Art of the Cowgirl Horsemanship Fellowship’s Journey: Part 2

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training, Photography, Ranch Life

If you haven’t yet, read part 1 of Alicia Adamson’s recap of her experience as Art of the Cowgirl’s first horsemanship fellowship recipient.

After the Art of the Cowgirl Event, Jaimie Stoltzfus was in touch with me regarding timing and travel plans. We lined up dates and she took care of most of the arrangements. I ended up heading to Lee’s place in New Mexico to work with her from April 1 – 10, 2019. It worked out to about two weeks away from home with travel. I am so thankful for a supportive husband and mother in law, who both covered for me while I was away. I arrived in New Mexico the evening of March 31. Lee and Mark met me at the airport and took me to their place where I had a bunkhouse to myself. There I would have plenty of quiet to sit and reflect and take notes. The thing I did not expect to see in New Mexico was the first thing I saw – snow! It was snowing on our drive home and I was surprised to see a snowplow on the road. The next morning we woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow on the trees and the mountain view, but it disappeared halfway through the day. The first morning, we all met for a big breakfast at Lee and Mark’s. I met Bryce and Laurie Galbraith, who live on the property and would be spending the 10 days with us as well. We did some riding the first morning in the indoor arena and then headed to town to pick up some groceries and run errands. Mark and I quickly got acquainted over a trip to Walmart and some good natured razzing.


We did all kinds of things at Lee’s and I focused mostly on trying to remember EVERYTHING. I wrote 24 pages of notes and tried to develop a photographic memory so I wouldn’t forget a thing. Every day I went back to the bunkhouse and wrote notes as I ate my lunch. I appreciated how Lee had a way of simplifying things. She was so clear on what she was doing and allowed me to have the space to think and experiment and figure out the answers. I loved listening to her stories and other thoughts in the evenings at supper. Often it would be stories about days gone by on the road, or discussion about the mental aspect of the horse which I found so, so helpful. Just a glimpse into what is possible is sometimes what a person needs to really ignite that fire for learning and growing. When you see someone up close that really has something special, it drives you to examine their every move to see what they are doing to get that with their horses! Lee talked a lot about her friend Ray [Hunt], how he influenced her life and horsemanship, and shared many of his nuggets of wisdom.


While I was there we worked on some general horsemanship, some halter breaking, colt starting, and working the cutting flag. I had a chance to ride everything from a first ride colt to some colts with a few months riding to some older horses, to Mark’s bridle horse. I loved Lee’s approach to halter breaking and learned SO much that I’ve been applying every day. I feel like as I gain knowledge, I seem to also gain patience because I’m more confident things will come through…

I shared some horsemanship insight from my trip, as I interpreted it, on my facebook page, Diamond J Horsemanship. I won’t re-write it all but some topics we covered and things I’ve been thinking about since then have been covered there.

If you wish to learn more about the fellowship opportunities or attending the second annual event, January 24-26 at Corona Ranch in Phoenix, Arizona, visit the website at

Watch for part three of Alicia’s story.

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training, Photography, Ranch Life

About Savanna Simmons

I'm Savanna Simmons and I live north of Lusk, Wyoming, on the Four Three Ranch with my husband Boe and our sons, Brindle and Roan. I grew up evolving my horsemanship with clinicians like Ray Hunt, Joe Wolter, and Jack Brainard, but not within a...

View all posts by Savanna Simmons