but humbled by my role in the establishment of the first Mule Training Apprenticeship program in an American College. The program I worked on enables students to earn an associate’s degree in Mule training. After setting the program up with its corrals and buildings as well as curriculum, I had the great pleasure of serving as an adjunct instructor focusing on safety, communication, health, and farrier care.
- RFD TV Sponsor Rural Heritage
- Development of Phoenix Zoo Mule Program: This is an educational program for urban families that introduced them to mules as they were used in Arizona’s early days – even before statehood. I was responsible for buying and training mules, managing the construction of corrals and a trail course, and training zoo staff to care for and handle mules as well as to prepare them to be instructors and ambassadors for these delightful long ears.
- Children’s Camp Mule Instructor: In Friendly Pines Camp, Arizona, there is a special camp that is especially for kids between 5 and 13 with chronic illnesses and disabilities. I was blessed with the opportunity to train mules, horses, and ponies for these kids and then to educate the camp staff on safety, communication, and mulemanship.
- Mule trainer and horse trainer for Yolo Ranch, one of the largest ranches in Arizona
- Safety Instructor: I often get invited to talk about good mulemanship and horsemanship. I stress safety for the person AND for the equine. I have literally instructed hundreds of folks on the safe handling of mules, donkeys, and horses and I have even presented on firearm safety.
- Mule Training: I am pleased to work with most any mule, donkey, or horse who needs breaking, fine tuning, and everything in between. A proponent of consistent sensible training, I get good results for mule and rider – and that is a very good thing.
- Rider/Packer/Handler Training: No matter what you choose to do with your mule, I can help. I offer clinics, articles, a website, and a series of detailed videos to help people understand how a mule differs from a horse and what considerations you need to consider.
- Lectures, seminars, symposiums, and clinics: I am pleased to instruct using whatever format the host desires.
As a competitor, rider, and packer: There is no teacher like practical experience. Some of my experience includes the following:
- Packer for US Forest Service in numerous locations including Arizona
- Trail Crew and Packer in Yosemite National Park
- Packer and Trail Crew in Arizona National Forest
- Pleasure Packer in the Grand Canyon
- Winner in packer and driving classes in Arizona Mule Days, Arizona State Long Driving, and Bishop Mule Days, the largest mule competition in the world. I am a three time world champion
- I ride mules and work them on my ranch
Other Career Distinctions:
- I have written, produced, and sell a comprehensive series of instructional videos for mule and donkey owners. Topics range from developing ground manners to packing, driving, riding, and problem solving with your mule or donkey.
- I offer an instructional website to folks who are interested in mules and donkeys. The site features free articles, general information, a schedule of upcoming clinics and presentations, information about me, and most importantly, an address and phone number followed by an invitation to “give me a holler”.
- My years of experience helped me develop a line of tack that works for mules and donkeys. While I did not set out to make saddles and accessories, it followed naturally as I realized that many behavior issues were directly linked to poorly fitting tack. I found what worked and I have made it available at reasonable prices. The Steve Edwards saddle is appreciated by many and I am pleased to give more detail in my catalog and on my website.
- I contribute regularly to Mules and More Magazine as well as other periodicals. My work is featured in other books and periodicals as well. A book of my own is in the works!
- My Christian ministry spreads to word of God and praises His glory in the equine community. I often participate in Cowboy Church and I am blessed to have many wonderful people and animals in my life.
I dedicate my life and work to the Lord and to my beautiful wife Susan and our family. My dream is to be able to reach people and mules to work together in one accord.
Steve W. Edwards, Jr
1855 Running Deer Road
Queen Valley, Arizona 85219