I Gotta Horse For Sale…

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Those of you in the horse world have seen them…those “horse for sale” ads and groups on Craig’s List and Facebook.  Now, I don’t begrudge someone wanting to sell a horse, and possibly recoup a little of the money spent on raising or training one, but from what I’ve seen lately, I’d rather buy a goat. And, before ya go and get your undergarments in a giant wad, or your hinder in a binder, here’s an example of what appears to be an acceptable ad these days:

RANCH DISPERSAL SALE

‘Beautiful Brood Mare Prospect’ 10 years old sorta broke registered American Quarter Horse grade paint brood mare with one eyeball, accidentally bred to my neighbor’s jack donkey through the fence. Bloodlines are amazing triple bred Doc Bar on sire’s side but the dam mighta been out of the great bronc, Lunatic Fringe.  She appears to be built for speed, but only when I try to catch her out of the 40 acre pasture, but most of the time she’s real friendly and you can catch her pert near anywhere with a grain bucket.  She’s pretty good with three of her feet, but that left hind is kinda a bitch. She might take your head off.  She’s a little toed in, and spavin hocked, but her teeth are good.  She may make a real nice barrel horse if you give her a 200 foot by 400 foot arena to turn her in.  Only asking $10,000 or best offer, but to a good home only.

’16 Year Old Seasoned Head Horse’ He’s a little stiff in the morning, but hell, what guy worth a plug nickel ain’t?  Appears to loosen up after stumbling a few laps around the the arena or 2o minutes of ground work.  He needs a little extra padding on them whithers and every month or so needs some cortisone injections, but he likes the vet.  He hates dogs, but would probably make a good “husband horse”.  I do believe John Wayne learned to rope off him.  He ground ties, trips into the trailer, and sleeps standing up.  He’s safe for most folks, but occasionally spooks at his own farts. He’s a steal at only $15,000. Won’t last long.

‘4 Year Old Green Broke Roping/Hunter/Jumper Prospect’ Nice tall boy. About 16H, a little narrow chested, but will grow. Has one testicle left but seems real calm and quiet.  Started him hunting and packing last fall.  That’s how we found out he’s a jumper.  Had him at the pack out corrals and he jumped the 8ft fence to flirt with the neighbor’s mare.  Once we caught him and had him tracking on some elk, he spooked when we shot the rifle, and we got to spend the rest of our time hunting him.  Brought him home and put him to work ranching, because we’re real ranchy punching cows and stuff. Threw a loop off him and he seemed to settle in real well until I realized I pantyhosed the calf, pissed off the mama cow, and ran the rope up under his tail.  He bucked just a little and cow kicked at me as I went off, but he just needs a little more ground work I think.  He’s gotta go though, cause I got some hospital bills to pay.  Only asking $14,500.  That should about cover the doc’s bills.

After all that… who needs a horse? Y’all be careful horse swappin’ out there… As for me, I’ma gonna buy me a goat…

Happy Trails~

Heather

 

 

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Forever, My Girl

“I know a girl, she puts the color inside of my world…” ~John Mayer
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18 years… Seems like yesterday, my beautiful Kiley Dawn.  April 15th, 1998 at 7:25 A.M…they laid you in my arms.  I knew my life would never be the same, and as cliche as that may sound, it’s entirely true.  You were my first overwhelming, selfless love. You were my first in so many ways, and if I knew then what I know now, I’d hit pause for just a while on all those firsts…
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The first minutes of your life, the look in your daddy’s eyes when he first saw you, the first smile you smiled, the first words you spoke, the first steps, the first time you rode your horse, the first time we took you fishing, the first time you bugled elk with Dad, your first days of every year of school, and now the first day of the rest of your adult life…
fb_img_1460562680316.jpgSo, here we are, and I just want to make the moment last just a little longer.  And as much as I want you to spread your beautiful wings and fly, and am excited about all the amazing things you’ll do in this life, I want just as badly to hold on to the last little bit of your time at home with us before you strike out on life’s grand adventures.  I wonder if I’ve given you all the love you needed to succeed, the proper guidance and direction?  Do you know how much you are admired and loved, and just how proud of you I am?  Because I feel I could never tell or show you enough.  Moms are just that way… So, before you go, I give you these words, so you may always know just how much you’re loved and supported, and know that I trust the decisions and choices you make, even if they’re not ones I would choose for you.

Remember that you have what it takes to climb that mountain, and don’t take the easy way. That grit in your gut is pure strength and passion.  The challenge builds character, makes your lungs burn, and reminds you how alive you are.  When you doubt yourself, trust in God. He wants even more amazing things for you than you or I can even fathom. Don’t sell that ride short, ever, because there are no short-cuts to anywhere worth going.

Integrity is everything…Doing the right thing when nobody is looking is your soul proof. I know this is not something you will ever struggle with.  You have strong and true convictions in right and wrong… You always have.  Don’t ever ask of someone what you are not willing to do yourself.  Be the example and the change you want this life to see.fb_img_1460562258527.jpg

Please don’t forget to nurture that beautiful, little girl still inside you. Never ignore her.  You will need her in the years to come, and the passions you lived for as a child, will carry over into adulthood.  Sing….Girl, please sing and share that amazing talent with others.  You’re meant to be heard. Learn to dance, ride wild horses, pick wildflowers, play in the rain, and forget the boys once in a while…always do these things because they will help keep you young.  It’s not ever selfish to get back to the roots of just being you before the world told you who you should be. Don’t lose the smile it brings to your face and soul because yours is simply too amazing not to share with the world beautiful daughter.

Be forgiving and humble…and sort out what is worth holding on to emotionally, and just let go of the rest.  Anger and discontent become extra weight you will be better off without in the long run, and remember you never truly lose in apologizing.  There is always something to learn from every situation or conflict.  There are always opportunities for emotional growth, so learn from them.  You’ve taught me so much about myself over the years just by simply being your mom.  You’re a reflection of me and my actions, and more often than not, I got it all wrong. But from that, I see wisdom and strength in your young eyes, and more importantly, in your heart.

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Travel, explore, and be adventurous.  Try something new any chance you get.  You will need these memories to take out and reflect on now and then. We all need “remember whens”.  But, don’t forget the door to home is always open, and my shoulder is here for you to lean or cry on.  When you have troubles, I promise to just listen and not talk.  When you have good news to share, I will rejoice and celebrate with you.  When you just need a place to be…home is here for you with the door unlocked, clean sheets on the bed, and ice cream in the freezer.

Family really is everything, and so is learning to count on yourself.  Family is your anchor, and a complete pain in your ass, but they have your best interest at heart, and are there when the shit hits the fan.  Listen to your grandmas’ advice, hug your grandpas’ necks, make your brother one of your best friends, be an example for your younger cousins, and know your aunts and uncles are a second set of parents with their own words of wisdom and adventurous advice to share.  Visit them as often as time allows, and honor them because they love you like you were their own.

20160305_151924-02.jpegIf your life and circumstances allow, always own a horse or a dog. And if you can’t have one out your back door, I promise to always have one for you.  You already know all the reasons why…but mostly because it reminds you how to love something bigger than yourself, gives you purpose, and a reason to get outdoors.  And they always provide love in return.  They teach you about yourself, your strengths and weakness, and where your character needs improvement.  Besides children of your own {someday}, they will be your best teachers.

Laugh…laugh at the silly and the stupid and the simple things.  Just laugh. It’s infectious and makes others smile.  Give people a reason to laugh, and do it often.  Laughter through tears heals broken hearts…And cry. Never apologize for tears.  They’re real and exist because of a feeling, and sometimes for no damn reason at all.  That’s just being a woman.

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In the end, be grateful… Grateful for hurt, pain, and triumphs no matter the size.  There is always something to be grateful for in this beautiful life, Kiley.  The more you know yourself, the more there is to rejoice in.  Remember to take the time to get to know the new and changing you, now.  The big choices and decisions don’t have to be made at this moment.  Don’t let this world jade you, chew you up and spit you out.  Stay grateful, stay true….Stay just you.  Boys will wait if they’re meant to be. College can wait. Marriage can wait. Babies can wait.  But life can’t wait.  Some days you will make great strides, and others will feel like two steps forward and one step back; it will feel like you’re treading water.  Go to church now and then… We all need reminders, and wait on God in those moments…Just wait.  He’s busy clearing a path in your heart to prepare you for what lies ahead. Reflect, listen, learn, but always love.

Never forget you will always be your daddy’s little girl, your mama’s best friend and riding partner, and your little brother’s advocate and confidant.  I am so damn proud of you.  Spread those new-found wings, spread them as far and wide as you can, and know that I love you…Yes, to the moon and back. And always…

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Summer Love, True Love

Pearl Basin 3It really was love at first sight;  the ranch, the barnyard bustle, the summer morning air filled with the scent of horses and leather and timothy grass, the mountains and wilderness and the trails that wound intimately through, and my family working side by side.  I knew from day one, the hold this had on me, the grip on my heart and soul.  I knew this was it, that I wouldn’t need anything else in my life. Just this. And although I couldn’t see it then, I see it now.  This way of life assimilated into a relationship built on real, true love, summer love.

And as with all relationships in its freshness and grandeur,  I found myself giving it my very best, giving my all, losing myself in the ebb and flow of all the family outfitting and dude ranch business and the nature of what it had to offer.  I let it form and mold and shape me at its whim.  I took when it gave, it gave everything when it could, and I waited patiently when it couldn’t, and rested on the laurels of someday and next summer. Because I knew with each breath of a new summer season, it would once again envelop me in its arms. It needed me, and I needed summer even more.  I loved it with every fiber of my being.  I always felt that without it, I wasn’t me, that I wasn’t honoring what my family had worked so hard to build, and I wasn’t fulfilling the contract made to my heart without it.  But, mostly it was an incessant need and desire that demanded to be satiated.  I needed the mountains, the horses, the trails and the dust, the meadows, the influx of new people, and the daily touchback to my family and heritage; I needed it all.

This love took me places I never knew were possible or even existed. It pushed me, helped me see untapped potential within, and broke down walls I didn’t even know needed breaking. It opened my eyes to what this life could be, what it should be. It led me to new friendships, mountain peaks and vistas I would have never otherwise seen, the clearest streams filled with the most colorful stones, the intimate trust and love of a good horse, and it led me to my next love, my husband and children.

And as with all  good things, true love changes, and you start to wonder if you’re both committed to forever. Your needs start to change and so does its. I started to lose my grip on what seemed perfect and what I felt would truly last forever.  I started to see flaws in this relationship, and my ability to communicate my needs and desires broke down.  And the ease and comfort of my life morphed into the next phase of true love, the change.  And I felt myself changing with it.  I felt like I was becoming two different people.  There was the side of me, the drifter side, that wanted to continue to wander and wonder and love this life as it was.  But the other side of me I felt emerging desired consistency and steadfastness that this love could not offer me.  And they clashed, like a gentle war in my heart.  And it was a wash, no clear winner, no giant victor; only small wins here and there in a fraction of time that soothed  because one side of me conceded the game being played between head and heart to the other.  But only until they crossed paths again…the epitome of should I stay or should I go?

The latter of the two won. The need to find stability in something other than my love for this way of life surpassed the need to drift freely.  Because it no longer was free; it came at a price. It forced choices to be made and growth to happen.  The next phase of life needed to happen because I could no longer ride the tide of summer love.  I had others counting on me, and I needed to count on myself.  And I let go…

I didn’t give up.  I didn’t win or lose.  This love became best tucked away with words left unsaid because it was better that way.  Letting go wasn’t leaving the love, but rather leaving feelings left unexplored and thoughts left incomplete.  It wasn’t about blocking memories made, good or bad.  Letting go became an acceptance of what this love really was, realizing my own need for independence, and finding peace with what it remains to be.  It was a giant and gentle step into growth and knowing that my heart and head needed a clearer, gentler path. No bitterness was felt and no blame needed placed, because there was really no fault. Just the rawness that change evokes.

So, there my true, first love lies, back in the heart of the mountains, in the family left behind, the friends made, the horses and trails ridden. We both gave it everything we had at the time, and when the morning sun arose, we both knew it was time. It embeds itself there, tucked away in the rough edges of my heart, occupying vast space, a burning flame, awaiting for our paths to cross again. I take those memories out and  look at them, revisit what was, and sometimes wonder what if?  But more than anything, I honor this great love, a no truer love, because it made me who I am today and for that, I am forever in love and forever grateful…

Happy Trails~

Heather

She Rides

This is an ode to the most beautiful woman I know.  No finer lady will this world have the pleasure of knowing, and at 66, may she know that’s she’s the most beautiful version of herself now more than ever.  May this serve as a reminder that even though she’s a mother, a wife, and a grandmother, that she is still all woman, and most importantly, uniquely amazing with what she offers up to this world with the biggest and kindest of hearts…. Happiest of birthdays, Mama…

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I always picture her here on the back of spry black & white paint horse riding down a mountain trail. Her black hair and dark eyes glitter, and you know she’s at home here, the most in love here, and the most alive here.  She sits tall and true.  She rides.

 But in all actuality, this is how she handles life and all the crazy it throws at her.  She’s seen mountains of heartbreak, admitted guilt, nursed sick children, loved her family and husband fiercely, she’s fallen and risen, and prayed her way through it all. Sure, she’s made mistakes and blamed herself; nobody is more aware of them than her.  But, through it all, she rides, head held high, straighter and truer with every turn of the trail. She rides.

She’s tough. I’ve seen her eat dirt coming off a rank colt, and pull herself up and throw a leg over him one more time, just to prove she’s boss.  She has a way with horses; she sees untapped potential, and she loves the challenge of the ornery ones. And she rides them. She hangs and rattles with the best of ’em because she rides.

Lord, she’s strong; strong- willed and strong-minded, but mostly, strong-hearted.  The only fear I’ve ever seen in her is the possibility of losing a loved one.  And she’s been there. She’s lost love and she cries.  And she loves again, stronger. She extends her open arms and heart to those around her, those in need of it most, stranger or friend.  She rides through this life with grace and love. She rides.

She paints beautiful pictures, she builds a home full of laughter, love, kindness and respect.  She’s music, Sunday morning hymnals, and a little kick-ass country because it’s Monday.  She’s fast horses, Sunday morning church, and a lover and a fighter.  She’s woman, all beautiful woman, refined and lady-like and tough as nails. She’s all of these because she rides.

I’m lucky enough to call her Mama.  There’s nobody I look up to more in this life, and I am forever grateful for all she’s ever been to me. Strength when I needed, a boot in the ass when I deserved it, and unconditional love always. Thank you for all the firsts in this life, like teaching my to drive a stick and pull a horse trailer, how to cook, and how to get tough when the tough get going.  Thank you for your love and support through the years when I doubted my own skills and strengths.  But I’m most thankful for your teaching me to ride. Straight, strong and true, she rides…

Love you, Mama. Happy Birthday!

I Thought of You Today…

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I thought of you today while the wind teased the loose tendrils of hair from under my hat. The familiar feel and memories of a spring with you came flooding back. The horse hair curried, the mane and tail trimmed and shaped, the tack cleaned and oiled just right. My horse rolled air through his nose, and snorted with anticipation. He knew the first ride of spring was upon him. Old Roany gave me the look, the one you used to tell me to watch for. The look that allows a fraction of insight into their heart and soul, the one chance you get at an advantage on a spry, spring-backed horse. I saw so much life there. He told me not to worry or be afraid. And he told me he would test me, but he also told me to trust. He read my hesitation. You see, he’s sort of like you were. Standoffish. Confident. Proud. Full of life. I saw your reflection in his eyes and your words echoed in my ear, softly. I saddled him up, lead him away from the hitch rail, the wind picking up force.  My bosal hackamore, the one you gave me, hung from the horn, and I always see your hands, weathered and rough, on the mecate. I bridled him, patted him, and gave him one last look as I grabbed a hunk of mane, and swung a leg over ‘ol red roany. Hump in his back, wind in his tail, and the look in his eye, he strode out just like he always does every time, quick and sure-footed and in charge. You would’ve liked Red, Popi. He would have been just your style. The smile on my face said it all.  Anyway, I thought of you today…

Leaving a Legacy

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Some moments simply leave your mouth absent of words, your eyes filled with warm tears, and your heart so full of love and pride, and when those moments come, you make note of every detail in that capsule of time.  My grandfather, Clarence Barron “C.B.” Rich was recently inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame this month in Great Falls.  I have written about my grandpa in the past and shared how he impacted my insignificant, little life, but to witness what it means to really leave a legacy behind for another generation to nurture and care for as their own is priceless.

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He was one of thirty-five inductees, living and legacy, to be honored at this year’s ceremonies.  How a committee narrows down a group of thirty-five cowboys from all of those spread out over the years in Montana is baffling, because as I sat there and listened to the names being read and the story behind each cowboy or cowgirl, I thought how extremely lucky I was to be in the company of these fine inductees and those that came to honor them.

The stories shared were truly etched from the pages of Montana and western history; stories from train robbery attempts and assisting outlaws to carving out an honorable life from the harsh and formidable landscapes we now take for granted.  Underneath every Stetson hat in that room, was a true and honorable cowboy or cowgirl.  And somehow, I was lucky enough to be connected to this amazing moment in time.

I looked around the solarium full of people, close to probably five hundred, and with each name read from the inductee list, there was a family member or friend there to receive the award.  There was a deep pride each one felt hearing their inductee being named, the standing ovations and the well-deserved applause for those known and not known, for their accomplishments and attributions to the community we call “cowboy”.

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There were bronc stompers, ropers, farmers & ranchers, cattlemen & women, teamsters, outfitters, outlaws, horse trainers, artists, authors & poets, rodeo competitors, and  livestock entrepreneurs, all being honored. They were, and are all “cowboy”,  and all darn sure legendary.  Their stories were significant, entertaining, and different, but the commonality was all of these people were and are, tough as a new bride’s biscuits.  They tended livestock in the worst of weather, they cut trails, built barns, rode rough horses and even rougher country, all in the name of providing for a family, a community, and a country.  Their purpose was strong, bold, and etched out of crusted sweat on their brows, and callouses on their weathered hands.  Not a one of them missed the mark on work ethic and values.  They all knew what it meant to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  They loved their families and communities, and fought for their country and our freedom.  They had grit, true grit, in their guts and steel in their veins.

I observed the younger generation looking on in the room, and wondered if any felt like I did?  Will generations yet to come understand what it took for their ancestors and loved ones to build their legacies, their homesteads, ranches, and hard-earned dreams? Better yet, will they even care?  Will they know to look up from their mobile devices and televisions, and work at a back-breaking speed to beat a storm?  Does our current culture and warped society give a damn about such things anymore?  Do they care about pulling calves in a March snowstorm? Will they know the exhilarating feeling of throwing a leg over a fresh colt, or to climb a mountain pass and blaze a new trail over rugged miles of rocks and trees?  Will they know the art of carving life out of a Charlie Russell landscape? Will they appreciate the hue of the prairie sunrises and sunsets as they glance of the coulees and breaks?  Will they be inspired to do more and be more?

I hope so.  These people leave an amazing legacy to carry and pass on down the line.  They take so much knowledge and history with them when they go, and they live big boots to fill.  I am honored to be a part of such a life, and I hope that I am able to do more than ride along on the coattails of my grandpa’s legacy.  Because it’s about time I made my own…

Happy Trails~

I Am…

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In a world full of  emerging Kardashians, I choose to be just me.  I am finding it ever-more important to be more than just okay with that. We live in a society brimming with people sharing their opinions and demanding we believe and partake in them.  I am not a jean size. I have fat. My teeth are not white. My hair isn’t long enough. My nails aren’t painted. I don’t diet, and I don’t exercise as often as I should. I also don’t give a shit because it has taken me almost thirty-nine years to like just who I am just as I am.

I write this to express feelings, thoughts, and share a piece of me with the rest of you; not to tell you what to think or how to act.  Being vulnerable is the key to being genuine in self-expression, and so I share that when I write the following.  This isn’t a post about horses or cowgirls or mountains, but more along the lines of empowerment and exposure to reality in hopes that you can be okay with whom you see in the mirror every day.

This is a glimpse of the real me, so take it or leave it. To coin a favored phrase from my beautiful grandmother, “It is what it is, sweetheart.”  I encourage those of you that choose to read this to be uniquely you.  Don’t fall for society’s carbon copy version of someone else…

I am Heather. I am almost 39, and a Caucasian, married woman.  I am a full-of-faith sinner; I believe in God, and I am not religious. I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a niece, and a girlfriend.  I am quirky and silly and blunt and broken.  I am strong and insecure.  I overthink, and I crave complexity, but I am painfully simple.

I am loud and confident, and I am shy and reserved. I am unconditionally conditional.  I struggle and I endure.  I am not hateful or boastful, and I am self-effacing. I love and I forgive.  I am not normal, nor do I ever care to be. I crave adventure and love the assurance of a daily home routine. I say no and I say yes all in one shot. I yell, I scream, and I fight and bleed.

I know my weaknesses and thrive on my strengths. I hurt and I cry and I feel absolutely everything.  I wonder and I know. I believe, but I don’t always understand. I fall down seven times, and I stand up eight.  I listen to listen, not to respond.  I contemplate and ponder and consider all angles.

I love deeply and sky wide, and I don’t worry about the approval of others any longer; yet, I seek their sense of understanding. I am crazy; fully certifiable bat shit insane, and I am the calm in the storm.  I have patience and perseverance and I push to get my way. And I am stubborn, so very stubborn.  I am ashamed at times, but I am proud.  I am best anchored with my feet ten feet off the ground.

I change with the wind, and I shoulder in to keep that change at bay.  I am almost never sure of what I really want, but always clear on what I don’t want.  I make no excuses about who I am, and I damn sure have no regrets. I am classy and sophisticated, and I wear jeans and have horse shit on my boots.  I cuss too much, and I am brutally honest.

I am not a watered down version of anyone else. I dream big, really fucking big.  And I am strong, worthy, and imperfect. I cry, a lot, and I smile even more. I have bad days, and I try every goddamn day to be a better version of myself than I was the day before.

I just am me, and I won’t apologize for that.  I serve a faithful, loving and forgiving God that allows me to be all of this. I am capable, strong-willed and beautiful. And simply, I am enough.

And you are, too. Be your own brand of beautiful, write your own story, and make your mark on this world. Love your flawed and imperfect self stitched together with good intentions. Just be you, just as you are.

Happy Trails~

Kindred Corral Spirits

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We never grew up owning one, single mare in my entire childhood.  Every male on the ranch preached time and time again about what a pain in the hind parts they were to have on the place.  Of course I was always slightly offended by these nonsensical statements.  Mares, in my opinion, were always far superior in the looks department, and yes, that theory was entirely based on the fact that I was in fact a female.  So naturally, it only seemed right to learn to identify with the female animals that were allowed in the family outfitting business, and that just so happened to be some of our mules.  Mules are a hybrid and are also sterile, which means they are slightly less sensitive to the reproductive nature that horses are.

My uncle owns a jenny mule named Helga, and although she was about 4 years old when he bought her, and her historical details are a little blurry to me, I developed a fondness for Helga, and here’s why… {Side note: Now, I will just say right of the bat that it takes a rather brave woman to compare herself to a mule, and I may have just admitted to a whole new level of insanity, so there is that.}

Like me, I believe Helga must be a Gemini.  No, I don’t buy into all that astrological jazz, but I find it entertaining.  Neither Helga nor I care if you don’t like our personalities, because there are usually several more to choose from.  Paranoia comes easy to both of us; i.e. I don’t like to walk in the woods alone and neither does she because every stump takes on the form of a damn grizzly bear. Both of us require friends with tough skin and a good sense of humor, and we lack the ability to sugar coat our current moods or thoughts, and tend to lash out or freely express our emotions at any given moment.  We both like change, and really hate monotony.  If you don’t change the scenery, we will change it for you.

Helga and I both prefer a shorter walk to the feed bunk. Some things just shouldn’t be so much work.  We both have “curves” and lack the desire to change much about that.  But, if you have a stitch of couth, you will not refer to us as “thick” or “husky”.  Dude, you will get kicked.

Generally, we both like attention and you can reel us in with cookies. We like cookies. But, we also generally like to be left alone by the male species; that is of course unless they are of the handsome horse variety.  We go gaga over good looking and smart horses that lead us safely down the trails and over mountain passes.

Helga works hard and rocks an awesome pack going down the trail, and that’s because Helga loves her job.  More people could learn from Helga’s work ethic and her attitude about it.  And like Helga, I believe in earning your pay honestly.  There’s nothing like a good day’s work of physical labor that leaves you satisfied at the end of the day.

So, thank you, Helga, for giving me another female to whole-heartedly identify with in this life.  I admire the heck  outta ya girl, and you’re beautiful to boot!

~Happy Trails~

Heather

Good Horses To Ride

 

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Well my friends, it’s another day, another dollar

Another milestone crossed in this life

I may not be just where I want to be

But, at least I have a good horse to ride.

 

Life was trying at times this past year,

Sometimes it felt like I was trekking the Great Divide

But, you see these were just lessons learned

And I always had a good horse to ride.

 

Tears came and went on the back of my trusty steed,

As I pondered all of life’s crazy strife.

And as we slow-loped through the worries & cares

I was never more thankful for my good horse to ride.

 

The time in the saddle was always well spent

It signified a peaceful state of mind.

Whether climbing mountain trails or pushing cows home

I always had a good horse to ride.

 

I spent time with friends, old & new,

Exploring the wilderness and new countryside

Miles upon miles of trails we trekked,

And all of ‘em on good horses to ride.

 

As this year draws to an end

And I reflect back on it all in stride

I realize I have so much to be grateful for

But I’m most grateful for the good horse I ride.

 

So, may your new trails ahead lead you safely home

May you give it your all in this crazy life.

But above all else, my new year’s wish for you

Is that you always have good horses to ride.

 

Happy Trails~

 

Heather

Cowgirl

I was recently asked if I’m a real cowgirl on a social media sight I partake in.  The exact question posed to me was “If you don’t have cows, how can you be a cowgirl?”  I pondered that thought, let my hurt feelings stroll over the words, and then I questioned myself.  Maybe I’m really not a tried and true cowgirl?  But I had  the boots, the hat, the horse, spurs, a saddle, and even a pick-up truck?    Accordin’ to good ol’ Webster, the true definition of the word is: noun. a woman who herds and tends cattle on a ranch, especially in the western U.S., and who traditionally goes about most of her work on horseback.

Well, there was the answer…I am technically NOT a cowgirl.  I don’t spend all day in the saddle trailing cows. Hell, I wasn’t even raised with cattle.  I grew up tending to horses and mules, ornery men, and dudes, riding mountain trails and passes, and cooking in dutch ovens, but not a stitch of my time was spent with cattle.

So, I chewed on that thought a while longer, and thought “the he** I’m not a cowgirl!” Being a cowgirl ain’t just about swinging ropes, doctoring cows, calving, and riding horses.  Because, to be a cowgirl means you’ve got the grit in your gut and the attitude to accomplish anything.  You have the ability to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and take life right by the horns.

Deep down, each woman I know has just a touch of cowgirl in her.  She may be hailing a cab on city street headed to a high-rise lawyer’s office.  She’s a doctor or a nurse saving lives.  She’s a teacher expanding horizons and sculpting young minds.    She pours herself into the books and balances the budget.  She’s the mother that just lost a child, and still wakes to face the day.

She’s lipstick, leather, and lace.  She’s weathered hands that slings ropes, trains colts, and pets dogs, and is the lady dressed to the nines to hit the town with her favorite guy.  She fights fires, clears trails, packs mules, and yes, works cows. She’s gypsy- souled and beautiful music and guitar chords.  She’s fighting cancer with all she’s got because she’s a survivor and a winner.

But mostly, she’s you and she’s me.  She’s the fight to win and the calm in the storm.  She’s modern and old-fashioned.  She sips fine wine and chugs a beer with the guys.  She kneels and prays at the end of the day to praise God for all she has and is.

You see, it doesn’t matter what you are. Your job does not define you.  It is your attitude, your heart, and your beautiful mind and soul.  Cowgirl is a title well earned, and I am darn proud to be just that til I draw my last breath.  And don’t ever doubt that you are one, too.

~Happy Trails~

 

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