What is it with girls and horses? | TSLN.com

What is it with girls and horses?

Jeri L. Dobrowski

By Jeri L. Dobrowski

Abbie’s attraction to horses was apparent. The walls of her bedroom were tacked and taped with images of horses: pictures cut from pages of magazines, photos of her family’s beloved mounts, renderings she had drawn and colored. Stiff-legged model horses stood at attention in a sturdy handmade barn and corral that overtook a large portion of the floor. I felt right at home. The decorations and toys reminded me of my room at her age, along with the rooms of most of my friends.

What is it with girls and horses? Kids and horses? Adults and horses?

On Horses’ Wings, a lovely and insightful collection of music, spoken word, and poetry, celebrates the mystical bond between humans and horses and the life lessons learned through developing such partnerships. The album opens and closes with Buck Brannaman (The Horse Whisperer) reciting “The Man in the Arena” by Theodore Roosevelt. Brannaman also recounts meeting his stepfather for the first time, drawing a parallel between his experience and that of a young horse. Joining him on the 19-track CD are country-and-cowboy musicians from Nashville and the Northwest: James Cain, Wylie & The Wild West, Mary Ann Kennedy, Templeton Thompson, Antsy McClain, and Patty Hall. Kerry Anderson’s equine artwork, worthy of display in Abbie’s room, enhances the album package. Listen to several full-length tracks at http://www.myspace.com/onhorseswings.

Produced by Hall, On Horses’ Wings sells for $20 plus s/h. All proceeds go directly to Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center (www.littlebit.org), 19802 NE 148th St., Woodinville, WA 98077. Little Bit provides weekly therapeutic horseback riding lessons and Hippo therapy to more than 250 children and adults in the Puget Sound area. Riders experience not only physical benefits (greater strength, balance, and prevention of bone weakness and joint dislocation), but also emotional, cognitive and social benefits. (For more on Little Bit, watch the YouTube videos at http://www.myspace.com/onhorseswings.) Order On Horses’ Wings from The Eclectic Horseman at http://www.eclectic-horseman.com.

Amid rows of gear, boots, and bling displayed in the Las Vegas Convention Center during Cowboy Christmas, I came across a copy of Cowgirl Living – Lifestyle Magazine for the Western Woman. Canadian barrel racer Lindsay Sears and her horse Martha were featured on the cover. I’d not seen nor heard of the publication previously and was pleasantly surprised by it.

A glossy bimonthly, the publisher touts Cowgirl Living “for women who choose a Western way of life” – more specifically horsewomen. The purpose of the magazine is to provide horsewomen with articles that help better their lives outside the arena. Articles focus on day-to-day challenges of “juggling family, career and horse activities,” covering Western fashion, cowgirl celebrities, tips for barn and home, and a recipe section. To get a feel for the magazine, check out the premiere issue. Elementary school teacher and National Finals Rodeo barrel racing finalist Kelly Mabin is pictured on the cover, along with her daughter, Macye. You’ll also find a feature article on planning your indoor arena: http://www.cowgirl-living.com/images/CLM0308_lowres.pdf.

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Cowgirl Living is available at Tractor Supply Stores and other western retailers. Subscriptions are $18 for one year (six issues) from PO Box 296, Lohrville, IA 41543; 866-894-1108; http://www.cowgirl-living.com.

The popular Cowboy Songs & Range Ballads at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming, is on hiatus until 2010. A statement issued by the Buffalo Bill at http://www.bbhc.org/events/cowboysongs.cfm says the move was made “to ensure more time for planning and fundraising. Please understand how much this disappoints us, and we know our faithful performers and attendees are disappointed as well.” Responding to numerous requests for something to take up the slack, Leslie Keltner, Runumuk Cowgirl Productions, is spearheading a one-day festival celebrating the music, poetry, and lifestyle of the cowboy.

Songs of the Cowboys is scheduled for Sat., April 4, 2009. Open-mike sessions will be held during the day at Cassie’s Supper Club, with spotlight presentations at businesses throughout the downtown area. Two different concerts – one at 3:00 p.m. and the other at 7:00 p.m. – will be held at Wynona Thompson Auditorium. Performers scheduled to appear, with more to be confirmed, include Bill Chiles, Rex Rideout, Bob Lantis, Otto Rosfeld, Gwen Petersen, Georgie Sicking, Pop Wagner, Open Range, John Shreve, Jim Garry, Larry Thompson, the Yampa Valley Boys, Glenn “Ike” Hall, and Leslie Keltner.

For more information on Songs of the Cowboys, contact Keltner at (307) 587-1558; cowpoet@vcn.com.

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