The Cowgirl Roundup 2014 has provided inspirational experiences for excited guests over the last few days at luxury ranch The Resort at Paws Up, Montana. This unique event, organised by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, was designed to showcase the strength and passion of women on ranches and it delivered on inspiration, excitement and inclusiveness.
I was lucky enough to experience just some of what the Cowgirl Roundup had to offer and I left with a confidence and determination I didn't believe was possible to gain in such a short space of time. Women can do it just as well as the men can, better in fact!
What does it take to be a cowgirl?
Well, confidence and skill mostly! As well as demonstrations from some the legendary attendees (see below), we were given the opportunity to hone our cowgirl skills on and off the horses at Paws Up. From cattle drives to intensive ranch photography courses, there was something for everyone to get excited about.
A nice touch was that the schedule was not set in stone, so if you were more into your barrel racing than your bronc riding you could really focus on your own passion.
Personally, it was nice to incorporate a short cattle drive into the itinerary – it was great to have some time out and in the saddle next to western cowgirl icons, Jan Youren and Barbara Van Cleve as well as so many amazing and inspirational women who came as guests.
Mingling with the best in the west
One of the highlights of the Cowgirl Roundup for attendees is the opportunity to spend time with cowgirl legends. I was able to spend some time with Jan Youren, who is the holder of the world title in barback bronc and bull riding, and Barbara Van Cleve, the famed American West photographer.
They are my new inspirations – tough as nails but kind as you could wish for. The size of the event, which is capped to keep an intimate feel and allow personal attention for each and every guest, meant that everyone had their opportunity to meet these lovely ladies and ask the questions they'd always wanted to know while immersing themselves completely in the cowgirl culture.
Making life-long friends
But it wasn't just the legends who made the event special. The other guests were sensational – we'd all been drawn to the event for the same reasons and found it easy to relate to each other. Some of the guests attend this event every year, while others were newbies ready to get stuck in. Riding alongside other women with similar aspirations, inspirations and goals to me was a truely special experience, and is definitely something I don't get to do every day.
Paws Up to the perfect venue
The Resort at Paws Up was the perfect backdrop to this iconic event. At the end of each action-packed day, after eating our fill of excellent, quality food only found at a ranch, we retired to houses where every little detail had been carefully considered by owner Nadine. The living was ultra plush with service that was second to none – I was sad to leave on so many levels.
This experience was top-notch and I can't wait for next year's Cowgirl Roundup. One thing's for sure, 2014's Cowgirl Roundup was more than I expected.
With many return guests, you will want to book for next year NOW! Book for May 14-17, 2015 by calling: (406) 244-5200
Find out more about The Resort at Paws Up, the beautiful host ranch for this event.