This was another busy week at the Ladder Ranch! We started off the week by discovering that the cows had broken a gate and let themselves into the National Forest! We spent a couple of days fencing the pastures and rebuilding the gate so that the cows would stay off the forest until mid-June. While we were gathering the cows back, my horse decided to lay down in a pond after she had gotten a drink. It ended with me in the water soaking wet! Luckily, it was midday and the sun was hot. Another big project that we accomplished this week was fixing a water tank in one of the mountain pastures. It is fed by a spring and the cows had made a big mud hole around it because the tank was leaking. There had been so much dirt removed from around the tank that the cows couldn’t drink out of it anymore. It took a lot of grit and ingenuity, but the other intern and I got it done. We branded a bunch of about 90 calves out on the desert last week also. The Ladder Ranch brands in portable panel corrals that must be set up and taken down. The real challenge is sorting out the cows from the calves with no alley to work in. I think we all learned a little about working together to get the job done smoothly. Other than that, we have been keeping ourselves busy with yardwork, putting out mineral, and feeding the stock in the corrals. One big privilege was getting a little horse riding lesson from one of the hired men. I am very grateful to be in such a great environment for learning about horses. Next week promises more riding and branding; hopefully it goes well!!!