Roaring Springs Ranch

 

Roaring
Springs
Ranch

Two days spent with the cowboys at this ranch that lies at the furthest point from any American interstate showed me that some jobs you don't put on at 9 in the morning, but you live day and night. Dirt, blood, sweat, mud, muck and gore. Loving what you do most days, hating it a few others. Subject to the seasons. Taming wild animals with other, less wild animals: this is the life of a cowboy.

 
   Sean jumps on a calf as its mother watches, unsure of her bravery. 

Sean jumps on a calf as its mother watches, unsure of her bravery. 

There’s more going on here than I can wrap my head around. Well, not necessarily at this branding, but the enterprise of the entire ranch. Types of cows. Ages of cows. Cows that leave for the winter. Cows that stay. Endless parcels of land that each have their own cows and the cowboys know what’s where and why. Corralling these cows here and then letting them loose there. Maybe it’s for new feeding ground, letting the grass replenish where a herd has just been. Or maybe they’re separating yearlings from their mothers, since they won’t be able to survive the winter here. Or they could be wrangling up steers to get ready to ship to a feed lot, where they cows will gain significant mass before processing.

  Part of making this as humane as possible is making it as quick as possible.

Part of making this as humane as possible is making it as quick as possible.

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I’m more of a hipster than a cowboy.
  Riders return from driving the cattle to their intended pasture.

Riders return from driving the cattle to their intended pasture.

  Approaching a sick mare, as the vet (just behind us) comes to diagnose.

Approaching a sick mare, as the vet (just behind us) comes to diagnose.

  Approaching a sick mare, as the vet (just behind us) comes to diagnose.

Approaching a sick mare, as the vet (just behind us) comes to diagnose.

  A bit extensive for three cowboys, one of which doesn't live at headquarters. I imagine times must've been different in the past.

A bit extensive for three cowboys, one of which doesn't live at headquarters. I imagine times must've been different in the past.

  The cookhouse is full of beautiful light filtering through dusty, plate windows.

The cookhouse is full of beautiful light filtering through dusty, plate windows.