There’s a special day for everything, it seems. While writing my Sugar Creek Ranch Romance series, I came up with the idea of Think Like a Cowboy Day. Only why limit the celebration to just one day? Every day should be cowboy day. But then, I’ve been horse crazy since I was a girl, which then turned into cowboy crazy, too.
And I might have been a cowgirl wannabe, too!
It started because I grew up on a farm and we had cows, so getting a horse seemed like the next obvious step, to me anyway. I was constantly reading horse books like Misty of Chincoteague, Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague, and Stormy Misty’s Foal, all by Marguerite Henry. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was one of my favorites.
A photo of me at age six sitting on Molly, our Shetland pony, proves Dad finally broke down and got me one (actually it was two and one then had a baby). Molly was old and barely walked along on most days. But one day Dad sat me on her back and she galloped away. Mom yelled at me to hold on. I gripped the saddle horn for dear life and dug my knees into Molly’s big broad sides to keep seated. Bouncing up and down in the saddle, my heart raced and I’m not sure if I was more scared or excited. Molly finally stopped with me still on top of her. I felt like a champion.
Years later, I would go to the rodeo every year when it came to our little nearby town. The cowboys fascinated me. They’d be mounted on their horses in the stalls listening for the starting gun, then surge out of the gate into the arena. The sawdust that padded the floor would spray into the air. It was thrilling.
I sometimes think about holding on tight for the ride when facing life’s challenges. The cowboys might fall off of their bucking broncos. They’d guide their horses around barrels to grab for a flag and miss and send their ropes slithering through the air to lasso animals that ran away without getting snagged. Many times, cowboys would go pick up their hats from where they’d fallen to the ground, smack them against their trousers to get the dust out, and put them right back on. No matter what happened, they never gave up.
5 Ways to Think Like a Cowboy
- Don’t let go: hold on tight, no matter how bumpy the ride gets.
- Style matters: Wear the fancy Stetson and the cowboy shirt, and don’t forget your favorite boots.
- Confidence counts: Think positively and focus your energy so you’re ready when the starting gun goes off.
- Finish with flare: If you fall off, you miss that lasso or don’t quite reach that barrel flag, keep riding hard until the end. Maybe even wave your cowboy hat in the air.
- Speed makes the difference: Poking along is fine on an average day and it’s even preferred. But during competition, when it counts, keep moving as fast as you can.
Bonus: Never forget that whatever happens, there’s always the next event where you’ll have another chance to shine, God willing that is.
I don’t have ponies anymore but still love to read and I’ll be sharing what I’m reading with you. Christmas stories are some of my favorites. The publisher gave me an advance copy of The Christmas Table by Donna Vanliere, a novel that put me in the holiday mood. It was a wonderful escape into the lives of two families that were decades apart but were impacted by a handmade dinner table. They persisted through struggles like we all have by faith, love and cooking treasured family recipes. Several recipes are included at the end, and I’m planning to try Toffee Popcorn with Chocolate Drizzle. Sounds yummy!