Students will often start their day before sunrise. At 6:00am, when the students assigned as wranglers saddle up to gather the horse herd, the farm crew is up and milking the cows and doing grounds maintenance while the assigned ranch workers are out feeding cattle and sheep. The remainder of the students (office/housekeeping workers) are utilizing the round corral and arena to work with their two-year-old colts. All are especially grateful for the assigned kitchen crew, who come in early to prepare the morning meal.
Study time is held Monday through Friday mornings between breakfast and lunch. An education schedule is written up at the beginning of each “term” to accommodate the needs of each student. Knowledge is power!
After study time, most of the students head to the kitchen to assist in preparing lunch while a few of the students (kitchen workers) head out to utilize the arena and round corral to work their young horses. Then it’s chow time! Meal times are utilized to discuss things such as goals, cowboy values, education, etc.
When lunch is finished, the assigned kitchen workers are hard at work scrubbing pots and planning dinner, while the ranch workers head out to the fields and the wranglers head out (possibly with their young horses) to check cattle. The office/housekeeping crew heads to the main office while the remainder of the students (farm crew) head out to the round corral and arena to work their two-year-old colts followed by afternoon wrangler duties (work projects).
The “cowboy labor positions” generally entail working from lunch until dinner. This could mean spending the day moving alfalfa sprinkler hand lines, repairing fence, branding cattle, chipping ice off water troughs, or digging post holes for a new corral. It could also entail spending the day scrubbing toilets, washing dishes or filing paperwork.
As the day draws to a close, we are all well worn and ready for dinner. However, on a ranch the evening chores must be completed before dinner can take place. While the wranglers, farm workers, and office crew head out to run the horse herd to the meadow, milk cows, and feed animals, the ranch workers will head to the round corral and arena to work with their colts.
Students learn very quickly that mealtime has a deeper meaning than just “food”. It is a time to sustain their bodies with the energy and sustenance provided by good, wholesome food as well as a time to reflect on the day. At dinner each evening, students and mentors discuss subjects such as classes, colt training, and accomplished goals.
After dinner, the kitchen crew again attacks meal cleanup by scrubbing pots and mopping floors. The remainder of the students disperse to work on daily journal entries, homework, or if goals were met and responsibilities accomplished, free time.
**SATURDAYS: Off campus trips. (National Parks, cattle drives, overnight hikes, college tours if possible, community service, skiing/snowboarding, etc.)
**SUNDAYS: A Day of Rest. Eat cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and leftovers for dinner. All students will have assigned Sunday chores that must be accomplished on that day (the animals have to eat, too). On Sunday nights all students assist with dinner cleanup and then gather in the conference room to evaluate performance, set goals for the week and discuss ways to apply what was learned by working the ranch into their personal lives.