090527 gardiner 151I had no idea that I would spend so many hours in the saddle when I visited Gardiner Angus near Ashland, Kansas. The respected Black Angus seedstock operation is a family-run business, and Mark Gardiner is the driving force. On the first day, we moved a set of cows several miles to a new pasture. There were plenty of opportunities for photos because I think the job took five or six hours. I shot this photo of Mark after the sun had set. We didn’t get back to headquarters until after 10. Early the next morning, we trailered a short distance and then long-trotted a few more miles. The crew spent all morning and part of the afternoon gathering some rough river country. There were about 350 head in that brushy, rugged pasture, and by noon they had gathered about 348. When other crew members were willing to call that good enough, Mark was headed back out again to find the missing two or three. I shot way more photos than necessary and wound up helping the crew. We finished at 2:30, and I believe every living cow in that pasture was pushed through the gate. The story appeared in the August 2009 issue of Western Horseman.

it's cool to be cowboy

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