Zapata Ranch Daily Journal

To view entries by location, click on a ranch name: Zapata Ranch // Chico Basin Ranch
February 26, 2015

New Heifers New Ranch

Ranchlands has recently begun managing a ranch in New Mexico. Little Duke flew to Durango three weeks ago and purchased some bred heifers for the ranch. We decided to stage them at the Zapata for a few weeks until some fence work got done at the new place.
Before they left we needed to brand them, so yesterday Duke and Amy came down and helped. We started by gathering them out of a pasture next to the corrals.

Continue Reading

February 20, 2015

Bring on the Snow!

We’ve had an incredibly mild winter so far in the valley and the snow has come and gone a few times. This weekend we are due to have a huge snow storm so we are keeping our fingers crossed that our last weekend before seasonal staff and guests arrive is filled with sledding on the dunes ( highly recommended) and watching the flakes fall.

Continue Reading

February 19, 2015

Weaning Time

A few weeks back we weaned and sold the calves at the Zapata. Planning is always an important part in everything we do at the ranch and this was no exception. Two months before, we had decided to sell the calves through Superior Livestock Auction. Kenny, a Superior rep and neighbor, came out and filmed the cattle.
As we approached the sale date, Kate, Jessie, and I progressively moved them towards headquarters. The day before, little Duke,

Continue Reading

February 13, 2015

Valentines Day

It turns out that CJ our Maintenance Manager at Zapata is quite the romantic. This morning he delivered flowers and chocolates to all the ladies on the ranch this morning. It made our day!

Continue Reading

February 12, 2015

The Crew

The day was like any other. After breakfast we smoldered the fire and rode out. The sun was starting to peak over the Sangres and through the clouds. Not enough to shed the sweater. Everyone was full of biscuits and gravy and eggs and coffee.
We trotted. The horses were fresh and ready. The guests and staff blended to make one crew.
Soon we reached the Big South. After the last rider made it through the

Continue Reading

February 6, 2015


My 8-5 is nearly always spent answering calls, taking reservations, assisting with marketing strategies, updating our social media, preparing for the guest season and anything else that may come up at the lodge. During the winter we have a fairly small crew, so I am sometimes asked to assist with larger-scale livestock moves. Yesterday was one of those days.

We trailered our horses down Lane 6 to the “Idaho-Utah” pasture– two pastures that when combined by an open gate expand

Continue Reading

February 2, 2015

Ferris Bueller

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Ferris Bueller

Yes, life does move pretty fast. You can plan and prepare all you want, but we all get behind once on a while. That’s why you always need a plan B. In today’s world of independence and self-reliance, we tend to forget that we all need a helping hand every now and again. Neighboring is a tradition that is,

Continue Reading

January 28, 2015

A Day on the Sister Ranch

Yesterday I headed over to the Chico from Zapata to join their crew in a large gather and sort day.

I don’t often get a chance to head to the other side of the mountains to spend time with that crew, but I always enjoy it when I do. The landscape is different to Zapata; the dawn seems more drawn out because of the expanse of the prairie and you get to ride in the morning glow for longer.


Continue Reading

January 21, 2015


“It’s people that make the difference. Little people like you.”
Frank Shirley

God taught me a lesson about fifteen years ago. I originally went to school for automotive repair. I got a job at a dealership a few years after school. I shared a garage with about ten other technicians. I had to listen to about ten different radio stations all day. That and I always had a customer who wanted to watch while I fixed their

Continue Reading