Gestures of the West

“Jim puts his brush to the canvas and lays down a set of simple black lines that begin to form the suggestion of a horse.”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

Ranch-Raised

“He unsaddles the young horse, mindful of the position of the sun as it edges its way to the western horizon. Each Saturday, of late, presents a scheduling challenge, one Bill is determined to overcome.”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

Storyteller

“The lyrics comprise a journalism of sorts, telling tales of hardship, hope and economic ingenuity – stories that, if not preserved in these songs, would otherwise likely go untold.”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

Rescued to Ride

“The equine population explosion, combined with a weakened economy and record job losses, has created an environment in which, for many, horse ownership has gone from a blessing to a burden.”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

Saddlemaking

“He did a double-take, then furrowed his brow as he seemed to make an attempt at willing a decimal point to another location on the tag. Who knew such entertainment could be found in a tack store?”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

The Evolution of Cowboy Craft

These people, Cary thinks to himself, are not here to buy tools. They’re here to buy art.”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

All About the Music

“The trains used to run more regularly,” Scott says. “We used to look forward to getting a train whistle on a record. It was kind of us.”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

Storylines in Saddle Leather

“The further I get into a project, the more anxiety I feel,” Rick says. “One slip of the knife, and a project can be ruined.”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

A Few More Bridles

“Several bridles hang from Clint’s left forearm. He studies each in turn, the way a clotheshorse might brood over which pieces of a department store’s inventory to try on and which to return to the rack.”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

Bayers Brought Forward

“Bayers’ spurs were defiantly utilitarian. They were stripped down, meant for hard use by a clientele of Texas ranch cowboys with little use for ornamentation and scarce funds with which to pay for such decorative efforts.”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

Elegant Ways

“You can look at some element in an older design and imagine ways of bringing it forward,” Bill says. “You say to yourself, ‘That would look nice if ….’ Everything’s been done at least once, but everything can be improved.”

From Undiscovered Country: Dispatches from the American West

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