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Loving the Ranch Life

results that hinder successful ranch operations . Vaquero tradition is the polar opposite of this kind of poor horsemanship .

“ The vaquero way is to start a green horse with a jaquima , a braided rawhide or leather noseband . There is no bit in the horse ’ s mouth . Once the horse has learned the tasks he will be required to do on the ranch , he is introduced to a bridle with a smaller noseband , or bosal , a set of two reins , and a bit . Over time , the rider gradually shifts from using the bosal to use of the bridle reins until the bosal is no longer needed . This entire process takes several years , but the results are worth it . You end up with a well-trained horse that , given the slightest of cues , will perform its tasks with calm and confidence .”
There are many other aspects to vaquero tradition , including the craftsmanship that goes into custom-made leather saddles , rawhide reata ropes and more . The vaquero heritage has been captured by historians as well as artists and filmmakers , and is celebrated at gatherings and shows throughout California each year . The Fields do their part to help preserve this heritage .
• In 2003 , Justin and Arleah were invited to record an oral history of vaquero tradition by the Autry National Center Institute of the American West .
• Justin demonstrated vaquero style roping technique in a documentary entitled Tapadero in 2005 .
• In 2011 , he played the role of a vaquero horseman in another film documentary entitled The Gathering .
• And in 2014 , Justin participated in the “ Iconic Horsemen ” demo at Vaquero Heritage Days , a biannual event held in San Juan Bautista . remember . From the time I was two , my mom put me on the front of her saddle and I rode around the ranch with her . When I was older and had developed my horseback riding skills , my dad let me ride his retired competition horse . That horse is so talented , smart and fun to ride .”
The Fields have always encouraged both of their daughters , Jenna , 15 , and Jodi , 10 , to explore a variety of interests , which they have done . But as Jenna put it , “ I love living on the ranch . It has a quality that ’ s different than urban living . I developed a good work ethic , got to work with animals and learned the ranching tradition . I feel privileged to have this experience growing up , and am definitely going into something ag-related in college .”
During his more than 20 years of involvement with the Cattleman ’ s Association , Justin said the organization has raised money and sponsored classes at the Santa Clara County Fair and funded scholarships for high school and college students interested in pursuing careers in ranching , veterinary medicine , agriculture and related fields .
Justin and Arleah are of one mind when it comes to the rewards of having chosen the ranching life . “ I can ’ t imagine life any other way ,” Justin said . “ No two days are the same and every day is spent outside on the land . We have to respond to whatever ’ s happening in nature , the climate , and the animals , which is all part of a complex cycle that is different in every season .”
While Justin acknowledged there aren ’ t many ranches left in Santa Clara where owners graze their own lands , he noted that the benefits of properly managed grazing are being realized and documented , prompting many public land agencies to reopen their lands to grazing . “ The biggest challenge to ranching is urban encroachment , but more people are seeing the value of sustainable ranching for future generations in Santa Clara Valley .”
Hats off to Justin and Arleah as they continue their family tradition , skillfully managing their herd to graze by day and return home safely to rest another night . Perhaps there ’ s a little of the rancher spirit in all of us . At one time or another we all daydream of a simpler time and a life more connected to the land we call home .

Loving the Ranch Life

According to the Fields ’ daughter Jenna , who attends Sobrato High School , “ I ’ ve been riding horses since before I can
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2016 gmhtoday . com
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results that hinder successful ranch opera- tions. Vaquero tradition is the polar oppo- site of this kind of poor horsemanship. “The vaquero way is to start a green horse with a jaquima, a braided rawhide or leather noseband. There is no bit in the horse’s mouth. Once the horse has learned the tasks he will be required to do on the ranch, he is introduced to a bridle with a smaller noseband, or bosal, a set of two reins, and a bit. Over time, the rider gradu- ally shifts from using the bosal to use of the bridle reins until the bosal is no longer needed. This entire process takes several years, but the results are worth it. You end up with a well-trained horse that, given the slightest of cues, will perform its tasks with calm and confidence.” There are many other aspects to vaquero tradition, including the craftsmanship that goes into custom-made leather saddles, rawhide reata ropes and more. The vaquero heritage has been captured by historians as well as artists and filmmakers, and is cel- ebrated at gatherings and shows throughout California each year. The Fields do their part to help preserve this heritage. remember. From the time I was two, my mom put me on the front of her saddle and I rode around the ranch with her. When I was older and had developed my horseback riding skills, my dad let me ride his retired competition horse. That horse is so talent- ed, smart and fun to ride.” The Fields have always encouraged both of their daughters, Jenna, 15, and Jodi, 10, to explore a variety of interests, which they have done. But as Jenna put it, “I love living on the ranch. It has a quality that’s different than urban living. I developed a good work ethic, got to work with animals and learned the ranching tradition. I feel privileged to have this experience growing up, and am definitely going into something ag-related in college.” During his more than 20 years of involvement with the Cattleman’s Association, Justin said the organization has raised money and sponsored classes at the Santa Clara County Fair and funded schol- arships for high school and college students interested in pursuing careers in ranching, veterinary medicine, agr X[\H[[]YY[˂\[[\XZ\HوۙHZ[[]Y\H]\و][[B[[YK8'H[&][XY[HYH[H\^K8'H\[ZY 8'^\\HH[YB[]\H^H\[]YHۈH[ B]H\ۙ]]\&\\[[[]\KH[X]K[H[[X[X\˜[\وH\^XH]\Y\[[]\HX\ۋ'B[H\[XۛYY\H\[&]X[H[\Y[[H\H\HۋB\ܘ^HZ\ۈ[HY]B[Y]و\HX[YYܘ^[\HZ[œX[^Y[[Y \[X[BXX[Y[Y\[[Z\[™ܘ^[ˈ8'HY\[[H[[\\[[ܛXY[ ][ܙH[H\HYKB[H[YHو\Z[XH[[܈]\B[\][ۜ[[H\H[^K'p]ٙ\[[\XZ\^HۋB[YHZ\[Z[HY][ۋ[[HX[YB[Z\\ܘ^HH^H[]\YBY[H\[\Y \\\x&\B]HوH[\\][[و\ˈ]ۙB[YH܈[\H[^YX[HوH[\\[YH[HYH[ܙHۛXYH[B[YK(H[ \[[\XZ\B[]YXܙ[ܘ[\ܞBو\]Y\Y][ۈHH]]B][ۘ[[\[]]HوB[Y\X[\ (H\[[[ۜ]Y\]Y\[B[X\]YH[H[B\H[]Y\Y\[ K(H[ LKH^YYHHقH\]Y\ܜ[X[[[\[H[\H[]Y0B]\[˂(H[[ M \[\X\]Y[H8'XۚXܜ[Y['H[[˜]\]Y\\]YH^\HKB[X[][[[[X[]]\Kݚ[H[YBXܙ[HY[&H]Y\[K][؜]Y 8'x&]BY[Y[ܜ\[HYܙHH[SH8(SԑSS8(SPTSSPTKёPPTH MZ^KB