Alpine Express

 080107 bigbend062The word alpine often conjures up the image of mountainous landscapes—usually the kind with snow, evergreen trees and ski slopes. Well, Alpine, Texas, certainly has its share of peaks and valleys, but they are a little more rugged in the high desert climate of the state's Big Bend country. It is also home to the legendary o6 Ranch, established by the Kokernot family during the 19th century. In 2008 I was assigned to photograph working cowboys on the ranch for a special tack and equipment article, which appeared in the May 2008 issue. We coordinated with Big Bend Saddlery and Chris Lacey of the o6, and we got help from real deal cowboys such as Larry Baldwin (left) and Mike Capron (right).

 

Deep into the 7 Up

150326 7up257Two years ago I rode on the 7 Up Ranch in Arizona, photographing the crew trailing cows and calves to headquarters. The three-day gather was handled by a three-man crew, including K.J. Kasun (left), Jamie Wood and Levi Lewis. They trailed about 400 cows on an uphill climb that rose more than 2,000 feet over the course of 25 miles.

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Hands-On Horsemen

120727 jeffwilliams 321Professional colt starters (from left) Rod Smith, Matt Hamm and Jeff Williams work with a young horse near Post, Texas. The bay gelding often bucked and ran off, and recognizing its trust issues, the men laid down the horse in a round pen with soft ground. The method is used by many respected horsemen and was demonstrated in the movie The Horse Whisperer. The goal is to show the horse that at its most vulnerable position, human hands are there to calm and comfort the horse, not harm it.

Branding in Wyoming

110624 IDranch 214One of the great benefits of being a writer and photographer is seeing different country and historic ranches throughout the West. In 2011, I was invited to the ID Ranch branding in Wyoming, and the trip remains one of my favorites. See more images from this shoot by clicking CONTINUE READING.

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Catching Colts

120726 jeffwilliams 157Jeff Williams and assistant trainer Matt Hamm catch a few young horses to start under saddle. I shot this at Williams' place in Post, Texas, for the article, "Ranch Colt Starters," which ran in the February 2013 issue. The dark interior of the barn I was standing in made an interesting frame around what was happening in the doorway.

Winter Showers

081203 guitar 161 2After branding fall calves in December, Nathan Bautista moves the youngsters while another Guitar Ranch cowboy sprays them for insects. Ticks thrive during winter months in Dickens County, Texas.

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