Real Life Ranch Wife

Western World Trends for the New Year

Cowboy horseback for 2023 trends

Here are a few fads leaving with 2022, and some new ones coming for us in 2023, fast as a 2,000-pound maverick bull when the rope tightens around his neck.

There are plenty of trends I know nothing about, because I’m not very trendy. I like to buy the latest fashions next year when they’re on sale at the thrift store. But even I can’t help but notice some trends from my little house on the river bottom in the mesquite trees of southern Arizona. 

Outgoing trends

New Year’s resolutions  

People aren’t really resolving to save money, lose weight or meditate anymore. I think we should all just be honest with ourselves about how much self-improvement we really plan on doing in the new year. C’mon, we’re still going to spend more than we planned on entry fees, eat donuts at the horse show and fill our quiet time with noise from our favorite music/podcast streaming platform. 

On second thought, I might jot down a few of my personal good intentions. It’s still winter, and I’ll need more fire starter at some point. 

Inexpensive horse hay

Years-long drought, high freight costs, low supplies, taxes, Uncle Sam or Kim Jong-un might be to blame, but one thing is certain: horse hay ain’t cheap right now. Looks like prices will remain high for the foreseeable future, so better skip the synthetic fertilizer and think about turning your steeds loose on the lawn this summer. Flower beds are overrated and pushing a lawnmower was never an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon anyway. 

Incoming trends


The TV show “Yellowstone” just rolled out Season 5, and it’s coming to a Western wear store near you. There aren’t many people that simply like the show; viewers either love it or hate it. Fans can go into any major chain Western wear store and pick up a Dutton-themed hoodie or ball cap. The rest of us better be prepared to answer the question, “Are cowboys really like that?” from well-meaning city acquaintances. 

Suggested answer: “Yes, all cowboys are actually mafia hitmen in disguise. We turn bulls loose in honky-tonk bars on a regular basis, and the Train Station is a real place. Plus, family ranchers often travel in private helicopters and hire a personal chef.”

If you can say all that with a straight face, better cross “always tell the truth” off your list of New Year’s resolutions.  

My (self) promotion

I’ll be a certified, bona fide, officially authorized author in October. I wrote a book, a whole book, and it will be published by Trafalgar Square Press later this fall. I better talk about it now, because once my book hits the shelves, I’m probably going to pass out from sheer excitement. 

Millionaire cowboys

Bareback rider RC Landingham started this trend at the end of last year when he became the first contender to win a $1- million bonus check from the World Champions Rodeo Alliance. There’s another bonus up for grabs this year, so get your popcorn and pull up a seat. The sport of professional rodeo just got a new plot twist. 

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