Old Spanish Trail Riders make their way through East Texas toward Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

Published: Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:35 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:37 PM CST
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APPLEBY, TX (KTRE) - It's time to saddle up, giddy up and put on your cowboy hat because it's rodeo season and the cowboys, cowgirls and their horses are on the way to Houston.

It's a 216 mile, week long journey from Logansport, Louisiana to Houston and the Old Spanish Trail Riders are getting there one hoof at a time.

The riders & their crew took off on their 6 day trek across East Texas on Saturday.

At 8-years-old, Josie Malnar, is the youngest trail rider and says she's been riding since she was born.

"It's just natural instinct that comes through my family," said Malnar.

Josie's mom, Trisha Savoy says, it's a family bonding experience.

"I'm here with my family," said Savoy. "I'm here with my dad. This is his 20th year. I have my daughter. We have 3 generations going down the road. It's promoting the livestock show but in my own personal reason it's a family bond."

Trisha has been making the 216 mile ride on-and-off for 19 years and this is her daughter Josie's 3rd year on the trail.

The riders get about 30 miles a day, stopping only for rest, lunch, dinner and sleep all while trying to make the trip as authentic as possible.

"We eat on the trail. We ride on the trail and we sleep on the trail," said Savoy.

Savoy said, "My favorite part is the bond you get with the horses. Every morning, you're out there checking them, making sure they're alright. It's kinda like bringing you back to basics. The important things in life are your horses that are going to get you down the road, making sure their feet are ok and a few snacks in your bag in case you get hungry."

But there are a few more modern conveniences than back in the day…

Slim Savoy said, "We actually have generators and sleeping areas. It's quite different from sleeping bags and open sky."

And instead of covered wagons, the riders have cattle trailers, spare horses, RV's and a sound truck that plays country music and keeps the riders entertained during the trip.

The Old Spanish Trail Ride will meet up with the other trail riders and converge on Memorial Park in Houston on Friday and officially kick off the Houston Livestock Show and Rode

You can catch the Old Spanish Trail Riders in Lufkin Monday around noon as they travel down Highway 59 towards Diboll on their way to Houston.

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