For anyone who believes the age of the cowboy is gone to Texas folklore, look no further than the Barrett family, who, on their way to Mother’s Day church service, stopped to rescue 31 horses and ponies from raging flood waters in Eastland.
Under the careful supervision and guidance of their father, Will, sons Bailey, Jade, and Trace (ages 14, 12, and 8) rode on horseback through the deep water, corralling, lassoing, and ultimately rescuing every single horse that had been washed away in the storm.
The horses belong to the Barrett family, who were fifty miles away in Abilene for a rodeo when the flooding occurred. As reported by the Houston Chronicle, the family woke up early Sunday morning to drive back home for church, when Will saw “the worst flood he’d seen since 1980” taking over his ranch, where the family prize ponies are kept.
“I always taught my boys, let your faith be bigger than your fear, and we knew what we had to do,” Will told the Houston Chronicle. “We knew we had to get out in the water, and you can’t do that in a vehicle. Well, we saddled up to go after the horses.”
Saddled up, the Barretts took to the muddy waters. Will told the Chronicle that some of the horses had been in the family for more than a decade and had grown up with his children. And aside from any sentimental value, they’re how the Barrett family makes their living. Will is the owner of Cross B Rodeo Company and Boys Ranch and supplies his horses to rodeos. Losing a horse to the flood would mean losing income.
For hours, the Barrett family rode through the flood and did whatever they could to push the horses and ponies to dry land. At a certain point, Will realized the full gravity of the rescue. “That’s when I said to myself, ‘Well, this is pretty western right here, I should video this,” Will told the Chronicle. Riding on horseback through the waters himself, he took his iPhone out of his pocket and filmed as his sons used the lassoing skills they’d been practicing all their lives.
By the time the rescue was finished, Will counted the horses and found, to his astonishment and relief, that all 31 head had been rallied from the flood. The family never did make it to Mother’s Day service, but as the horses gallop across the screen in Will’s video, you can hear the proud father say, laughing with joy, “Thirty-one head, praise the Lord!”
(Photograph via YouTube)