Wild Women Ride Wyoming

Bighorn Basin by Horseback
  |  Gorp.com

Grey Wolf's stride, the short but smooth motion of an Arab crossbred, was familiar and comfortable. He had the fire of his breed, but his mouth was light and he moved over rough ground like a dancer. I gave him his head and we took off. Raising a posse-sized cloud of dust, I stood in the stirrups of my western saddle and jammed my Australian bush hat lower over my eyes. Fanned out around me were eight other riders in full gallop, whooping with delight.

We reached the top of a ridge and stopped, our horses stamping and blowing from their run. Taking in the pungent smell of crushed sage and grinning, I caught my breath and looked around. In every direction lay hundred-mile vistas of sky and open country unmarred by power lines, buildings, or roads.

As a youngster growing up horseless in the Southeast, I pored over Western Horseman magazines and dreamed of galloping through sagebrush on a spirited cowpony. I saw every western movie twice and was inordinately proud of having the same first name as Roy Rogers' wife, Dale Evans. This western fixation lasted until I was about 17, when I discovered the joys of English-style riding and jumping. I went on to devote more than two decades to training and showing hunters and jumpers professionally, with no regrets.

Then an invitation to a weeklong ride in Wyoming revived the latent cowgirl in me. Here I was at last, galloping over rough ground on a pretty gray Arab. It had taken most of a lifetime, but I was finally living my dream.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 26 Jan 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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