Dick Courteau will bring his expertise to the annual “Cowboy Roundup” on Saturday, May 7, at the Summerville branch of the Texas County Library.

Courteau will answer questions on training and care of donkeys, mules and horses. He’ll also sell and autograph his latest book, “Get Your Ass to Work: An Illustrated Guide To Training Your Donkey To Harness.”

Courteau has 75 years of experience working with and training equines. His earliest memories, from infancy, are seeing teams of horses at work in Minnesota farm country. He has been riding and working horses — and then mules and donkeys — since age 11. He moved West to work on ranches and by his late teens, was breaking horses for a living in Montana. He sought out mentors could among farm and ranch crews, supplemented by wide reading on horsemanship.

After leaving the West, he spent some years in academia, then settled on a homestead in the Ozarks, where he used horses to herd cattle, till a market garden and skid logs in a small selective harvest. In 1980, he took his wife and three young children on a 700-mile journey Arkansas to Nebraska in a horse-drawn covered wagon.

After years of working with horses, he found himself with a donkey, and has spent 30 years training them for himself and others, and developing ways to work with their distinctive personalities. He is eager to share knowledge gained from a lifetime of rigorous labor with equines, combined with lots of “book learnin’ ” and his youthful access to oral folk wisdom.

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