• Slider Image

Mule Packing School

Mule Packing School

School Emphasis

Focus of this Mule Packing School is long-term, sustainable use of equine in backcountry/wilderness terrain. Conducting successful, safe trips with equine, students need trained skills in the following areas­ –relationship development with your equine partner, observational skills, technical use of hitches and equipment, equine first aid, and situational awareness.

Relationship Development with Your Equine Partner

Understand the true qualities and capabilities of your horse or mule. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses are invaluable in understanding your equine partner. You will learn six steps to enhance your relationship with your animal.

Developing Observational Skills

See at a glance, the status of your equine's health. What and how to observe, steps to stay ahead of potential problems.

Packing Mules and Technical Use of Hitches and Equipment

Training to pack and properly load mules with five hitches and tie offs. Lead a pack string over difficult terrain. Pack awkward loads. Camp with horses. Leave-no-trace behind. Shoe your animal.

Equine First Aid

Determine specific equine's health problems. Solutions to colic, dehydration, inflammation, soreness, open wounds, and saddle sores. Learn to encourage your equine to drink.

Situational Awareness

Problem solving on the trail.  Stay ahead of problems and actions to take to continue your journey. Measure fatigue in yourself and your equine partners.

→ Mule Packing School PDF

Advanced Mule Packing School
Students who have completed basic mule packing school or equivalent. 

Five days total, advanced training in extreme mountain terrain, moving camp each day. Call for training schedule. Minimum 3. $245.00 per day, plus 8.69% tax.

Contact U-Trail

Jim Mater, Wild Horse Road
PO Box 66, Glenwood, NM 88039
Email: utrail@gilanet.com | cell: 575-519-8569

Five-Day Mule Packing School
Two days training at trailhead or ranch, three days camping with horses in wilderness. All inclusive: meals, camping gear, and training books. Arrive day before, leave last day of training. Jim Mater, Trainer (PDF)

$219.00 per day, plus 8.69% tax.

Dates for 2019
March 17-21
April 14-18
May 5-9
June 23-27
July 21-25
August 11-18

The Mule Packing School is for;

  • Riders who desire to break away from the trailhead and experience wilderness with their equine partners.
  • First time riders who wish to increase their riding skills in back country conditions.
  • Employees of government agencies who wish to advance their careers, including US Forest Service, National Parks, BLM and state agencies.
  • Military Training — specialized training for military personal, with emphasis on mountain terrain, awkward loads and night rides.
  • Boy Scout Groups who wish to secure Horsemanship Merit Badges.

A Note from the Trainer

Leaving the trailhead behind and riding with your pack string into wild country is a journey of a lifetime. This Mule Packing School will prepare you to do just that. Emphasis is on long-term use of equine in back country exploration. Bonding with equine partners adds safety and personal confidence. Developing skills to stay ahead of problems and how to solve them will keep you on your journey through wild country. Our training group has a life time of experiences to share with you. Please join us on this life changing school to put you and your equine partners safely in the beauty of wilderness.   — James Mater

Your military training saved a life. Once we left your training, we conducted training with the Army. One of our solders, got caught up in in a pack string and your specific training to get out of that jam saved his life. Army trainers wanted to know how we knew that maneuver. Thanks Jim for all your help, we feel safer in the field. 

David Autry W01 (5SFG)
ODA 5222 AD


Thank you 10x over, the Clinic was everything I needed, wanted and dreamed of and more. I have been waiting and saving for a adventure like this!


I also love your kindness, gentleness, observation and deep reverence for animals, you are truly a rare teacher and man, thank you!

YouTube Videos

[ Watch ] Mule Clinic I
[ Watch ] Mule Clinic II
[ Watch ] Mule Clinic III
[ Watch ] Gila Pack Clinic
[ Watch ] Who Am I
[ Watch ] Saddle up a horse
[ Watch ] Put in a bridle
[ Watch ] First ride

→ Photo Gallery

Schedule Your Wilderness Adventure