Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Always saddle your own horse!

This morning, I saw that my cousin Katherine has posted a link to this fabulous video about American Cowgirls! The video (see below) features Miss Connie Reeves who passed away at age 101, after she was thrown off her favorite horse Dr. Pepper.

While this may not seem interesting to you, it is interesting to me because Connie Reeves taught horseback riding at the camp I went to in Texas for seven summers. She also taught my sister (even though she was terrified and quit after her first year), my cousins Katherine, Hannah & Janie and our mothers Caroline, Dinah & Suzanne! Connie saw met me at age 9 and then continued to talk about the Hampton twins (my mom and aunt) and told stories about teaching them to ride horses, too!

These beautiful photos of Connie come from the American Cowgirl website. There are many other great women who are featured on the site, but Connie holds a special place in my heart because I know her. In addition, she was not only inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, but she was one of two women to win an award from the National CowBOY and Western Heritage Museum. Pretty amazing!

If you look at her in this photo, that is exactly how I remember her. I distinctly remember her hands and they look the same way in this photo.

Here's a picture of Connie riding one of her horses from Camp Waldemar in the Guadalupe River. She rode horses every day that she could, up until the day that she fell off the horse that ultimately caused her fatal injuries at age 101. She taught young girls to ride horseback for 67 years at Waldemar, and was estimated to teach 36,000 girls! Pretty impressive.

This is the last photo I found. When Connie died in 2003, the news was shared all over the world. She made such an impact on people, whether or not they knew her.

Here is the video from the American Cowgirl site:

I think it is really touching, and Connie is also really funny in the video, talking about how you can't have much to say if you can't curse, calling a girl riding with a saddle a sissy and making fun of her 70-year-old friends!
{On a side note, I like the song that goes along with the video, but I can't figure out what it is. Anyone know?}

I hope you enjoy! Any Waldemar girls reading, feel free to share your thoughts on Connie!

Pin It!


Anonymous said...

1. I wouldn't say I was "terrified" - just smart enough to know that I didn't need to sit on an animal that weighed 10 times more than me.
2. I don't recall that you were such the "horsewoman"
3. Katherine has a blog?
4. Did you notice Connie's name in the video ... Ada!
5. I think I may have that song on my itunes ...

Bets said...

Hey there not-so-anonymous:
1. Where else do you get to ride horses in beautiful scenery?
2. I took horseback for at least 4 years, so yes, that makes me a "horsewoman".
3. No, a Facebook page ... you should, too!
4. Yes, Ada. People would constantly say, "Ava? Eva? Edie?"
5. Can you burn it for me with some other fun songs??? Puh-leaze??!!??

distaff said...

I have so many Connie Reeves stories I could almost write my own book about her. She scared me to death, with that rough, scratchy voice of hers. And yes, she looked exactly the same way in 1959 as she does in the photos you posted. "Can - terrrrr!"

... said...

Your blog seems to be having a Sleepaway Camp Reunion.

What other camp stories or photos do you have to share?

jamie said...

Hi, I'm Jamie Williams, the photographer and filmmaker of American Cowgirl. Thanks for putting my photos and film on your blog. I have been receiving emails from all over the world with inspiring stories from cowgirls everywhere. We decided to start a blog. Check it out at

Bets said...

Hi Jamie,

I'm happy to share your beautiful photos and video (sorry I didn't ask in advance) ... they are all so touching!

I'll definitely be back to your blog!