This is a working cattle ranch. Our first priority is as follows: God, family, our animals, friends, guests, and finally, the community.
I practice a holistic approach to life. I started this practice out of necessity. Years ago, when I had my brief sabbatical from the ranch, I experienced some health issues. I found I was already living most of the popular health trends when we were working in our agricultural business. The daily activities of being a cattle rancher causes us to have daily exercise. We eat fresh, wholesome foods often grown on our land, and our particular model of ranching requires no extra fertilizer or chemicals added to the land. Our cattle and horses apply the needed nutrients for the ground as they graze for their sustenance.
The most recent wave of thinking is known as “mindfulness.” The goal is to keep yourself in the present moment. Often, it is taught through meditation. It is one thing to do in order to prevent dementia. My mother had dementia in her later years, but I wish to avoid this end, so I bought a program to fend off this outcome. When the program arrived, I soon found I was already living a mindful life. The tasks I partake in on a daily basis. For example, riding horses is a wonderful form of meditation. When done appropriately, the two (horse and human) become one.
Most of our duties, due to a certain risk, require us to keep focus on the moment. Every day we work in that presence with whatever relationship is required of us. Unlike most co-dependencies, this one has proven to be beneficial to both us and our livestock and land. We practice this in our daily decisions to ensure our animals’ lives will be sustained through drought, blizzards, and other challenges that face us. Many times our own life is on the line. These moments have taught me one of the most important lessons about boundaries.
I make no apology for making my ranch duties my first priority, as these animals are dependent upon my daily decisions. Both the livestock and my family are dependent on the land we live. We work the ranch so it sustains our living. We have learned to work with nature and not against it. There’s an old phrase to sum up this lifestyle: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Our daily decisions are caused by His control of the nature in which we live. In these times, the before-mentioned priority list takes control of our schedule. In those moments, I make no apologies for my God-given role.
My guests will experience first-hand these life lessons through following us on our daily routine and listening to the stories. Mostly, they will gain fulfillment just by being able to be on the ranch. There will be times we may need to leave the company to attend to more complicated ranch duties, which may have dangers in which we don’t want to involve them. Our guests will then be free to explore the area and absorb the atmosphere. We won’t bind their time, and we expect them to not to enslave us. We will decide what we feel is safe for our clients based upon the task and the observations we make of the participants. Times like this have proven to be brief, but patience and wisdom are required on our guest’s part.
When the tasks are complete, we will resume with our sharing of this land. If, for some reason, our guests have not been able to experience the working ranch, the only thing they will be charged are the lodging and food.
We are all seeking freedom in the depth of our soul. Sometimes, the very thing we choose to bring is our freedom, which is the thing that holds us in bondage. For us, it is our commitment to operate a healthy and functioning ranch.