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Mule Packing School

Mule Packing School

Getting riders up to speed on handling horses and mules in back country is one of my greatest joys. You'll get to know time tested techniques to mountain ride, pack mules, lead a pack string, camp, along with problem solving training. Plus equine first aid, shoeing, and many safety principals. Stay at our ranch, we start up the moment you arrive, and after clinic advice included.
  — Jim Mater

Three-day course features one day of technical training, and two days of in-field training. Includes lodging and meals.

  • Learn the art of mountain horsemanship and mule packing.
  • Gain confidence, experience and safety.
  • Get to know all the techniques for safe and knowledgeable handling of mules and guiding a string through back county.


School outline . . .

  • Mountain horseback, leading a pack string over difficult terrain.
  • Pack the mule, apply five hitches — box hitch, diamond, barrel, basket and blind George.
  • Camping with horses and mules, high lining, leave-no-trace.
  • Problems that happen on the trail and how to solve them.
  • Equine first aid, shoeing.

Dates & Price

Next 5-Day Mule Packing School
November 4 - 8, 2018

 $219.00 Per Day, Per Student. Plus 8.69% tax
 (Please call or email for full school schedule)
3-DAY SCHOOL, one day ground work, two days in the wilderness.
5-DAY SCHOOL, two days ground work, three days in the wilderness.
[ Clinic Topics PDF ]  [ See More Photos ]
Contact U-Trail

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

Jim Mater Credentials

  • Owner and operator of U-Trail
  • Conducts commercial pack trips & guided hunting in the Gila Wilderness over 25 years
  • Completed U.S. Forest Service Outfitting/Guide School
  • Trainer of U.S. Army Special Forces
  • Boy Scouts of America, eagle scout and scoutmaster
  • National Geographic guide
Class of June 2018

Clients say . . .

I had the pleasure of attending the 5-day Mule Packing course taught by Jim and Libby of U-Trail. The curriculum of the course is extensive. Jim and Libby conveyed to the students, the importance of continuously observing the animals in order to properly address any issues before those issues become a serious problem. I was also very impressed about the level of care and concern regarding the welfare, quality of life and overall comfort of the stock. You can tell these folks really care for the horses and mules (and dogs) and not just because they are Jim's livelihood.

In general, I had a wonderful time, the other students were great, the instructor/Wrangler attitudes were positive and engaging. The food was great, too. I left the training feeling confident about my starting place in stock care and packing and look forward to practicing more to hone my skills. Due to the in-depth thing and hands-on practice I received during the course I was offered a job at a packing outfit within two weeks of finishing. I hope to return one day and spend some more time with Jim and his Wranglers in the beautiful Gila wilderness.

— Dallas Bryan

"I came to Jim Mater's packing clinic with several seasons of horse packing on sawbucks through the Colorado Rockies under my belt. However, I wanted to learn more about different styles of packing and working with mules off Decker Pack Saddles. I was not disappointed. Jim and his crew really know their stuff. They treated me like royalty and still packed more knowledge into 3 days than anyone could learn over years of doing it on their own. The crew at U-Trail have my respect and admiration for a job well done. I hope to return and ride with them again one day. Thanks again Jim and Happy Trails."
— Bob Belknap, Winchester, WI.

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