The 2019 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo opens today, which means hundreds of mounted trail riders are nearing the AT&T center, converging from all points around Central and South Texas in eleven different sanctioned trail rides, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Tucker Flemming is Vice President of the Kerr County Trail Ride, which makes its way from the Hill Country to San Antonio every February, under the sponsorship of the Alamo Country Kickers.
She says it is become an unforgettable experience.
"When I first start trailriding in Texas, I didn't know anybody, and now I have so many friends, I could fill a book with them," she told 1200 WOAI's Megan Bishop. "Some of them I only see once a year, but really, in my heart, it helps keep the cowboy tradition alive."
The idea of the trail rides started in the middle 20th Century as a way to honor the Texas traditions which are on display at the Stock Show and Rodeo.
Flemming says they stay in the saddle, rain or shine, hot weather or freezing weather, because that's what the cowboys did in the Texas of old.
"Actually, the weather has been very warm this year," she said. "Coming out of Kerrville, we had a slight mist in the morning and then it was partly clousy. Now Friday it's supposed to be rainy and cold, but you gotta keep that pony going."
The trail riders traditionally gather on the grounds of the Freeman Coliseum for a large chuck wagon meal, which is the origin of the Cowboy Breakfast, which has now become an event of its own.
"We get up at 5:30 every morning, and we average twenty miles a day, regardless of the weather," she said.
And those ponies will keep on going, as long as there is a Texas to remember and to celebrate.