Not Without Horses and Women

ALT="woman riding a horse"

Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

It has been said that the American West was “hell on horses and women,” but without them, the Wild West may never have been.

Fits right in with Women’s History Month, doesn’t it?

Alice Marriott, author of a book with the same colorful title, Hell on Horses and Women, quotes an unidentified cowman as saying cattle ranching was a “fine business for men and mules, but it’s hell on horses and women.”

Whichever it was, the West or ranching, the settings are pretty close.

Marriott’s book, which I have not read and, therefore, cannot recommend though I’m about to read it, traces the intriguing lives of ranch women in the United States from 1895 to the 1950s. I doubt, as others have noted, that much would have happened during that time period without horses and women, and in my opinion, the picture on the cover is worth the price of the book.

Marriott has done her research homework.

As an author of historical fiction, I spend a great deal of my life and time in research. I want to know what the real story is before I step into a certain era and make one up. My specific genre is inspirational romance – love stories that end well with an undercurrent of God’s love and grace.

I’ve often been asked which of my seventeen novels and novellas is my favorite. I have an answer that I can’t explain, reason out, or justify. I like all my stories—why would I write something I didn’t like?—but yes, there is one novel I’m drawn to more than the others and one novella that tugs on my heart. The novella is The Wrangler’s Woman.

I’m not here to pitch the book but the point of the book as noted by an Amazon reviewer. She liked (heroine) Corra Jameson’s influence on not just the daughter she was hired to help, but on the entire family.

“… the effect of her presence in their lives is heartwarming. The romance adds to the story, but for me the highlight was the change in the family after Corra had been there for a couple of months.”

Isn’t this what we want in our own lives? To have an influence on our family and see people change because of our presence and our beliefs?

Scripture has a lot to say about a woman who makes a difference, whether in the Wild West, on far-flung ranches, or in homes of today. Chapter 31 of Proverbs gives an entire list of such a woman’s characteristics and notes the following results:

Her children rise up and called her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her.
Proverbs 31:28

Is there a woman in your life who impacted you for the better? Women’s History Month might be the perfect time to *tell her. I’d love to read your answers in the comments below.

*And by the way, phone calls are lovely. Texts and emails are too. But a written note that requires pen to paper and a stamped, addressed envelope is forever cherished.


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The Wrangler's Woman by author Davalynn Spencer

“Horses and cattle are all I know, ma’am.” The cowboy swallowed, and his jaw tightened around a rough whisper. “I cannot lose my baby girl.” He shoved his shoulders back. “So if you know a woman who’d come out to the ranch for the summer and help my Jess, I’d be much obliged. She’d have a private room in the house and a gentled horse of her own to take home in the fall.”

“A horse?”

“A horse.”

“What would this woman do with a horse?”

His mouth twitched. “Ride it. Sell it.”

Corra ran her index finger along the still-red quick torn yesterday, rehearsing again what Letty had told her and scrutinizing the odd sensation that thrust itself into her chest.

“What of a beef?”

His brows pinched momentarily until he realized what she was doing. “I could throw in a side.”

Her sister could use that beef come fall, with all the mouths she’d have to feed. Corra stilled her fingers and raised her chin. “Two sides would make the offer more appealing.”

The rancher studied her with a narrowed look then heaved a sigh that tugged on his shoulders. “Fair.”

“Well then.” She braced herself. “I will do it.” ~The Wrangler’s Woman

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8 thoughts on “Not Without Horses and Women

  1. Alicia Haney

    Hi, my mom impacted my life for the better, she taught me how to be a very good mom and that my children come first, especially when they are babies.

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Alicia. A blessed heritage.

  2. Karen Gee

    The most Godly woman that influenced my life was my Mother-in-Law. She was dedicated to serving God the entire time I knew her. She was dedicated to bringing up her family and making sure she prayed each one through to Salvation. Including me. She has gone to be with Jesus, but left a Legacy that will always be honored by her family.

    1. davalynn

      What a blessing, Karen. Thank you for sharing.

  3. My maternal Grandmother comes to mind…she delivered me and is the person for whom I am named. She lost her 3 sons…one at age 17. The other 2 came through WWII unscathed, only to die a few years late , one of a brain tumor and the other of an instantly fatal heart attack. Her strong faith was more than evident. When I lost one of my sons, I could only think of her…how she handled those losses…how I needed to handle my own.

    1. davalynn

      Great-Gram, what strength your grandmother displayed and shared due to her faith. Such a blessing that you too display.

  4. Carlyn Bailey

    My oldest sister, Geri. She taught me the value of reading my Bible daily. She’s been in Heaven twelve years and living in her mansion God built for her.

    1. davalynn

      Carlyn, such a treasure your sister gave you. Thank you for sharing.


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