Photographer Jim Urquhart covers the Montana Horse’s spring drive. Image courtesy of Kyle Hausmann-Stokes

At noon on Sunday I found myself standing alone in a pasture in the middle of a ranch in Three Forks, Montana looking down at my cameras that had flecks of vomit on them. I tore off my shirt to clean them as best I could, while trying to figure out how to find some of the dignity I had just lost.

The bush plane that dropped me off in my smelly spot of Big Sky Country had just taken off. As I tried to clean myself off while swearing profusely in the direction of a barbed wire fence because I had never been airsick before, I stopped and questioned how in the hell I found myself in this position. After a few moments of cursing virtually everything sacred in the world and listening to the now vomit smelling plane fly away it hit me like the voice of a supportive dad, “clean up your cameras, find somewhere to throw your shirt away… for God’s sake pull up your skirt, you are in the middle of one of the best assignments of your career! Oh, and find somewhere to wash your face and hands, you smell like hell.”

It was true, I was in the middle of covering one of the best assignments of my life. I have photographed some great assignments in my career ranging from international news to local sports but this was about access and being in the great outdoors. I had been assigned to spend several days covering Montana Horses’ spring drive.

After making the seven hour, 500 plus miles drive from my home in Salt Lake City, Utah, that took me through some of the most beautiful country in the world and two near whiteout snowstorms, I finally arrived at a horse camp outside Three Forks, Montana.