Colorado Cowgirls

A herd of quarter horses gallop across the pastures

After landing in the Colorado Springs Airport and being refreshed by the cool mountain air and seeing the explosion of golden yellow aspen leaves I met my workshop students at the Coyote Moon workshop complex.  Brent Bruser and Bar Scott run writing, music and photography workshops in this refurbished youth ski hostel.

Elin Ganschow galloping with lasso in hand to herd the horses

We had a treat lined up for the students before we tackled the natural history images of the mountains.  Far tucked between some ridges in the Wet Mountain Valley is the Music Meadows Ranch owned and run by Elin Ganschow.  Before sunrise the students and I shot images of this authentic cowgirl silhouetted against the big Colorado sky. Then her daughter, Katlyn Rusher, joined her to move a herd of 14-quarter horses between pastures.  It’s quite the site to see, these two women in full gallop with the herd.

Elin Ganschow carrying the vintage saddle 

Elin with blond pig tails under a cowboy hat with a floral band, pink shirt and a vintage saddle acquired from a retired rodeo champion was as truly photogenic.  We spent the rest of the day getting details and close ups around the ranch, before retiring to the barn for steaks from the grass fed beef she raises on the ranch.  Under a waxing crescent moon, we walked back to our vehicles without the need of a flashlight. The moon and stars lit up the night in these clear mountain skies as we thought about a trip to the mountains for the next day's shoot.

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