Lana Hightower is a lover of all things longhorn
The Texas longhorn probably dates back to the “horned cattle” described by Spanish missionaries in the 1700s.
Today, we meet Lana Hightower, a rancher, show judge, and lover of all things longhorn.
There are a few things that shout Texas like the longhorn. Its distinctive characteristics that can extend over 100 inches from tip to tip.
According to Hightower, “If you think about it, we wouldn’t have cowboys if it weren’t for the Texas longhorns. Look at the nostalgia that we have-- the cowboy movies. There was a period of time of about 15 to 20 years, 1865 and on, where the cowboys herded these cattle up the trails. Up to the north. It was called Texas gold. This is what ranchers were able to buy their ranches from selling all of these cattle.”
For Hightower, the love affair with longhorns started young.
“As a little girl, I was always a cowgirl, I was always a tomboy, and I always wanted Texas longhorns,” she states. “When my husband and I married, he was involved with quarter horses; I was involved with showing Morgan horses. We couldn’t agree on what we wanted to show and I said I would really like to show longhorns.”
Lana’s childhood dream came true. She and her late husband George started G and L Cattle Company.
“It’s been three years since my husband passed away and everyone assumed I would sell the herd, and I said, ‘oh, can’t do that. Too much is involved in our planning’... day-to-day I pick up the slack, I’m on the tractor, I put out hay, I feed the cattle, I load feed. It’s difficult, but I do have a couple of cowboys that when I get into a bind I can call.”
Lana says that it is not just their looks that capture her heart, but their brains too: “They’re so highly intelligent. I’ve actually had them lead me to trouble. I had a cow with her head stuck in a hay ring, which happens when you don’t have the proper hay ring for a longhorn. The entire herd met me at the gate and led me out to that cow.”
She says her passion for the longhorn has never waned. She wakes up each day excited to say hello to her four-legged family, and even when their life is over she knows a piece of them will always be with her.