I just spent a couple of days riding and eating at Wildcatter Ranch outside of the small town of Graham, Texas. I was able to ride a couple of different trails with some nice trotting and cantering, as well as take part in a wild cattle drive. I say that it was wild, because we had fresh cattle, who hadn't been worked a lot on horseback. A group of four of us led by the head wrangler Jay Brewer and trainers Casey and Kirsten were attempting to separate out about 20 of them from a crowd of 80 and ended up running through woods, prairies and even across a small stream, as we attempting to round them up.
My favorite part was making some noise and waving one arm to keep those wily cattle moving as our group of four moved them about. My horse for my stay, Rocket, was given that name for a reason. He was pretty laid back, but can run once you got him started? Wow! An eight-year-old Paint Horse, Rocket listened well and had a bit of attitude that I liked. He usually played well with the other horses, until we were cantering and he kicked his back legs into the air, attempting to take out Casey's horse, the horse behind us. That kind of thing always happens so fast that you can hardly believe that it has happened, except that we caught it on high definition video, so you can actually see Rocket trying to rock the horse in back of us. Rocket and I kept our distance from Casey's horse for the rest of the day.
Riding at the ranch is diverse. We headed through fields of tall grass and mesquite trees, towards hills of oaks and up to a point where you had great views of the Brazos and Cooper Rivers. There's a lot of history in the area relating to Native Americans, 1920's wildcatters looking for oil and the early frontiersmen who lived and worked here in Texas. You still ride by old oil tanks that are sprinkled throughout this part of Texas.
I am enjoying the fact that everything is bigger in Texas here, by eating awesome big steaks at the Wildcatter, staying in a big comfy room with a large roaring fire (ideal after a day on the range), riding on big ranches and taking in the big Texas horse culture. Stay tuned for more from Texas and beyond. Also, stay tuned for more adventures as continue filming 13 new episodes for Public Television.