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Under One Fence: The Waggoner Ranch Legacy


The thin morning fog, hanging over the sage and bluestem, obscures the trucks and trailers around the pens at Peek Trap. The sun, edging above the horizon, draws the eye from modernity toward something more durable. A whinny in the distance sharpens your focus on a band of shadow cast by a low bluff. The first few horses run into the new light, and the rest of the remuda emerges, strung out along the base of the bluff, nine dozen geldings running parallel to the horizon a quarter mile out.

Now you hear churning hooves and the shouts and whistles of cowboys as the lead horse turns toward the pens. Dust mixes with the dissipating fog as the sun clears the horizon. In the pen, cowboys form a semicircle to hold the remuda just inside the east gate. Breath and pipe smoke hover about their heads in the November air. The shifting column of horses, strung out a hundred yards or more, begins to pour through the gate. The blockers stand calmly, hands clasped behind their backs as horses bunch, balk, snort, and pace before them. Another day begins. A day that has endured over a century in character. Welcome to the Waggoner Ranch.

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