Jul 27, 2012
Making of a cowgirl & Buckaroo Boss
As a youngster, I don't ever remember being told I couldn't or wasn't allowed to do something - because I "was a girl"! Our folks encouraged us in all our ventures (except illegal stuff). My sister and I were never excluded from ranch or cattle work. We rode company horses and our own. I treasure that now - as I hear and see the opposite. We went with the cowboy crew almost every day we weren't in school. (I pray we were good help - and not just 'the boss's daughters). Most of them schooled us - showed us their way of doing things - they watched us rope our first calf, cow, and steer. They helped us become who we are today.
In the first picture I was about 11. I rode Slim, Dad's prize horse. Slim was one of a kind, almost 17 hands. He only wore a hackamore, which is all I ride with. I never needed spurs, he gave me whatever I needed and then some.
The next picture I'm almost 4, on Sixbits! Man he was an onery little pony - he taught me to stay on no matter what. I got my backside switched more than once for 'falling' off out in the sagebrush, Dad would have to saddle up and go rope the pony. We rode bareback or with a saddle pad.
The black and white was at Idaho high school rodeo district or state finals - I can't remember. Dad has Slim, my sis is holding her barrel horse - Eddy, and I'm holding my prized palamino, Rocky Jose. He was one tough heading horse, for a little guy. He was the best breakaway horse ever - he'd put you right up on your calf. Flashy, showy, and loved to be seen - he was a great show horse - we won lots of shows and ropings with him.
And so on to my story...moving to the south, ending up in Texas and Oklahoma showed me not all men were as excepting of cowgirls helping out. I still got to ride - after hours - but I did not help with the drives, brandings, or shipping (except to cook and count). I was raised with the buckaroos of the northwest - who let you prove, or disprove, yourself - man or woman - as a horseman. This "no women cowboys" was a whole new concept to me.
We moved to the panhandle in 1986, I was a momma of two little ones. DH hired on with a vet, he hauled cattle, moved cattle, worked cattle - whatever was needed. I was encouraged to help out too - how ever I wanted too.
The local churches held a Cowboy Camp Meeting in the area - they had teamropings, pennings, and other activities along with the preachings. My first camp meeting was that same year - about 2 months after we'd moved there. I signed up as a header in the roping, no one seemed eager to pick me(unproved newcomer) as a partner. Corky, my dh's boss and new found friend, saw this and signed up with me. My mare was ailing and Corky let me ride his horse. New group, new horse, new town - ugh! I prayed to Jesus for guidance - not to win, but to do my best and honor Him. We were the 4th team out. That ol' horse was just like my Rocky - he put you right up on that steer. I threw, caught both horns likety split and we got a time! Whew! From that point on I didn't need to wait for partners. Nor did I always catch so quick - but it was Corky's belief in me that broke the ice.
God knew I needed his help, he became a lifelong friend and father figure that we'll always treasure.
On our 'promised land' trip - we made it just in time to tell him goodbye, spending a day and night in the hospital with him. We got to laugh and cry with him, one more time. Our sweet DD was there with him when he slipped quietly into the arms of Jesus, he was like a grandpa to my kids! We crisscrossed the state of Texas to see him, family & friend reunions, and then back for his service. His family asked me to do a video slideshow for his service - I felt honored. Adios my dear friend, Buckaroo Boss - I'll miss your laugh and stories here on Earth, but I know you're watching over the cattle on a thousand fields in Heaven!
Until we meet again, may the good Lord take a likin' to ya,