Sarah over at A Soft Spot for Stars has a fun little blog hop going on about bloggers’ locations! I love this blog hop idea, because like her, I’m always curious about where my fellow bloggers live and how their location compares to my neck-in-the-woods.
I was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Perhaps I’m biased, but I believe Stillwater is truly one of the best towns ever. The people are warm and welcoming, the scenery is gorgeous, and we have a tight horse community.
From Stillwater heading west, our land is mostly flat prairie. I cringe when I hear people say that Oklahoma is “boring” and “flat.” Oklahoma creates it’s own wonder! Clearly, those people have never appreciated our wheat fields spanning as far as the eye can see, blowing in the wind like gentle ocean waves. Or our magnificent thunder storms that can quickly grow into thundering tornadoes. And perhaps they’ve never driven through the panhandle, where you can drive miles without seeing a single tree. Oklahoma is eerily enchanting, begging you to take a closer look at it’s natural mysteries.
Driving through the rough, unused parts of our state always reminds me of our rich history steeped in Native American heritage and the cowboy way of life. Oklahoma wasn’t just home to cowboys, but cowgirls! We have some pretty badass women who lived and rode on the Oklahoma prairie. Belle Starr is one of my favorite women outlaws. What I wouldn’t give to ride with her. P.S. I’m so intrigued by this woman, my daughter’s middle name is Belle. Emmalee Belle. Is that an outlaw name, or what? This is Belle Starr (below) riding her mare, Venus. I need to get me a pistol like that.
Women had to be tough in Oklahoma back then! Our weather fluctuates dramatically, with summers reaching in the 100s, and bitterly cold winters. The wind in Oklahoma is what really dramatizes our weather. Whatever the weather, the wind magnifies it. “Oooooooklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!”
Our horses have to be tough, too!
Down to the nitty gritty! Prices here in Oklahoma range depending on what area you live in, but I’m going to focus on the north central part of the state.
Full set of shoes (steel, nothing fancy): $100
Average cost of full-time training: $700-$1000
Average cost of monthly pasture board (owner provides grain and hay): $200
Average cost of full board in a stall: $400-$500
Round bale (good quality bermuda hay): $60
Square bale (good quality bermuda hay): $8
We have a wide range of riders in Oklahoma, though western riders are more predominant. Oklahoma has more quarter horses per person than any other state. Thus, we are the quarter horse capital of the world! Yee haw!
Tulsa and Oklahoma City host a variety of championship shows that welcome riders from all over the world. The AQHA World Show, Pinto World Show, and Paint World Show to name just a few. There are shows almost every weekend, but travel time for Stillwater area riders is about one and a half to two hours.
Oklahoma has the largest number of lakes created by dams than any other state, so trail riding abounds!
I love my state! Don’t ever let anyone tell you Oklahoma is boring. I’m an Okie to the core, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.