Getter Done Gals


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


by Julie Carter

His thickened, aged hands held a pencil poised over a small notebook as his thoughts took him back where his heart still was. As his mind traveled back, he could clearly see the moment.
It was a crisp fall morning and the smoky smell of a cedar fire from the bunkhouse stove was held low to the ground by the cold air. He pulled the cinch on the bronc he'd just roped from the remuda, knowing that he was tightening his saddle down on a thousand pounds of buck that was about to commence.
At 20, he was not only ready to do battle with the bronc, but knew he'd win.
And by the end of a long day and many miles, the colt would be a better horse and the makings of a good friend.
True to his knowledge, when he snubbed the colt up close and stepped up in the stirrup, quickly throwing his leg over the saddle to take a deep seat before the explosion, as predicted, the bronc came apart with a grunt and a snort.
The other cowboys stood around the corral watching, laughing and taking bets. After a few short minutes of squeals and explosive effort from the horse as he did his best to unseat the cowboy, the bronc pulled up into a short gaited lope around the pen. The cowboys on the ground threw open the gate, waved their hats in the air and the show was over as the cowboy and the bronc followed the breaking daylight to the horizon.
The old cowboy's mind returned to the task at hand, energized with the recall of the happiness he had felt in those days when he could top any bronc in the pen, spend from dusk to dawn in the saddle, and be anxious to do it again the next day.
A humble cowboy, he knew he was just one of many that lived in an era that was now relegated to stories and memories.
His memories were unique only to him and the need to share them with someone was pressing on his heart with each passing year.
Inside his gnarled, knotted body, crippled by too many occupational wrecks, lived a soul that longed for the freedom of his youth. Reality allowed that it would soon soar, but only to that great roundup in the sky where he hoped most of his compadres waited for him.
A tear slowly formed at the corner of his eye as he wrestled with the burden to write down his lifetime of cowboying from California to Texas. Through the years, he'd drifted from one state to another and the names of ranches, men and horses, each with their own detailed story, ran through his mind as his shaky hand formed the words.
He didn't recognize the legendary life for what it was while he was living it. He wasn't even quite sure now why it seemed better looking back at it than it did living it.
He did know that the words he put to paper would be all that was left of who he was when he was gone.
But his intent was not for himself, but to tell those that knew him that he remembered, that it mattered.
What he knew was that he'd give all that he had, which wasn't much, to turn back the clock far enough to do it all again, just one more time, one more day in the saddle.
It's all that ever mattered in his life. One more day in the saddle.
Julie can be reached for comment at Visit her website at


 by Julie Carter

Cowboying in the sand hills on a big cow-calf operation, Blayke's days were routine to his job title.
With 4,000 head of momma cows and their babies by their side, a typical day was long and mostly seen from the back of horse. It also required the steady use of rope.
He doctored pink eye, scours, foot rot and any other bovine malady that showed up. During calving, it was usual to rope 50 calves a day to tag or stuff a scours pill down their throat.
Not far away from where Blayke was working was Deer Creek, a feedlot with backgrounding pasture and corn stalks.
Lloyd had worked so long at Deer Creek not many even knew his last name. He was just Lloyd.
He talked real slow, and for the most part, seemed in all ways, "slow." But he ran the feedlot and did his job well.
The cow boss of the outfit Blayke worked for sent him and another puncher to go help Lloyd doctor shipping fever in a load of yearlings.
They loaded their horses and headed to Deer Creek, arriving just as Lloyd was catching his big grey horse that he called Frog.
Blayke and his partner unloaded their horses and walked over to where Lloyd was saddling Frog. Blayke couldn't help but notice that Lloyd's rig was an old center-fire bear trap that had no breast collar.
On the horn, there was an old rope tied off that had been broken and then tied into a square knot.
More noticeable was that the cinch holding the saddle on had maybe a dozen strands still intact and the rest were broken in two and hanging frayed.
Blayke always carried a rope bag in the trailer with a couple of extra ropes, leather punch, Wang leather, leather awl and an extra cinch just in case tack repairs were needed at any time or place during a day of cowboying.
He told Lloyd that he had a better cinch if he wanted it and was sure welcome to it.
Lloyd replied in his signature slow speech, "Nope, I reckon this one will do."
Blayke nodded his acceptance of Lloyd's decision and the trio rode to the pasture to get started on the doctoring.
The very first steer they saw needed medicinal attention. He was a big, soggy Simmental.
Lloyd put the spurs to Frog and built to the steer. His loop caught him deep, far down on the brisket and included a front a leg.
Lloyd jerked his slack and old Frog put on the brakes hard, laying some classic 11s on the ground.
When things came tight between the steer and the horse, the cinch on Lloyd's saddle snapped. There went Lloyd, saddle and all, right over Frog's head.
Since Lloyd had a head and a front leg in his loop, that steer might as well have been a Siberian husky in the Iditarod and Lloyd's saddle was the sled.
Lloyd was the musher, except he was sitting down instead of standing and he was holding on to the swells of the saddle with both hands with his legs stuck out in front.
The steer was running full out and not showing any signs of slowing down. Blayke and his partner were laughing so hard, they both missed the steer with their first loop.
Blayke managed to catch him on second try. When Blayke got the steer halted, he took Lloyd's rope off of him.
They had to pull Lloyd's spurs and stirrups down from around his knees to free him from his saddle.
Old Frog was standing calmly right where the cinch broke, munching on some grass.
Undaunted by the event, Lloyd said with his very slow drawl, "Blayke, you reckon I can borrow that cinch?"
Blayke laughed and said, "After that spectacular wreck, you can just keep the cinch."
No one seems to know what became of Lloyd over the years, but Blayke was certain it was a safe bet that Lloyd forever more used good cinches.
Happy trails! And check your cinch.
Julie can be reached for comment at Visit her website at Her books, Cowgirls Sass & Savvy and Cowboy's You Gotta Love 'em can be viewed there.


 by Julie Carter

Romeo was destined for greatness the day he hit the ground as a newborn colt. Perfectly made, his owner knew he had the makings of a premier stallion.
Rick carefully raised him to be an honest cowboy working horse as well as a show horse.
He taught him manners and obedience. Romeo was hand-fed and groomed lovingly by Rick's wife, who assured the young stallion that he was indeed very special.
In the meantime, Rick's friends had all been advised of Romeo's wonderful conformation, attitude and abilities.
As expected, Rick suddenly acquired an increased number of friends, certainly more than he had prior to this exceptional stallion coming of age.
Cowboys from miles around thought to help "ol' Rick" out some by bringing their mares to the stallion. Their strategy was that they would help Rick get a few colts on the ground and get the stallion's name out there. After all, what are friends for?
Of course, there would be no breeding fee involved with these friends' mares, since they were in fact, doing Rick a big favor.
This was not Rick's first load of pumpkins nor was he blind to the "helpfulness" of his buddies. He put a quick stop to their marketing plan.
Instead, he advertised the beautiful Romeo, spent some time showing him at a few premier horse shows and soon paying customers were requiring Romeo's services.
Romeo took this all in stride. But even with his impeccable manners, he had the inclinations of an alley cat.
He loved the ladies of the equine variety and when none were brought around to his corral, he exercised his talent for jumping fences.
Romeo had acquired this special skill while Rick was doing some pasture roping on him.
Rick had the habit of cold trailing a sick calf far beyond the norm, just to make absolutely sure his rope would catch on the first throw.
On one occasion, Romeo had sped up to the calf and thought it was just some obstacle to be jumped, and so he did.
He never did catch on to tracking cattle, just as Rick never caught on to throwing his loop when he had that first good shot. Horse and rider had somewhat of a hardheaded standoff going. But in the interim, Romeo fine-tuned his jumping skills.
Romeo would jump fences, cattle guards, gates and anything else between him and any mares pastured anywhere for miles around.
The owners always called Rick to come get him after their mares were bred.
If the pasture was a little short on grass, Romeo would simply jump his way back home. His adventures did improve the general quality of the colts in the neighborhood.
At some point, Rick worried that Romeo could get hurt, and he had tired of his neighbors getting high-dollar colts for free.
Romeo was too valuable to geld, so he decided to use the stallion's special jumping skills to an advantage.
Rick called a friend in Houston, where those little postage-stamp sized saddles were known to be popular along with the people who professionally jumped obstacles.
The friend said he knew of a hunter-jumper competitor who was looking to buy a horse for his wife. In discussion with the jumping enthusiast, the single most important requirement in the transaction was that Romeo be friendly to females.
Rick assured him in all sincerity and with perfect honesty, that Romeo absolutely loved the ladies.
Romeo now resides in one of the swankier sections of Houston and is enjoying himself greatly.
He has discovered that not working for a cowboy for a living has its advantages, one being he has no more sick calves to hurdle.
Jumping those little fences for the lady in the saddle was indeed a promotion.
So far, no tales of Romeo's wanderings have filtered back to the Panhandle, but some days in the wind you can still hear, "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo."
Julie can be reached for comment at or visit her Web site at


by Julie Carter

Like a lot of cowboys, Blayke sometimes found himself supporting his cowboy habit with a real job.
This time it was working construction by day and riding colts at night. He had leased a place with a lighted arena near Colorado Springs, Colo. It allowed him to make some extra money riding the horses and it gave him a place to get away from the city chaos he endured all day in his job.
In the course of his work, he met a guy who invited him dinner with some "high class doctors" at the famous five-star Broadmoor Resort. Blayke knew this was where "all the rich people hung out." He was advised to dress up for the evening.
True to his cowboy nature, he broke out the old Resistol Black Gold hat, starched up a white shirt, a new pair of Wranglers and even wore his best boots.
Even with the effort, he recognized at dinner that he was underdressed for the occasion.
The doctors, surgeons and more, were wearing "fancy suits and all had gals with them that were 15 years younger wearing furs and dinner dresses."
Blayke survived dinner, although it threatened to confound him with five forks, cloth napkins and fine china. After dinner, the men retired to a "smoking room" for cigars and brandy. Conversations centered on money and investments.
With a financial portfolio that totaled a modest checking account and some cash in his pocket, it didn't take Blayke long to head to a place he could feel at home. Sidling up to the bar, he ordered a shot of Crown. When he found out it was free, he had another.
Noting that the doctors had deserted "all those dressed-up gals," Blayke soon had plenty of lovely company sitting next to him drinking shots. Within the hour, they had kicked off their high heels, let their hair down, and had come "unstarched."
It was then Blayke's cowboy brain kicked in and he suggested they all go down to the Broadmoor Lake and go skinny dipping. The bartender, quite entertained by the cowboy and ladies, handed them a bottle as they headed to the water.
The party was going swimmingly, so to speak, until the security guard spotted them. When he headed their direction, they grabbed their clothes and outran him to the parking lot. They jumped in Blayke's pickup and raced away, finding a place down the street to pull over and get dressed.
Not ready to give up the party, they located a honky tonk and Blayke proudly escorted the gals inside, now dressed to the hilt in furs and wet hair.
One of them was even barefooted as she had forgotten to grab her shoes.
Blayke felt certain that would be last time the docs would desert their women to drink brandy and smoke cigars. Either way, it had worked well for him.
City gals
Jerry was the kind of cowboy that women and men alike would notice and recognize as the genuine article.
He always wore good boots, good hats and George Strait starched jeans. There was no mistaking him for anything but the real deal.
Women of all types were attracted to him. One time, responding to some friendly overtures from a citified lady lawyer, he told her up front that he was happy as a loner, but if she wanted to go along for the ride, she would go in his world.
No secrets from the onset, but after a while the lady began to miss the bright-light activities of her world. She suggested they go to some clubs, fancy restaurants or some shows.
All of this met with no action from Jerry.
Riding along in his truck one evening, sharing the current dating dilemma with his buddy, he made the comment that sometimes things just didn't work out between cowboys and city girls.
"You just can't please some women," he said. "I already took this gal to two bull-nut fries and a steer roping. What more could she want?"
And that is why women never fantasize about being swept off their feet by a CPA.
Julie, unstarched, can be reached for comment at


Cowgirl Sass & Savvy by Julie Carter Roping and rodeo season is gearing up to the usual spring frenzy and those ropers that find themselves afoot are horse shopping.
The used-horse business flourishes but unless you get a far piece beyond your territory, everybody knows you, your business and the horse you might be looking at.
Heard at the arena, "He don't know it, but that horse will make your eyes pop," said one cowboy.
"No way. I know that horse and he's one of the uglier ones to be found," said the other cowboy.
"I'm not talking about his looks," retorted the first cowboy. "I'm talking about he stops so hard on his front feet that when your crotch hits the saddle horn, your eyes will pop."
This is important criteria to know.
Then there is Joe and Pete, whose names have been changed since it was established one of them can read, and didn't so much enjoy his newfound notoriety when their antics previously hit print.
As a precaution, their undercover names will be kept to a simple, one syllable.
Joe and Pete, when we last spoke of them, were going to win the world without bothering with any roping practice. Not needed, they were sure of that. That spree lasted about six weeks and came to an unremarkable close.
Spring fever has again beset the pair and the difference this year is that they both decided they needed new horses.
Joe's horse, Hack Rein, is 20-plus years old and Pete's trusty steed, Stix, has seen 21 years and counting.
Besides being naturally tightfisted, neither of them are flush with funds. Rick is the friend designated to alleviate the current cash flow issue with a little horse trading in the mix.
Joe is going to sell Hack Rein to Rick. That gets Rick mounted. Joe has neglected to tell him that Hack Rein has a slight bob to his head and at times, a serious limp.
Hack Rein is a heading horse, so Rick will be a header.
Joe is then going to buy Pete's horse, Stix, who also has a slight bob to his head and on bad days, will limp slightly.
That gets Joe mounted. Stix is also a heading horse, so Joe will be a header.
Pete is the only one left afoot. He is looking at a black horse said to be priced extremely reasonable.
That's a serious consideration with this bunch.
The black horse has been known to occasionally limp and to stop on his front feet pretty hard. Recall the earlier "eye popper" conversation.
He, too, is a heading horse, but an extremely good bargain.
All three ropers are now mounted and will shortly begin practice to win the world when the weather warms up and arenas dry up.
It has not yet occurred to them that that all three of them will have to be headers. The excitement over their "new" horses has, at least temporarily, clouded that detail of reality.
The upside of this is, counting on heelers to show up is just as iffy. The most recent best excuse by a heeler to not to show up to a roping was he'd decided to enter a coyote calling contest instead. Hey, it happens.
For those watching this scenario unfold, there is a suggestion of confidence that the trio may not figure out that all of them are headers until they go to enter a roping.
Like last year's unnecessary practice, planning ahead is rarely the selected option.
The mental image of them riding their head-bobbing, gimping horses around the arena while they try to figure out how to make a team out of three headers, lends itself to a "three stooges in cowboy hats" moment.
One can almost already hear the "N'yuk, n'yuk, n'yuk."
The first roping they go to may take more than the usual supply of aiming fluid.
Julie can be reached for comment at Here website is .