Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

About Andria Kidd
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That mustang colt was a pretty one
And the owner wanted training done.
His buckskin coat, golden peanut-butter
He'd roamed Nevada with his mother.

In the trailer there was quite a din
And it took some time to settle him.
So they introduced their colt to me
This heller born so wild and free.

But he got out without a scratch
He didn't lead and was hard to catch.
He liked and trusted me enough
From his eyes I knew he would be tough.

So easy does it day by day
And solid ground work I did lay.
Then came the day I did decide
It was time for Bucky's first-time ride.

I went through all our well-learned steps
Saddled, bridled and ready—yet
I thought a lunge would do him good
By the looks of how that buckskin stood.

So I sent him out along the rail
To take the kink out of his tail.
And as he trotted 'round and 'round
I believed my plan was truly sound.

He did all that I asked of him
And to be sure, I asked again
For all commands and he complied
I decided Buck was ok to ride.

I softly spoke as I climbed aboard
And picked a spot to head him toward.
I made it up - and he stood quiet
And in one split second there came a riot.

He bucked and fished and rolled his butt
I hung on—but I'll tell you what
His nose was blown back to his tail
As we pitched toward that corral rail.

I leaned way back and squeezed my knees
To stay aboard and match his energies.
I thought one way the fight to end
Was use the fence—it is your friend.

But Bucky had another plan
Live to be free and not with man.
As he commenced my bones to jar
We crashed into those metal bars.

I lost all track of space and time
As Bucky on those bars did climb.
On the first two he did horse ballet
Then his hind legs just got in the way.

But he was close to being free
And he'd forgotten about me
And never mind the reins and bit
Between the bars he tried to fit.

Then front feet over the top rail
His back legs clambered as he tried to scale
The arena bars - just like a ladder
His bellers mixed with all the clatter.

But in his face, quick as a cat
A ranch hand fanned his cowboy hat.
And Bucky came down off that fence
With all the bars left tweaked and bent.

When Bucky came back on the ground
He shook his head and looked around.
His golden coat was dripping wet
But his ears had lost their wicked set.

I pressed my legs for him to walk
And this he did without a balk.
Then we jogged and then we loped
Next we turned and then we whoa'd.

As he cooled, I talked to Bucky
And told him we had both been lucky.
I was glad that he had seen the light
Though I respected well his urge to fight.

For he was born so wild and free
To survive was bred instinctively.
His mustang blood was set for flight
And for freedom fought with all his might.

The folks who'd seem that rodeo
Were just amazed and asked to know
What I did, or a sly technique
I said, I'm no gunsel, there's no magic

It's really simple—plain to see
It came down to his trusting me.
We might have had a heller start
But we wound up with each other's heart.

From that first day, we rode as one
He learned so well, my job was done.
I said Goodbye and hugged his neck
And he loaded up like what-the-heck.

All grown up and on his way
As the trailer left—I heard him neigh.
I guess I got dust in my eye
'Cause cowgirls hardly ever cry.

 . . . Good On Ya Bucky!

© 2013, Andria Kidd, All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's  permission.


Andria told us: The poem is a true story about my training a Nevada Mustang, named Bucky.


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Big Sky

Somewhere out yonder, in God's back-country
Like Cuyama or on the Sespe
A tall, good man sits a solid, good horse
And rides the river's round-about course.

Keeping an eye on the sky, gathering clouds predict rain
And the cattle he's driving ain't tame.
He settles the herd and they shelter awhile
If they spook, they could scatter for miles.

The wind starts to blow—the rain starts to fall
He tips the brim on his worn Resistol.
Under his slicker he's dry, his gloves keep him warm
And he patiently waits out the storm

The rain stops and moves west—it didn't last long
Now the cowboy and cows move along
Fluffy clouds overhead in a big, azure sky
The time and the miles go by.

The rain settled the dust, the herd keeps a good pace
The warm sun feels good on his face.
He's out on the Sespe riding along
He's content as he hums an old song.

He stops when the cattle need water
And while they graze and drink
He finds some shade, he stretches out
And gets time to rest and to think.

He knows God loves a cowboy—
Why else would He make range?
And without Wranglers, boots and rodeos
Wouldn't life just be too dang strange?

And of course He made country music
And lots of open sky
There's no doubt that the "Big Boss"
Is a regular stand-up guy.

Now, there's a brand to ride for
Make a cowboy proud
Someday I'll work the "Big Sky Ranch"
The cowboy says out loud.

He swings back in the saddle
And smoothes his horse's mane
And at peace and at one with his Maker
He and his herd ride on again.

© 2013, Andria Kidd, All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's  permission.


Andria told us: The poem "Big Sky" was written by me to Polly Hengehold in memory of her husband Lou Heneghold (July 3, 1926—January 29. 1986). The Hengehold family was a long-time Ventura County family. They owned a large ranch in Wheeler Canyon and ran "The Mill" in Santa Paula, California. Lou Hengehold was vaquero—through him I met and learned from Arnold Rojas (Rojas bit) He was a Ranchero (Campo Adolfo), a patriot and a man I admired and respected.

I first met the Henghold family when I came to the Santa Clara River valley in 1979 to set up my horse training business. The Mill was the place to go for all things pertaining to ranching, agriculture and horses. And it was a veritable treasure house of local history, the ultimate resource for parts to vintage machinery and home to the annual Vaquero Show. With just a few phone calls of recommendation from Lou Hengehold and on his word alone—I was in business. The clients kept coming and it was eight years before I even got business cards!

Lou Hengehold was called to work at "The Big Ranch" in January of 1986, The tall cowboy will forever be remembered by so many as an inspiration and influence in their lives. And like so many, I have profound gratitude to Lou for all he did for me and I am a better person for knowing him.


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Cowboy Dale

From the time they're little shavers, they're ridin' up with Dad
On big 'ol heavy spreaders, grinning high up in the cab.
They're happy as clams just to be passin' the time
Workin' balers and bobcats and big ol' hay combines.

On Daddy's lap, as he let's 'em drive, up and down the rows
He shows 'em the levers that will raise the bucket on that big backhoe.
They grew up smart, with much respect and completely without fear
For anything that had a motor, from a "Cat" to an old John Deere.

When they got big, they could start 'em up and drive 'em just like Dad
Hook up the belly dumps to pups and haul hay on a big flatbed.
And cowboys sometimes leave the ranch and have to move to town
But cowboys aren't likely to forget how to put that hammer down.

So imagine late one summer night and a cowboy in his bed
With windows open, he's fast asleep, when he hears roaring in his head.
Outside a truck's parked on the street—the reefer hums, the tractor growls
The cowboy's outta bed and on his feet—what he thinks and says is foul.

He gets up, makes his way outside and takes along his bike
And puts the noisy rig in gear and drives off into the night.
He parks the rig some miles away and bikes his way back home
He's back in bed and fast asleep before you know it's gone!

So don't park your rig and leave the cab in the middle of the night
Nothin's worse than a ticked off cowboy—half nekkid on a bike!

© 2014, Andria Kidd, All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's  permission.


Andria told us: Ventura County has a long history of vaquero and cowboy tradition and the horse and cattle operations are still going strong.

Cowboy Dale is a real person, who grew up riding with the likes of Ray Yanez and the boys out in Aliso Canyon on the old Hobson Ranch. I met Dale when he sold his mare, "Gwynevere," to a client of mine and it turned out that Dale and I were neighbors.

From time to time, Dale and I would sit and swap stories about the folks we knew "from the old days," the ranching operations where he worked and I trained horses, as well as anecdotes about some of the famous (and infamous) cowboys and cowgirls in the county. ...And it turns out—between the two of us, we know just about Everybody!

The poem "Cowboy Dale" essentially wrote itself as Dale had already told me about his working on ranches and having to move closer to town to take care of his mom...It was when he was telling me about what he did when some "yay-hoo" as he put it, parked a big-rig next to his house and went off leaving the "reefer" unit running. And Dale got out of bed, in the middle of the night and took along his bike...I was laughing so hard, I was choking and crying at the same time!

Ever since my CD Sespe Sky came out with the track "Cowboy Dale" on it, when he meets folks who also know me, he introduces himself as "Cowboy Dale." And I have had folks come up to me and say, "Hey Andria, I met Cowboy Dale!"

That is what Cowboy Poetry is all about—telling the story and rhymin' history!


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Life's Rodeo

Eye to eye we drew our lines
Me and my old Dad.
We both stood there and spoke our minds
With everything we had.

Before things got too out of hand
While we could still had some respect
He said to me, son man to man
There's lots you don't know yet.

Hey now, don't you be too quick
To join life's rodeo
Before you pay those entry fees
And be part of the show—

Before you dip that rosin
Before you wrap your hold
Before you settle in that chute
There's things you gotta know.

There ain't no pick-up riders
Eight seconds won't save your butt
So lean way back and squeeze your knees
'Cause son, I'll tell you what—

The first jump's always wicked
You might be Heaven bound
Or just as quick with an extra kick
Your ass is on the ground.

We've had our strong discussions
Me and my old Dad—
But the advice on life he's gave me
Some's the best I ever had!

© 2014, Andria Kidd, All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's  permission.


Andria told us: My Daddy was born in Visalia, a small agricultural community located in the central valley in California. As a young boy, my father worked in the fields and grew up with a rustic, rural knowledge that serves him well to this day (he's in his nineties).

Growing up, I couldn't wait to be a horse trainer. I would get on unbroken colts with just a halter and a lead rope. And I got bucked off so many times, I ate more real estate than I could ever own!

Throughout all my misadventures growing up, my parents loved me. But when I was really in some kind of trouble and got sent to my room, my Mama would tell my Daddy, "Go in there, talk to that girl and make sure you reach a mighty good understanding."

And so, it was because of so many "understandings" that I received a lot of good advice from my Dad. Daddy said things like, "If you don't have time to do it right in the first place, what makes you think that you have time to do it over". And then there was, "Now don't you be too quick to go and take on the world."

After I was grown, I rodeo'd awhile and the parallels that my Daddy drew between life experience and life knowledge were not lost on me. I was up at a rodeo at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, when I the idea for the poem, "Life's Rodeo." It sums up some of the best advice I ever had!


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Angels, Angels

When I just a little cowgirl, my mama said to me
C'mere and listen to a story, that my mama told to me
So I curled up next to mama and she wrapped me in her arms
She said, you know God has sent His angels to keep cowgirls safe from harm
Angels angels shining bright, will keep you safe from harm
They'll shield you with their lovely wings and hold you in their arms...
They'll hold you in their arms.

Mama told me how the angels sing and how their faces shine
And that they had such lovely wings—They're with cowgirls all the time
As I listened to Mama's story, I loved each and every part
And I believed in cowgirl angels—I believed with all my heart...
Truly believed with all my heart.

Dale Evans and Tad Lucas, Mable Strickland and May Lillie
Prairie Rose and Wild Horse Annie—Cowgirl angels watching me
As I grew up, I always knew that I had angels near
They guide my steps, keep me safe and help me face my fears...
Yep, help me face my fears.

Each time I needed angels—when life was rough and going wrong
When I couldn't do it all alone, I'd sing my cowgirl angel song
Angels angels shining bright, keep cowgirls safe from harm
Shield me with your lovely wings and hold me in your arms...
Lucille Mulhall, Bea Kirnan and Annie Oakley too
There's cowgirl angels watching me—And I believe in you...
I believe in you.

Each cowgirl angel blazed her trail in western history
Angels angels shining bright—I know you're there for me
Cowgirl angels up in Heaven, your strength will get me through
Angels angels shining bright—Cowgirls believe and count on you...
They believe and count on you.

Cowgirl angels shining bright—watch over cowgirls day and night
Florence Hughes Randolph, Bonnie Gray, Fox Hastings, Toots Griffith—Shining bright
Rene Hafley, Rose Smith, Dorothy Morrell, Vera McGuiness, Donna Glover...
Ruth Roach,Bonnie McCarroll, Kittie Canutt - Each a legend through and through
Cowgirl angels up in Heaven—I believe in you...
I'll always believe in you.

© 2015, Andria Kidd, All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's  permission.

Andria told us:  The story for this poem goes back to my childhood. My mother always told me that I had angels watching over me. Since I was always an outdoor, cowgirl kind of kid, it only made sense to me that my angels were cowgirls. As I grew older, I just kept believing in my cowgirl angels and kept adding 'new cowgirl angels" to my list as I learned more about the brave and legendary cowgirls of the American West.

As a once upon a time rodeo competitor and then as a professional horse trainer, I have kept my cowgirl angels very busy! Over the years and making my living in a profession fraught with challenges, peril, and dangerous circumstances, I have never stopped believing that I have cowgirl angels watching over me.

"Angels Angels" is also a tribute to those "horse girls" who went before me and helped to shape the California vaquera that I am today



   About Andria Kidd
provided 2013

Andria Kidd is a native Californian, a life-long horsewoman and a professional horse trainer. For over thirty-five years, Andria has lived and trained horses in Ventura county, California. The spirit of the American West, her real life experiences and the Sespe—the Outback of Ventura County, are the inspirations for her poems and her new album of musical cowboy poetry, Sespe Sky. Andria's poems have also been inspired by the cowboys, cowgirls and the Californio vaqueros who shared their horsemanship, their stories of legends and brigands and welcomed her into their world.

Sespe Sky is produced by AFIRM Records and contains selections from her books, Kaleidoscope—Poems for the Heart and Big Sky—Poems for the Spirit. The album has been nominated by the Western Music Association for 2013 Cowboy Poetry Album of the Year.

With musical accompaniment from notable recording artists and inspired production composition, Sespe Sky takes the listener on a journey down the Americana trail. The album is a reminder that the American West is more than a placeit is also a state of mind. When it finds a place in your heart, you can live there where ever you are. On trail rides, round-ups, rodeos, ropings and horse showsThe spirit of the West rides on!

Find samples and more on Facebook.

CD: $9.99 plus $3.63 s/h from Andria Kidd, 8778 Mupu Road, Santa Paula, CA 93060 or through and



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