From the film makers that brought you Tapadero…
In a remote Nevada cow camp, they jingle in the remuda. There’s a chill in the air, and steam rises up off the horses’ backs. The jigger boss’s rope whistles through the air, expertly landing on target. A buckaroo picks up a horse, halters and leads him to the corral. It’s a ritual that seems almost choreographed, but to a buckaroo, it’s just part of another day, an outgrowth of a tradition that goes back 300 years, to the original Californio Vaqueros.
This is the story of how it began in Alta California, moved into the Great Basin country of Nevada and Oregon, and shaped one of the world’s greatest horse cultures. In The Remuda, you’ll get a first-hand look at what this buckaroo life is all about, even get a front row seat at the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo, where they rope wild horses with a twenty foot loop. And when the buckaroos come down California’s Tejon Ranch for an old- fashioned roping contest, you’ll get a vivid reminder of where it all began.
About the Remuda
The evolution of the buckaroo has a fascinating history. It began in Alta California over 200 years ago with the Californio Vaquero, then moved northward into the Great Basin when the California ranchos were fenced out. The Remuda takes us from the rolling hills of California to the sagebrush sea of Nevada and Oregon, where everything is bigger and wilder, an environment that is aptly named, America’s outback.
The TS Ranch Cavvy
Some call it a “cavvy,” some call it a “remuda.” Both come from the Spanish. It’s the outfit’s string of horses. On the TS in Battle Mountain Nevada, the remuda is a hundred strong. Every evening before the next day’s work, the horses are “put on the ropes” and the cowboss expertly ropes one out for each buckaroo.
The Making of a Bridle Horse
The ultimate in vaquero horsemanship is the spade bit horse. Not every horse can be one and not every rider can ride one. Equine expert Richard Caldwell takes us through the steps of making a bridle horse, from the hackamore, to the two rein, to straight up in the bridle, in graphic detail.
A branding at the Alvord
Come behind the scenes to ranch branding as top ranch ropers like reata man Dave Weaver gently ropes a calf with a big loop. And ranch owner LeiLani Davis gives us the history of when Henry Miller owned this famous Oregon ranch.
The Big Loop Rodeo, Jordan Valley
Once a year, buckaroos from all over the Great Basin pour into this tiny Oregon town, with flat hats, wild rags and lots of silver. This is the extreme test of what buckarooing is all about. Wild horse roping with a 20-foot loop. Riding the rankest broncs. And a little buckaroo philosophy.
Rancho Tinaquaic, Santa Maria, Calif.
This California land grant rancho was founded by Englishman Benjamin Foxen. The old vaquero crew is gone now, but they’d be proud, if somewhat amused, by the methods descendant Janet Kraus and her cowgirl compadres use to load cattle.