Baby Doll Combs, owned by steer wrestler and Rodeo Champion Willard Combs is thought to be the best Steer Wrestling horse, or “bulldogger” that ever rode the circuit. During her seven peak years of rodeo competition from 1953 to when she died in 1960 she earned over $400,000 in prize money, which in today’s dollars would amount to around $2,965,000. In 1957 Willard Combs won the Championship Steer Wrestling title on Baby Doll, and that year, the cowboys who took second, third, fourth and fifth in the standings were also riding Baby Doll. Famous Rodeo Cowboy, Bill Linderman said that Baby Doll knew bulldogging better than some of the cowboys who were riding her. When she died at a Kansas Rodeo in 1960 from a ruptured spleen, Willard Combs had her shipped back to his ranch in Oklahoma to be buried. Standing at the graveside, when she was laid to rest were many of the cowboys who had ridden her. Baby Doll was inducted into the PRCA Hall of Fame in 1979 with their very first class of inductees and is remembered as one of the greatest Rodeo horses of all times.
The weekend is almost here and it looks like the weather is going to be nearly perfect. Blue skies, warm breezes, 80 something, and perfect for a summer ride. The best way to spend your weekend is on the back of the most beautiful animal God has blessed us with. When you are in the saddle you can forget the world around you, you can feel the mountains surround you, and you can get lost in the beauty of a sweet summer day. We love to get the horse out and ready to follow the trail wherever it leads. We look for treasures along the way. We might find some old antlers a deer lost some time ago, we may come across a crystal clear stream we have never seen before, we might happen on a raspberry bush full to the sweetest raspberries you have ever tasted. We never know what we are going to find as we ride but we always now what we will bring home.
We always come home with a smile, a feeling of contentment, and the enjoyable serenity that only a summer ride in the mountains can bring.
Father’s Day weekend is legendary in Evergreen, Colorado; the weekend everything comes to a halt and residents become remnants of a bygone day, when there was nothing better than a night under the lights at the rodeo. Sit in the front row where you can feel the breath of the champion horses as they race past, carrying cowboys and cowgirls in their best show time regalia. We love the thrill of the ride, hoping the eight second clock will buzz before our cowboy flies into the air, wanting just one more bull rider to challenge the timer and beat the beast at his own game. It is the fun that reminds us we are Americans and we live in the west, where everything is a little wilder and a little more challenging and a lot more of what we love. Saddle up and wave your flag, you are about to enjoy a great chunk of Americana.
There is something about horses and kids that make for a great marriage. It is a lovely picture, the mammoth being, meekly deferring to the tiny one, the one that could be swept away with one aggressive snort. Yet they stand together, nose to nose, one in deference to the other, because the horse, in its four legged splendor seems to understand that this smaller than average two legged creature is precious in some way, a treasure of some kind, and their keeping is a tremendous responsibility. It is the gentle and wise heart of the horse and innocent nature of the child that makes the mixture ideal, even magical. See them together and you will feel a smile spread across your lips, a lift of happiness in your step. Their gift is the perfect combination of generosity and delight and they are meant to be together.
So do you have your boots for the Rodeo yet? You know it’s this Saturday. Seriously girls! Get your feet in gear and get over to Pine Country Feed, where there are boots just right for your cowgirl feet. And while you’re at it, grab a hat for your adorable cowgirl head. Seriously!
Time to get your style on for the Evergreen Rodeo – the weekend when we’re all cowboys and cowgirls, and the more put together the better. You may want to start with a belt, something studded with silver or blinged with rhinestones, which of course will have a greater impact when accompanied by the right pair of Cowgirl Tuff jeans, and you may as well top it off with one of the designer shirts that Pine Country Feed is famous for. Did we mention that Pine Country Feed is the Cowgirl Capital of the world, because they really get that being comfortable and looking your best should go hand in hand, the perfect pairing of relaxed living and eye catching flair? The Board Walk is waiting for your sassy approach, so pull it all together with the perfect hat, wide brimmed, leather banded, feathered set off with a pounded silver emblem, Pine Country has it all. That’s why you and PC are meant for each other. All you with just the right amount of wild, the best of the west!
The Evergreen Rodeo is around the corner, Father’s Day weekend as a matter of fact, and part of the fun is showing up in the right garb. Don’t look like a cowgirl wannabe, in jeans that are too blue and too plain, and a polo shirt. Pine Country has the jeans you need with just the right amount of bling and the perfect fit, and a studded t-shirt that will give you the look. There is a good chance that you will need a jacket, though it be June, the evenings can be cool, and if you’re going to wear a jacket it better be made of denim, and it better look like it has been to more than one round up. And don’t forget your head – yes you’ll want a hat – it’s the best part, and you’ll look like you were born to the life. You’ll need boots but don’t panic, we’ve got boots. Gorgeous boots that you’ll want to wear to the bull riding, the dance afterwards and the party after that. Finally, don’t go to the rodeo without your jewelry – bracelets, pendants and chains, earrings and even a snappy watch. When the cowboys ride into town they’ll need something to think about while they’re being thrown from the back of a horse, and it may as well be you.
There is something about horses and kids that make for a great marriage. It is like the story of the gorilla who loved the kitten, the mammoth being, meekly deferring to the tiny one, the one that could be swept away with one aggressive snort. Yet they stand together, nose to nose, one in deference to the other, because the horse, in its four legged splendor seems to understand that this smaller than average two legged creature is precious in some way, a treasure of some kind, and their keeping is a tremendous responsibility. It is the gentle and wise heart of the horse and innocent nature of the child that makes the mixture ideal, even magical. See them together and you will feel a smile spread across your lips, a lift of happiness in your step. Their gift is the perfect combination of generosity and delight and they are meant to be together.
The great thing about cowgirls is that their refinement doesn’t come from stilted manners and insincere graciousness. A cowgirl’s demeanor is one of true warmth and kindness of heart. She carries herself with an air of confidence, and it has something to do with the horses. A horse knows when you’re shaking in your boots, or if you don’t really like him and his insistence on the real thing is woven into the way a cowgirl conducts herself, being who she is, because she knows that if she can handle the four legged love of her life she can certainly handle anything on two legs. She is sure of herself but secure enough to ask for help, because strength doesn’t come from going it alone, it comes from valuing the good in others. Cowgirls are all about putting everything they have into the ride, not quitting until the last bale is loaded, seeing the rough terrain ahead, hanging on tight and giving it a kick, because at the end of the day cowgirls know that life is best lived at a full gallop so that you can really appreciate the meandering walk at the top of the hill.
So amidst the excitement of the Royal Nuptials one thing rang true at every turn. The horses were the stars of the show. As they pulled the carriages down the cobbled streets, winding their way through the throngs of well-wishers, standing at attention as they waited for their valuable cargo to load, never looking left or right, it was obvious they knew they carried a weighty responsibility and they knew the world was watching. Horses, perhaps more than all other four legged creatures, seem to accept and respect their place in pageantry. They have come to understand that there are important moments in life that simply can’t come off without their regal stature or their enduring strength. They have led the charge in battle, carried the common and the elite, run the range, trotted the polo fields, raced the track, and danced under the lights and they do it every time as though they were born for the fanfare. They seem to know, that despite the fuss being made over the royal couple, and the fact that the queen believes she is pulling the strings, they clearly realize that none of this happens without them. They have carved their place in the pages of history and they aren’t going anywhere soon. The equine kingdom reigns supreme!
“My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between I occupy myself as best I can.” Cary Grant
He hadn’t seen a day like this in weeks, when the sun was hot on the backs of his gloves, making his hands ache with the baking crackle of the leather. His narrow gaze scanned the backs of the wild horses as they grazed across the range, nickering softly to each other in their playful, coaxing voices, their eyes aware, though diverted. “He is watching,” they whisper. The cowboy pulled his hat further down over his eyes, guarding his gaze as he focused on the chestnut at the front of the herd, wondering if he was as fast as his muscled legs seemed to suggest, wondering how his own coal black pony would do in a chase with this masterful beast. The chestnut looked over, snorted and went back to eating, clearly confident in his ability to overcome any challenge, or perhaps he knew that the cowboy was only watching. The man on the dark horse lifted his chin in a nod to the burnished stallion and reined his own ride away from the herd, on an undefined path through the tall grasses. It was their agreement – a side by side existence without the chase, just the chance to glimpse the perfect beauty, the power of life, and enjoy the gift of freedom.