Julie Carter

Welcome to the West as I see it

Within these pages, you will find the end result of a lot of living and laughing, finally put between book covers to share with the world. A laugh is never a better laugh than when it can be shared and shared again.

I hope you choose to own a copy of my book, Cowgirl Sass and Savvy. It is a selection of some of the first stories individually published in a syndicated column by the same name that I have written weekly since 2002. They offer you a peek into ranch and cowboy life that isn't what you see as you drive by or what you read in the glossy slick magazines selling cowboy clothes, furniture and adventures.

And most of all, I hope the stories bring you, at the very least, a smile and a good laugh. No better gift could I offer you.

I also offer you a glimpse of this rural area as I see it through my camera lens. Shop the Mercantile page for posters that I have combined my photography with words I have written. Also there are calendars showcasing some of my favorite photos from this year. A link to my landscape photography website will let you browse through what I see when I travel down the dirt roads of the West.

Julie's Weblog

January 13, 2010

Winter in New Mexico

Filed under: General — Julie Carter @ 3:21 pm

The Carrizos

The Carrizos

Freezing fog

more frost

January 11, 2010

Taco the border horse

Filed under: General — Julie Carter @ 11:51 am

By Julie Carter/Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Hola, amigos. Mi llama es Taco. That’s my new name. I had another name before, but when I got a new home, I got a new name and a new profession.

I am in training to be an ace speed-demon team roping horse on the heels end of the roping steer. In order for you to understand who I have become, please allow me to establish my credentials from previous employment and adventures.

When I was a colt, starting out in my working life, I was known as Chapo Bueno. In the language spoken in Mexico, where I lived, that was a quite a compliment. It means “good pony.” I was born of Hidalgo bloodlines, purebred Spanish grandee horses.

This is evident in my beautiful light gray coat accented by a black mane and tail. It is even more evident in my kind, intelligent eyes.

At an early age, I was partnered to Jose Maria, the top vaquero on a large cattle ranch. Jose Maria loved me, taught me patiently the ways of cattle and how to work them.

We worked hard, made mucho dinero for the patron, and I became known as a top mount. As it was in ranching everywhere at the time, grass became short in Mexico. The patron asked Jose Maria to do a little night riding, taking wet cattle across the river to Texas to sell.

Of course, Jose took me, his top horse, to help get the cattle from the ranch across the river. We pushed them hard by moonlight, laid them up by day, and in the seven days it took to get across the river, we had no trouble. In this fashion, we shipped all the cattle belonging to the patron.

At the end of the cattle drives, the patron thought that since Jose and I were so good at being border bravos, we should continue our night riding with a little different contraband. Jose was reluctant to be on the other side of the law, and I was insulted to be asked to carry a packsaddle, but it was work and we needed work.

Our good luck deserted us on our first run with the contraband. La Migra gathered us in at the border.

Jose patted me, told me goodbye, and slipped off into the night. The other horses and I were taken into possession, the drugs taken to the police station, and we were taken to auction.

When I was arrested, I was wearing a packsaddle so no one knew of my history as a top cow horse. For this reason, I was sold for a pittance to a kind man who could see only my plight.

This man had a good friend in Texas, and soon after, I was sent to Dan the Team Roper. Fortunately, Dan speaks Spanish and has taught me the basics of English. We are getting along fine.

When I first arrived, I made a few mistakes. One of those was that I ate all the briars along his fence line. He explained that in Texas, it was customary that would feed me hay and grain.

Another time I encountered an armadillo and spooked until Dan explained that it was just a hard-shelled possum.

Dan has been teaching me to be his team roping horse. He is beginning to understand that my cow horse athletic abilities and training are an advantage for us both. My royal heritage has afforded me the perfect conformation to be outstanding in this new profession.

I am beginning to understand my job and am considering this sport to be great fun. We will win the world someday, and as you follow my career in upcoming year, I wanted you to know my story.

I send Happy New Year greetings to everyone on both sides of the border, but I’m glad to have a home on this side.

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