Parker County Today June 2016 - Page 63

Twin cowboys from Millsap take on the world BY MELISSA MOORMAN T Jayde and Jerrad and Dittmer years and now have a herd of eight or nine mustangs. For the competition, the contestants are given 100 days to train a wild mustang and then the trainers are judged on how well the horses work. “You get judged on how well trained your horses are. I’ve been in the top ten every year I’ve done it,” Jerrad said. They have competed at several competitions including one as far away as Tennessee. Although the brothers are competing against each other, their focus is on beating the rest of the competitors. Jerrad said that the winner between the two of them gets bragging rights until the next competition. With both boys competing, it’s surprising what the result was. According to Jerrad: “They [the mustangs] helped bring our family together. It brought us closer as a family.” PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY and there’s not much about school he will miss, unless it is his shop and ag teachers. He does have in mind where he wants to live though. ”My dream place has some cows on it, and I’d build a tiny house and live in that. Have it on wheels so I could just move it around. Go wherever the land is,” he said Something both enjoyed was competing with the Millsap FFA’s Horse Judging Team. Both said the experience made them better, honing their skills evaluating and seeing all of the horses. According to Jayde the judging was, “Doing what I like to do, look at horses.” And Jerrad said, “It helped me get better at profiling a horse.” Jerrad and Jayde have also been training and competing with their mustangs through a program sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation for the past couple of JUNE 2016 wins Jayde and Jerrad Dittmer actually finished their courses at Millsap High School in December, but they will be walking the stage and receiving their diplomas along with their classmates the last week in May. Hard working cowboys now, both want to continue to work with horses, cows and own their own spreads someday. They are both also dedicated to volunteering with their church. “Our religion is pretty important to me,” said Jerrad. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, they will be returning to the church’s headquarters in upstate New York in June to help harvest apples and peaches for two weeks. The Dittmers had to apply to make the trip and it’s one they have made before. Previously, they assisted with a faithbased movie production that required their horse training talents. They are making the long drive north together and will visit some family and friends along the way including an uncle who lives in Ohio. Jayde will miss his teachers from Millsap as he moves into the adult world. His future plans are to “train horses and go to the trade route. Do some welding and metal building for ourselves. For me, I want to start a leather business and build saddles and belts,” a skill he learned from his dad when he was 15. What he wants to do for a living is much like what he is doing now. “I guess just ride horses and work with cattle, cowboy I guess. I eventually want my own place and to get some cows and work for myself,” he said.  “It’s different now from going to school and you’re stuck in a routine. Being out of school you can manage your time and work. You still have to manage your time, but you have a little bit more freedom and choose what your work is,” he said. Unlike Jayde, Jerrad said, “I really don’t know what I want to do. I know I want to at least ride a horse.” But his plans don’t include college 61