Sunday, August 12, 2018

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy (revisited)

Always bet on the cowgirl

Julie Carter

Donna and JoAnn were suffering with a little cash flow problem. It was suppertime and no cash meant no meal so when a challenge was offered, the challenge was accepted. The gleam in the girls' eyes came free of charge.

The cowgirls had been hauling pretty steady this particular year. Getting to every breakaway roping at every punkin' rollin' rodeo close enough to get to and both were picking up regular checks, but not always first place.

They tuned on their horses with a string of calves at the feedlot where Donna worked and spent their evenings practicing their roping. With a long schedule of rodeos ahead of them, they made some dedicated plans to do some serious winning.

Both gals knew that meant paying their dues in the practice pen. And they knew the skills that needed honed were getting out of the roping box quicker and cleaner and throwing the loop sooner.

A long rainy spell hit the Texas panhandle and was wreaking havoc on their practice sessions. Undaunted, they headed to the only covered arena in the area. It belonged to a guy in town that let the local feedlot and wheat cattle punchers practice on off nights if they brought their own cattle. Donna and JoAnn loaded their calves and their horses in the trailer and set off to take advantage of this deal.

This gathering spot for the area punchers drew in mostly the young guns that had come to practice their team roping. With only a little disdain showing , they would periodically agree to "rest a spell" and let the "little cowgirls" practice for a little bit. Their real intent was to get their kicks making fun of them.

These two cowgirls look like any ordinary person who might like to ride a little on the weekend but, in fact, they were both ranch raised, feedlot hardened and competitive down to their Victoria Secrets. Their seasoned skills didn't show that much and they weren't the type to flaunt it.

They loaded their calves in the chute, pulled their cinches, shook out their ropes and proceeded with their practice session. The cowpuncher audience stood by ready to cheer or jeer.

Their plan, no matter who was watching, was to concentrate on their timing with the barrier and getting rid of their loop at least one swing sooner. With all their attention on "the plan," their accuracy wasn't up to par, but they were getting accomplished what they'd come to do. Catching wasn't their problem when it counted.

The young guns that were lined up to watch didn't know this pair could catch a shadow in the dark if that was what needed done. So in their ignorance and arrogance, the offers for a bet or two began.

Big spenders that they were, on puncher's wages, they gave the girls a hard time and suggested that the winners of a match roping would buy the hamburgers. With stomachs growling and pockets empty, the girls agreed. The bet was on.

It wasn't a pretty sight but after a five-head average with each of the women catching all and the guys coming up a little short, the cowboys, appearing as slow learners, offered a double or nothing bet.

As the sun set on West Texas, the girls were downing burgers, fries, and Godzilla-size cokes, compliments of the jeering section.

Not that anyone would notice, the punchers got a good lesson.

If somebody looks like a cowgirl, smells like a cowgirl and acts like a cowgirl - don't bet against her. It'll cost you money.

© Julie Carter 2007

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