Keuka College freshman Bryce Bush’s dream job involves assisting law enforcement agencies with search and rescue missions on horseback. And thanks to his first Field Period® opportunity, Bryce has galloped a few steps closer to making his dream a reality.
While researching potential sites to complete his Field Period®, Bryce, a criminology/criminal justice major, was having some difficulty in finding just the right fit. But that didn’t stop him. He began researching horse ranches, where he thought he would still be able to work with horses, as he had hoped.
“I Googled the top 10 horse ranches in the United States,” says Bryce, “and after finding a list of places, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to email all of them. That’s when Tom [Carr] reached out to me from the Colorado Cattle Company.”
“My first thought was ‘I am humbled that he selected us, and we will make sure this is successful for Bryce,’” says Tom, owner of the Carr Guest Ranch and Colorado Cattle Company in New Raymer, Colo.
Bryce, who is spending the month of January with Tom on his ranch, says he has done “just about anything you can imagine.”
“I have led and ridden horses, fed both horses and cattle, fixed fencing, created a feed tank, fixed a water tank, rounded horses into a corral, as well as trimmed, shoed, saddled, and groomed horses,” says Bryce. “I also did other things, like run a tractor, and fix anything that broke. It’s a lot, but that’s what is so amazing about a ranch—every day is different, and we have no days off. This job is 24 hours a day and seven days a week.”
Halfway through his Field Period®, Bryce sat down with Tom, who asked him if there was anything more he wanted to work on, or something they’ve missed.
“Bryce said he believed all was well, and he has been on track,” says Tom. “I hope he takes from his time with us what this lifestyle is all about. And that all of the hard work is repaid with a wonderful life taking care of animals and the interactions with them, working with them, and the ranch partnership of people.”
“The biggest thing I have learned about myself is no matter what, never give up; don’t quit and let defeat win,” says Bryce. “When doing something, always do your best, even if it seems hard or like you can’t do it. Always tell yourself you can and push through it. I always tell myself to dream and dream big—don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or you aren’t good enough.”
And Tom says Bryce adapted quite well to life on the ranch.
“He has a ‘get it done’ and a ‘I can do this’ attitude,” says Tom. “He is respectful, kind, gracious, hardworking, and humble. It is like he has been a member of our family for years. He is a great addition and, honestly, I do not want to see him leave.”
That’s good news for Bryce, who would “work with horses or on a ranch any opportunity I get, as I plan on working with horses in my career.”
Bryce adds that he will take the skills he learned on the ranch, and his self-advice, into the classroom and beyond, “by simply never giving up.”
“Even when I’m tired and I have homework do, I will just tell myself ‘this has to get done,’” he says. “Because like on the ranch, you can’t just stop or give up one day. That’s how I will treat my schooling too—just keep going, no matter what.”
And Bryce has some advice for his fellow Keukonians.
“I would like to encourage all students to get out, travel a bit, and see what they can explore during their Field Period®,” he says. “You write your own story, so make your mark on this world.”