As with every part of our program, we aim to challenge the characters of the young men in our care. We want to test their grit and their will, so each boy knows that they contain the ability to perceiver inside of them. As Triangle Cross acts as a working ranch, we still adhere to the practices kept on cattle ranches, this includes driving our cattle from one part of our pasturing land to the next, to keep them and the land well nurtured. In the spring and summer, this means moving cattle from one pasture land to the next, come rain or shine. They’ll see the cattle through, in the mud, through snow-capped valleys, and in the high mountain terrain along the edges of Yellowstone National Park.
Overall, any cattle drive, regardless of whether it’s over 5 miles or 60, the challenge is set for these young men to find their inner resources. Cattle drives require these boys to continuously communicate with everyone and everything around them. It’s hard work and requires both respect and a willingness to continue on your ride even when the going gets rough.
What Will They Learn?
When a young man is placed in our program, after he’s settled in, he’s given the opportunity to learn and care for the livestock in our care. Eventually, this means that he will learn how to ride the horses that help us work the land, as well as care for and move the livestock we raise. Cattle drives are a necessary part of any working ranch and it’s an important responsibility that these young men are given the opportunity to be included in. What will they develop on a cattle drive?
We make sure that every boy on a cattle drive has enough experience to keep themselves safe out on the range. Nevertheless, some rides and cattle drives might go well, while others might not. They will come to learn that sometimes the worst ride can act as the greatest schooling. Losses happen in life, but a loss doesn’t mean we have to lose hold of the lesson.
Why is it Important?
Our cattle drives serve several purposes, from creating an opportunity for a boy to grow emotionally, and give them the chance to strengthen their skills. As with life, you never know what a cattle drive will throw at you. It’s a moment for every boy to understand that things may not always go their way, but they can nevertheless keep riding down the trail. On a drive, they have been given responsibilities and have a job to do. It can be laborious, but as with many aspects of our program, it can act as its own form of therapy.
In ranching, there is no avoiding the bad, just as we can’t force the good. What we learn together as a group is to keep pushing forward the best we can. We often say that this work isn’t meant to be done quickly, and we don’t expect these boys to become experienced ranch hands overnight. Truth be told, bringing along these boys will often prolong a trip, but it’s a unique chance for them to experience a world that is unknown to them.
The everyday cares, anger, frustrations, and anxieties of their life can melt away as they move their horse through the untouched country. Any fears that they might keep deep inside are smart to let go of as they look toward the task ahead. As each young man and their horse move the cattle across the land, a sense of hope and security in oneself can find its place.
Connecting it Together
Many young men work through a wide range of emotions on a single drive. These might range from anger and frustration to the “rocky mountain high”, or the euphoria and bliss of being out in such an open space. These trips allow each boy to reach out of his comfort zone, to take a step outside of themselves, and through unfamiliar territory—both literally and figuratively—continue to step forward. Through the quiet moments of moving cattle along, to the grueling and painful moments of carefully keeping cows and calves together, it’s hard work with an incredible payoff.
After a cattle drive, they might better understand:
- It’s important to accept personal responsibility and care for those around you.
- It’s not enough to lead a horse and expect it to follow, you have to ride as a team.
- Take the good with the bad and use both to learn.
- Leave your troubles on the ground before you get into the saddle.
- Respect God’s country and his creations.
Contact Us Today
If you feel like your son or loved one could benefit from our program, please don’t hesitate to contact Triangle Cross Ranch today. If you have any additional questions about our cattle drives, program philosophy, or our working ranch, we’d love to hear from you. Let us help your son find his way back to hope and redemption.