Dave Hodges is about as western as a transplanted Pennsylvanian can be. Although he lived in Bradford, Pennsylvania, until graduating from high school, his yearning for the West was fueled by tales of cowboys and American Indians.

Buster Welch is the recipient of the 2006 Western Horseman Award. In this month’s print feature, author Betsy Lynch explains Welch’s dedication to learning, teaching and enhancing the cutting-horse industry. Here are highlights and sidelights of Welch’s life.

Will James’s books are the literary classics of the open range and, when published, were equally popular in the East and West. The heroes were unique for the time, because few carried guns. Instead, they handled big cattle herds on the unfenced western range, where a cowboy rarely got off his horse except to brand. Here’s a list of James’ cowboy classics. To order, visit

Our November issue features a profile of “Jay Dusard, Cowboy Photographer,” an artist, who, with camera in hand, targets the American West. The Douglas, Arizona, professional’s had to compensate for hat brims casting shadows on his subjects’ faces ever since 1983, when his first book, The North American Cowboy: A Portrait, was published, right to the present and his most recently published book titled Horses.

Today’s Texas Rangers ride some of the most well-trained horses in the world, but a high-strung, green-broke mustang helped launch the long and distinguished career of Maj. George Erath. In his memoirs, Erath described his earliest days as a ranger private in 1835, and his first engagement with American Indians in North Central Texas.