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Because of Horses

Feb 9, 2018

Elise’s guest today is Alan Day -- author, owner and operator of the first sanctuary for wild Mustangs, and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's brother. As a third-generation cattleman and rancher, Alan’s upbringing branded him a cowboy from the day he was born. Growing up on his family’s historic 200,000-acre Lazy B Ranch cemented his love for the land and for horses. And his love for books and a story well-told led him to become the best-selling author that he is today.


Ranching and the cowboy life is — as he says — in his blood. So, after graduating from the University of Arizona, he returned to manage the Lazy B for the next 40 years, along with his two other massive ranches (in Nebraska and South Dakota).


Alan embodies all that is good about the American West's cowboy code — putting in a hard day’s work, not quitting until the job is done, never complaining about the hand you were dealt, being good for your word, being a good steward of the land, and putting your horses’ needs and well-being before your own. He also embodies the cowboy tradition for telling great stories, from hanging out for a couple days with Kevin Costner (not a movie-goer, Alan had no idea who the actor was, but thought he was "a nice fella"), to literally being hung from a hook on the front porch of his family's bunkhouse by a World War II vet who'd had enough of his five-year-old pestering... Alan shares a fascinating world of experiences.


You’ll love listening in to hear Alan reminisce on his days of growing up on and managing the historic Lazy B, founded in 1880, including his grandfather's narrow escape from Apache,  as well as Alan's years managing 1,500 wild mustangs — and how he poured his heart into caring for them and the land in his keeping


Topics of Discussion:

[1:37] Alan recalls the days of growing up on his family’s ranch and some of the lessons he learned.

[6:03] A story about his first cattle drive when he was five years old.

[14:06] A story about Alan’s grandfather, who settled the ranch in 1880.

[16:17] Commenter shout-outs! (Reading commenter’s comments!)

[18:22] What the history and heritage of Alan’s family’s ranch mean to him.

[19:53] A working ranch in the truest sense; only a family’s hard work to take care of the ranch.

[24:24] Alan’s ingenuity on the ranch.

[28:45] How Alan views his legacy.

[31:25] What it means to be a cowboy and an important lesson for those who manage land.

[34:22] About Alan’s book and how his co-author helped present his stories.

[36:00] The process of creating Mustang Meadow Ranch and the motivation that led him to it.

[38:19] An excerpt from Alan’s book about the creation of Mustang Meadow Ranch from The Horse Lover.

[39:58] What Alan learned from the people who handle rounded-up mustangs right off the range (the BLM).

[42:23] How Alan applied what he learned from herding cattle to the group of wild mustangs he was working with.

[46:10] The critical lesson in learning how to manage the wild mustangs; making friends and moving them without panic.

[48:00] What makes a mustang unsuitable for adoption?

[50:31] What Alan wishes the average American understood about the current situation with mustangs throughout the West.

[55:50] Pieces of advice from Cowboy Up! and some of the stories behind them.

[1:00:30] Where to find Alan Day online.


Know Someone Inspirational, Whose Life Has Been Forever Changed Because of Horses? Because of Horses would love to get to share their story!

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Discover More About this Week’s Guest — Alan Day

Amazon Author Page


Mentioned in this Episode:

No Limits Training and Life Lessons with Brandi Lyons

Life at Full Throttle: Sports Reporter and Analyst, Catie Staszak

Five-minute video on the history of Lazy B Ranch (sign up to view at the top of the page)
The Horse Lover: A Cowboy's Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs, by H. Alan Day
and Lynn Wiese Sneyd

Wild Horse Annie

Cowboy Up!: Life Lessons from the Lazy B, by H. Alan Day and Lynn Wiese Sneyd


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