Category

Ranching

No doubt, our February 2007 feature about Three Bars Guest & Cattle Ranch in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, "A Canadian Horseback Adventure With Options"appeals to many in search of the perfect riding vacation. However, wrangling the perfect summer job at such a ranch often holds a certain amount of appeal, as well.

 

Mike Major of Fowler, Colorado, the source for "Make a Major Improvement," our September print feature on shoulder control, has spent his entire life horseback and working cattle. The ranch-raised horseman brings all that riding experience to the competitive arena and has since he was a youngster.

 

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ImageA Florida Cracker talks about ranching and cow hunting in her home state.

Born in 1929, Iris Wall grew up cow hunting in the Everglades of South Florida. Screw worms that struck her state during the 1940s kept her in the saddle, roping and doctoring afflicted cattle every day.

Iris married Homer Wall in 1948, and they raised three girls and built a successful lumberyard business. They nearly always owned cattle and horses, and when Homer died in 1994, Iris began running the family cattle operation, the High Horse Ranch.

Today, Iris serves on the boards of both the Florida Cracker Cattle Association and the Florida Cracker Horse Association. She was named Florida’s Woman of the Year in Agriculture in 2006.

 

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ImageThe T4 Cattle Company, a family-owned and -operated cattle ranch in New Mexico, has outlasted recessions, fires, death and countless droughts through sheer deter- mination and a close connection to the land.

Phil Bidegain stops his horse to watch his Hereford and black baldy cow-calf pairs weave through the chollo and juniper. Pushed on by cowboys and a driving October cold front, the herd plods south toward the edge of Mesa Rica, from which they will descend 1,000 feet in elevation, down a narrow, winding dirt road.

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Across the United States, riding trails are at risk. More than ever, backcountry horsemen must compete with hikers, mountain bikers, ATV riders and others for public-land access. And, with increasingly restrictive—even anti-horse—regulations in some locales, trails on which riders were once welcome are now hostile environments for horsemen. Learn how 10 of the country’s top riding destinations have come under threat, and how you can get involved in the fight to save them.