The art of a true cowgirl
COWGIRL|January/February 2021
ART OF THE COWGIRL FOUNDER TAMMY PATE HAS MANIFESTED A REALITY FOR ANYONE WHO HAS EVER DREAMED OF LIVING A COWGIRL’S LIFE.
KEN AMOROSANO

“The true cowgirl is someone with the spirit, and it doesn’t mean that she comes from a ranch or the West,

but just a woman who has a belief in herself and is gritty. And ready to take on any challenge.”

~ Tammy Pate

My grandparents ranched in the Big Coulee of Ryegate, Montana, and that’s where I spent most of my summers growing up. My grandma, Betty, was my mentor and taught me to ride, to bake, and to sew.

She was my hero: a rancher and a true cowgirl. She grew up starting colts, raised her family, and ranched her whole life.

My mom Shirley and my dad, Gordon, raised three girls; I’m the oldest. They raised us in the rodeo world. We rode horses every day. My dad was our coach and we spent our youth going to junior, high school, and then college rodeos.

My parents instilled confidence in us and it didn’t matter if it had anything to do with horses or a job or what we did. They just really instilled the belief in ourselves that we could do anything.

When Curt and I married, we made the decision that it was very important for me to stay home with our children when they were growing up. I’ve always been artistic and sewn, and so when Mesa was a baby, I went in and worked with Mike Ryan who had a boot shop in Helena, Montana. He actually mentored me and taught me how to build custom cow boy boots. I worked for Mike for about five or six years until Curt’s career really took off. Then we went on the road, and I booked all of his clinics and demonstrations while homeschooling our two children. We were on the road for about 15 years when Curt quit doing horse clinics and went strictly to cattle handling seminars. He encouraged me to continue doing clinics, so I started doing horsemanship and yoga retreats about 15 years ago. I’m still doing them today.

Curt is a stockmanship instructor and works primarily for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association where he conducts stockmanship and stewardship training. It’s all about animal husbandry—effective stockmanship practices that incorporate horsemanship and cattle handling to ensure that our beef is produced humanely and safely.

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