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.


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111 thoughts on “Tracie Peterson’s Wild West Extravaganza!”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

    • 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.

      • 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

      • 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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!!

  11. 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.

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

    • 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.

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

  14. 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.

    • 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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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