A Memoir of Ranch Life
By Larry Foster
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The Corralitos, a ranchland covering almost 200,000 acres of high desert, encompasses 300 square miles in southern New Mexico. This memoir is a descriptive narrative of the events and daily routine of tending cattle and farming the land. The workload was constant, seven days a week with long hours on horseback and nights spent cutting and baling hay, and the work was dangerous, especially working with the head of 140 cantankerous bulls on a yearly basis. “You could never take your eyes off a mean bull,” the author says. “And we also grazed forty head of buffalo and they could be just as ill-tempered and unpredictable and dangerous to handle as the bulls. In addition, we grazed sixteen hundred mother cows and grew five hundred acres of alfalfa hay.” The ranch employed six or seven workers and during roundup there could be as many as sixteen. There were up to nine horses in the stable, and they were always shod and ready to ride at any time. There was rarely a slack time, especially during the fall gathering of the herd. It was arduous dirty work, but no one ever complained. The Corralitos saga was one of love, dedication and each new day brought new adventures and memories which will never be forgotten.
Larry Foster worked in cattle ranching and farming all his life. He graduated from California Polytechnic State College in 1969 with a degree in Animal Science and Nutrition, was member of Alpha Zeta, the scholastic fraternity, and was on the Dean’s and President’s list his last year in college. He worked doing nutritional consultation for feed yards, milk producing dairy farms, swine and catfish farms for several years then returned to the Corralitos ranch to pursue his life with the tending and love of herding and care of range land beef cattle. He and wife Barbara now are retired and living on Galveston Bay in League City, Texas.
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