The Original Cowgirl Jessie (AKA A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Horsewoman)


I was born on a horse farm in Connecticut. I was the little girl who didn’t wish for a pony – because I had one. At some point, I had a matching chaps-and-vest set of white cowhide with big black spots, and a cowboy hat I probably could have crawled into, it was so big.

Obviously, when the Toy Story movies came out and introduced the world to Cowgirl Jessie, I had to remind people that I was the original Cowgirl Jessie.

But that was before I had a blog.

So, quite belated, but no less true, here’s photographic evidence:

I think this is circa 1978-1979, when I was six or seven. Note the aforementioned ginormous cowboy hat. Sadly, I may have outgrown that chaps-and-vest set by this age.

Note also the horse show competition number affixed to my back. My father entered me in many a “lead line” competition back then, which were basically contests for tiny kids where an adult would lead the horse around a ring with said tiny human sitting on said horse, and if the kid didn’t freak out they’d win something. I won so many blue ribbons in “lead line” competitions, I tellyouwhat

To recap – I’m blue-ribbon good at sitting still (which is still true) and I evidently wasn’t as afraid of heights back then as I am now (AKA, that is a really tall horse).

Thanks, Mom, for sending this photo home with me.