Charged with supplying horses for one of the largest cattle operations in Idaho, cow boss Monte Funkhouser taps into top performance horse bloodlines.
Dust and cattle swirl around a young sorrel colt working hard in the branding corrals. It’s late afternoon in July, and it’s hot.
Monte Funkhouser eases the 2-year-old into the herd, tosses his loop around a hefty solid-black calf, dallies and turns toward the middle of the pen. As the young horse lugs forward in a straight line, one of Funkhouser’s cowboys slips behind and heels the calf. In an instant, the calf is stretched out on its side, and the ground crew swarms around it...
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.
With a deep respect for Western traditions and cowboy values, Craig Haythorn runs a historic ranch, breeds top cow horses, wins in the arena—and has earned the 2008 Western Horseman Award.
The 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.
Ranchers in Southeast Colorado continue fighting to prevent the U.S. Army from taking their land.
Even after a long, steady gaze, the scenery in Southeastern Colorado doesn’t have much to offer. Compared to the majestic mountain peaks found farther west and north, this area of the state appears to be a whole lot of nothing, with flat, dry and rugged expanses stretching for hundreds of lonely miles.