Rangeland intern Ian Zerbe is still hard at work with the Allen family in Lander. He has moved up the mountain to the upper ranch to work primarily as a wrangler, and going on pack trips. Some of the other wrangles that Ian works with love to take pictures, and he is then able to share them with us. It is so fun to visually see what he is up to each week. Here is a little bit of what he had to say about last week and transitioning into the second half of his summer on the ranch:
Learning the horses has been challenging because there are so many of them but as I spend more and more time with them I have started to realize each one of their unique personalities. There are roughly 65 horses at the upper ranch now that we have been cycling through pack trips and day rides with the guests. So many of the horses look virtually identical but for a few minute markings. I am constantly amazed when Jim, Mary, and Jessie Allen can look from a couple hundred yards away and rattle off all the names of the horses as they mill around. However, I am noticing a great deal of improvement in my horsemanship skills as well. Working with these horses every day you start to get a feel for each ones unique personality and where each fits in to the herd.
I have also far surpassed my previous records for hours in the saddle. Just the other day another wrangler and I packed in on a 26 mile round trip in to the mountains to take supplies to the forest service. The men we supplied were in charge of clearing all the trails in that area of trees and boulders so they would be accessible. After 14 hours of riding and clearing a few trees of our own, we were very glad to get back to camp for a hot meal and warm bed.
This past week I have been in some of the coolest places and seen some of the most amazing scenery I have ever seen in my life, I can’t wait to see what next week has in store!