Wrangler: Michael Potter
The cowboy - the Wrangler - has always interested me as a subject from childhood. I think possibly because it has remained unchanged in all its apparent familiarity since its twenty-year span of existence during its 1865 -1880’s heydays. Although thoroughly misrepresented by Hollywood and the films it made, that sense of open range wonder, natural spectacle, and mastery of horse has always appealed and was what I saw when I was introduced to that world at a ranch in Colorado. The sheer hard work and dedication of the horsemen and women is not just a job, it is a passion, a vocation, and assimilation with all things natural and never more than equine paced.
Without a spur on your boot, you can't get the horse to move. The head wrangler told me: "If you're kicking the horse and it ain't moving - you ain't kicking hard enough.." This shot to me says it all - you can not be anywhere else on the planet, other than on a Western ranch listening to the spin of the rowel wheel in the shank when the cowboy walks, and the swish of the chaps on their legs. This is a man’s spur as the rowel (wheel) is larger.