Cowboy Country

Southwest Montana is still packed with the traditions of cowboy country. From horse-riding to barrel-racing to... pig-wrestling? Yup, you'll find it all here.

Mike England
Lone Mountain Ranch's sleighride dinner.
Heroes and Horses
Brayton, Lea
Using wilderness to help veterans. “When riding a horse, we leave our fear, troubles, and sadness behind on the ground.” —Juli Carlson Read more >>
CB Cattle Ranch, Madison Valley
the editors
Summer at the CB Ranch.
Beaudoin, Kate
Hootin’ and hollerin’ aside, rodeos are some of the best events of the summer. Check out traditional bull riding and calf roping, or see what wild cow riding and mutton busting are all about. Read more >>
Tom Reed
There’s a tradition I repeat twice a year, every year. It begins in late May three miles east of the tiny mountain town of Pony, Montana, at the Karl Ohs Ranch. Read more >>
Dehmer, Kurt
Approximately 60 miles south by southwest of Bozeman, in the heart of the Madison Valley, lies the agreeable little town of Ennis. Originally a place of annual pilgrimage for the Shoshone, Flathead, and Bannack Indians, Ennis remains to this day a place frequented by seasonal visitors. Read more >>
Lavold, Susann
Just by turning in my saddle, I could see ten different mountain ranges. The isolated and fierce Crazies, the Big Belts, the Castle Mountains, and the majestic Gallatin and Bridger ranges were to my left, scraping against an azure sky. Read more >>
Logan, Cynthia
Catch the tail end of a bona fide Western tradition and head to Three Forks between May 3 and 6—that should put you smack in the middle of some serious cowboy camaraderie and adrenaline, as riders trail horses thundering through town to their summer pasture during Montana Horses’ final spring rou Read more >>
Fletcher Keyes
Summer may be the high season, but spring’s got its share of horse-and-rider action as well. Here are a few events to check out around southwest Montana. Read more >>
Dehmer, Kurt
One of the most beautiful things you are ever likely to see is a thundering herd of horses raising dust under the azure Montana sky. Just ask anyone who’s ever seen it. Some folks will tell you it’s downright religious, but most lack the words to describe such a sight. Read more >>
Diana Proemm
Four people. One pig. A ring. A barrel. Read more >>
Dehmer, Kurt
Not unlike the reappearance of songbirds or the emergence of the tulips in Granny’s flowerbed, the annual Montana State University spring rodeo is a sure sign of the season. Read more >>
Peter Ponca
Two days in the Yellowstone backcountry with Sunrise Pack Station. Read more >>
Orem, Tina
Winston Churchill once said, "I have always considered that the substitution of the internal combustion engine for the horse marked a very gloomy milestone for the progress of mankind." Though he may not have considered the combustion engine's sweeping implications for the pizza-delivery industry Read more >>
Vowell, Jamie
Summer in Montana means rodeo, and there are plenty of boot stompin’, knee slappin’, bronc bustin’ events to choose from. Read more >>
Manning, Jim
Ah, spring—when a young cowboy’s fancy turns to thoughts of, well, calf roping and branding and the sorts of things that make boy calves sing soprano in the herd. And as if to remind the cowpuncher of his springtime lariat work, the sky sports a starry lasso of its own. Read more >>
Hubbell, Kathryn
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay area in the 50's and 60's—before business expanded across the Bay into the suburbs, before the companies redefined the economy—I wondered where the pavement ended. Read more >>
roundup, horses
Mike England
From my blocking position atop a rock outcropping, I scan the broad, sage-covered slope below. There's movement to my left. Sliding along like phantoms, a small group of horses has veered out of a narrow gully and wheeled back upslope. Read more >>
Seabring Davis
 Get out and ride.
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