by Ross Hecox
Breaking down on the road is always a bummer. A few weeks ago I was hauling my mare to a clinic in Wyoming and had arranged to make a stop near Cimarron, New Mexico, at the CS Ranch. The Davis family, who own and operate the CS, graciously agreed to keep my mare for a couple of days while I took some time off to be with family, who were vacationing in nearby Red River. Afterward, my plan was to press on to Wyoming.
But my layover turned out to be much longer than I anticipated. While I was there, my truck’s clutch gave out. Two days in the mechanic shop meant that I would miss the clinic entirely. A lot of planning and excitement over this ranch horse clinic swirled down the drain.
However, after a few days stuck in the mountains of northern New Mexico, I began to see the blessing in breaking down. I was able to spend an extra day with my son, wife and her family. After they headed home, I spent a laid back day on the CS, working on photography and visiting with one of the cowboys.
So often in my job, I’m trying to cram as many photos as I can in a day or two. This time, I spent an entire morning watching broodmares and foals in a pasture. Rather than trying to get their attention or make them run a certain direction while firing off hundreds of photos, I took my time and allowed them to be mares and foals. It was nice to sit in the grass for hours, watch antelope wander through the vast pasture, capture foals interacting with mares and soak in the noiseless air.
I also rode my mare on the CS and we helped with one of its cattle drives. When I hooked my repaired truck to the trailer and headed for home, I returned with some good photos and a renewed appreciation for my job.