Best of the Tetons

Another Day at the Office

Another Day at the Office!

Cowboys and Wranglers in Grand Teton National Park.

Three Cowboys and Mt. Moran

Each year, Pinto Ranch moves a herd of cattle to one of the leased pastures north of Elk Ranch Flats. In preparation of tomorrow’s cattle drive down the highway, three cowboys saddled up near the historic old cabins and dude ranch.

Another Day at the Office 1

I managed to get to the cowboys at about the time they were ready to ride West. I asked if I could take some photos. “Yep, no problem. We are headed that direction”.  I did my best to line up either the Grand or Mt. Moran, moving to my right at a pretty quick pace. From what I understand, their job for the morning was to move bison out of their pasture and then patch up the fences. Jon Holland, broke away from the other two cowboys and then all hell broke loose!

Another Day At The Office 2

I have no idea what spooked Jon’s horse, but it began to buck. The rest of the sequence of this page should speak for themselves.

Another Day At The Office 3

Another Day At The Office 4

Another Day At The Office 5

Another Day At The Office 6

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Another Day At The Office 8

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Another Day At The Office 10

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Another Day At The Office 13

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Another Day At The Office 15

Cowboys are tough! I went over to them to see if he was okay. There were no broken bones or blood that I could see. He said, “I’m fine…just another day at the office”. A few minutes later, Jon was back in the saddle, on the trail, and back to their job of moving the bison.

Dan Martin and Morth Yokem were the other two Pinto Ranch cowboys in these shots.

Note: This happened fast! From the first sequence shot until the last one was 15 seconds. The bucking portion lasted less than four seconds!

Shooting Information: I am fairly certain Jon didn’t expect to take a tumble, and I am positive I didn’t expect it! For this “shoot”, I grabbed my Nikon D810 and a Nikon 70-200mm lens, treating the passing cowboys and Teton vistas as a landscape opportunity. The mid-range lens would allow me to include the distant mountains with the cowboys as unique foreground subjects. In full frame mode, a D810 has a maximum frame rate of 5 frames per second, which worked out fine, but if I had known what was about to happen, I would have grabbed my D5 (12 FPS) and my Tamron 150-600mm to be able to zoom in on the action. Who knew?

The Shutter Speed was set at 1/1000th second and the Aperture was set at F/9, in Manual Mode. ISO was set to Auto ISO =  ISO 200. EV as at -1 and the histogram looked pretty good. I would have also been fine at -.7 EV.

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Comments (7)

  1. The other two cowboys looked like they were laughing at Jon until he got bucked off and the horse reared up. I’ve been in his cowboy boots in the same situation…..and you laugh after you have checked for anything broken and your horse is OK.

    Awesome photos and thank you for sharing

  2. Bill

    Great photos…right place, right time, right gear, and experience!

  3. Judy

    A burr under the saddle ??
    Great pictures…sure Jon likes the record

  4. Stephen

    Wow! Wild ride!

  5. Steve

    Note how Jon got ahold of the lead rope, which normally would not be in his hand while riding, and kept hold of it throughout. That’s an experienced cowboy. If he was alone and the horse got away it could be a very bad thing depending on where he was.

  6. Steve, Yes, he kept hold of the rope as the horse dragged him about 50′. Luckily it was soft fresh grass and not rock and cactus covered terrain.

  7. Steve

    I see now that he was using some sort of hackamore and was probably half expecting a rodeo but still a good job.

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