American Cowgirl

Honoring the Spirit of Women and Horses

“No Regrets”

Wilma Standard Tate, a trick rider from the 1930\'sWilma Standard Tate
Nuevo, California

Wilma was a trick rider in the 1930’s. She said she always wanted to be a cowgirl as long as she could remember. She said she got hurt a few times but never blamed the horse. Once she got hung up and her horse accidentally kicked both eyes out of her head. She did Roman riding, standing on four horses at once. She also taught a horse to jump a car.

One of a series of limited edition fine art photographs from the American Cowgirl collection.

Purchase Print (Link to ArtsEye Gallery)
or call the gallery at (520) 325-0260 or email the gallery

27 Responses to ““No Regrets””

  1. Stephanie DuBois (Deacon) says:

    I have to tell you that this photograph of Wilma brought tears to my eyes. Wilma taught me to ride when I was 12 years old, 44 years ago. I have not seen her for many years and when I Googled her name, your site came up and I found this picture. How wonderful to see her again after so many years. I still have horses and I think of her every time I saddle up or work with them. Thank you so much for honoring this great, great lady and for bringing alive many wonderful memories of the years she taught me to love and ride horses.

  2. Kerry Sandelin (Chappell) says:

    One of my friends told me about this site. Wilma taught me how to ride as well. I started when I was 7, and there was a whole gang of us kids that grew up on that ranch. This is a wonderful tribute to one of the best horse trainers on the planet. She was a no-nonsense woman that had an amazing passion. I saw her about 10 years ago, and plan to visit again next time I am in Cali. I have the best childhood memories from Wilma Tate’s Equestrian Ranch.

  3. BARBARA MALINOWSKI says:

    I SHOWED UNDER WILMA TATE IN THE 80′s. SHES THE FAIREST JUDGE EVER. SHES A GREAT LADY AND I AM HONERED TO KNOW HER.

  4. Larry Limoges says:

    It was a dark day last Friday evening when Wilma passed She was a strong amazing women!
    I do not know a single person that met Wilma that she did not profoundly touch with her ability to teach life lessons while doing nothing more then giving a riding lesson.
    She was a very strong influence in my life and will be sadly missed. There is not a day goes by while riding that I do not think of something she taught me or hear her in my head with some small bit of advice that will make a huge improvement.

  5. Miguel aranda says:

    When I was growing up my father went to work for a woman riding and breaking horses for her. I didt really know her at the time but after a few years the woman who I didn’t know turned into the woman I called grandma for 20 years Wilma raised me and took me everywhere with her took me and picked me up from school I loved her so much. It broke my heart when she moved to California but I never stopped caring about her any different. Wilma passes away this past Friday May 7 2010 I miss her so much and I know she will always be with me and everyone she helped in her long life.

  6. Kristin Miley Shelton says:

    RIP Wilma. You were an amazing woman and will live on forever in your students and our memories. Thank you for all you taught me and for always being there whenever someone needed you. You are a true legend.

  7. Tami McMorris says:

    I showed at Wilma Tates Equestrian Center for many long years. She let me show my Stallion in her open shows even thou I was only 14. Many of our POA shows were held at her center. Loved her so much, I learned alot from her.

  8. Kimberly Standard says:

    To all of Wilma’s friends and those she taught how to ride it saddens to say Wilma passed away on the 7th of May 2010. I had gotten a phone call from my sister Amberlyn telling me that she had died last Friday. Her nephew Rick had gotten a hold of my sister in passed along the news to us. Wilma was considered a step-grandma to us 3 kids and more then a friend to allot of the kids she taught how to ride. She was a great friend to allot of people and will be missed.

  9. Amberlyn Rash says:

    I would like to let everyone know that we lost a great woman this past Friday, May 7, 2010. My Grandfather and Wilma were married many years ago, and she has always looked upon my father and us kids as part of her family. She is greatly loved and will be greatly missed. In the past few years time had really caught up with her body, but her mind was still sharp. At least now we know that she will be able to ride once again. I only regret that I could not have spent more time with her during the past two years. I will alwasy carry that one regret with me.

  10. Kerry Sandelin (Chappell) says:

    It is with great sadness that I say Wilma passed away on Friday May 14th. There will be a celebration of life next month at the Riverside Rancheros. I am so thankful that Jamie Williams is doing this project so we will all be able to remember this wonderful woman.

  11. Victoria Fox (Monk) says:

    Wilma was a true horseman that made her living w/o other income. She was mean and tough, she was also the best person to come across if you were into horses. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t teach you. I owe all my knowledge, experience, and enjoyment of horse to this woman. I was one of the lucky ones to be able to take instruction under her. My most memorable moment was when she got after me for treating my horse like a dog. It took several years to learn what it meant but I will always hold that memory adn others very dear. Thanks Wilma

  12. Sandy Boschetto says:

    I also have very fond memories of Wilma Tate. My daughter Tammy took riding lessons for many years from Wilma starting in 1972 at her Sunnymead ranch and she rode in her monthly horse shows. But when I think of Wilma, I can still hear her holling at her students: “sit up straight, you look like a sack of potatoes” and ” you’re spilling your milk” if your hand was not just right holding the reins. We still have many of the trophies and saddles, tack etc. from those years. God Bless you Wilma Tate.

  13. A very sad day May 7th 2010. Wilma Tate will always be in my heart. I met Wilma in 1986 and the things she taught me about horses and riding I will never forget. I spoke with her about 4 weeks ago, and she told me “I’m just not feeling too well anymore” For some reason I had the urge to call her and I’m so glad I did. She is a women that is so well respected. I’m looking so forward to the celebration of her life on June 26th. Rick thank you so much for being the person you are ,Wilma will never forget the things you have done for her.

  14. Virginia Bailey Schoel says:

    Wilma,
    Thanks for providing so many great memories. I won my first blue ribbon at the Clinton Ranch. You will be missed!

  15. Wow, just found out today that we lost a great cowgirl, Miss Wilma Tate. I remember showing at her ranch near March Air Force Base for many years. I also “graduated” to the role of judge for her on several different occasions. What a fabulous lady she was, filled with stories and information. She was one of a kind, and those kind are far and few between. RIP Wilma, and show ‘em how it’s done up in Heaven with your trick riding.

  16. debbie Farmer says:

    What a lady…..she will be missed by many. I had spent many summers at her camp…then later my daughter did the same.i bought my first jumping horse from her….not only did she teach me how to ride english and jumping…she taught me hard work and not to give up….later in life that helped me with reining….thank you wilma….god bless you and now you can ride the best of horses of your picking up in heaven

  17. Wilma was a great lady. I met her in 1981 and wished I had met her much sooner in my life. She loaned me her Appy “Crash” to ride when I worked at Camp O-Ongo in running Springs one summer. Wilma said she was not riding him much anymore and he was too good a horse to just set around. She had me try him out before she loaned him to me and he spinned out from under me as I was getting on. I thought” She’ll never let me take him know, I can’t even get on right.” She laughed and asked me if I intended to ride that day – if so, get on him.” I did and had a great summer and great memories of her. She gave me one of her original Tonkeleros she had made in Mexico and she made me a set of chaps out elk skin she had “laying around. I treasure those things and the memories and knowledge she passed on to me and countless others. They won’t make any more like her.

  18. cindy (corwin) may says:

    I was so saddened to hear about Wilma’s passing I lived with her after I got our of High school and prior to that stayed the summers with her and even weekends. She was like my second mom. I miss you lots. You will be truly missed. God bless you. with all my loving memories.

  19. La Kimba Bradsbery says:

    Wilma was the best trainer. She wasn’t just a trainer with horses,she was a trainer about life in itself. Wilma gave me the knowledge that made me the rider that I am today, by gaving me opportunities that no one else would given to me. I will always carry her in my heart,mind and soul. Thank You Wilma. I will Miss You but will never forget you!!!

  20. Anne Davis says:

    Just wanted to thank everyone who came to the ‘celebration of life’ for Wilma – it was wonderful, seeing so many old friends; listening to the stories and sharing memories – I’m sure she was smiling down on us … the special lady who brought so many people together through her love and special understanding of horses was truly the “grande dame of equestrians”.

  21. Jerry Briscoe-Johnson says:

    Memories are an awesome treasure God has given to mankind, to cause us to pause, and reflect on the wonderful places, times, and most of all, people that He has allowed to cross our journeys in Life. How trully Blessed I was, to have known, been taught, traveled, and worked with Ms. Wilma Tate. I’m an Afro-American Cowboy/Horseman, that I attribute to being made by Wilma. Back-in-the-day, when you was around her, you just knew, you was with “a Legend”. You kept your mouth shut, and just listened, and followed instructions. When she told you you to do something, or carry out some needed responsibility (in that commanding-tone-of-voice), —-you “did it”. You didn’t break that trust she put in you. Kind of like the way the men respected Capt. McCrae (Robert Duvall) in “Lonesome Dove”. There was a code of respect and honor, because you knew you was dealing with a “Texas Cowgirl”. I’ve bought horses and saddles from her over the years, with just a “hand shake and my word”. I own a 10 year old Paint Stallion, that I bought from her nine years ago. I remember when I was learning to ride; this Appy reared-up with me, and threw me off. My pride was hurt. Wilma asked, “You alright”? I answered, “Wilma, my shoulders are a little sore. She said, “good, get back on him, you’ll live, your injury is a long ways from your heart”. Lead, Follow, or get the Haittes out of the way. That was her policy. You will be missed by all of us Ms. Wilma Tate. —-Jerry Briscoe-Johnson

  22. Danylle Rooney says:

    Wilma was a wonderful mentor for myself and my friends. I will always be thankful for her lessons over fences and more importantly how to do DISHES….. miss yoy Wilmaxoxo

  23. Sarah (Cooley) Rah says:

    This week (March 7, 2012), I was sorting through old papers and came across a flyer for the WILMA TATE BENEFIT HORSE SHOW at the Riverside Rancheros Arena on March 23, 1969. I was the chair, and our committee consisted of Evelyn Johnson, Bonnie Bensley and Betty McClosky, along with Al Milne, Helen Tresemer and Tommy Thompson as show officials and Bennett Kurtze as Judge. The event was well supported and netted $1,500 for the WILMA TATE BENEFIT FUND — quite a bit of money in those days for an impormptu local show.

    This period, of course, was after her accident. She was still riding, despite paralysis in her lower body.

    An outgrowth of that event was a group of us formed the Riverside County Horsemen’s Association, and I published the Riverside Local Horsemen’s Directory.

  24. Mauricio Rios says:

    My name is Mauricio Rios, some of you might know me. Please feel free to contact me. Irecently found out about Wilma’s passing. If anyone could let me know how Rick is doing. I have been unable to make contact. I am devstated to find out this news. Wilma was an excellent role model, a second mother to me. Always teaching me wrong from good. She will never be forgotten. RIP Wilma, you will always be missed.

  25. Carm Cunetto says:

    I hadn’t seen or spoke with Wilma for many, many years, however, thought about her often, and recently got to thinkin about her, so googled her name, and found this site. When I was in highschool rodeo about 1976 we would go to other California district high school rodeos, but we didn’t have a district in Southern California, so Wilma agreed to help us get CHSRA Distrit 8 going. Besides going to the meetings to set up the district, and helping ready the paper work, Wilma would help us set up an arena at her ranch near the old March Air Force Base. Once we had that we needed some steers to practice our bulldoggin and ropin. We got some steers out there and Wilma fed and took care of them for us. She would also come out and watch us practice, and offer up some constructive criticism when needed, which was often.

    Wilma was a “no nonsense” kinda lady in the “old school” sorta way. She’d tell us if we got hurt that “it’s too far from your heart to kill ya” and “don’t let that steer whip ya like that or he’ll do it again”, among other helpful hints. She was a tough old cowgirl, but was also equiped with a very compassionate and giving heart. I remember when we got one of the first District 8 rodeos goin during the fair in Hemet, and she saw that I had only entered the steer wrestling, instead of the bareback riding too, like I usually did. She asked me why I didn’t enter the bronc ridin, and I told her I couldn’t afford the entry fees for both. She said “you ain’t gettin out of the tough event that easily”, and she paid my fees for the bareback event. I’ll never forget her smilin face as I went up to get my buckle for winnin the bareback ridin event!

    Wilma, I know you’re up in heaven with all your friends and family that have passed, and your ridin high in the saddle, with no pain in your body, and sportin a great big smile knowin you done right in your life by helpin others, and are reaping the rewards now. I’ll always think about you, and the first buckle, I almost never won, if it wasn’t for you. You’ll always be in my memories, and on my heart.

    Rest in Peace my dear lady.

    Carm R. Cunetto

  26. Karen Doris Wright says:

    I and my sister Barbara attended a camp out at Wilma Tate’s place out Alessandro. We took our horses John and Bantem. We bunked out there with other girls also taking lessons. I admired a light weight saddle she had, and she offered to sell it but I had no money.

    Like everyone else said, Wilma Tate was the bomb. I don’t remember her being mean or tough in the sense of being mean. She had the respect of all of the girls staying there to get lessons, so I guess she did not need to show us her tough side. I remember being impressed by her past jumping her horse over a car, and her roman riding using two to four horses.

    As a city slicker from a non horse family, it was nice to learn from a skilled an down to Earth horsewoman like Wilma. Her face and arms showed her years spent in the sun with horses. She was wise and not a vain individual. Like everyone said she was the best, and gave all for horses and in educating and working with all kinds of people.

    I know I still think of her, over 45 years or so after having gone out to her place for lessons. I kept my horse John until he died roughly 18 years after those lessons. I took many first time riders out for there first ride, some of whom even got to ride in the ocean or swim in a pond up at Cal Poly SLO or up in Portola Valley CA. Perhaps those folks were safe in part due to Wilma’s lessons. Horse John and I were also in the Sparkling Spurs Parade/drill team, Rodeo Princess (not the Queen) at riverside Rancheros Rodeo, participated in gymkhanas in Riverside and nearby . . .

    I personally hold Wima Tate in the highest regard, and know the world is a better place because she was here.

    Karen Doris Wight
    Riverside, Ca.
    our family has been in Riverside since the very early 1900s

  27. Javier Gonzalez says:

    The first job I held in the beautiful USA, was at Wilmas ranch, Mauricio Rios is my cousin we learned a lot from Wilma we felt like part of the family, still remember many of the people who are posting, she has a place in my heart.

    Javier Gonzalez

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