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The Funnest Bunch of Horsewomen on the Planet

How’d you like to get together with like-minded women, ride horses, take trips, and throw parties all year around?  Those are just a few of the benefits of being part of 40-Something Cowgirls, a club for horsewomen with chapters throughout the U.S.

Kristi Williams got the idea for the group while living in Oregon.  In 2010, the avid horse woman invited 13 friends over and proposed they start a club for women with an interest in riding.  The ladies opened up their checkbooks to fund the original chapter.  In just two months, it had grown to 70 members.

Since then, 40-Something Cowgirls has expanded to more than 40 chapters (with dozens more pending) ranging in size from 10 to 70 members.  Each chapter pursues its own interests—some are hardcore horse riders with competitive goals, others are more into recreational pursuits. Activities have included rodeos, trail rides, cowgirl polo matches, camping trips, charity fund raisers and parades.  Come spring, you may find the gals taking part in Easter egg hunts and in the fall, Halloween costume contests.

Riders and non-riders take part, with and without horses in their barns or stables.  In fact, some chapters encourage “never evers” or women who rode as kids and want to make a comeback. Experienced riders often serve as mentors to the newbies. And you don’t have to be in your 40s to join. As Kristi says, “Some of us say we’re 40-something—and holding. A few of us haven’t seen 40 in a long time!”

Once you join, you can take part in the activities of all the chapters. Events take place every month of the year and there are hundreds from which to choose.  And if there isn’t a chapter near where you live, you can create your own. It just takes five women with a shared interest.

“It’s sort of like a sorority,” says Kristi, who now lives in Breckenridge, Texas. “It’s all about sharing experiences. Life experiences, too.”

For info on chapters, events, and how to form your own group, contact 40somethingcowgirls.com.

Before you head out for a day ride, make sure you have everything you need.  Some items, like your cell phone, pocket knife, first-aid items and maps, are best carried on your body in case you become separated from your horse.  Other items including water, snacks, sun protection tissues, hoof pick, and extra clothing can be carried in a saddle bag. These bags come in many shapes and sizes and are a very important part of any ride.

Tough-1 multi-pocket insulated saddle bag will easily hold a 12-pack on each side and include a removable ice liner. tough1.com