Sep 29, 2008

Cowgirl Weekend 2008

Like a kid looking forward to Christmas, I cannot WAIT until Cowgirl Weekend each year – and today, the day after Cowgirl Weekend 2008, I feel like that same kid having to wait another year for Santa to come again! For ten years, my friends, Kathy and Jamie, have organized this incredible weekend for their horse friends and for the last six years, I have had the privilege of being invited to attend.

This year Cowgirl Weekend was held at Kanopolis Lake near Salina, Kansas. Twenty horses, nineteen women in eleven rigs attended this special four-day, 10th anniversary ride. I think the horses must have known it was a special event; couldn’t have asked for better rides. I think the Big Fat Lying Weatherman even knew better than to mess with us on this ride! Temps stayed in the mid eighties with plenty of sunshine during the day and stars galore and an awesome view of the Milky Way at night. The sumac was changing to a deeper shade of red and yellow and white wildflowers grew randomly along the trail.

Plenty of rains though out the season kept the water crossings interesting. The red rock gave our flatlander horses new challenges, all of which they succeeded. A doe and her two young fawns followed us along the trail briefly one morning, as curious of us as we were the deer. Our horses paid no mind to the added company. Buzzards roosted in a tree not far from the corrals, but were not a bad omen.

Our event is multi-generational. Many of the guests have grandchildren, others career women, the "soccer mom" generation while yet another announced her own pregnancy. This weekend, like the years before, we clear our calendars and come together from different parts of our state and with diverse backgrounds, for a weekend of sharing the passion of horses. And had it not been for horses, we probably would have never met in our own walks of life.

Cowgirl Weekend is bittersweet as it signifies the unofficial end of the riding season. The four days we are together go too fast and ends too soon. In the days following, there will be a flurry of email exchanges sharing memories, followed by shared pictures. And then we'll go our separate ways and probably won't see each other again collectively, until next year.

Cowgirl Weekend isn’t just about riding. Although spending time in the saddle and spending time with our horses is what brings us all together, there is more. It’s about renewing friendships that so often get put on the back burner due to other obligations in our hectic lives. It’s about having fun; letting our hair down. And playing.

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