Tracie Peterson’s Wild West Extravaganza!

As I conclude my Brookstone Brides series with the third book What Comes My Way, it seemed only right that I should offer some insight into the research done for this series. The Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza was a fictional wild west show I created with all-female performers. The show consisted of trick riders, Roman riders, bow and arrow trick riders, and trick shooters and because of this, I needed to know more about each of those things.

To learn more about trick riding in general, I was invited to come to a training camp at the Vold Ranch in Colorado. Karen Vold, (standing with me in the picture right) a former trick rider and rodeo company owner and her right-hand lady Linda Scholtz (also a former trick rider and in the picture below) conduct clinics each year to teach new up and coming trick riders the old art. They are a couple of amazing ladies, and I learned so much in talking with them and watching their instruction. They were always on hand to answer my questions and it turned out that both were strong Christians, as well.

 With the trick shooting, I was able to talk to my husband’s uncle, John Peterson. John’s father was once asked to do performance shooting for one of the major rifle manufacturers. As an avid collector and researcher of old weapons and trick shooting, Uncle John was able to point me in the right direction for research. I was able to lay my hands on a lot of interesting accounts of trick shooting and performances thanks to the help my daughter Julie gave. We made it a family affair and I was even able to do a little shooting.

Throughout my research regarding these performing arts, I was reminded of the long history of each. Roman riding is as it suggests an art that goes back to the Romans and beyond. This is the art of standing on the backs of horses and leading them through a series of tricks or races while managing the team of 2 or 4 and sometimes more horses.

In America, we don’t have to look any further than the American frontier and Native Americas for talented abilities with trick riding. Being able to maneuver with great skill on a moving horse was something the native warriors were known for, and of course, the wild west shows of Buffalo Bill Cody and Pawnee Bill were famous along with numerous other shows for perpetuating these talents.
These shows were developed to bring the wild west into the big cities where people held an absolute fascination for all things frontier. Today’s rodeos take their place for the most part and you can still catch plenty of trick riding at most.

Seeing these great performances and knowing what kind of work went into such shows gave me a much greater appreciation for those who performed and continue to do so…all in order to keep the history of the past alive for folks today. It made the perfect backdrop for my series and I hope my readers will enjoy the tales of Lizzy, Mary, and Ella as they conclude their performances in What Comes My Way.



Have you ever seen or read about trick riders or trick shooting competitions? Leave a comment for a chance to win a set of all three books.


Guest Blogger


  1. Nope never seen trick riders or trick shooters. But very interesting info.

    1. Kim, thanks for coming. I hope you get a chance one day to see the amazing tricks these riders do. It’s truly a treat.

      1. It is! I just love seeing these talented gals.

    2. They are so cool to watch, Kim. They make it look so easy!

      1. Hoping to see them one day here in Nebraska.

  2. Amazing, I can’t imagine standing on a moving horse. I’m lucky if I could sit on a horse. ? It definitely takes great skill and balance for sure. I’ve never seen trick shooters or trick riding. Thanks for the post. Very interesting.

    1. Carol, you and me both! Oh my dear Lord, I can’t imagine. I doubt I can even sit on one these days at my age. I’m glad you enjoyed her post.

    2. They are all so very talented.

  3. Good morning and Welcome to P & P! Yes I’ve seen many truck riders growing up going to rodeos as my dad competed in calf roping and team roping. Later it was me entering up. It’s great these talented individuals entertained the spectators. Many never get a chance to be close to horses except during rodeos and parades, etc. so to have them perform as part of the entertainment is super special!

    1. I totally agree, Tonya. I saw a trick-riding act at the rodeo in the Ft. Worth Stockyards that had me spellbound. He jumped rope on top of the horse. Most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.

      1. Linda- I know some of those tricks just are so amazing
        I could not imagine them doing them on the ground, much less a moving horse

        1. Hi friend, I’m also online with this blogger, so I’m inserting myself in your comment to Linda. I don’t think she’ll mind. I totally agree the tricks are amazing. My legs are so short that I look like a ballerina on the back of a horse. Can’t even get my feet in stirrups, but I’ve done some riding…not much, so I truly can’t imagine doing any tricks on a horse. Miss Tonya, our precious friend, thanks for dropping by. Hugs from both Linda and me.

      2. He actually jumped rope on horseback?!?!?!? WOWZERS!

    2. I think everyone should experience a rodeo.

  4. Avatar

    I have seen trick riding on many occasions in my life at rodeos and trick shooting at circus’s and festivals a few times. You mentioned the two trick riding instructors being strong Christians. In my opinion anyone that does trick riding needs to do a lot of praying and have a close relationship with God. Just saying.

    You sure did do a lot of research for this book! It sounds like a great read that I would love! HWR is one of my favorite genres and I’ve yet to read one of your books. A giveaway is an awesome way to find a new author to add to my go to authors list. Thanks for joining us at P&P. I loved your blog!

    1. Stephanie, yes a lot of praying would be most needful! 🙂

    2. I agree if you’re going to court danger you’d better have a close relationship with Jesus. 😀 So glad you liked this topic.

  5. thank you for sharing your research information. I am always fascinated in hearing about author’s research. I’ve never seen trick riding or a rodeo but it sounds quite fascinating. But for me I’ll just stay and read my books and I have been excited about this series for a long time and would sure love to read it.
    Thank you for the giveaway chance.

    1. Deanne, thank you so much for coming. We’re always happy to see you. This series does look simply spellbinding and I’m sure it is. I hope you get the chance.

    2. You’re welcome. I am always delighted to share with this blog.

  6. Great post, Tracie, very inspiring!

    1. Thanks for coming, Hebby. We’re happy to have you.

    2. Nice to see you here, Hebby!

  7. Interesting post, there is a show I watch called Heartland and it has a girl on the show that is trying to be a trick rider and she does pretty good with it. I can’t see me riding a horse standing up.

    1. Quilt Lady, I watch Heartland too and just love it! Georgie is amazing in her trick riding skill. Those characters are all so great and the storylines heartwarming.

    2. My sisters keep telling me to watch that show. They love it! Now I’m definitely going to have to watch it!

    3. LOL – I’m with you. I’ve always been of a mind horseback riding should be in a seated position.

  8. Last November in Branson, I went to Dolly Parton’s show and saw the trick riders. They were amazing.

    1. Caryl, that Dolly Parton show must’ve been something! Wish I could’ve seen it. They are truly astounding.

    2. I’ve always wanted to see Dolly Parton! Lucky duck.

    3. I’m so jealous, Caryl, to see both Dolly Parton and trick riders! I love Branson. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  9. I have heard of them but never seen them. Very interesting

    1. Thanks for coming to read Tracie’s post, Debra.

    2. Hi Debra–I’m always amazed at the little tidbits I tuck away after reading our guest blogs.

    3. You can always catch a few really great performances on Youtube

  10. We watched a shooting competition once. Amazing! It takes a great deal of practice and determination. Thank you for sharing your interesting post.

    1. Melanie, I’m sure they must practice ten hours a day. It takes a lot of skill to propel a person to that level. I’m happy to see you.

    2. I’ve always wanted to see a shooting competition!

  11. Yes, at the Dixieland Stampede in Branson, MO. The trick riding was incredible. The horses were awesome to watch in their performance as well. I loved reading your blog today Tracie. Thank you for the pictures you included too. Your generosity will be received by one lucky reader too.

    1. Hi Kathy! Great to see you. I’m going to have to make a trip up to Branson for that Stampede. It sounds wonderful. The horses have to be trained as much as the performer for both to work in tandem. I can’t imagine the work that goes into that.

    2. So glad you enjoyed the blog.

  12. Never have seen any trick riding or shooting while riding. We do have a club here that does fun/trick shooting that we tried a couple times. It is amazing to see

    1. Susan P, trick shooting is a lot of fun to watch. We have a club here that sometimes do exhibitions. Man, those men and women have so much skill!

    2. That sounds like fun.

  13. I have read a couple of books about trick riding and shooting. I’ve never watched it, other than in a couple of old movies, though! The books look good!!

    1. Trudy, I hope you get a chance to watch those incredible preformers one day. Thanks for coming.

    2. I hope you get a chance to read all three and that you enjoy them.

  14. Welcome back, Tracie! Great to have you. This series looks amazing. It says “strong women” and those are the stories that have staying power. Wishing you tons of sales.

    1. Thanks, Linda. You are too kind.

  15. I have watched some trick riders at rodeos and always found them fascinating! Great series!

    1. Yes, they are fascinating, Paula! Thanks for stopping by.

    2. I’ve only been to a few rodeos, that I remember, it’s been years. Reading this makes me want to attend more to watch the trick riding!

    3. I love to watch them and having seen them train, I know just how hard they work.

  16. I’ve never seen trick riders or trick shooting. These series looks fantastic! I love that you put so much effort into research.

    1. Carrie, a lot of research goes into almost every book, some more than others. A suspense writer here that I know found a helicopter pilot who took him up and let him shoot a rifle out of the open door while he did twists and turns just so he could write one scene accurately. I’m glad you stopped by.

    2. I hope you’ll get a chance to read them and have fun!

  17. I’ve read about trick riding and shooting in my beloved western books.? fascinating stuff.

    1. Thanks for coming by, Tonya Cherry! Great to see you. I agree that those skilled performers are just fascinating. Hope you’re doing well.

    2. Amazing stuff indeed!

  18. I have never seen trick riding or trick shooting. It sounds wonderful to experience this. Your post is fascinating.

    1. Anne, it is pretty wonderful and put you on the edge of your seat. Thanks for coming over to read Tracie’s post.

    2. Hope you get a chance to see a performance.

  19. Good morning! Your series is new to me and sounds fascinating. My husband’s family showed horses and I attended several horse shows, but that was very staid, showing the proper way to do things, interesting but not too exciting. The only time I saw trick riding was once at the circus.

    1. Hi Sally, I wish you could’ve been with me at a rodeo at the Fort Worth Stockyards. That trick rider jumped rope atop a galloping horse. The craziest thing I ever saw. To this day, I don’t know how he did it. Enjoy the rest of your day, my dear.

    2. I hope you get to read the books and see some trick riding again soon. It’s just so energizing and fun to watch.

  20. Thanks for sharing some of your research. You have done a lot. The specialty act at our local PRCA Rodeo this summer was trick riders. It is spectacular, and scary, to watch.

    1. Alice, I’m glad you got to watch the trick riders at that PRCA Rodeo. I’ll bet it was something you’ll never forget. Very scary. Big hugs!

    2. I’m so glad you appreciate the research. That’s something I always appreciate of other authors.

  21. I would enjoy this event since it involves skill.

    1. April, you cannot imagine the skill it takes. I hope you get to watch it live one day. Thanks for coming by.

    2. Hi April, good to see you here. I totally agree about the skill. A whole bunch more than I have or will ever have. I truly admire them. Hope you have a great weekend.

    3. I’ll bet you’d loved it.

  22. I have only seen trick shooting in movies…

    1. Colleen, oh my dear, you need to see it live just once. I hope you get a chance. I’m so happy to see you.

    2. Hi Colleen, good to hear from you. I think the majority of us have seen more trick shooting in movies and on TV (shows my age, huh Maverick and Bonanza) than in person. Such talent they have. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    3. I agree with Linda. See it in person. It’s amazing.

  23. I’ve seen trick riders at the California State Fair. There were incredible! The fair has horse pavilion that showcases all sorts of fun stuff, trick riding included!

    1. I’ll bet that horse pavilion is amazing.

  24. Thanks for this most interesting and unique post about a sport that deserves recognition.

    1. Nice to see you here, Laini!

    2. Hi, Laini. Thanks for dropping. Isn’t her blog interesting for sure! I’m with you on it being a great post about a unique sport that most people don’t recognize. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    3. You bet. Hope you enjoyed.

    4. It deserves a lot more attention.

  25. Have only seen them on TV.

    1. Me, too, Denise, and I wanted to be one after seeing them. I was twelve, of course.

      1. I hope everyone has a chance to see them in person. I remember wanting to learn to ride and do whatever I could on horseback.

    2. Hi Denise, thanks for dropping by. Isn’t her blog fun? I love the stunts on TV. We had a Hollywood stuntman who grew up here in Amarillo. He sure could tell some tales. Have a wonderful weekend.

      1. I heard so many neat stories from Linda and Karen. I could have sat with them for hours on end.

    3. Hope you get to see it at least once in person.

    4. Hope you get to see them in person at least once.

  26. Hi, no I have never seen trick riders or shooters in life, I have seen some shooters on t.v. though. Your books sound like very good reads, I love the covers. Wow, you sure do go through a lot of researching for your books, that is good that you meet nice people along the way and that is very nice that your Uncle John was a perfect person to help you out. I enjoyed reading this post. it is very interesting, Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Congratulations on your new book . Have a Great weekend. God Bless you.

    1. I agree, Alicia. Those are beautiful covers!

    2. Hi Alicia, thanks for dropping by. Isn’t her covers beautiful. I know for me personally, I love research, especially first hand. She certainly gave great insight into trick riding and shooters. I’ve seen both, being from Texas, but like you more on TV. Love, love her blog. May the Good Lord bless you, too; and have a great weekend, our friend.

    3. Alicia, I hope you get a chance to read all three. I believe in thoroughly researching the topics I write about. I’m glad you love the covers. I do too. The books actually looked like the book covers are canvases.

  27. It’s something I’ve only heard about. Thank you for the giveaway!

    1. Hi anon1001, so good to see you here. Isn’t her blog fun? Brought back a lot of memories. We’re always happy when our guest bloggers do giveaways. Happy weekend!

      1. Phyllis – glad to be here and share with the readers.

  28. Trick riders are so fun to watch. And I love your covers, Tracie! They are just awesome! Thanks for joining us today!

  29. I agree that trick riders are amazing and fun to watch. I’ve seen them perform at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo when I lived in western Nebraska. Their athleticism is breath-taking!

    1. It is, Pam. Those riders have to be in super great condition.

  30. Wonderful post. I have seen trick riding and it was so fun. The rider made it look like he wasnt the best. But we all know it takes a really good rider to make it look that way. This is a very generous give a way. Thanks.

    1. I’m always happy to share with the readers!

  31. The picture of the rider standing on the horse above is impressive. I have seen trick riders standing on two horses, but they held on to reins while in motion. Even then, it is impressive, especially when I often don’t have the balance to make it across the lawn or the floor. I have seen trick riders at several rodeos, but it has been years since we went to one. There have been no fancy shooting events that we could have attended.

  32. I have only seen trick riders on TV in rodeos or shows.

  33. I’ve seen some trick riding, but no trick shooting competitions. I wish could see someone shoot behind them using a mirror! That would be awesome!

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