American Cowgirl

Honoring the Spirit of Women and Horses

“Queen of the West” Dale Evans would have been 100 years old today.

October 31st, 2012

Flying White Horses

June 30th, 2009

3 Horses Jump

Dear Jamie,
Thank you very much for your efforts to keep cowgirls on the map.
 I have been riding since I was five years old. I quit school before the eighth grade, but had been going to every rodeo to watch the trick riders and that is what I wanted to do, so I taught myself trick riding. I answered an ad from The Western Horseman magazine from Mr.& Mrs. Joe Stoddard in Nampa, Idaho wanting girl riders. Later, Frank and Lois Hall bought the Stoddard’s out and named the new show The Valykries and Their Flying White Horses. In 1950, at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Roy Rogers was the Grand Marshall of the Sheriff’s Rodeo. The Flying Valkyries performed at this rodeo with a 102,000 in the audience. 
Arlene LaMar
Kansas City, MO

Heart of the Rockies

June 30th, 2009

3 Girls and Roy4 Horse JumpHippodrome

Here are some pictures from the movie I performed in called “Heart of the Rockies” starring Roy Rogers.
Arlene LaMar
Kansas City, MO 

Cowgirl Dreams

September 12th, 2008

Olive May Tootsie Gasser
My Grandmother, an American Cowgirl

A petite young woman mounts a 750-pound steer, and hangs on to nothing but a rope tight-wrapped around one hand. That she stays on this bucking, twisting, snorting beast for ten seconds, eight seconds or even two seconds, seems a miracle.

This is the intriguing picture of my grandmother I have carried in the back of my mind since I was a little girl. Ever since I began to explore fiction writing as opposed to journalism, this idea has been nagging at me, telling me I needed to write about her.

And so, in 1999, I began a novel, with the working title Cowgirl Dreams, hopefully to be published in 2009–ten years after I started writing it.

My grandmother, Olive May “Tootsie” Bailey, grew up the daughter of homesteaders during the early 1900s in the Sunburst-Cut Bank area of Montana, near the Canadian border and east of the Rocky Mountains.

Although she no longer rode in rodeos when I came along, “Gramma” was an avid horsewoman and ranch wife, equally at-home on the back of a horse as she was in a dress and heels. She and my grandfather, Otto Gasser, were equal partners in rural Montana ranching.

She died when I was only twelve, so I never got to talk to her about life as a rodeo cowgirl. But she had taken many pictures, created photo albums, scrapbooks and journals, from which a story emerged. My dad also told me stories about his growing up in the 1920s and ’30s. The spark grew to a flame, and I was hooked.

The 1920s were the heyday of rodeo, where the cowgirl was as much a part of the festivities as the cowboy. This decade is where I chose to start my story. While my grandmother apparently rode only in small town and neighborhood rodeos, she was friends with, and competed against fellow Montanans, Alice and Margie Greenough, Fannie Sperry Steele, and Marie Gibson. Trixie McCormick was another Montana trick rider who performed during the 1940s.

Fame and fortune was as much of a dream then as now, and those dreams became the backdrop for Nettie’s story in Cowgirl Dreams.

My novel, Cowgirl Dreams, is coming soon from Treble Heart Books.

Independent Spirit

July 25th, 2008

Mary Lynn Doyle

Wow-we-wow-wow!!! I just watched the video of Connie and the other ladies. That video is a work of art and I loved it! I belong to a woman’s riding and horse interest group (some of us are a little long in the tooth for riding, so I can’t wait to show the video to them!) and we all have in common an independent spirit and a love for horses. Thank God for these fabulous women you showed in the video. It was such a fun experience to watch it. 
Thank you,
Mary Lynn Doyle

Keep the Dream Alive

July 25th, 2008

Cindy\'s HorsesCindy\'s Family

I am a widow of 2 years now. My husband was my best friend and we were married 28 years and met in 9th grade. I live on my family land and raise and show cattle, am a certified cattle judge, do my haying, have horses we use for rodeoing, cattle work, and trail riding. I also take care of our 7 rental properties and work 37 1/2 hours a week working for an insurance company as a marketing rep doing a lot of traveling in South Dakota.

I could not do this without the help from my 2 daughters and son in law when I am gone out on the road. My daughters are the 6th generation of my family here on this Iowa land and now my 19 month old grandson is the 7th. Our arch across our driveway says it all….”Heritage Acres”. Our Arena “Heritage Arena” and my daughter and son in law’s place “Heritage Hill”.

I used to do Little Britches rodeos and a few local horse shows as a kid. Now at 51 I have gone back to rodeoing and am loving every minute. My youngest daughter Kylie still rodeos and was in high school rodeo for Iowa. She had a full ride rodeo scholarship to Cheyenne her first year and could have had it her second year but would not go back after her dad’s death in ’06. She is now in college close to home so she can help out here when needed. Many people do not realize that there is a rodeo scholarship opportunity for youth. Please tell them.

I am hoping that my daughters will continue my familly tradition on this land…as of now that is my youngest’s plan after college. Women can step up to the plate and continue what most think is a man’s world. I have been told over and over again I should sell out…but I refuse to listen… and so do my girls. We are in this for the long haul and will continue to keep cattle and horses a big part of our lives.

I am writing a song which says it all…from suits to jeans…that is us. When I am out on the road traveling for work, I think about when I can get back home to what I really love. It keeps me going each and every day when I am feeling tired and weary at times. When I am outside here I feel more alive than anywhere else. No one should ever give up on their dreams no matter what is thrown at you. As they say “cowgirl up” is what it is all about! I wish you all the best in your lives with your horses and as American Cowgirls. Keep it alive girls…keep it alive!!

Cindy Berner-Schlichte
Merrill, IA

Saddle Up! Horseback Writing Retreat

July 25th, 2008

Page Lambert

I’ve been leading outdoor adventures for women for 11 years and this year, I put together one nearest and dearest to my heart of all of them –    a “Saddle Up! Horseback Writing Retreat” with my friend and expert horsewoman, Sheri Griffith. I called it the “Literature and Landscape of the Horse.” 21 women came to Wyoming from all over the country and for 5 days we read about horses, wrote about horses, and RODE horses. Each woman shared the experience with the same horse for the entire 5 days. All of us had a deep yearning to connect with our love of, and for, horses. Plans for the 2009 “Saddle Up” retreat are well underway. Thank you, American Cowgirl, and I.M. Cowgirl magazine, for keeping the fire burning!

All the best,
Page Lambert
Golden, CO

My mom is such a wonderful person

July 25th, 2008

Mom and Shiloh

Thank you very much Jamie.
You have such beautiful work, and life is truly a blessing when what you love is your job! My Mom is such a wonderful person. And even though we’ve never owned a cow, we’ve always considered ourselves cowgirls! So you have two more new fans from CA, and we completely support you on this effort. Keep on working that magic of yours girl! I look forward to this project! And bless you in this effort.
Granite Bay, CA

On the beach

July 25th, 2008

I am a 50 year old woman who started riding 4 years ago and owns a 7 year old thoroughbred horse since 3 years on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean. My horse Atid and how he came to be here with me is a story in itself ! Horseback riding has blessed and changed my life forever. The story that you are working on telling really touches my heart and I can see myself still riding at 101 years old like Connie. Good luck with your project.
Elisa Cohen

Living My Dream

July 25th, 2008

Christi Proctor

Jamie! A dear friend forwarded your video clip to me and my heart stopped! I am SO excited about your work! I have been a cowgirl in my heart from the time I could walk but growing up as a preacher’s daughter kept me from realizing my dreams. At 39 I bought my first horse and now, at 42, am living my dream showing reining horses! I will keep up with your work!!!
Christi Proctor
Waco, TX 


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