Sixteen-year-old Ramos, who attends Tuloso-Midway High School, is the queen for the 54th annual Trail Ride to the 64th annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
The South Texas Trail Ride is an eight-day ride from Corpus Christi to San Antonio on horseback. Everything that is needed for the ride is carried either on the horses or in covered wagons. Sleeping is done outside or in the horse trailers and much of the cooking is outdoors. According to the group’s website, the ride is “Keeping The Cowboy Tradition Alive.”
Ramos has been riding on a horse since she was one and has been a part of the trail ride most of her life.
“I was raised around horses,” she said. She credits her involvement in the ride to her parents, Larry and Sherry Ramos, who she says have been saddling up and taking part in the ride for about 25 years.
“It’s been a dream of my father’s and mine since I was a little girl to be queen of the ride,” she said.
Ramos has been coming on the ride even before she was old enough to ride her own horse.
“My dad used to pony me along because I didn’t know how strong a horse was,” she said. “As I got older, he let me ride alone.”
While it may seem easy to ride a horse down the side of the road, Ramos said there is a lot more to it than that.
“You have to get your horse conditioned,” she said. “There is a lot of packing involved too. It takes preparation to get ready for this type of ride.”
Lucky for Ramos, this year’s trip so far has been pleasant.
“Normally we are bundled up or are in rain slickers,” she said. “This year is really enjoyable. It’s not too hot and it’s not too cold. This is the best weather we have had since 2006.”
She said the worst weather she experienced included seeing a tornado off in the distance.
The possibility of bad weather never deters her from coming back yearly. She has made lifelong friends through the ride and she said she considers them her second family.
“They have helped shaped me into the person I am today,” she said.
Her position as rodeo queen is voted on by her peers, so the group appears to be as fond of her as she is of them.
The group rides about 20 to 22 miles a day and stops at a different camp site every night.
Her favorite was the Tuesday night stop in Falls City.
“We have a little dance and the food is amazing there,” she said. “The people in Falls City are really friendly.”
It also helps that the campsite itself is down by the river and one of the prettiest on the whole ride, but she only gets to enjoy it for one night.
Wednesday morning the group was up and at ’em early, moseying on down the rode to the next stop.
The ride itself ends on Friday when the group gets to San Antonio but Ramos will still have duties there as queen to represent and promote the ride while in San Antonio.