OFF THE MOGOLLON RIM
In Northern Arizona, there is an area called the ‘Mogollon Rim’. It is famous for its beauty and ruggedness. It is the same area where Zane Grey (the western writer) had a cabin, received inspiration and authored a number of novels.
About twenty years ago, I was invited to participate in a round-up in northern Arizona, with Lee Hunsaker. His outfit ran cattle on 25 square miles of government land (which was part of the Mogollon Rim). Here is what I found interesting…..the horses he used to round up cattle were let loose, with the cattle, after each round-up. It was these animals we gathered first. I asked Lee why he did that? He said, “This land is so rugged and hard for working horses to get used to, I like to let my horses loose to roam and graze on the same land they’ll be used to round-up cattle on. About a week prior to heading out for the ‘big gather,’ I bring ‘em in and ride the starch out of ‘em, so they remember what they’re doing with a saddle and rider back on ‘em.”
That experience inspired this piece. It shows a cowman bringing in a group of horses to get them ready to go back out and bring in the cattle for branding, ticking, spraying, dehorning, doctoring and culling out any for the beef.
Note: My family roots go back 150 years in Arizona, and were some of the first to settle that country. I’ve only heard them pronounce ‘Mogollon’ as “muggy-own”.