In the 1930s, Eleanor McClintock Williams was a champion trick and bronc rider, traveling in Wild West shows and performing on the high trapeze for Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus.

She was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1986 because of her contributions to rodeo and Western life.

Williams, the daughter of wealthy artists, spent her childhood in Pittsburgh. She met her first husband, a rodeo cowboy named Walter McClintock, after watching him compete at Madison Square Garden in 1928. 

They eloped two weeks later and joined a Wild West show heading for Chile. The show had a short run because the manager ran off with the gate money. They had to return to the U.S. on a Japanese cargo ship.

The couple had dreams of owning a ranch and in the 1930s they bought 300 acres in New Mexico, for $2 an acre.

They established their ranch headquarters and named their spread the Rising Sun Ranch. The ranch served as a dude ranch for a number of years and in the 1940s was re-named the Williams Ranch.

Her marriage to McClintock ended after six years in 1934. They had one child together.

Williams refused to rely on her wealthy parents and paid off the ranch without their help.  

In 1938 she wrote in a letter.  “This year has been a nightmare of financial worry,” she wrote. “I finally got desperate this spring and took a job on a big Wild West show that opened in Chicago in April, riding bucking horses. The show is headed by Col. Tim McCoy, who made a minor name for himself in moving pictures and whom I worked under on the Ringling Show.”

By the mid-1930s, women’s relay racing was gone from most rodeos. Trick riding had become a contract event for entertainment instead of competition. 

The Madison Square Garden Rodeo was the first to cut women’s bronc riding, and financial problems during the Great Depression made it hard for the event to continue in smaller rodeos throughout the country. Bronc riding for women has never returned to the traditional rodeo circuit.

In 1940, Eleanor married Frank Williams. They raised a family of four and ranched together until their deaths in the 1970s. 

Eleanor went on to run for the New Mexico Senate, became a published author and a recognized artist.
 
 
 
 
Alice Adams Holden is best known for once riding 27 broncs in one day, she was billed as the girl who could ride anything on four feet. Riding since the age of five, she had a rodeo career that spanned 30 years, competing in bronc riding championships in the U.S. and Cuba. After her riding days were done she served in administrative roles for rodeos until leaving to run a ranch with her husband. She later became an accomplished organist and worked for the Oklahoma Democratic Party.
 
 
 
 
Bonnie Gray, was born in Kettle Fells, Washington, in 1891. She graduated from Moscow Idaho University with a degree in music, and taught music in Kettle Fells for a short time. Bonnie, having grown up around horses, quickly decided to focus on rodeo and trick riding. She married Donald Harris and celebrated by having her horse, King Tut, jump over a car with people inside. This trick was very popular and they performed it often. 

Throughout her career she participated in rodeos and shows across the United States and several international countries including, Mexico, Canada, England, and Germany. She is considered to be the first woman ever to attempt, and succeed, riding a horse at full gallop while under the horse’s belly. Bonnie was also a pioneer in the western film industry by being one of the first women stunt and double riders. She often took the place of western stars such as Tim McCoy, Tom Mix, and Ken Maynard. Gray died in 1985.
 
 
Here's what's been going on at the ranch this week.  Sorry no horse photos!  It's been hot and I've been riding in the evening after it cools down but not the best lighting for photos.
 
 
What determines your success or failure, and whether you direct your life’s change or feel like a victim of it, comes down to CHOICE. You can choose to continue on with your life as you currently are living it, letting the external world and your past dictate what you experience, or you can choose to create your life to be everything that you have ever dreamed it could be.

Even if your excited about transforming your life, there is an important obstacle you need to address in order to be successful. That we are often our own worst enemies!  We let our own negative thoughts and actions keep us from living the life of our dreams.  We limit ourselves, which is why we seek personal growth, to be free of the pain we cause ourselves, to make better choices, to feel better about who we are becoming, to give ourselves permission to be our unique, powerful, authentic selves.

We all have changes we want to make in our lives and goals we want to reach, but often get stuck repeating the same “change cycle” over and over again. We experience this process of inspiration and resistance when we face a decision to change. 

Change Cycle
1.  Discontent--You grow increasingly unhappy and discontent with an area of your life. You “hang in there,” tolerate, ignore, repress, or otherwise deal with the circumstance because it is comfortable and familiar, and you fear change. 

2. Breaking Point—Eventually your level of discontent builds high enough that you cannot take it anymore. You reach a “breaking point,” either through exhaustion or due to a dramatic event occurring that triggers the break. 

3. Decision—You decide you’re ready to change and declare that you will no longer tolerate the undesirable situation. You take the first step toward change, giving you a short-lived sense of hope. 

4. Fear—Usually, shortly (or immediately) after your feelings of empowerment, you encounter your fear. You become uncomfortable and anxious about the idea of changing. You doubt your decision. Both options look bleak. You feel helpless, empty. 

5. Amnesia—The fear of change grows strong enough that it makes the original situation look much better than you originally thought. You perceive the original situation as less anxiety-producing than the change. You’re used to it; it’s comfortable; it’s familiar. Plus, it has become part of your identity, so you resist letting it go. You temporarily forget why you wanted to change it so badly. 

6. Backtracking—Most people choose to go back to or stick with the item they wished to change. You essentially talk yourself out of changing. 

Inevitably, you soon will find yourself unhappy and discontent once again. Your level of pain will continue to increase until you reach another breaking point, this time even more extreme and more painful. This cycle will continue until one of two things happen: 

Extreme Pain: You have a breaking point that is severe enough to push through the change cycle. For many people, unfortunately, it takes an extreme circumstance to push them to evolve, such as major financial loss, job loss, loss of a loved one, the ending of a relationship, a severe accident, or a nervous breakdown. 

Your True Self knows what you truly want and will lead you to it. If you resist changing long enough, something will happen in your life that will put you in a position where you have NO CHOICE but to change. 

Self-Honesty: You have the humbling experience of realizing that there’s a part of you that doesn’t really want to change. You are comfortable with your habits, with what you know. You have a lot of fear that holds you back. You have many self-limiting beliefs. You receive some sort of benefit from staying where you are. You are unhappy because you want to be unhappy. You are addicted to the situation. You believe your pain is you; it’s your story. You can see your resistance to letting it go. Only after reaching this level of self-honesty can you truly choose to change.

Personal power is directly related to personal responsibility.

Can you see how this change cycle has impacted your life? Are you ready for it to stop? Have you experienced change amnesia before? If so, you know that the more you move toward the changes you want the stronger your fear and resistance will become. Are you ready to take full responsibility of your life, even if it is hard, because you are tired of being dissatisfied? Are you ready to take responsibility for your life and create the life you dream of having? Are you at the point where you will accept nothing less than what you truly want? 

Consider the following reasons you may have been allowing yourself to fall victim to this cycle: 

You don’t want to change. You don’t really want the thing you think you want. You may be trying to convince yourself to change to appease others or conform to what you believe you “should” do. If you don’t want to change, accept it. This is very common with people who say they want to quit smoking. They don’t really want to quit, they simply think they should quit. It never works. You have to want it. 

You don’t know what you want. You don’t know what you really want or you’re not allowing yourself to think about what you really want because you don’t think you can have it. So, you end up thinking you want things that aren’t what you TRULY want, and your True Self knows it. You’ll never feel inspired enough to follow through on change if it isn’t even what you want. Try imagining what you would want if time, money, and people did not limit you. 

Your dream isn’t big enough. The reward isn’t big enough. You aren’t excited. Happiness is excitement. Passion is what makes you willing to endure to attain a goal. What would you do anything to attain? 

You’re letting your fear be bigger than you. You don’t believe you can do it. You don’t trust yourself. You put everyone else before yourself. You’d rather tolerate severe pain than face temporary discomfort. Are you really willing to settle? Isn’t the fear of being stuck in a life you don’t want and missing out on your dreams more painful than the temporary experience of changing? 

You are attached to your problem. Your ego and identity are wrapped up in your problem, and you fear that if you let go of your problem you’ll have nothing to talk about. Who would you be? Would it be better? 

You’re benefiting from your problem. The benefit you’re receiving from not changing is bigger than your perceived benefit from changing. It gives you an excuse and something to talk about. It allows you to hide deeper issues from yourself and others. 

What are you holding onto? How does it benefit you to not change? Failure no longer has to be an option. Neither does doing nothing and staying stuck where you are. If you’re facing a potential change that’s nagging at you to be made, take some time in self reflection and be brutally honest with yourself. Is your desire for more, for fulfillment, for happiness finally strong enough that you are willing to encounter the obstacles and endure the fear? If so, congratulations, you will succeed—you are ready to break through!

If you have signed up for this blog you received with it a change worksheet. If you would like to receive these worksheets please sign up for this blog and they will be sent to you. 

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Join us for the Horse-Human Connection Workshop June 25-26 here at the ranch.
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Bernice Walsh McLaughlin won the Canadian Rodeo Champion High Jump contest in 1911, setting a new record. According to the book, Buried Treasures: Famous and Unusual Gravesites in New Mexico History, she cleared 6’2” on a borrowed cowpony named Smokey.

She was a natural horsewoman, winning numerous jumping contests and relay races. Raised doing ranch work, she and her husband homesteaded in New Mexico. After he died, Bernice managed to keep the ranch and increase its size and success, despite challenges to her citizenship status.

She was a devoted horse woman to the very end. At 93, Bernice asked that her son-in-law drive his stagecoach by her hospital window so she could see the horses before he drove them in a local parade. A book has been written on her life entitled, Prairie Trails of Miz Mac by Rhonda Coy Sedgwick.
 
 
 
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