Dreams on the Divide

Photos and story by Jordan Killpack 

In January I left my job in Amsterdam and returned home to Idaho. I went to reconnect with the land and my childhood dream to be a cowboy. Since returning home, I’ve spent most of my time with a small group of cowboys who break horses and raise cattle for a living.  

Brothers, Shawn, Houston, J2, and Tyler, live near the Continental Divide and the Idaho/Montana state line. At the end of a dirt road and just past the spot where the radio turns to static. The gritty lifestyle and harshness of the terrain found here contrast the potential notion of the John Wayne cowboy, yet true happiness is evident in their eyes. Whether riding a freshly-broke horse for the first time or calling for the dogs, a glimmer shines out from each pair of eyes, on fire for a new day. 

They live the ultimate cowboy dream.  

These brothers inspire me with their commitment to the craft of the cowboy life. They train horses for a living, riding each horse every day of the week. Waking up early and spending the frigid days outside with their animals goes without asking. They live to train horses and seek the challenges that that brings. Money, shelter, and big-city luxuries are all afterthoughts. To be true to one’s dream requires the dedication of honing the craft each day, thinking little about peripheral distractions. 

 These photos tell the story of the true cowboy dream. To wake each day and work. Then to get up and do it again the next, and the next. No fame and fortune. No cheering crowds. These are the dreams on the divide. 

Meet Tyler with a young sorrel colt wearing the Lariat 5X Cowboy Hat.

Water tower in Dubois, Idaho.

Shawn breaking a future bucking horse. Made of Beaver Fur Felt, the Shasta 10X Cowboy Hat is perfect in cold climates.

Houston, out for a winter ride. Add an extra layer of warmth with Buffalo Plaid Quilted Vest.

Shop Cowboy Hats here.

Home on the range.

Out checking on an Appaloosa stud colt.

Heading home after a long ride.

 Artist Bio 

Jordan is an analog photographer and storyteller from Idaho Falls, Idaho. He travels in search of capturing stories and documenting lives through film photography (the photos in this story are digital). He recently returned home to Idaho after a three year stint in Amsterdam. While he’s worked all over the world, his current focus is on the Idaho cowboy and the concept of home. Vogue Italia and FOTOiSTANBUL have both featured Jordan’s work.  

Follow him on Instagram at: @jdkillpack 

For his portfolio and inquiries visit his website at: jordankillpack.com  

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