The Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls are known worldwide for their western performing arts including trick riding and trick roping. To date, they have traveled to 17 countries and across the United States. Director, Jennifer Welch Nicholson says, “Each girl is a product of the training provided by the Riata Ranch Horsemanship Clinics. Students chosen for the teams go through an extensive program that focuses on physical skills that promote positive life skills.”
Tommie co-authored a book about his experiences with this program titled: Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls: Life Lessons Learned on the Back of a Horse. (Available here on amazon.com)
This is the story of Tommie Maier, of Riata Ranch, and of the young women whose lives have been enriched there. Told through rich text, entries from the diary of a current Cowboy Girl, the memories of Riata Ranch alumnae, and full-color photographs throughout, the story is spectacular and inspiring.
The Riata Cowboy Girls have performed on network TV and in rodeos, Olympic exhibitions, horse-driving competitions, NFL half-time shows and for England’s Queen Elizabeth at her Diamond Jubilee. They have traveled to 18 countries and have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Sports Illustrated, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, and Cowboys & Indians magazine.
Among the top principles for success are:
- values are taught through the disciplined pursuit of a goal,
- you don’t give kids confidence and self-esteem,
- you show them how to earn it.
I met Tommy Maier and Jennifer early in the 1990’s. I am so proud to have been their friend through the ensuing years and to have worked with them both. While Tommie is no longer with us, I still get to work with Jennifer, her team as well as her husband Chad Nicholson. Tommie autographed my own copy of his book book to me saying I had helped Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls become what they are. I treasure that because I hope it’s true. I love what they stand for and who they are.
Check THIS out!
Jennifer carries on the traditions to this day as the Riata Cowboy Girls continue to thrill their audiences and build success upon success as individuals. She says: “Our founder, Tom Maier was a visionary and on the cutting edge of teaching and pairing life lessons and horsemanship for students young and old. Since his passing in 2002, I have continued to present the Riata program and uphold the teachings and life lessons he began.”
She’s doing a wonderful job of it! I think you’ll be able to tell from the more recent of the photos below.
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