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Horses and Helicopters

There’s definitely certain situations where the helicopter shines. But cutting pairs, sorting cattle, you can’t do that in a helicopter or a bike, that’s a horse job. The interesting thing is that people think it’s one or the other, but in combination, you can’t beat it.

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The History of Zapata Ranch

Archaeological investigations have documented that the San Luis Valley was utilized by various Native American cultures for thousands of years. The earliest time period, the Paleo-Indian stage (approximately 11,500 B.P. to 7,800 B.P.), was characterized by highly mobile, specialized big-game hunters whose sites are sometimes associated with the remains of extinct megafauna such as mammoth, bison, camel, and ground sloths.

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The Life of a Ranch Horse: Caguama

The Spanish word for loggerhead sea turtle–caguama–is also Mexican slang for a 32 ounce bottle of beer, the connection being, presumably, that the further down the bottle one drinks, the more it comes to resemble its aquatic namesake. The fleabitten grey gelding who has been part of the Ranchlands remuda for over a decade seems to have earned the distinction of this same name (pronounced ca-wa-ma) as a nod to his lanky conformation and smooth disposition.

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Simulating Miles of Wear for Continual Development

In permaculture it is taught that borders have the most biodiversity, i.e. the edge of a pond, meadow, or any biome. The success of each environment depends on the other. This concept can easily be applied to horse’s feet. When you consider the delicate balance of proper weight distribution on the solar structures and their rapid rate of growth, it’s easy to realize how hard we would have to work to maintain perfect balance. The reason horses “can’t go barefoot” has nothing to do with them and everything to do with what we are capable of doing for them. I feel that when we decide to put horses in our backyards, we also should assume the duties of Mother Nature. By encouraging movement, and simulating miles of wear through trimming, we can make continual hoof development possible.

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A Timeless Pursuit

A lone hunter weaves his way through the sagebrush islands pockmarking the sand of the San Luis Valley. He left at daybreak, just as he has on countless autumn mornings before this. His breath, suspended and frozen in the air, reflects the color of the fiery sunrise barely eclipsing the peaks of the Sangre De Cristos before him and wraps him in an ethereal halo against a background of blue shadows.

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Our 16 All-time Favorite Bison Works Photos

Bison Works, which takes place annually at the Medano-Zapata Ranch, is a photographer’s dream. Running bison kicking up clouds of dust, early fall light, and the chance to get up close and personal with one of our continent’s most iconic animals species. We’ve rounded up our all-time favorite photos from many years of photographers capturing this special time of year.

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