Saddle Up for Cowgirl U.

cowgirl-u.jpgEver dreamed of being a real cowgirl? Can you picture yourself horseback riding through the open countryside? If so, then Cowgirl University’s Kindle the Cowgirl Spirit Retreat on May 8-11, 2008, in the Texas Hill Country, is perfect for you. This annual weekend adventure, made possible by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, is not just another themed girl’s-getaway with a cowgirl twist.

Cowgirl U’s Kindle the Cowgirl Spirit Retreat is the real-deal, bringing National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame Honorees together for one benefit – to share with you their stories and teach you skills needed for Western life. Whether or not you have extensive experience in the saddle, this retreat is for beginners and seasoned horsewomen alike. Retreat-goers are welcome to bring their own horse or rent one for the weekend.

Set on the Simmons’ Ranch, a sprawling 2,000 acre working ranch in Burnet, Texas – located approximately one hour northwest of Austin, Texas; one-and-a-half hours north of San Antonio, Texas – Cowgirl U’s Kindle the Cowgirl Spirit centers on horsemanship skills taught by the Honorees who embody that Cowgirl Spirit. As this is a working-cowgirl retreat, women will learn inside tips on how to assess, handle and care for a horse firsthand from some of the nation’s top horsewomen. Retreat-goers will dine on gourmet-ranch cuisine and sleep in comfortable guest homes on the ranch conveniently located to activity and meal areas.

This year’s Honorees include Sherri Mell, 2004 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree – 2006 Appaloosa Horse Club Hall of Fame. The photo shows Sherri with her parents Suzanne and Hennig Koch, both of whom are also ApHC Hall of Famers. The picture doesn’t necessarily go along with the story, but we always like an excuse to brag about our Hall of Fame folks.

While many cowgirls specialize in just one or two key rodeo events, Mell enters and often wins an array of rodeo and horse show competitions. However, she is best known for her success as a calf roper. Mell is the only woman to win a championship at the National and World shows in calf roping – an event dominated by men. Since 1990 she has led the nation in non-pro calf roping. She is the first woman to win a National Finals Rodeo Championship title riding an Appaloosa, her only mount, and has won more than 100 world and national rodeo and horse titles throughout her career.


  1. Patty Wondries Said,

    March 31, 2008 @ 10:23 am

    would you send me some information on the outing. Prices, availability, size and is this an all woman event or is it co-ed? Are there any openings for this year and if not, where will it be held next year?

  2. sherri a. mell Said,

    May 19, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

    For more information on the Cowgirl U, get on the Hall of Fame website:

    The Cowgirl U was unbelievable! I would recommend this to anyone with or without their own horse, it was unbelievable!

    It is open to all women over 18. We did have a man as the trail boss and another one as ranch manager.

    Ofcourse, I rode Dubs Charge (multiple World/National Champion

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