Grit Blogs > Life and Adventures at Diamond W Ranch

Wild Women of the Frontier Tryouts!

By Jacqueline Wilt, R.N., C.E.M.T.


Tags: Wild Women of the Frontier, Horseback riding, Parades,

Jacqueline WiltEver heard of the Wild Women of the Frontier? If not, you gotta read on!

Formed in 1996 by a group of friends looking for a way to mix their love for horses, history and fun, it was initially a parade troupe. Over the years, the Wild Women of the Frontier grew and evolved into a facinating and entertaining group of women who share their love for horses and history all over the country!

Members must first try out for the group. Not only are they judged on their horsemanship skills, but their horses are judged as well. Not just any horse can be a Wild Woman horse. Crowds, gunfire, flags, sirens, and scampering children are but a few of the obstacles they are exposed to every time they enter the public eye for a performance or parade. Even after initial acceptance of passing the tryout is only the beginning. Horses must go through desensitization classes and Wild Woman “wannabes” are expected to attend meetings, contribute to the group, ride in parades, and attend performances during their “probation” year. Then, they must present their chosen female historical figure in a researched paper, first hand reenactment, and full period style costume. This is voted on for acceptability by the current Wild Women membership. Only if they pass this final inspection will the “wannabe” become a full-fledged, whoopin’ and hollerin’ Wild Woman of the Frontier! It’s an honor I hope to achieve!

Becoming a Wild Woman has been something I have wanted to do for some time, but life and other responsibilities kept me from dedicating myself. I know the group is time-consuming. In fact, my love for horseback riding has been pushed to the back of my list of “to do’s” for some time. I grew up riding, love horses, and live to ride. This was a huge part of myself that had been missing, and I felt it tugging ... hard. So, when I got the invitation to try out this year ... I DID IT!

Jackie and 2-year-old daughter Kate on Cheyenne, my paint horse.

I have the privilege of having a good friend who took the challenge with me. Kris is a nurse I worked with in the past, and when she heard I was trying out for the Wild Women, her horse-loving past also bubbled to the surface. She has not ridden since she was a kid and did not even own a horse ... but since I have more than enough warm and fuzzy hooved children populating my farm, I enthusiastically encouraged her to come with me! Kris rides Lakota, and I ride Cheyenne. Both are paint horses, and both seemed to me to be well suited to Wild Woman work.

So, the day of the tryouts came. Since neither of us knew quite what was going to be thrown at us (or our horses ... most likely literally), Kris and I mustered up our courage, loaded up the horses and headed to the arena to try out. We tacked assigned participant numbers to ourselves and our horses.

Jackie and Cheyenne on the day of the Wild Women of the Frontier tryouts. Notice our participant number.

I started the day out with a nice Charlie Brown move by trying to use the side of the horse trailer to mount my horse (I was riding bareback). The early morning chill had left a thin layer of dew on the trailer wheelwells, and as I flamingo-balanced on one leg to drape the other over the back of my very patient horse, I slipped and landed WHOP! flat on my back at Cheyenne’s surprised feet! Ow. I giggled, as I was sure I had a large and grinning audience of “tsk, tsk” onlookers, but after jumping up and brushing myself off (nope, nothing broken), I found the whole embarrassing incident was unwitnessed. Whew. Even Kris hadn’t seen it, engrossed with getting Lakota tacked up as she was. I did tell her about it though. She was sympathetic. Probably because she knows one day it will happen to her, too!

We had our pictures taken, borrowed a step ladder from another tryout participant (how embarrassing) and rode into the arena. It was a day filled with obstacles and games on horseback. Our horses bravely trotted over tarps on the ground, wove through poles bearing a waving flag, stood their ground when a loud pipe filled with stones was shaken around them, kicked a ball playing horsey soccer, and didn’t freak out when guns were fired. They endured even more throughout the day, and Kris and I were so proud of them (and ourselves) as we passed each test with flying colors! The end of the day put us in small groups with a Wild Woman member coming up with an improptu skit to act out on horseback. We also had to choose a personality and present it to the group to see if they could guess who we were.

At the end of the day, we packed our gear back into my little trailer, loaded up the horses, and headed home. Both of us chatted about the day and wondered nervously if we made it into the group ... what if only one of us made it? What if neither of us made it? Our fears were relieved when we got the word from the Wild Women that we had both made it into the Wild Women of the Frontier! So, now we are researching historical female figures, collecting costumeage and training for our Wild Woman futures!

We have already ridden in the Ottawa, Kansas, Veterans Day Parade:

My friend and fellow Wild Woman wannabe, Kris and horse Lakota, myself, my daughter Kate and my horse Cheyenne at the Ottawa Veterans Day Parade.

In the Topeka, Kansas, Christmas Parade:

Kris and Lakota (in background) and me on Cheyenne at the Topeka Christmas Parade. Note the capitol building in the background!

And in the Lawrence, Kansas, Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade! Fun, fun! Can’t wait til we get to go to a performance! Stay posted, and each adventure will be chronicled here!

donny yep
11/14/2011 11:53:58 AM

I can't thank all of you enuff for what you have completed for me...Did you like my postings under a fake name? I made it sound soo real like I was right there,lol,but I wasn't,just took bits and pieces and put together things that are real. Lol,all of you are soo gullible and did my dirty work for me,how does it feel???


donny yep
11/8/2011 2:26:27 PM

Yep,I duped you into doing it for me,I knew a bunch of cackling hens could get the job done,lol.


donny yep
11/8/2011 1:54:40 PM

I want to thank each and everyone of you for helping me destroy Serge!!! This has been soo awesome!!! You gotten something done that I haven't been able to do since he fired me for stealing. That Schmuck...I tried before but it didn't work,but I'm sure it will now!!!


farm girl plus
10/27/2011 12:53:02 PM

Crystal Mathers so glad to here that you wouldn't consider or recommend this outstanding group to anyone! Thank you from the bottom of my heart because with your judgmental attitude and ignorance that would be an insult to the wild women!!


kansas cowgirl
10/27/2011 12:46:52 PM

Crystal Mathers so sad you don't GET IT when it comes to the Wild Women of the Frontier! The try outs are not a judging contest it is just a way for the current wild women to see where the prospective wild women are in their skills and where the horses are with their skills. The wild women have probably done more things to list as accomplishments as you will ever have they help the disabled, they help horse rescues, they help other equines in need the list goes on and on! As for Dan the Wrangler goes, WAY TO GO DAN you played your character to the MAX and so glad Crystal could see what your character was all about!! KUDOS to you Dan! The Wild Women have riders from ALL skill levels beginning to advanced. I am so glad you been judging equestrian events for over 27 years WOO HOO for you! Too bad you werent showing the women how it was done maybe because you couldn't do it! It is easier to watch and judge than to be riding when you are nervous knowing there are judgmental people watching them!


barrel racer
10/26/2011 8:03:19 PM

Crystal Mayers AKA Creepy guy with stringy ponytail. nope not hard to figure out. Sad your doing this, seeing its would have been such a good thing for them both.


barrel racer
10/26/2011 8:00:34 PM

Crystal Mayers AKA Creepy guy with stringy ponytail. nope not hard to figure out. Sad your doing this, seeing its would have been such a good thing for them both.


crystal mathers
10/18/2011 8:09:16 PM

Dan the Wrongler...did someone find you on their Arkansas front porch next the dead refrigerator and the sleeping bloodhound?? What I will guarantee is this...myself nor anyone I know will recommend this so called organization what-so-ever!!! Nor will I ever attend another one of their events. You can tout all you want about the people that were there,it doesn't make up for the so many things wrong about their so called tryouts.


crystal mathers
10/18/2011 6:54:56 PM

Mr. Dan Mooney....Firstly you were the fellow holding up the fence so much;wearing the vest with the tin star,am I not right??? Secondly I have been judging equestrian events for over 27 years AND I HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE DONNA GAL that was there!!! Where were the standards,there weren't any!!! Three of the horses should have been disqualified along with their rider/owners within the first 15 minutes of the tryouts for quite a few things...Rider could not control the horse,the horse was bucking,kicking,or lagging so far behind the rest,horse could not perform. I heard 2 horse owners saying that they did not have proof of "Coggin's Test". Although Coggin's is not something that occurs often it stil creates a point of health endangerment to the rest of the horses!!! Everyone made it in to the organization without any proficient skills at all??? What is wrong with that picture??? Were the judges/organizers 3 year olds? I have judged horses and the riders before in events,this was by far the most unorganized,unruly,non-standardized mess I have ever seen!!!


crystal mathers
10/18/2011 6:49:33 PM

Mr. Dan Mooney....Firstly you were the fellow holding up the fence so much;wearing the vest with the tin star,am I not right??? Secondly I have been judging equestrian events for over 27 years AND I HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE DONNA GAL THAT WAS THERE!!! Where were the standards,there weren't any!!! Three of the horses should have been disqualified along with their rider/owners within the first 15 minutes of the tryouts for quite a few things...Rider could not control the horse,the horse was bucking,kicking,or lagging so far behind the rest,horse could not perform. I heard 2 horse owners saying that they did not have proof of "Coggin's Test". Although Coggin's is not something that occurs often it stil creates a point of health endangerment to the rest of the horses!!! Everyone made it in to the organization without any proficient skills at all??? What is wrong with that picture??? Were the judges/organizers 3 year olds? I have judged horses and the riders before in events,this was by far the most unorganized,unruly,non-standardized mess I have ever seen!!!


dan mooney
10/11/2011 10:03:50 PM

I would like to comment on this person named Crystal Mathers, first of all, I am one of the wranglers that help out with the Wild Women of the Frontier, I was at the tryouts on Oct 9 2011, and was at the tryouts in 2009 and 2007. There was NO ONE there at the tryouts named Crystal Mathers, What a jerk, doesnt have the balls to say his real name . Yea didnt take long to figure you out. Each and every women there did their best, we have members that had horses all their lives and members that bought horses just to join, these women work hard at what they do, I am so proud of each and everyone of them. This is a wonderful groud of ladies, each and everyone talented in many ways.So sad you have to be a jerk and say ugly things. I will be calling you out on it next time I see you. dont think I wont. Wrangler Dan D


crystal mathers
10/11/2011 2:34:51 PM

Hey,ya'll,went to the tryouts Sunday the 9th of October!!! What a joke,I mean seriously,no standards or requirements at all other than being there and having a horse to ride. One horse was spooked easily,began jumping,bucking,almost ran into another. There was a paint horse with this fat short gal on it that couldn't keep up,would stop having to be prodded like nobody's business,couldn't perform the simplest of tasks,the rider had little control over it in much of anything!!! When trailering this paint was a serious pain,would not get in it at all. It's plain to see the horse nor the owner had any brains or horse sense at all!!! There were only 3 good riders and horses out of the whole days situation,but everyone made it into the outfit...GIVE ME A BREAK This is not a group/organization I would even consider or recommend to anyone!!!!!


crystal mathers
10/11/2011 2:18:55 PM

Hey,ya'll,went to the tryouts Sunday the 9th of October!!! What a joke,I mean seriously,no standards or requirements at all other than being there and having a horse to ride. One horse was spooked easily,began jumping,bucking,almost ran into another. There was a paint horse with this fat short gal on it that couldn't keep up,would stop having to be prodded like nobody's business,couldn't perform the simplest of tasks,the rider had little control over it in much of anything!!! When trailering this paint was a serious pain,would not get in it at all. It's plain to see the horse nor the owner had any brains or horse sense at all!!! There were only 3 good riders and horses out of the whole days situation,but everyone made it into the outfit...GIVE ME A BREAK This is not a group/organization I would even consider or recommend to anyone!!!!!


muck boot diva
7/20/2011 10:23:15 AM

Hee Hee Hee -- I may just qualify -- I mean WE (Sorry Rosie!). MBD


annie_2
6/26/2010 2:07:44 PM

Congratulations! That is so cool. I went to their webpage and it looks like you'll be having a good time... can't wait to hear what your personas will be...


oz girl
1/23/2010 6:09:54 AM

Wow, what an honor (congrats to you both!) and what fun! My hat is especially off to Kris, who hadn't rode since she was a kid. That's my situation. We have 3 horses, and I've rode our oldest a few times, and then jumped to the challenge of a cattle round-up last fall. It was in Silverdale, KS, it was a challenging trail ride just to GET to the cattle, so I'm really glad I did it. Tested my skills just to control my horse, who is a cow horse and of course he wanted to be at the head of the group all the time. LOL Does the Wild Women of the Frontier have their own website? Susan aka Oz Girl http://oz-girl.blogspot.com