SPRINGTIME IN MONTANA | CALVING SEASON
You can tell it’s calving season in Montana by the ever-present horses standing saddled, 24 hours a day, outside of barns across the state. There’s no better vantage than sitting six feet above the ground for spotting a cow going into labor in the calving pen.
Bill Boyce, a 4th-generation rancher in Lewistown, Montana, relies on calving season as an opportunity to train his young Quarter Horses.
“Riding during calving gives a young horse a good foundation,” says Boyce, partner with Western Ranch Brokers. “It learns the patience to stand tied at the rail, how to open gates and pull sleds, and how to act cool around cattle.”
It’s a reminder that ranch work is cyclical, with more to a job than just the task at hand. Young horses need experience under saddle so they can ride the range come summer. Just as newborn calves need to be brought safely into the world so they can grow up to become the next generation of Black Angus cattle grazing on the Boyce Ranch.
The young horses don’t have names, yet, because Boyce abides by the custom that each must earn its name.
The same holds true in ranch brokerage. When Western Ranch Brokers represents a ranch family, they get brokers with intimate knowledge about how ranches work. As for the buyers, it’s the start of a relationship that might just come in handy down the line when they’re running a calving season of their own.
“Ranching is our lifestyle and it makes us credible to traditional ranch sellers,” Boyce says. “And we help our buyers even after they’ve purchased a ranch, with our contacts and knowledge to make them successful in the ranch business.”
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