Happy Trails & Pony Tails

Once upon a time, a horse-crazy gal had the crazy idea that it would be fun for friends from all over the country to meet and ride together. Several years later, the ride has become an annual event when summer is about to give way to fall. The location setting is the largest park in the U.S.A. that specifically caters to “horsefolk” – Fort Robinson State Park, located in western Nebraska. All in all, there are 22,000 acres that offer miles of smiles for trail riders! Swing your foot in the stirrup and join us for a virtual ride back into history.
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  1. Terces says:

    WOW! I owned a horse when we lived in Cuba in the 1950’s and still remember how much I loved riding. Reading this inspires me to think about adding land to our farm so I can have a horse again. What a beautiful story with beautiful horse and people pictures! thank you for sharing. Love, Terces

  2. Mary Jane says:

    Oh, how I wish I were closer and your FRIEND!! I will have to enjoy thru your blog. What a beautiful tribute to your friends AND horses!

  3. Claudai says:

    The largest park in the U.S. is the Adirondack park….lets all ride here?

  4. Tanya says:

    WOW!!! All I can say is I’m putting this on my Bucket List! Thank you! It brought tears to my eyes! And I was wondering how ya’ll left your gardens!!! I’m a fan of your Blog and of your Profile Picture! Blessings to you! And thank you Sherry, for sharing your life with me!

  5. TJ Wierenga says:

    Oh how FUN!! My now-husband and I rode out at Fort Rob when we were courting…great photos reminding me of that great area of the country!

    We moved up to Montana from Texas after marrying and starting our family 4 years ago… I left behind a group of friends we called the "YeeHa Sisterhood" (made a yahoogroup and everything! nationwide! grin) that was comprised of all gals who likewise rode English, western, Aussie, or bareback! We had monthly trail rides while I was still in TX, and they still get together every now and then here and there around the country. I’ll have to suggest a Fort Robinson ride and see if I can’t haul my ’87 foundation-bred QH "Bubas Pepper" down there for a YeeHa get-together!

    Thanks for this great post – and now I’ve been singing and whistling "Happy Trails" for half an hour… grin…


  6. Debbie says:

    There’s beauty everywhere in this post! All the gals are just beaming with joy to be with their horses and the horses look happy too…I see it’s not just " young fillies" out there on the trail with their trusty steeds. More inspiration for this middle aged "rookie rider" ! Fall riding lessons begin this Friday for me! Can’t wait… There just might be a short trail ride in my near future! I’ll keep you posted!

    I don’t have to tell you Happy Trails!

  7. Grace~katmom says:

    Oh Shery,
    Thanx for taking us along on a wonderful ride….and Ribbon is beautiful!

  8. Rose helmbright says:

    Sounds just wonderful! Someday I want to learn to ride. It was fun going along with you on your ride with your writing.

    Happy Trails

  9. Reba says:

    Thank you for such a great post…again! It looks like so much fun…and refreshing. (I also wish that I could have had tomatoes as those on your vines. Ours were horrible!) Ribbon is a beauty!! I think it is truly a blessing to have horses. They are certainly beautiful creatures.

  10. Rene Foust says:

    Beautiful and wonderful. You are blessed.

  11. Tash says:

    Me and my horse Beauty want to come!!!!

  12. Kris says:

    Why don’t you let a friend use your camera so we can see how much you enjoy yourself? We know you do; you keep telling us, but I want to know if you tilt back your head and roar, or do a little dance, or roll around on the ground or….

  13. Mandie says:

    This is my first visit to your blog. It looks like a great blog and I can’t wait to read more and get to know you through it:) We got married not far from Ft Robinson park and I love it there – that place is amazing. I have never gotten to ride there yet but I hope to sometime. It is gorgeous there and I have heard it is such a great place to trail ride. Thank you for sharing the stories and photos 🙂

  14. michele hieb says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful time…wish that I was right along with you…maybe next year. 🙂 I look forward to getting together for our next farmgirl gathering and getting all the details that fall between the lines. See you soon my friend 🙂

  15. If I were to be a ranch hand in this life I would love to spend my time with you and your friends. Looks like the life from here in the north. One or two of my chickens are laying eggs now. Had three yesterday but not sure if all three were laid yesterday or also from the day before. But none at all today. Pretty little blue-green ones. Made hubs 1/2 fried egg sandwich and sent on home with our little 3 year old niece.

  16. Louise Cannady says:

    Hi Shery,
    Never has a greater statement been true "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man!" In this case a woman, with MS trying to convince her family how important it is to let her have a horse. But more importantly are your kind words describing Sean and his dedication to fitting his saddles not only to you, but also the horse. Sean literally throws himself into any thing he does and he truly is an artist! I know because I’m his mom! Again, thank you.
    Louise Cannady
    P.S. I love you, Sean!

  17. Ann says:

    Hello Shery,

    I finally had some time to read your blog – what a great entry! I was so happy to hear that you gals are fans of the Morgan horse breed. The love of my life, Danny (also a Morgan), passed away in early May after 27 years. There has been a huge hole in my life since, and it was cool to hear of others who share my passion. I would love to join you one day on a ride!

  18. Connie Tarplee says:

    This looks like a great place to ride. I have been wanting to go west to ride. The history and the beauty of the land. This place I will go to ride one day.

  19. BARBARA BUTLER says:

    What a beautiful article. Bless all of you, Horses too.

  20. BARBARA BUTLER says:

    What a beautiful article. Bless all of you, Horses too.

  21. Susie says:

    My first visit to your blog. Oh, you are so going to love that new saddle!! I got mine from Double H almost 2 years ago. Fits my two TB Morgan crosses beautifully. And for me – improved my riding immensely! So comfortable! Best investment I ever made!! One year I would love to join your ride.

  22. Sue says:

    LOL, Shery….
    I just now saw this page…didn’t know my pic was on it 🙂 I tell ya, that was the funnest time of my entire life. Gotta do it again! Thanks for loaning me your beautiful mares for the ride!

  23. heather says:

    I read your article and it reminded me of a horse named Bonnie I met at summer camp.I loved her. I am reminded of the deep love in my heart for horses and how someday I can have one again.
    Thank You for sharing

  24. Carla says:

    I would so love to join all you girls on this ride with my 5 yr. old Morgan mare "Mattie". My friend Kathy would like to go to.
    Now how far is Nebraska from Massachusetts! And I need the dates too Yeehaw!
    Thank-you so much!

  25. Carla says:

    I would so love to join all you girls on this ride with my 5 yr. old Morgan mare "Mattie". My friend Kathy would like to go to.
    Now how far is Nebraska from Massachusetts! And I need the dates too Yeehaw!
    Thank-you so much!

  26. marty says:

    Sure is one pretty mare in all the cavalry accoutraments and such! Like the rest of them too. Great job Shery and great writing,
    Marty and Karen

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Potpourri, Pickles & Pearls

Summer is when bees are as busy as bees get and this summer has been a busy-bee summer for me. Question: How come I seem to be busier now than when I was younger? I thought slowing down a little is what us “vintage” farmgirls get to do. Turning 50 a few years back was a wake-up call. I was suddenly aware that my age was no longer just a number. If you’re 40 or younger and want to see what lies beyond…well, I’m on the trail ahead of you and I found some cowgirl “pearls of wisdom” to share.
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  1. Julie Wemken says:

    Shery, I just have to say I LOVE reading your blogs! I can’t tell you how much you speak to my soul. Every time I read your blog it brightens my day and I fill up with joy. Everything you talk about are things that I too love with all my heart, especially your junk treasures. You inspire me to create. I so appreciate your advice on being true to yourself as you age and becoming who you are meant to be. That is exactly where I’ve been in my life too. Thank you so much for sharing a part of yourself with us. Many blessings!

  2. I second that!!!! I don’t even know where to begin….how about here….I love your hair, au natural!!! You look wonderful and I see your soul shining through. Thanks, for all your wonderful words of encouragement, I am cutting this out and hanging it by my computer…..no wait a minute…by my mirror! 😉

  3. Janice K. says:

    Thank you so much for your input! I recently turned 56 and I have been thinking a lot about what I don’t have in my life, instead of what I do. Lots of dark thoughts have popped up since losing my mom in December. Is life all about LOSS? You get the picture…
    I sold mom’s house (next door to mine) and my new neighbors moved in a couple of days ago. Yes, sad to lose your mom as your neighbor, but GREAT to have a wonderful family filling her space with love…
    You have inspired me to build a neat little patio next to my garden shed. I simply love the ongoing decorating. My next project will be a sign: "Within my mother’s garden I have found my own"…
    You are an inspiration and your photography has me ‘oooohing and ahhhhhing’ constantly.

  4. Jane says:

    I turned 50 two weeks ago and this entry really speaks to me. Thank you so much for your ability to convey what I’m thinking and feeling.

  5. Rusty says:

    You are truly a girl after my own heart. I, too, am a little past mid-life (I’ll be 64 next month) but still feel like a teen-ager. I love old antiques, pearls, and words of wisdom such as your articles inspire. Keep up the good work and be a great inspiration to the rest of us "young-uns"…..

    Love ya-

  6. Ann says:

    Amen, sister! Thank you so much for promoting my love of pearls, both kinds. And I still aspire to be more like you when I "grow up". I’m very glad to have you in my life. Hugs.

  7. Reba says:

    What a wonderful post! This has become a way to view life for me as well, reaching 55 years old this summer! My motto is from Goethe: Never let the things that matter the most, be at the mercy of the things that matter the least. I love Life and living in the fullness of it! Thank you for the thought-provoking comments that cause one to really count their blessings!

  8. Claudia says:

    The new me happened 2 years ago when I cut off my red hair to 1/2" and let the silver shine! I feel just like you. I am more me now then I ever have been in my life! Joy is taking a walk at dusk and embracing the sunset, where as I never fully appreciated it before. My friends like yours very from 92 to 20 something. Life is grand! Love it and love to read your blog!

  9. Marilyn Rock says:

    A friend of mine referred me to your Blog and this a great read! You are very wise and I’m going back to re-read your words. You’ve got the secret to life! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Grace~katmom says:

    Oh Shery,
    Ner’ were truer words said! I so agree with you….
    I too am in that "age of wonderment",,,,
    I wonder how I could have squandered my youth away.
    I wonder how many true friends I forgot to take time with.
    I wonder how much money I spent on clothes, cosmetics & hair dye to be ‘young’ & trendy.
    I wonder why I thought being ‘somebody’ was more important then being me, a good wife & mother.
    I wonder how God could be so patient with me.
    Now I wonder,,,will my brownies be too squisshy?
    Will I be on time when I meet up with the girls for coffee?
    Will I get my lavender harvested in time?
    I wonder when I can take my lil trailer out camping again.
    I wonder…why do I care…life is good, I can relax and and enjoy my beautiful daughter & wonderful husband’s love for me, the non-hair dyed, rarely make-up wearing, jeans & boots lovin’ crafty junktiquing mid-life woman that I am.
    Oh Shery, this stage of life is SO Good!
    I wonder how I had no clue life would get here & be a great journey. And the journey continues.

  11. Becky says:

    I love your post. I am 51 and have felt the same way lately. I am in the process of "reinventing" myself which
    really means "to thine own self be true". It is very freeing and I am loving this feeling. I wish I would have learned the lesson earlier too but there is nothing to be done about that … so it is just forward from here on out.

    Thank you so much for writing the way you do. It is truly inspiring.

  12. Cindy says:

    I’m 54 and will reread this post a few more times. I need to absorb so much of it and also the comments. Lately I have been feeling so… I don’t know the exact word I’m looking for but feel kind of like Janice’s comment. Is life all about loss? I had a brain aneurysm fixed (unruptured) in Jan. and although things are great with that, it seems to have sucked all the life out of me. I need to enjoy life’s journey once again.

  13. Terces says:

    WOW and I was so BUSY cleaning up my IN BOX I almost missed this months blog and once again I found myself crying at the mirror you are for me. I turn 60 in a couple weeks and was warmed and encouraged by your sharing of wisdom and what matters. Thanks sister. Love, Terces

  14. Terry says:

    I remember you "allowing" me to peek through your button tin one day. I felt like I was seeing into your treasures of treasures, holy of holys. Mother of "pearl" buttons, metal buttons, bone buttons….

  15. Brenda says:

    I will turn 53 this year and I am also trying to do the things I wanted to in my youth but was afraid or unable because I was raising 3 girls as a single mother. But enough said on that. Instead of sitting on my couch this morning with my coffee watching the news before work, I took my coffee out on the deck with my camera and waited for the deer family I have been seeing in the back yard each morning for a couple of weeks. Today they did not come, maybe because they smelled my coffee. But three times flocks of Canadian geese flew over. It is too early for them to fly south so they must have just been relocating for the day. An older gentleman comes into our office to chat some days and is always buying lottery tickets. He wanted to know what I wanted if he won a few months ago. Told him I want a red jeep so I would not get stuck so often here in the winter. So when I saw you breezing around in the red Land Cruiser it certainly put a smile on my face. I do not own any real pearls but I do have some fake ones that are quite fun to wear!

  16. Melissa Ewing says:

    I am going to be 40 next March. All week I have been thinking about who I am, who I want to be, what I want. I keep coming back to writing, which I’ve always loved, but have been too afraid to complete and submit anything since high school. I want to do it for me, but also so my son (who just turned 1) will see that it is not only possible, but necessary to go after your dreams. Now I just need to be shoved out of my comfort zone and do it. Why do they call them comfort zones when they are actually constricting zones?

    Also, thank you so much for the pictures of the Black Hills (and all your other photos). I lived in the Black Hills for 18 months and miss them everyday.

  17. ruth says:

    Oh Shery! Your life is a beautiful potpourri within which you have found your ‘pearl of great price’. I do believe that pearl is YOU!! You certainly are a gift and an inspiration to the rest of us farmgirls! Blessings to you always!


  18. RanchFarmgirl says:

    If you aren’t the kindest herd of farmgirls! Thank you so much for the incredibly sweet comments. I had to respond…

    Bonnie, I’ll keep you in my prayers for a friend who wants to cut loose and go gadding about! Are there any farmgirls to be had in your neck of the woods? That would be one way to ferret out a good runnin’ pardner :o) What color of graniteware do you collect. I like it all, but limit myself to the blue marble…and red/white. I also have arthritis. Its the pits, but I’m wondering if getting past menopause has helped. I’ve felt better this summer than in 6-7 years.

    I got all choked up reading some of what ya’all wrote today.

    Melissa, You get writing girl. You just never know where your words will lead. It is good for the soul even if no one else sees what you have to say. And, what if you manage to brighten just one person’s day…one time, hey, that is huge. Nothing makes me feel better than to hear from someone that what I might have written makes them feel better…even if it is just a little warm fuzzy. And, you’re so right about constricting zones. It is NOT comfortable to sit and long for something in a secluded corner. I know that firsthand.

    Cindy and Janice, if you come back and read this…I hope that better, sunny days are ahead for you … in every way. That is my prayer for you.

    Grace, I wish I could go with you wherever you head for in your lil house on a bumper. :o)

    It was great to hear from fellow vintage farmgirls. So nice to know we’re not alone in some of our wondersome places in life.

    And, THANK YOU right back at all of you. You are most welcome and please know you fluff me up on the inside like a goose down pillow. Life kinda sits hard on you sometimes and it does a body good when a loving person comes along, even more of a miracle when they don’t even know you and yet take the time to poof you up when you most need it. :o) shery

  19. KimberlyD says:

    Thank you for being the "pearl" of this newsletter. I just turned 44 a few days ago and am at the crossroads of life. Putting the young self behind me and taking my wisdom into my new life. My good friend was 83 yrs old when she passed away and boy what a friend she was, she had great wisdom and did a lot of things in her life. So age don’t matter in friendship. My other friend is 65, and she is a good friend, the type you can tell anything to and know no one else will find out anything you don’t want anyone else to know. Then my other friend is 8 yrs old and she sits with me every Sunday at church and tells me what has happened in her young life, and I enjoy every minute of it. She keeps me "young".
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  20. Lilli says:

    Enjoying your words and thrilling to your photos, such a treat! You have so many gifts of talent. Each time I read one of your posts, I find myself saying inside…"Yes, oh yes indeed!". I am 61 and having the time of my life. Thanks a million for putting it into words!

  21. Tash says:

    I have been struggling with turning 40 later this year, I am an Australian living in South Georgia, a long way from my family and my culture. I live on a farm with horses and cows and a menagerie of other critters. I love reading your blog – you make me feel normal in an unfamiliar society. I have always felt isolated because I didn’t ‘fit in’. Your blog today has reminded me it doesn’t matter! I’m going to keep doing what I do and being who I am because I’m ME!
    Thanks for the boost!
    Cheers Mate!!

    P.S. Pearls look good with everything!

  22. Jan says:

    I love your blog!! I am 64 years young and have just purchased a horse for myself. I grew up with horses and haven’t had one for many, many years! This year I have become much more aware of what I really want out of the rest of my life and what is really important to me. Lots of ‘things’ don’t hold the importance to me like they used to, however the ‘special’ things mean even more now. I really love your pictures and you have such a gift with words. Keep up the good work!
    Many Blessings, and Hugs,
    Jan in Kansas

  23. Debbie says:

    Oh my Shery!

    Truer words were never spoken about the ride to the other side of life… I’m near’n the peak just shy of 49 this November and I have experienced those feelings of time in a bottle over the last few years…sometimes I think I’ll just pop! All those dreams I’ve been holding at bay are bubbling to the surface… I am doin my best to answer each and everyone of them as they remind me of longings of a young woman before I was blessed with a happy marriage and a family. Yep, those old dreams need tending. Some I can easily weed out but I’m not about to let a few of em go a second time around! No sireee!!! They aren’t all about what I haven’t done or didn’t get, although that’s how I used to see it. These days, they have taken on a different look… I wonder now how MY dreams can help other’s too!

    I love your words ALWAYS…your photos ALWAYS… and consider you a blessing in my circle of " new farmgirl friends"…I’m ridin’ up behind you on the trail of life and loving that you’re a part of the journey, this time around!
    You, my friend are an inspiration and a healer of the heart~
    Big farmgirl hug to you!

    Deb( the beachy farmgirl)

  24. carolj says:

    Shery, I am always amazed that your blog can resonate so in my own life. I will be 52 in November, and I agree that this is probably the best time in my life. I am comfortable being a curly-headed, silver siren. I have decided that my home decor only needs to please my family and me. I have learned to say no, remembering that "the need is not necessarily the call." I am learning to hear and obey the "still small voice." Life is wonderful! The more of your blogs I read and the more of your beautiful pictures you share, the more I am understanding that there is a real connection between people that cannot be defined or contained by physical limitations. Thank you for sharing.

  25. Cate says:

    Shery, My dear,
    ditto, You are telling my life.

  26. Nella says:

    I read this blog and all the comments with tears in my eyes. At 54 with lots of care-taking responsibilities and no beloved to share things with, I’ve put so much of my life and dreams on hold. I think my biggest fear is feeling I am alone and won’t be able to make the changes I need to make alone so I stay put. What I see now is how we women are truly so connected with our friendships–we all have our own hardships and gifts to share with each other and we boost each other up along the way. Thank you so much for your words of inspiration. I am making a huge decision at this point in my life and reading your blog and comments helps tremendously.

  27. bobbie calgaro says:

    Dear Sherry,
    Thanks for reminding me to be authentic. I am 57 years old and still forget to be me. I love what I love and should never be concerned that it is not anyone else’s taste but mine and that is a good thing. I wish that you would publish your blogs with pictures in a book. They are precious and true and would make an excellent guide.

  28. Ann says:

    I look forward to your blog every month. It is so inspiring and resonates with me every time. Your photo vignettes are always so beautiful. How do you do it? Did you take photography lessons? I have a wonderful digital camera my late husband gave me several Christmases ago but I still haven’t the knack of using it – one of my retirement goals. Don’t ever worry about age – I will be 63 next month and always have to remind myself of how "old" I am so I will slow down but it’s worth it to keep working in the garden and doing other things. Keep writing your beautiful thoughts and snapping your gorgeous pictures!

  29. Debbie says:

    I had to pop back by to read this post again and found more new comments to enjoy too! I love Ann’s idea of making a book out of this blog..this is funny, but I think I posted this as an idea on the farmgirl connection under BOOKS..Yepper, a book (or individul books) of all the farmgirl bloggers and their wonderful words would be fantastic.. and a big hit too!
    don’t you agree?

  30. Tina F. says:

    Love your post and so neat that you are from Wyoming! I am too, although I live in town. 🙂

  31. Cora Jo says:

    Oh, my friend. Welcome to life as we know it. My husband, John, who is in remission from kidney cancer, said he likes hanging out with our grandson, Nate, cuz Nate still asks questions and listens…unlike the adult kids usually. Well, here we are; full of experiences and tales that need tellin’. You have a gift for the tellin’ part, for certain. Thank you for sharing this private and wonderful part of who you are. And, once again I need to tell you I can’t look at your pictures without becoming Wyoming homesick.
    Cora Jo

  32. Susan says:

    Hi Shery – At age 62 I feel like I’ve got my whole life ahead of me to do whatever I want! It’s a glorious feeling, isn’t it? I’m on the verge of selling a business I started at age 52, I’m moving to a different state and I’m looking forward to starting a new and different business. I’m not sure what it will be, but it’s fun exploring all the possibilities open to me. Thanks for the great blog and beautiful photos. I must ask what kind of camera you use. Blessings to you and yours

  33. Sharon Higgins says:

    Shery, I just came across your blog, and you have made my day. I love the posts and your photos. You are a true inspiration to women. I am 64 years old and feel so blessed. I started finding the real me the last few years. We cannot go back, but run forward. I have my own small home business of making purses & other crafts. I too, love country life, gardening, antiques, fabrics, old lace, pearls, & still enjoy "hanging my clothes in the fresh air", even though it may not be the most popular thing to do. I look forward to reading your blog. Sharon in MO

  34. Theone Innes says:

    Shery, I feel like such such a big baby. I can cry at commercials, country songs, my children’s baby pictures and your blog. Thank-you I guess. Really, I loved it, the pictures and words really connect. Pearls are like lipstick it doesn’t feel right without them. Thank-you Theone in Fall River Mills CA

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