One of the most treasured aspects of being a Fort Worth Herd drover is our interaction with visitors. On a daily basis, we field numerous questions. Read along to learn the answers to our most frequently asked.
“Do you get paid to do this?”
Yes, we get paid. Some of us are full-time employees while others are part-time. In response to inquiries centering on whether we get paid to do the cattle drives, specifically, we share with them that it's just one of the many aspects of our job.
“Is this all y’all do, drive cattle up the street and take pictures on horseback?”
While there are parts of our job that are more glamorous and perhaps even carefree, at least from the outside looking in, there are behind-the-scenes chores we handle that can be intense at times. We clean the horse stalls and cattle pens, fix fences, wash vehicles and trailers, cut grass and weed-eat in and around our facilities, feed, groom and exercise horses, and so much more. Sometimes the work is a little more lighthearted.
“How did you get this job?”
While a friend told me a few years ago about the drover position, most other drovers visited the Herd’s website and filled out the online application. We are always in need of a few good men and women if you want to join us!
“How much do the horns weigh?”
On average, each horn weighs about 15 pounds to 20 pounds, depending on the size of the steer. We share with those who cringe at the thought of the animals walking around with humongous-looking horns that the steers themselves weigh about 1,500 pounds. So, in essence, the long horns do not weigh the animals down.
“Do the Longhorns ever fight?”
Fight? No. But they do have a pecking order, which means there are times when a longhorn will lock horns with another to establish which will be the alpha male. When they do that, they’re pretty much shoving each other back and forth in a test of strength. That is done until one of those two gives up and walks away. Outside of that, there aren’t many “fights.”
“How old are the longhorns and horses?”
Regarding the ages of the horses and the longhorns, we share that the life span of horses (in general) ranges from the mid-20s to early 30s and longhorns to mid-20s. Our horses are well below the aforementioned ranges because we purchase mounts that are young enough to be an asset to our program conceivably for the next 10 years.
All of the longhorns are donated to the Fort Worth Herd by gracious donors at a young age. When they are retired in their latter years, the longhorns are adopted and turned out to pasture or even back to their original owners.
“Do y’all still do the cattle drives when it rains?”
Absolutely. It can be raining cats and dogs, and we’ll still do the drives. The only thing that would prevent us from driving cattle in the rain is lightning. Safety first for the animals, drovers and spectators.
“When do y’all do ‘the running of the bulls?’”
There is no “running of the bulls,” rather just a walking of the steers, also known as cattle drives. These take place twice a day at 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The only days we don't schedule the Cattle Drives are Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“Do the Longhorns ever get away from y’all on a cattle drive?”
Longhorns seldom stray but it has happened in the past. Luckily, thanks to the great training we regularly receive in cattle handling, it’s highly unlikely now.
“Are you hot (in your attire)?”
On hot, humid weather days: yes, it can be challenging at times to wear our drover clothes. We keep cool by drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, and we often soak our wild rags (bandanas) in cool water to wrap around our necks or set them inside our hats.
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