Ranch Life Articles

Gunsel Training

July 29, 2019
Jan Swan Wood

I was working for an outfit years ago that had lots of country to cover, lots of heifers and cows to calve, and I was mostly on my own. The cowboss was supposed to help me with a lot of the riding and work, but he wasn’t proving to be very reliable in that way, […]


Kitchen Window Cowboy

July 27, 2019
Jan Swan Wood

From the kitchen’s west window I gaze outside, And see the saddle horses that I seldom get to ride. Slick hair glistens over muscle and fat, No sweat marks the long winter hair on their backs. I’ve watched the ranch seasons pass on this place, With cold window glass pressed hard to my face. And […]


Sweet Clover, Rattlesnakes, and Dale

July 20, 2019
Jan Swan Wood

It’s been a big sweet clover year in the northern plains. For those who aren’t familiar, sweet clover with it’s yellow blossoms, gets really tall and thick. It doesn’t happen every year and needs a good wet spring to really do well. It’s a biennial plant, so, it blooms the second year of it’s cycle. […]


How To Treat A Rattlesnake Bite

July 18, 2019
Jolyn Young

Rattlesnakes are a fact of life out West, just like droughts, John Wayne movies, and beautiful sunsets. Many cowboys and equestrians encounter poisonous snakes and other wildlife when riding outside, but not all know how to properly treat themselves or a companion if bitten by one of these potentially deadly reptiles. The Center for Disease […]


Lessons Learned At The Rodeo

July 15, 2019
Jolyn Young

While driving into town a couple weeks ago, I saw a flyer advertising a rodeo at the local fairgrounds. I decided to sign up my two big kids for mutton busting and take all 3 of my offspring to the rodeo by myself, because I am insane. My husband would have helped wrangle our crew, […]


Back Cinch Blunders

July 13, 2019
Savanna Simmons

Plenty of reasons exist for the use of a back cinch, roping being the most prominent of reasons, to my mind, as well as starting a colt, to keep the saddle closer to the colt should he buck, and get him used to and comfortable with the feel as early as possible. An equal amount […]


Italian Cowboy Comes To America

July 8, 2019
Jolyn Young

Two years ago, I received an email from an Italian cowboy. Massimo Tupone, aka “Max,” wrote to say he followed my blog and was an avid fan of the American West. He lived in Guardiagrele, a small town up in the mountains of central Italy near Rome. Max and his friend Luca enjoyed team roping […]


Open Range

July 2, 2019
Jolyn Young

Acclaimed photographer John Langmore’s latest photo book, Open Range, far surpasses all expectations of quality coverage of the working cowboy and his lifestyle. Langmore has long photographed ranches around the West, some of which he worked on as a cowboy in his younger years. His work is known worldwide for accurately depicting the American cowboy at work, […]


Short Serpentines

June 26, 2019
Jenn Zeller

Hi friends! I’ve been busy taking care of my horses this Spring, and of course the rain that we’ve been blessed with here in South Dakota has really put everyone behind where branding and such goes! I wanted to take this moment to share with you one of my FAVORITE drills for my horses. I […]


Fun With Horses

June 19, 2019
Jolyn Young

I was bumming out the other day, because the extent of my horse activities these days is pitching hay and filling the water trough. My husband took 6 of our horses with him to day work at a ranch 400 miles away, and I’m taking care of the 2 kids’ horses in his absence. I […]


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