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. . . Back at the main corral, a fire was already burning, the branding iron heating. The calves were penned, and one by one, they were released into the branding corral. I was surprised that these real, live, cowboys didn’t gallop after the calves with ropes on horseback the way they do in the rodeo. Instead, they roped them from the ground, calmly, without making them run, or simply walked them into a corner and grabbed them.  After the branding, each was given a shot of antibiotic and the bulls were castrated, the testicles being tossed over the fence.

Being a girl, I was also expected to help with the lunch, so when one cowboy came over and asked the women if they wanted to cook some mountain oysters, I heard the comment. I asked Karen where they had gotten oysters and she laughed. Then she told me that "mountain oysters" was a euphemism for testicles. And they were going to eat them?? Gross! Maybe there were some parts of being a cowboy I could just skip.

(Original cover art "Where will all the Cowgirls Go?" Copyright 2004 by Dawn Brunt, Surprise, Arizona.  Used with permission of artist.)


Have you always wished you could have a horse?  Have people told you it's not practical, it's too expensive, it's too much trouble?  That you need to live in the country to have horses?  That you ought to forget horses and take up bowling instead?  Do you still speak to those "neigh"-sayers?  Why?

"Tails" of a Suburban Cowgirl is the true story of a little girl growing up in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, with a deep love of horses and a family who couldn't care less about them.  Yet over the years, she not only achieved her dream of having horses while still living in the city, but she eventually found her way to country living in the horsetown of Norco, California, where it is said there live more horses than humans.

You'll laugh at her struggles to learn to ride and train using only books for references.  You'll suffer the pains of her first falls and the occasional injuries, and you'll cry at the losses she suffered in her travels through life.  The story is sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, sometimes poignant.  It's the "tail" of a complete life of loving and living with horses and other animals.  You might learn something too -- like what NOT to do with horses!

This wonderful book is a must-read for any would-be cowgirl or cowboy stuck living in the city but who dreams of living the cowboy life.  It's also a trip down memory lane for others who traveled the same path, achieving the dream despite the numerous obstacles that arise on the unlikely journey from stick horses to stock horses, from model horses to Morgan horses, from stuffed ponies to cow ponies.


The unbiased experts all agree: "Tails" of a Suburban Cowgirl is a hit!

"Tails" of a Suburban Cowgirl is the best book I ever read.  Honest.  I wouldn't lie to you.    Claire Gallizioli, author’s mother

Everyone should read this book. The fact that the author is an arrogant know-it-all who keeps her corrals cleaner than she ever kept her bedroom shouldn’t stop you from buying her book.  Laura Young, author’s older sister

Please do Debra a favor and buy this book. With all those animals to feed, she really needs the money and keeps making comments about inheritances. Don’t know where she got that idea; if I couldn’t afford to buy her a pony,what makes her think there’s going to be an inheritance? Please buy the book so she can buy some hay -- I keep finding banana peels on the steps.   Steve Gallizioli, author’s father

I was told to say this is a really great book, please buy five copies and give them to your friends. I’m told it’s going to be on the best seller list by next week. I don’t know what it’s about, she won’t let me read it for some reason.   Phil Speakes, author’s ex-husband

Please buy the book. It’s really good. She told me to say that or she’s going to punch me in the arm.    Mary Ann DeLawyer, author’s younger sister

Website and all content copyright 2005 by Debra Speakes.  All rights reserved.  Don't make me sue you!