Cowgirl-Up: First Ever Bold Betties Western Adventure at Music Meadows

Cowgirl-Up: First Ever Bold Betties Western Adventure at Music Meadows

First, a little bit about the Bold Betties, “Bold Betties® began as a group of women exploring the outdoors together. Women in all different stages of life. All shapes, colors, ages, and skill sets. Some married, some single. Some wealthy, some scraping by, some in the middle.” So what did they all have in common? Adventure!

And that’s where we at Music Meadows Ranch and Wild Woman Adventures comes in. For us, this was the premiere for the vision we have for Music Meadows which is an all-inclusive stay for small groups of friends, families or associates who are drawn to us through a common bond.

All inclusive for us means:
Daily horseback riding
Cattle work
Horse-drawn wagon
Ranch cooking at its best – catered meals
Wildlife viewing
Stunning mountain views
Trout fishing to your heart’s content

Bold Betties Western Adventure
Left to Right: Alpha Betty: Celia, Angela, Susie, Cary, Liz, Rebecca, Lacie ~ Wild Woman Adventures, Elin ~ Music Meadows Ranch


Most of these gals had not previously met, but you would have never known it. They melded together as they moved through their ranch journey. Brought together through their desire for adventure and more explicitly hoping to get a taste of what it is to be a cowgirl, riding the range and working cattle with the majestic backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Wet Mountain Valley. These women also were drawn to the ranch because of the female ownership and operation of the ranch. Yes, the ranch belongs to my family which includes my brother and nephews. My husband (who is my mostly silent partner) and I lease the ranch outright. Our ranch manager Rhoda is one of the most capable and competent ranch women you will ever meet.

Horseback along Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Wet Mountain Valley
Horseback along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Wet Mountain Valley


It was so rewarding for our team to see these gals grow in confidence and joy from the first evening when they met their personally matched horse for the first time to saddling and handling their new friend. For some, it was learning again after years of putting horses on the shelf. For others, it was a new beginning with horses. The change from one day to the next was remarkable. On day two they learned to lunge their horse (send it in a circle around them, change directions and whoa). By day three on the Sunrise Ride, most were loping a long way or posting at an extended trot with complete confidence. Day four was “graduation”… moving nearly 400 head of cattle from one pasture to another. All I can say is, “Good job! It got done.” and they had a ball doing it!

Bold Betties at the Water Falls

My memories of this week are also sprinkled with landing a trout on a fly rod for the first time and teaching them how to clean it. Seeing the resident owls of the giant cottonwood trees for the first time through Celia’s camera lens (her bonus for sleeping in the tipi). Sharing our Rocky Mountain delicacy, calf oysters with every bold woman!!! Oh yes, and a wonderful Reiki treatment, a gift from Lisa.

Elin's First Fly Fish

Liz Clark shares details of her experience: I would like to thank Ellen Swartz for doing a beautiful and delicious job keeping us all well fed. Thanks to Lacie Richardson of Wild Woman Adventures for finding Bold Betties and coordinating the union with Music Meadows. Thanks to Celia, the Bold Betties facilitator and fly fishing wizard, and to these five bold women for their attitude and their appreciation for all we had to offer them plus their kind and fun loving spirits. We look forward to having a new group of Betties back in September and are planning several for next year! There is talk of having a Bold Betties @ Music Meadows Intermediate rendezvous to take it to the next level of horsemanship and cattle handling so stay tuned!

I would also like to thank the ladies for the wonderful hand-written notes they wrote about their adventure. We love and appreciate each and every one of you. I would like to share one provided by and type up (as all the notes were hand-written) by Liz Clark.

“This entire week was way beyond my expectations and fulfilled all my dreams of what it would be like to spend time on a real cattle ranch. I was truly living out a childhood fantasy! The views are breathtaking, the horses well trained, friendly and beautiful and the rustic ranch house very comfortable. We even had the opportunity to sleep in a teepee which our guide Lacie outfitted with comfortable cots, fun decorations and kept us warm with an electric fireplace. An unexpected treat was three owls occupying the tree next to the teepee!

The real highlight of the trip for me was the opportunity to get to know and learn from Elin who is truly an exceptional horsewoman, rancher, and person. From the first afternoon when she paired us with our horses, giving everyone the perfect mount and teaching us to saddle up, to the last day when she trusted us with driving over 350 head of cattle from one pasture to another, we were learning and becoming more confident with our horses every step of the way. This is no head-to-tail trail ride kind of place – we walked, trotted and loped (yes loped!!) all around this incredible 3800 acre ranch, including a beautiful evening ride across the pastures, lunch near a gorgeous waterfall, breakfast and wonderful conversation with Elin in one of the picturesque meadows and the opportunity to use our riding skills and teamwork to gather the cattle from the pastures and trees, moving them up and down hills, across creeks and through the gate to the next grazing pasture.

Doing this with an amazing group of fun, friendly and adventurous Bold Betties made it all the more enjoyable. Fly fishing in the ranch’s stocked pond provided lots of entertainment as well as lunch! EVERY meal at the ranch was delicious and our cook Ellen provided gluten free options for me which was much appreciated. The ranch’s Sangres Best grass-finished beef is the best I’ve tasted!

I can’t say enough about how fantastic this experience was and how much I enjoyed getting to know all the women involved. What an amazing adventure!!

It has been a week since returning from my Bold Betties stay at Music Meadows Ranch and all the wonderful experiences still come to mind throughout the day.

A special thank you to our trips Alpha Betty Celia Nowicki for enabling a couple of us fly fishing newbies to catch our first fish. Beautiful Rainbow Trout at the ranch ponds.

The days on our trip centered around the horses and for a few days, I got to live my childhood “I have a horse” fantasy. With the instruction we were given, our riding skills improved daily. Just the beauty of the property is amazing enough, but Elin Parker really involves you in what makes this ranch special. Daily rides, the vast views, delicious meals, silly board games, super fun cattle moving day, getting to know everyone, and the astonishing amount of stars at night are just a few of the memories that will stay with me forever. I can’t put everything into words. You would just have to have been there.

I am grateful to have been able to have this experience and to all the women who worked so hard to make Music Meadows what it is today with even better things to come in the future.”

Liz Clark