Children's Character Development Book Series Showcases Mules

online learning trail riding Jul 09, 2024
two mules, one in creek and one by lady

Adventures at Von Holten Ranch is a book series consisting of six books with each book featuring a different horse or mule from Von Holten Ranch in Mora, Missouri!  Book number two and six, bring a mule to the spotlight for different character development lessons.  Book number two, Adventures at Von Holten Ranch/JoJo was released in 2021 and was in ALL 50 states just 1 month and six days after the release date!  Book number six, Adventures at Von Holten Ranch/CoCo is scheduled to release Fall of 2025. 

Adventures at Von Holten Ranch/JoJo is a book celebrating differences.  JoJo, a Missouri Fox Trotter John mule, was good overall, but he did not really feel like he had found his passion.  He and Brandy Von Holten dabbled in different events such as obstacle competitions, a rodeo queen contest, ranch dressage, drill team, and of course trail riding.  It was not until mounted archery was introduced to the ranch, that JoJo found his niche!  The important character development lesson for children to learn and understand involves not allowing your outward appearance to dictate your capabilities.  The person you are is internal, not external.  “I Am A Champion” is a resonating theme of Adventures at Von Holten Ranch/JoJo.

JoJo is no stranger to Mules and More Magazine.  He was on the cover December 2018!  The magazine cover is even displayed in the children’s book! 

Here is the back cover of Adventures at Von Holten Ranch/JoJo:

                JoJo is a mule with many quirks and oddities!  He struggles to find his own way in life as he figures out his strengths.  Come along as he joins the herd at Von Holten Ranch and transforms from a misfit to a champion in the hearts of many.  JoJo faces numerous difficulties and prejudices with looking different than a horse.  He is sure to win you over with his humor and positive attitude!  JoJo finds his true calling in the sport of mounted archery!


                “As we entered the alley with a packed stand, the music started.  We decided to walk the first time through.  “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” was playing so loudly that I couldn’t hear my heartbeat which was more of a HEART POUNDING!  Did we overstep our abilities?  Did we choose to do a demonstration too soon?  Would they laugh at us if we missed?  Am I good enough to be here?  Brandy extended her arm with her eyes piercing the center of the target.  She released her arrow.  Tick, tock, tick, tock.”


Books are available at , , and 

Adventures at Von Holten Ranch/CoCo is not fully developed.  CoCo is a Tennessee Walker Molly mule.  CoCo has a ligament issue, but from her outward appearance no one would ever know her true struggles.  This book has the ability to connect with children and young adults with unseen issues.  Not all scars are visible. 

Both mules are current lesson equine at Von Holten Ranch!  Bringing literacy to action is an option right here in Missouri!   Engaging young readers just got a little classer with the help of two quirky mules, JoJo and CoCo!


by Brandy Von Holten 

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