dude ranch

Cowboy Genes


A rugged Wyoming dude ranch tests citified Jason Harper against his homesteading heritage


The riders are kicking up plumes of dust in the distance, silhouettes backlit against the expanse of bald plain and comb-over scrub brush. Hooves make small explosions in the dry dirt as the wranglers blitzkrieg after runaway cows. The sound of mothers bleating for calves floats back to us on a light, cold breeze. I’m atop my own horse, impatience blooming. Our group-a collection of expectant faces topped with mint-new cowboy hats-has been stuck with guard duty, eight newbies forming an equine barricade around a dozen cows and calves. One calf is doing a slow circle around its sad-eyed mother, going nowhere. This is killing me. I’m not built for patience, and neither is Apache, my not so imaginatively named paint horse. His ears are antennaed to where the action is. Continue reading…