Cattle raising is the chief occupation on the great plains which stretch from Canada to Texas just east of the Rocky Mountains. On these plains the grass grows very quickly in the warm, rainy spring; it cures on the ground in the dry summer, providing a nourishing food for cattle during the fall and winter. Nowadays many of the ranges are fenced, but formerly the cattle pastured on government land and those from different ranches mixed freely. Twice a year it is the duty of cowboys to round up the herds. All the foremen, cowboys and owners meet at an appointed place. They go out in all directions and drive in all the cattle scattered over thirty or forty miles. Then cowboys from different ranches ride in among the cattle and by the brands identify their own cattle. Later the calves and young cattle are branded with the owner's mark. Such a round-up sometimes lasts six weeks or more. There is no end of fun and rivalry mong the men from the different ranches. They break the worst bucking ponies, have shooting matches, contests in lassoing and tying, and other sports. During the rest of the year their lives are somewhat lonesome, but the round-up is full of excitement and interest. The pony is an especially interesting figure in this picture. See how he is braced to pull the rope tight. This helps very greatly in holding the cow. These cow ponies are very intelligent and quickly understand what they are to do. They are rather small in size, but have great speed and endurance. They are descendants of horses brought over by early explorers and settlers and show a strain of Arabian blood. Keystone ID: 20075 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.