CR RanchWear Blog
I guess we should start off by introducing who the heck I am. Hi! I’m Louisa, of Western Twist Media , my “Beginner’s Guide to Cutting” has been featured on the CR RanchWear blog before, and I’ve been honoured to be invited back as a regular contributor. So how did I get this gig? Well, uhm… I’m not *exactly* sure… but I’m thinking that a serious addiction to CR RanchWear helped.. I mean, that Italian Cotton though… BUT, i’m also a huge supporter of the western performance horse industry and I compete in cutting myself. I’m not some #BigTimeNonPro, after a long stint as a loper, I finally decided to try my hand at showing myself, so here I am, still just figuring it out in the 2,000 Limit Rider. There’s been lots of ups, and even more downs, but through it all I’ve always enjoyed bringing humour, with a big dash of #RealTalk, to my experiences in the show pen. So, that’s why we’ve found ourselves here! I wanted my first blog to communicate something anyone in the show pen, from lopers, to riders, to owners, could relate too, and through it, I found a much deeper blog post than I originally imagined. So, as they say, sit deep in that saddle, watch that cow, and hopefully… enjoy!
I don’t care if you’ve been hauling down the road for a world title, or you are a weekend warrior that just shows up when your budget allows.. if you’ve entered that show pen, you know about concession food. Any #ProLoper or #CraftyCompetitor is keenly aware that not all concession food is created equal. They know what to pick to eat on those days your show nerves are resulting in acid reflux. They know what’s easiest to eat on-the-go, whether that’s into the warm up pen, or out to the barn to complete chores. Concession food is an art. Who knew?!
The other day while sitting in the stands watching a go-round of the 5,000 Novice Horse Non Pro over a particularly bland concession dish, I nudged a good friend and loping compadre and asked, “hey, if you could only eat one concession food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” As we giggled over the idea and debated the very important debate of breakfast vs. lunch/dinner items, a blog post was born.
So, I reached out to Facebook and queried the same question and the results were overwhelming, Taco-In-A-Bag was the clear choice, with Breakfast Buns coming in as a strong second. Now, let’s dissect these items and why they are fan favourites, and before you get to keyboard warrior-in’, yes, I am VERY aware that some of you are at a total loss of what Taco-In-A-Bag is, and we’ll get there.
Let’s start with our silver medalist, the Breakfast Bun.
Every horse show enthusiast knows about “hurry up and wait” and that’s perhaps why the almighty breakfast bun was one of the clear winners in the race. Let’s dissect a great breakfast bun. Generally, a bun made of delicious bread, then add an egg, some cheese, either sausage or bacon, and if you’re really fancy, perhaps some salsa in there.
When you arrive at the show, you are probably in the “wait” phase, you have time to down a cup of coffee, or seven, and eat a delicious breakfast bun. What a satisfying combo! When you are in the thick of the “hurry” phase, you don’t have time for lunch, you definitely don’t have time for dinner, and your stomach is still decently settled because you started the day off with a Breakfast Bun. Makes total sense why this is what so many people would choose to survive off of.
That brings us to the clear winner, Taco-In-A-Bag. I’m going to start off by explaining something to ya’ll, I’m actually a Canadian, so I used that ya’ll when I really have no business doing so and I know a lot about cold temperatures, moose, maple syrup and concession foods you may have never heard of. It turns out that many of my American counterparts ARE familiar with Taco-In-A-Bag. Some of you refer to it as Frito Bowl. But, many of you don’t have the faintest clue what i’m on about.
Let me break it down for ya. You start with a bag of Doritos, or Fritos chips. You bust those chips up into small pieces - think about that terrible cow that ran you over with five seconds left when you do bust those chips - and then cut into the long side of the bag. You add some delicious ground beef, sour cream, salsa, maybe guacamole if you’re fancy, definitely tomatoes, lettuce - fresh is always better and cheese. As one of my Facebook contributors informed me, “Frito pie is a small bag of fruit chips with ground beef of the taco seasoned variety and whatever topping you want. Usually just cheese and maybe a little lettuce though, cause us southerns like our heart attacks strong hahaha.”
So why is this the go to concession meal? Well it’s pretty much the closest you are going to get to a salad at a concession, and if you’ve been surviving off burgers and hot dogs, sometimes lettuce is a well-received gift. It covers all the bases, it checks off all the flavour profiles, and if you had to live off one food for the rest of your life, it’s a pretty solid and safe pick. Kind of like that cow that’s driving up and away from the herd, go with it.
So where are we getting deep? Well, at first I was surprised that many of you had never heard of Taco-In-A-Bag, “are they crazy?!” I thought to myself, “have they never lived?!” I questioned. BUT, concessions are kind of like competitors… they are all from different places, they may do things a little different but in a weird and wonderful way they are all connected by a love for the same thing, our horses. So next time you are at a horse show, I dare you to make a new friend, bonus points if they seem a little uncomfortable and like the venue is new to them. Even if they don’t know what Taco-In-A-Bag is, they may be pretty cool, but better yet, they may appreciate your friendliness more than you can know.
& before I let you go, I double-dog-dare ya to post a photo of you in your favourite CR RanchWear shirt eating your favourite concession food item. (***CR is known for spontaneous giveaways, hint, hint***)
I want to know, if you had to live off one concession food for the rest of your life - what would it be?!
See you on down the road! <3
Western Twist Media (WTM) is the creative outlet of professional writer and influencer, Louisa Murch-White. Murch-White is a published journalist, with work appearing in Western Horse Review, Quarter Horse News and features in Cowgirl Magazine and Cutting Horse Central. Personally, she is an avid and enthusiastic member of the performance horse world, and loves nothing more than showing cutting horses. WTM is driven by a passion for the performance horse industry. WTM specializes in assisting brands and companies tell their own stories through impactful marketing and advertising, social media management and freelance writing services. Our popular site also features unique and collaborative advertising opportunities.
We'd love to help you share your story: WesternTwistMedia@gmail.com
We're so excited to bring our good friend, Louisa's, amazing blog series, A Beginner's Guide to Cutting to our CR fans! Louisa is not only an amazingly talented writer and equestrian, but she is our CR RanchWear Canadian rep! Those of you north of the border can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for all your CR needs. Long before she came on board with CR, we were huge fans of her blog-With A Western Twist-and we are pretty sure ya'll will love it too. So without further ado, here's the first installment from A Beginner's Guide to Cutting; it comes with a title we all can probably relate to...."Why Showing Horses is Really Hard". Enjoy! -Sue & McKenzie
Showing horses is like… really hard you guys. I’m not even being sarcastic, I’m truly whining about it. Learning how to show a cutting horse can be equated to pulling out your teeth, slowly, one by one, for no reason. As your doing it, your dentist is telling you, “You’ll know why you’re doing this when all your teeth are in your hands and you’re in writhing agony.” Being a beginner in the cutting horse pen has so many different levels of… hard.
There’s the cows.
Do you know how to read cattle?
Can you walk into a herd and confidently cut out the cow you want to work?
What about cutting for shape – if you have a bunch of cows in front of you, are you able to control the scenario?
What about after you cut one – are you able to read where they are heading to go? When they are going to stop?
Can you look at a herd of 20+ pure black cows and tell them all apart?
What about those ruthless cows that you cut out of the herd, drop your hand on your horses neck and that cow runs wall to wall like it’s jet-propelled? Do you have enough “courage” to hold that cow?
There’s a reason people say that it’s an art form to pick the best cows in a herd and to show levels of skill, accuracy and difficulty while cutting a cow. That stuff ain’t easy.
There’s the horse.
A cutting horse is expensive. Very rarely do “deals” work out in the show pen, ESPECIALLY if you are a beginner. So, as beginners we must cough up a pretty decent amount of money for a “starter horse.” Usually those starter horses are seasoned ponies that know their job, but you're looking at maybe a few years of use and a whole lot of maintenance bills from your vet in your future. If you have a solid horse that you can drop your hand on and it will get you through runs, no matter what your feet/body/hands are doing to it, you're one of the lucky ones. That horse is actually a unicorn and you should shower it with rainbow-glitter cookies because that’s what it deserves. Many of us are not so lucky, many of us have to deal with little idiosyncrasies that our horses throw at us in the show pen. Trust me, when your horse pushes a cow right under the judges stand and your practically sitting in their lap – it will not get you bonus points. There are certain places where sitting on people’s laps get you bonuses, and it ain’t in the cutting pen. The judge will check off “charging” on your scorecard and your run will be over before it even began.
Plus, if you are out there reining your horse around looking like you're trying to duel Louis the 14th on the battlefield, your turn back guys are likely thinking, “what the heck is she trying to cut? I’m trying to help this girl but god only knows if she’s cutting that black one, or that brown… oh whoops looks like she’s actually trying to cut that white one that she didn’t drive up far enough... and oh look she’s still committing to it and oh look again... she lost her cow.”
There's literally 7000x other things I could go on about, but you know, for the sake of keeping you reading you may now be able to see why I’m whining… because, to successfully show cutting horses right off the bat as a beginner you need to be equal parts Olympic level rider, cow-hand and mental sport psychologist with a healthy dose of sedative on board in your blood stream. Then, you need the aforementioned unicorn that sparkles erupt from every time you put your hand down to work a cow. That is, I’m convinced, the only way a total beginner to the sport can go out and mark 75’s every time they step to the herd.
As you can probably tell from this sarcasm-ridden blog-post, I am not the sedated cow-hand I need to be, nor is Lady the rainbow-glitter unicorn, but we’re TRYING to get there – damnit! However, the road to becoming a somewhat successful competitor is littered with sixties, sixties and tears people… sixties and tears. Now, just as you've come to the conclusion of this blog post and your going to write me a nasty comment about how i'm making anyone that's interested in the sport completely run in the other direction, hold up keyboard warriors and LET A GIRL SPEAK...
The sick thing with cutting horses is that, despite all the sixties and all the tears, the feeling of dropping your hand and working a cow perfectly in the middle of the pen, is one of the most addictive things in the world. I'm not kidding people, it makes EVERYTHING I just talked about stupidly worth it. It feels like magic. It does feel like your riding a glitter covered unicorn. It may only be 10 seconds of glittered covered unicorn riding but it's WORTH IT. So, we keep pushing forward at it, hoping that one day,we’ll stop sword fighting through our cuts, we'll stop picking literally the worst cows in the herd and a judge may actually think, “good run” and grant you something over 70. Here’s hoping, here's to riding cow-eating glitter-covered unicorns.
When I first started riding horses, I had no clue the impact it would have on me, especially when it came to the friends I would meet. Most people grow up and get to see their best friends everyday, I get to see mine a couple times a year. While that does make friendships harder, it makes the time you get to spend with them so much more special. They support you in ways that people that don’t ride horses just can’t and they understand the blood, sweat, and tears that go into being successful in the industry. You get to celebrate the victories and weather the slumps with your best friends, which is one of my favorite things about my best friends also riding!
2. The Places I've Visited
Most people dream about getting to travel all across the United States, but thanks to horses I have had the opportunity to. I get to visit some amazing places, all while doing the sport I love. It makes it a lot of fun when you haven’t had a successful show, but you still got to visit some amazing places.
3. The Time I've Spent with Family
The thing I love most about riding horses is the amount of time it has allowed me to spend with my family. Most high school aged kids don’t get to spend just about every weekend traveling with their parents (and grandparents in my case), but I wouldn’t change it for the world. They support me in every way that they can, whether that be driving, helping me clean stalls, or just being there for me when I am in a slump. They support me 110%, even though it is a huge financial and time commitment. I am the one who gets the rewards of riding horses, but I could not do it without the support of my family.
4. The Lessons Learned
The lessons that I have learned from riding horses are irreplaceable. In most sports, you have a team to fall back on, so if you aren’t on your “game” then other people can pick up the slack. That is not the case when it comes to horses. No matter how trained a horse is, they still need some guidance at times and if you don’t do your part, the outcome will probably not be what you wanted. The horses also count on you for pretty much everything. They cannot feed, water, or clean up after themselves, so great responsibility comes with owning horses. I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity for horses to teach me how important it is to be your best and the responsibility of taking care of an animal.
5. The Athletes (the 4-legged kind!)
The final thing I love about riding horses are the actual horses. They go out and do their jobs, all because we ask them to. They don’t understand the amount of money they just won or how prestigious the event was, they just go out and do their jobs. They are a thousand pound animals that are so willing to do whatever a human asks of them. All they want in return is some treats and some attention.
Summer is in full swing! CR RanchWear had a very busy, exciting June! As you may remember from our last blog, McKenzie, Alexis, and their fellow American teammates flew to Australia as Team USA to compete against the Australians in the NCHA Non Pro Challenge. Alas, they did not come home with the trophy, but we're pretty sure if there had been a "Best Dressed" award, they would have been victorious. CR RanchWear was proud to provide the team shirts for the USA!
Our second live auction took place on June 7th. Eleven CR RanchWear one-of-a-kind shirts went to new homes via the highest bids! Wine, dance moves, and some Name That Tune giveaways were among the highlights of the auction. Our next auction will be in August; follow us on Facebook for specific details.
Next, we were on to the NRCHA Derby in Paso Robles, California! This is one of our favorite shows of the year. We love Paso Robles and all of our cow horse friends. We cheered for our Sponsored riders and all the talented competitors. It's also fun to see what new shirts our customers like the best. The winners of the week were the Blue Floral with Purple Check and the Pink Gypsy Heart Paisley (pictured in the header pic of this post). Better get yours while you can! A quick wine tasting trip with friends topped off a successful week!
We were home for a few days to round up some new shirts, then Sue was off to the NCHA Western Nationals in Denver, Colorado. Florals were a big hit; the Sweet American Floral, Blooms of Rhea, and the new Purple Floral Vine were the quick sellers. The set-up in Denver allows us to watch the show from the booth. It's so great to see our customers in the show pen, winning in their CR!
While Sue was enjoying booth life in Denver, the world traveler, McKenzie, was off to Iowa to enjoy her family cabin in Okoboji. Who was also en route to the famous resort town? None other than good friend of CR RanchWear-singer songwriter Jeremy McComb! During his Troublemaker Tour, Jeremy was our first CR celebrity to take over our Instagram for 24 hours. A day in the life of Jeremy McComb! Jeremy did a great job with the CR RanchWear shout outs! Who will be our next "Day in the Life" guest?? Stay tuned...
The rest of the summer is sure to fly by! Coming up for us is the NCHA Summer Spectacular in Ft. Worth and The Mane Event Cutting in Las Vegas. See you down the road, and CU in CR!
McKenzie and Sue
Recently we added another member to the CR RanchWear family. It’s a little Sister for Ol' Red and Big Bertha, our first two trailers, a 31 foot 1975 Airstream Sovereign trailer/showroom!
We chose this trailer because we wanted to get something that we felt was Always Classic and made in the USA like CR. There is so much amazing country and so many people that we want to share our journey with, and we think this trailer/showroom will allow us to get out to more events of all sizes. It’s a bit of a work in progress, having almost as many years on it as Rhea Scott, but we are working to restore its classic beauty (so it can be more like Rhea.) We are able to do things like this because of the love and support we receive and we hope that y’all continue our journey with us as we get the Airstream cleaned up and ready to go.
But, we’ve run into a bit of an issue.
What should we name our baby airstream?
Just like any good horse or reliable ride, the Airstream deserves a fitting name. So what do you think? Something a bit fresh and wacky or more of a retro vibe? Email us your ideas at email@example.com; ask family, friends, neighbors - we really are looking the perfect fit. We rest assured, with your help, we will find it.
We will compile all of the recommendations, pick the few we think fit the brand best, and then have a vote on which name you think is best.
Please participate and know that we deeply appreciate the dedicated fans of CR RanchWear.
Get your thinking caps on and let us know what you come up with. Also- Let us know why we should come to your event or home town and maybe we will! We are working on an itinerary for the inaugural road trip this fall!
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We love getting letters...
We love letters almost as much as we love designing shirts. So when 12 year old Jordan Leigh Morman sent us her story, we just had to share it. We are so honored to have such awesome riders support us!
Dear Ms. Schmitz, Ms. Parkinson, and Ms. Follett,
I have really enjoyed meeting you guys at the big rodeo events over the past couple of years. I love my CR RanchWear shirts, and wear them to nearly all of my barrel racing events (sometimes they let us out of dress code!).
Attached is my Bio. I wanted to tell you a little bit about this cowgirl barrel racer from Wyoming.
I will definitely continue to wear your shirts and promote your products proudly!
Thank you for your time.
No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
My Texas dad and Alabama mom moved out West and started a family. They never knew they would have a Wyoming cowgirl until I entered into this world 12 years ago. Ever since I can remember, horses have been my best friends. I actually used to read stories to them in the pasture. They seemed interested, and seemed to understand. In fact, even today, I think they understand me a lot better than some people! I have one older brother, Rowdy, and two younger brothers, Ryder and Raylan. Yes, they are the R boys. But I am unique with my J! I have Jesus' initial. Rowdy and Ryder play hockey and snowboard. Ryder is learning to rope, and even helps me out when we are not fighting. Raylan is only 3, so his mission is to torture his siblings and hide things from them when they are at school.
Although horses are the love of my life, I also played hockey and baseball until a couple of years ago. I still love to snowboard with my brothers, and we all play the piano. School is still my main priority. My mom puts her foot down with grades. Less than A's = no rodeo. So, I study. Plus, it is fun to learn - in the classroom and in the arena. One unique opportunity I have had is to learn to speak Spanish. Our nanny has been with us since 2003, and we were all raised with Spanish as our first language. Cristina is very strict though. She makes us do Spanish School in the summer, and gets onto us when we do not use the correct grammar or write incorrectly.
Even though I have been riding since before I could walk, I did not start doing play day rodeos until I was about 7 years old. Hippie is a great horse, but kind of has a mind of his own. We got a little sideways sometimes. As I got a little better, I begged and begged for a faster barrel racing horse. I think I probably forfeited every birthday present until the end of time to get my first real barrel racing horse, Friendly (Fame Ta Honor). I was scared to death with eyes like saucers when I ran him for the first time. I thank my dad for making me get back on that second time. After that, I was hooked to this insane event called barrel racing. Friendly is part race horse, and can outrun all those roping horses on the race track!
I just recently crossed paths with an amazing trainer, Lauren Kelly, and got a new member of the family, Remi (Frenchmansfancypants). Remi is a rockstar. Her first big race with me was the All In Barrel Race in Las Vegas in December 2016. We had a rough time that week, but came back to place 26th in the RFD American Qualifier in Las Vegas that following week. I was proud, especially considering the company.
Remi just recently helped me win the season average for barrel racing in the Big Sky Little Britches Rodeo circuit this past winter (2016-17). Right now, I am blessed to be sitting number 3 nationally in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association. We will be traveling to Guthrie, Oklahoma for the National Little Britches Rodeo Finals where I am qualified for barrels, pole bending, trails, and goat tying.
Adding to an already amazing month, my parents took me to Loveland, Colorado on April 15, 2017 for the KK Run for Vegas 4D Qualifier #4. Running to the song "Thunderstruck", Remi put it out there for me and ran a 17.539 on a standard pattern placing me 2nd in the 1D, which qualified me for the Junior NFR in Las Vegas to be held December 12-16, 2017. I am so excited!! I thank God for this amazing opportunity, and for parents and brothers that have sacrificed so much to support me.
I was first introduced to CR RanchWear at the National High School Finals Rodeo here in Gillette in summer 2015. We then saw you at the NFR in 2015. In Las Vegas, when I was there for the All In Barrel Race at the World Marketplace Pavilion in December 2016, I was able to catch up with you again. You probably think I am stalking your company, but I look forward to getting the newest looks each season. I love my CR RanchWear shirts, and get compliments on them from fellow competitors and spectators all the time.
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Well, here she is. Our first blog post for CR RanchWear. We are so proud. She is in the infant stage, but with a little TLC, we hope she will grow into something fantastic.
Basically, our blog will be just like CR RanchWear, sometimes traditional and classic and sometimes unconventional and downright crazy…(topless farmer shirt reference for those in the know). We plan to share our adventures selling shirts in our booth, stories from our travels, and behind the scenes glimpses into CR. We will feature profiles and fun tidbits from our talented group of sponsored riders and guest posts from bloggers that share the CR vision.
We are a western shirt company, but we are so much more. We are friends, we are
designers, we are equestrians, we are lovers of fashion, music, culture, travel, and the western lifestyle. We hope this blog will allow you, our extraordinary, marvelous customers, to come along with us on the amazing journey that is CR RanchWear.
~McKenzie & Sue
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