i love anything to do with cowgirls, so it was a treat looking through this recent New York Times feature about cowgirls of today who grow up in the ranch country of the Texas Panhandle. some of these girls appear quite tough (and i bet they are!) but then you spot the inconspicuous braid in their horse’s mane. photographer Ilona Szwarc is known for her series about American Girls, which you can see on her website.
When talking about rodeoing, the girls muse about their spiritual connection to the animals and the grit the sport helps them build — rather than the fact that they’re crossing over into traditionally male territory. “I used to be scared a lot, to even get on a horse,” Riley Sessions, 12, says. “I got tougher as I got on a horse and started riding. You’ve got to be pretty brave to ride a horse.” – Julie Bosman