May 3, 2020, Volume 15, Issue 17

Randy, Kevin, Shayne, and Des

Welcome back to another edition of The Highline!

And let me tell you, it has been a glorious week here at the ranch! The weather has finally warmed and sunshine has been abundant. With the arrival of consistently enjoyable weather comes the time we have all been waiting for and highly anticipating: branding!!

Go ground crew!

Every year, we brand our incoming herd of steers with our backward Z and O brand. This is done with style and tradition in mind. Our ropers are horseback to rope the steer’s head, hind feet, and front feet. Once the little fella is on the ground the ground crew makes sure the ropes are secure and bring in the branding irons as quickly as possible. Once this is all done, the ground crew clears out as quickly as possible and the ropes are loosened allowing the steer to quietly get back to his feet and return to his buddies. In addition to branding this year, we are also administering vaccinations to our steers and ear-tagging them. It’s really a grand production! So much fun! With two afternoons of branding under our belts we’ve already completed 50 head. Though this year, we are missing our ground crew boss, Trent Marquis, who usually is here every year to give us pointers and keep us safe on the ground, we are doing our best to achieve efficiency.

Some of our all-women ground crew: Brenda, Emily, Anna, Bonnie, and Janice

In other news, we got a reminder this week of how wiley and wild our steers can be- when Anna and Emily went to feed the cattle one morning it was discovered that one was all on his lonesome on the other side of the fence from all the other steers. And it was quickly determined that he was not going to allow himself to be retrieved quietly. Shayne and some of the wranglers set out to find him and it was with the utmost precision that we were able to get him back with his buddies- if we had moved too fast or pushed on him too much he was liable to run or even charge at our horses!

Bonnie and Brownie

Today is sadly the day that we have to say farewell to our intern, Bonnie. She will be traveling all the way back home to England over the next couple of days. She’s always looking for a good laugh and she has also been invaluable to Brenda for the help she gives doctoring the horses. We hope the best for her in her travels and her work with her horses at home.

With another week in the books, we are thankful for the arrival of May and the further presence of spring in our valley. Be well, Friends! We’ll see you soon.

Happy trails,


There are more flowers all the time!

The herd <3