"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work"- Colin Powell
As the crisp morning air touches my face, and I head to the barn to saddle a horse for the day, I always have the feeling of butterflies in my stomach. I've never been able to explain this. Is it the pressure I put on myself to grab the perfect shot? or is it the excitement of the stories waiting to be told?
There's not a better feeling than pulling into the pen in the early morning light, and watching the cowboys all stand around smiling as they're quickly catching up before they go to work that day. It's also a pretty good feeling when they start giving you a hard time saying " The tourist" has arrived, because if they didn't give you a hard time then you know you wouldn't be welcomed. Ha! So you embrace it when they give you grief..
"It's about riding for your brand, the loyalty in a handshake, and the power of a man's word"
This is so much more than just working cattle, or riding nice horses. This is about the friendships you make along the way with the ones that share the same visions, and dreams as you. It's about helping your neighbor out when they need a hand.
So you see it's much more than just "branding" , the smell of burnt hair, the vaccinations, or even the cattle. It's a time for ranchers with the same dream, & vision that come together to once or twice a year that help their neighbors out by the sweat of their brow.
These images were captured in Southwest Missouri on the Squibb ranch. Feel free to share, or sign the guest book. I'll be posting more images of this branding shortly. -Lainey