Traveling through South Florida, we recently spent some time with an amazing family who lives in Okeechobee Florida. For those who arent familiar with the area, it's in the middle of the state and takes its name from the second largest in-land lake (Lake Okeechobee) in the United States that happens to be right beside the town.
This town is also Cattle Capitol of the South, and cowboys and rodeo is a way of life in this area.
Its hard to believe that within an hours drive you can be in posh Palm Beach or a bit further south and you'll be in the model capitol of the states in Miami
We were introduced to this couple, Reed and Shannon by good friends of ours who live over in West Palm Beach area. We were to all go camping in Okeechobee on a large ranch where the couple lets their cattle graze before sending them off to market.
In this modern day life of everything being run with motors and electronics, it was very refreshing to meet people who still do it the old fashioned way. Reed is a real life cowboy who rides his horse daily, roping, working and tending to his herds of cattle. He uses words like "Yes Mam" and "No Sir" both said with a heavy southern drawl. He wears his spurs on his well worn boots at all times and when asked whey they're sideways, his smirk and reply is "Well, Ive always been known to be a little sideways" His wife Shannon isnt just another pretty girl, she told us stories of roping the cattle, branding and working right beside her husband tending to the ranch anyway they needed too in order to make it work. Shannon also happens to be a photographer and their house is decorated with amazing pictures of their teenage kids who are both talented rodeo riders.
Here are a few shots I captured over the 4 days we spent in their presense. It was one of those experiences I'll never forget, and meeting them and becoming good friends was an honor.
Ferrier shaping a set of horse shoes for one of their horses
Ferrier mounting the shoes on the horse
After a 10 hour day with temperatures reaching 89 degrees, Reed cools his horse down after 15 miles of working the pastures
Of course the first thing the horse did was go take a Dirt Bath
Another one of the horses running across the pasture - Look at the muscles in this beauty!
Their sons Brahma Bull charging at the camera! Luckily I was behind a fence
The daily tools a real life cowboy uses to work the ranch