Getting In Touch with Your Inner Cowgirl

When any of you ladies out there get to feeling out of control, in a rut, downtrodden, or run over in the rat race, take the time to restore your soul and get back on your feet.  The best way to do this is to get in touch with your inner cowgirl; here’s how:

  • Take the backroads and savor the countryside.
  • Skip the hair and makeup routine. Wear a ball cap or a visor.
  • Use duct tape for repairs.
  • Drive a stick shift or a pickup for a spell (TIP: it’s not a “truck” unless it’s a one ton).
  • Play cards: Poker, Blackjack, Gin, Cribbage, or Texas Hold ‘em.
  • Spit—but practice first. There’s an art to spitting without having drool dangling from your lips.
  • Belly up to a bar, down a domestic beer, and eavesdrop on men’s conversation. See if you can learn something new about the male species, or better yet, join in on their conversation.
  • Trim your fingernails short. See how useful you can be without manicured nails and put some calluses on your hands.
  • Carry a pocketknife.
  • Change a tire or use a set of jumper cables by yourself.
  • Save time, money and water, and ditch washing your vehicle for a month.
  • Wear something made by Carhartt: a jacket, vest, coveralls, bib overalls, or a cap. (There are other colors available besides duck brown.)
  • Have a juicy hamburger or cup of coffee at a salebarn cafe. (They serve the freshest burgers and coffee around.)
  • Spend a day horseback appreciating nature, the earth, weather, animals, and the especially the quiet.
  • Buck up.
  • Avoid going to town for anything other than groceries and personal items for a month.
  • Help a farmer or rancher pitch hay, fill buckets, chop ice, or other livestock/manual labor-related chores for a day.
  • Observe livestock animals’ behavior and get to know them.
  • Pull or wrestle a calf.
  • Eat rocky mountain oysters cooked on a branding stove.
  • Replace your packet of tissues with a bandana.
  • Watch Lonesome Dove or read the book, or do both.
  • Get seats at a rodeo close enough to get some arena dirt in your lap and feel a breeze from a horse loping past you.
  • Get fresh air into your lungs and enjoy a good night’s rest; work outside all day or spend a summer night sleeping under the stars listening to the sounds that nature provides.
  • Learn the lyrics to a Chris LeDoux song.
  • Help check, fix, or build fence all day and let your mind empty out.
  • Don’t complain.
  • Get your jeans dirty. Mud, manure, dirt, grass, and/or blood can achieve this.
  • Wear cowgirl boots for work, play, and leisure for a week.
  • Be neighborly.
  • Keep a wad of baling wire handy to use the next time something needs fixed.
  • Groom a horse for 20 minutes instead of yourself.
  • Get outside and watch the sun rise, sun set, or the stars at night.
  • Savor an afternoon siesta on the ground on a sunny day (ideally, in spring or summer).

Getting to know your inner cowgirl is easy but to find the real cowgirl in you means you’ll have to pee outside.

This column was originally published December 15-21, 2010 © Amy Kirk

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About ranchwifeslant

Amy writes a humor column based on rural living and ranch life from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. She and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth generation cow/calf operation near Pringle; the Elk Capital of South Dakota.
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