Longhorns on the Beach
The Longhorns are trained for unusual events. They have been asked to cross narrow bridges or go through small gates or door’s, even to move backwards without them seeing where they are going. We would never be able to get these big animals to willingly do as they are asked without training and trust. This hours and days of practice and patience both of the Trainer and the Longhorn. Repeat, over and over again weekly. The training never ends and would be soon forgotten if continuously rehearsed. Slowly, the Longhorn’s trust in the Trainer is gained. You will notice the Longhorns watch the Trainer at the event. The Longhorn’s know several verbal commands’, even if the Trainer is simply stand near. Some Guest misunderstands the Longhorn’s look towards their direction. They are just paying attention to you and listening for a command. Yes, they are spoiled and treated like family and don’t even know what it is like to be dirty! We go the extra mile and prepare for unusual performances.
We had a request to perform at a festival in North Padre Island at an Art and Blues Festival over a Memorial Day weekend on the Beach. I had never had the Steers on wet sand nor had they ever seen waves or heard them crashing against the shore. We when to North Padre in advance to train and let the Steers hear the waves and feel the sand under hoof. I parked the trailer to block the view of the waves on a less populated part of the beach. We unloaded 3 Steers and started saddle them. Hotshot’s feet started to do a little dance and I could see his chest slightly get bigger. He was excited and was sniffing the salt air and you could see his ears listening to the waves! We got on the Steers and headed around the trailer for their first look at the bay. Hotshot’s skin gave a quick shiver of excitement. All 3 Steers were dancing in the water. I asked the Wranglers "how about letting them have a quick run on the beach"? Off we went, splashing and laughing all the way. What a thrill and an adrenaline rush for both the Longhorns and the "Cowgirls"! We were about to turn back to the Trailer when a near by Hotel guests spotted us and ask to take a picture of the Steers in the water. Soon all of the beach go-er’s were grabbing camera’s, camera phone’s and a crowd quickly grew in seconds. The kids were cheering and begging us to join them at the Hotel! We let them know that we would be at the Island event and to come meet the Steers then. We gave a quick wave good-bye and off again we went. We took our time on the way back to let the Longhorns sniff the water, wade in the water and see the waves. To our surprise as we headed toward the Trailer was a News crew parked by the trailer filming away! So much for a quite arrival. We were on the News at 5,6 and 10!