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  • Writer's pictureJessica Klarholm

"Are you a real cowgirl?"

“Are you a real cowgirl?” This simple question posed by a boy who was shorter than my waist (I’m 5’4” for perspective) caught me off guard! Thoughts immediately started swirling in my head “AM I? Is it a simple yes or no? Do I look like one? But I don’t ride the open range for a living…” After what seemed like minutes I decided I better answer the little person standing in front of me and so I said this “Yes! Yes I am a real cowgirl.” I stood there before my morning class of kids (4-8 years old) in my cowboy boots, jeans, t-shirt, hoop earrings, and cowboy hat owning the persona I had purposely decided to display that morning. It felt good.

Isn’t it interesting that a simple question had me questioning my validity as a horse person, almost giving me an imposter syndrome anxiety moment, standing in my own barn in front of families who chose to come to me to learn about horses… oh the irony. I’m glad that young boy asked me if I was a real cowgirl because it gave me an opportunity to say out loud, to affirm to myself, that indeed I am the thing I always wanted to be… a real cowgirl.

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