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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!

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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

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February 11, 2015

HQ Animals Morning Routine

Around here, hardly any day is like another. We’re constantly changing our schedules and shifting tasks to meet the challenges of the day. Mornings are no different; one day could have us gassing up trucks for a fence fixing expedition, another we could be saddling at the break of dawn for a big cattle move. However, at least on thing every morning is for sure; the animals at Headquarters need to eat. The cattle and horses out in pastures feed

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February 9, 2015

Sticking Together

We have been meeting early in the mornings, when you can just barely see, gathering outside the saddle room rehashing the day about to begin. Everyone is going in different directions in the dark preparing syringes and vaccines, saddling horses, checking the fence around the weaner steers, feeding and seemingly a hundred more things in preparation for pregnancy testing almost 1,000 females. As it becomes light enough to see, three of us in the back of the pens on

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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,

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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.

The

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January 22, 2015

Give Me a Horse

Last week we had to move around 500 head of cattle out of four pastures into one. This encompasses over 10,000 acres of land to cover. In general, we keep our cattle herd together in a single pasture, but in this instance cattle had broken through fence into an adjacent pasture, had been intentionally left behind in another, and yet another pasture had been invaded by a neighbor’s cattle. Unfortunately, due to constraining circumstances such as weather and logistics, we

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January 21, 2015

People

“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

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January 21, 2015

Community

Chico Basin Ranch sits on a little less than 88,000 acres (approximately 137 square miles). The island of Manhattan could fit inside the boundaries of our property six times. There’s no other way to describe this ranch than vast–there are pastures I haven’t been to yet and I don’t even know my way around all the ones that I have been to. And for all the talk of the overcrowding of our planet, unsustainable population growth, and the congestion of

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