Went with several members of the photography club to see what we could find in the trail riders staging area before the start of the 2020 Houston Rodeo parade. There are so many photos posted of the parade itself, I wanted to meet the riders who have spent the last ten days or so on the road, riding horseback from all over Texas to the annual rodeo gathering.
The leader of this group had to ask directions... so horses waited.
Riders were young and old. When the seat gets sore, give it a rest
Carlos, eight years old, rode from San Antonio to Houston, camping with his family every night. Best education a child could have, learning responsibility, caring for his horse, enduring the elements and sharing the work load.
Dave was a bronco buster in his youth, trying to retire but still a working cowboy.
Curtis makes the trail ride every year, now to remember a departed friend,
the memories they shared.
The details of the rodeo riders captured my attention. The designs in the chaps...
... the turquoise belt and worn jeans.
... the leather stirrup strap details.
Of course, the scale of the Houston Rodeo is immense, with daily attendance in the thousands.
This annual show will continue on for the next week. The arrival of the trail riders signals the start of it all.
From my point of view, the riders who have come here, riding in rain or shine,
are the most interesting and least commercialized part of it all.
They keep the old west tradition of riding to a rodeo, alive.
Their gear is worn, the horses are tired, the riders are real.
No drugstore cowboys here.
Ride safe my friends, see you on down the road.