Lyle breaking Henry on his Quarter Circle XL Ranch. Back when Henry was a youngster. A true cowboy and horseman at work - here he is working Henry and warming him up before he gets on for the first time - he also did some foot work getting him to give and work his feet. At 78, Lyle continues to ride young horses and get them just right. Henry was one of the last two colts Lyle started from scratch. I feel lucky to have been a part of that. I got Henry as a yearling at the sale barn in Philip, South Dakota back in the early days of my ranching adventure. I had no plans to buy a baby horse but when he came into the sale ring I said that's the horse I want. I remember lifting Henry up to get him into the horse trailer as he was so little. Bringing him back to the ranch to start his new life. We fed him and took care of him until he was ready to break - with a few delays because of injuries to Lyle. He bucked a lot when Lyle first put the saddle on him and if you you cinch him up tight and hurry to get on him before he is warmed up, he will start to buck. A mistake I made a couple times. The first time I remember Lyle's voice from across the corral - 'get off!" as I could feel Henry start to hump and luckily I stepped off before he blew up. Every time I get all confident it all wakes me up again and reminds me to be thoughtful and take all the necessary steps. He did it again a few months ago but we rode it out and it was minor but reminded me to be present and mindful and not rushed when riding a live animal! Lyle has made Henry a good horse - nice and light in the mouth - any bad traits he has are most likely from me - we have had our moments at river crossings and him throwing fits with me - something that would not happen if Lyle were riding him. My fears get the best of me sometimes - I am not anywhere near the Lyle O'Bryan level - someone who has spent fifty plus year riding whatever was handed to him to ride and making it work - staying in the saddle the majority of the time while doing it. Lets see how calving season goes as I get back into daily riding - should be good.
Sometimes current, sometimes from the past. Photographs (some from horseback some not from horseback) & writings from my time working on the Quarter Circle XL Ranch since 2002 when I relocated from New York City to the tiny Badlands town of Interior, South Dakota & started ranching as a complete novice - to present goings on with me, Pony & the cows...Riding across the same land as the cowboys who came before me, I sit on my Pony & look across the land and try my best to time travel. Riding around in a cinematic day dream under a cyclorama sky on this back lot of a western movie set in 'costume' playing the role of my lifetime.