These are just a few of the pictures of the famous three day Cracker cattle drive through historic Hernando – we camped out one night and drove a herd of 81 for two days through wild Florida countryside just like the cowboys of Old Florida!! There were real cowboys there to work the herd but the animals were the stars- the cow dogs and cowponies were very, very tough!! It was an amazing adventure and a LOT of hard work! I can’t wait to do it again!
Its Friday night and the horse trailers are rolling in, the horses are unloaded and they shake like wet dogs as they step out of their trailers, stretching, neighing and sniffing the ground and smelling the air, smelling the new place and taking note of neighbor horses. The cowboys and cowgirls are anxious and excited to get their camps settled in so they can go over to the chuck wagon and campfire and meet the rest of the crew. The real cowboys are there to – busy with the actual work of rounding up and bedding down the cow herd for the night. Making preparations for the push tomorrow, they go about their business in a confident air, mostly ignoring the greenhorns moving in and about the camp. The horses are staked out or put up in temporary corrals, hay and feed are brought out of the trailers and given to the horses, water is carried in five gallon buckets. Tents are out and up, bedrolls and sleeping bags laid out and boots and chaps and long sleeved shirts and cowboy hats are the dress de rigor.
Cowboys, cowhands and cowgirls line up at the chuck wagon to fix their plates for supper- much excited chatter is exchanged as speculation is raised about the drive, the experienced cowhands are treated with respect and politely asked about every detail of their lives with horses and cows and the work of driving cattle. These are horse people all, polite, friendly and hospitable, offering help and advice where they can and pitching in often with at every chance and freely giving of their spare tack and gear.