If you haven’t ever seen a Longhorn up close, you can’t imagine how large they are. Some, of course, are bigger than others. I really enjoyed photographing this herd. I was given permission to crawl the fence because the owner was out of town. I was assured that they were very tame but warned not to get too close because they could whip their heads around to get at the flies and slice me by accident. When I got out there, none of them paid a bit attention to me until this one finally quit grazing long enough to come over. She just kept getting closer and closer until I started to get nervous. I made sure that I could reach the fence before she could get to me in case she decided I didn’t belong there. As it turns out, she was just extremely curious. You don’t get the sense of how large she is although I have seen others much larger. Each time I see them herd the Longhorns by horseback down the road at the Fort Worth Stockyards I am blown away at how huge the ones in that herd are. At over 1,000 lbs. this gal was big enough! There were 8 of them in this field with her and all but one took turns coming over to check me out. One got so close I thought I might have to bolt.
Longhorns aren’t known for their great meat like Angus but people like to keep Longhorns just because they are so Texas. Within a 2 mile radius of our home, we have seen many rather surprising animals out in pastures including camels, zebras, zeedonks, buffalo, giraffe, alpacas, llamas, white deer and giraffes. There are both huge animals and tiny ones out running around. There are lots of mini horses and mini donkeys and, of course, plenty of standard horses and cattle surrounding us. The Longhorns are not nearly as exotic as some of the animals listed but dearly loved here in Texas. Can you imagine what it must have been like to take an entire herd from Texas clear up north back in the old days? Well, if you want to find out, you’ll have to rent the movie, Lonesome Dove. I can’t remember if they were Longhorns in the movie but it is easy to imagine. Keeping the horses safe in a cattle drive with those horns swinging around must have taken a lot of talent and very smart horses.