Category

Ranching

After 130 years, the JA Ranch remains one of Texas’ legendary outfits. Now, the ranch’s young crew addresses the challenges of ranching today while retaining an appreciation for the traditions of the past.

Only a handful of ranches in the West send out a wagon anymore. Most places aren’t big enough to justify the experience. Finding cowboys willing to sleep in a teepee for six weeks isn’t easy, either. But for the Spanish Ranch in Elko County, Nevada, sending out the spring wagon is a way of life.

I caught up with Ira Wines, buckaroo boss at the Spanish Ranch, in early May of 2006, just 10 days before his spring works began.

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For Bill and Carrie Weller of Kadoka, South Dakota, success in the horse business is all about athletes and atmosphere. As far as prestigious horse sale locations go, the Kadoka, South Dakota, rodeo grounds is probably never going to make it onto anyone’s “top 10” list.

That’s not to say there’s anything shabby about the setup. The grounds themselves are well groomed and in good repair. What’s more, they’re put to use regularly for local rodeos and horse shows.

The problem lies in the arena’s geographic location.

 

Ranching in central South Dakota can be both breathtaking and backbreaking. The Cowan family has learned what it takes to survive while building one of the most successful horse programs on the Northern Plains.

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.

 

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.

 

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.