Dry and Determined

Sorting out dry cows is a regular job on ranches throughout the West, as raSorting out "dry cows" is a necessary job on working cattle outfits, as ranchers need to cull any brood cows who don't produce calves regularly. But cutting them out of the herd can be contentious, which John Welch knows all too well. Here, he and his horse Rey deal with a head-strong dry cow on the Spade Ranch in West Texas.

Rolling Right Along

Nick Dowers moves a herd a cattle through a mountain pasture in eastern California.Nick Dowers moves a herd of yearling calves through a mountain pasture in eastern California. The Nevada horseman believes in using his show horses for ranch work, and here he rides a reined cow horse futurity prospect, saying that giving a young horse a job builds confidence and trust. Dowers shared his philosophies in the January and February 2016 issues of Western Horseman.

Dust and Dallies

Clint Mortenson ropes with his son, Wyatt, in his arena near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The talented saddle maker and silversmith is also handy on a horse, and his love for being in the saddle is apparently genetic. An article about Mortenson appeared in the August 2015 issue of Western Horseman.Clint Mortenson ropes with his son, Wyatt, in his arena near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The talented saddlemaker and silversmith is also handy on a horse, and his love for being in the saddle is apparently genetic. An article about Mortenson appeared in the August 2015 issue of Western Horseman.

Sunset on the Hitch

Toby Winters trots across a pasture at sundown on the Hitch Ranch in the Oklahoma Panhandle. He and the cowboy crew were moving yearling calves to a new pasture.Toby Winters trots across a pasture at sundown on the Hitch Ranch in the Oklahoma Panhandle. He and the cowboy crew were moving yearling calves to a new pasture.

No Rainouts

 080222 wrights 10It had been raining and was still drizzling when I arrived at Wright's Quarter Horses near San Juan Bautista, California. We were planning an article on young cow horse trainer Justin Wright (the story appeared in the October 2008 issue of Western Horseman), and I was there to capture photos. I got a portrait of Justin and his father, Walter, a leading breeder of reined cow horses. I shot photos of Justin working in a muddy arena. It was a challenging photo shoot, but the rainy conditions gave the images a unique look. This photo is one of my favorites. You can tell these young horses raised by the Wrights are soaked, but that didn't dampen their enthusiasm as they charged over the steep hills above the Wrights' training facility.

Winter Workhorses

Picabo LivestockLonnie Barg points to the haystack where he and Randy Lundergreen will load their sled and then feed the cows of Picabo Livestock in Idaho. Barg remains a fan of workhorses and prefers hitching them up rather than running a tractor. "You don't gotta hear that motor going all the time or smell that diesel smoke," he says.