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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Two Cowboys: Every Cow and Bull Mount Comes With a Story at Longhorns and Leather in Coronation, Alberta

Making Lemonade

If you do something for the love of money, become a banker. For a life with meaning, preferably make something.

Enjoy what you do and get better at it, so that it adds value to your and other people's lives. When the world gives you lemons, make lemonade. Love lemons so much that you are vested in making the world's best lemonade. Then, make sure thirsty people everywhere can get it on hot summer days.

The golden rule that budding entrepreneurs often miss is that you have to absolutely love and value what you do. When you are successful, you are going to do a lot of it. The second valuable lesson is to seek out people that value and benefit from what you do. Because these are the people vested in your success. Work hard. Become the best so that more people can have what you create.

It all starts with a love and passion for making something. For Dexter Dedora, in Coronation Alberta, it began with his passion for farming and the few remaining Longhorn cattle of Alberta. He mounts horns.


In the early part of the 20th century, Longhorns neared extinction. However, the breed was kept alive because a few Texas ranchers and some in Southern Saskatchewan and Eastern Alberta, Canada, held onto small herds for mostly sentimental reasons.

Now, Longhorns are making a fantastic comeback as a breed. They are not just surviving symbols of the Old West but are cattle that are more and more in demand. They are attractive to breeders today for the same reasons they were successful a century ago. Their resistance to disease, ease of calving, longevity, and ability to thrive on poor pasture makes them unique. They also provide health-conscious Americans of the 21st century with lean and great-tasting beef.

Most of all, they are beautiful animals. The fashionable colours of their hides and those recognizable long horns make it a particular breed that serves as a talisman for what the Old-West was and still is all about. These are the symbols of a hardy folk - the people that succeeded with tenacity and perseverance and above all a love for their animals that made a particular type of life possible in a harsh and unforgiving land. The Longhorn had a significant part in it all. It is no wonder that there is an incentive to try and preserve some of the memory of a particular bull or cow that played a role in the survival and success of a family or a ranch.

If not the memory of a particular animal, then the reminder of more straightforward, harder, and somehow a more rewarding time in the West when hard work was rewarded, honesty and integrity valued, and where people still took care of each other.


Dexter's Longhorn mounts are not trophies. They are stories that he cajoles from, and share with every one of the masterpieces he lovingly creates in his shed. In some cases, the stories date back decades as he performs his lazarushian magic to bring the horns of an old bull or cow back from the brink of oblivion.

His polished masterpieces have travelled as far as Europe. All across Canada, they are treasured as reminders of a grandfather, a ranch, home or a specific animal. Above all, they are reminders of a lifestyle, culture and outlook of a pioneering people. People that know that there is fulfilment in making something of value, and in sharing it with people that you love and that are vested in your success.

That is why we will proudly display a Longhorn mount from Dexter's Longhorns and Leather. It reminds us every day to invest our time and energy in the people that care about us and value what we do in the same way as the Longhorn from which it came was once vested in the survival and success of its owner.

We are telling the stories of our makers to the world because celebrating these people is desperately needed. The time is coming when we will need them more than ever before.

Hendrik van Wyk
Longhorn Cowboy

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Worker Hands



Longhorn Cow

Two Cowboys & Ranch

Eastern Alberta - 2018

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