MONEY IN HORSES, by Yvonne Hollenbeck


by Yvonne Hollenbeck

“There’s money in horses,” I once heard someone say
and I can sure attest to that. . .I worked on books today.
I kept the red pen busy and rarely used the black,
and please don’t get me started on the breeding fees and tack.

The shoeing bills and vaccine were enough to make me choke
plus training fees and special feed. It’s no wonder we are broke.
Chiropractor charges and equine dentistry,
DNA and photographs and registration fees.

Then once old Dobbin’s broke and trained and groomed enough to show
or maybe trained for roping, so you can rodeo,
you’ll need a truck and trailer. That’s at least a hundred grand,
and to do the work while you are gone you’ll need a hired hand.

Yes, we’ve spent a lot of money before colts have hit the ground,
and even more to grow them up in hopes they turn out sound.
So, if you want some horses, the best advice I’ll share:
You had better win a lottery or just be a millionaire!

© 2019, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission.

Popular South Dakota cowboy poet and champion quilter Yvonne Hollenbeck and her champion calf-roper husband Glen Hollenbeck raise cattle and quarter horses.

Yvonne comments on her poem, “Since early childhood, Glen has had a passion for horses. Through the years he established an outstanding reputation for training and the quality of horses he raised. He no longer raises any (well, maybe one or two a year) but still ropes and always has at least one good rope horse in training. We tease one another about our expensive hobbies (quilting and horses) so I wrote the poem just to torment him, although there is a lot of truth to it. I hope he doesn’t start writing poetry.”

This 2017 photo is of Glen Hollenbeck. Read a recent article about Glen, “Glen Hollenbeck: Still riding for the G2 Brand,” by Hannah Johlman in the Tri-State Livestock News.

Find Yvonne Hollenbeck next at the wagon train at the Dakota Western Heritage Festival, September 13-15, 2019 in Fort Pierre, South Dakota.The celebration has a one-day wagon train “followed by a free weekend of cowboy music and poetry, Western vendors and artisans, demonstrations and more.”

She will present her “Patchwork of the Prairie” program at the Willow Tree Festival in Gordon, Nebraska, September 14-15, 2019.

The following month, she’ll be a part of the celebration of Utah’s 25th annual Heber Valley Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering, October 23-27, 2019. The popular five-day event has 33 shows on 8 stages with additional attractions, exhibits, and vendors.

There she will join poets Waddie Mitchell, R.P. Smith, Andy Nelson, Jeff Carson, Jake Riley, and Rolf Flake. Featured musicians are Diamond Rio, Michael Martin Murphey, Bar J Wranglers, Billy Dean, Andy Griggs, Rory Feek, John Wayne Schulz, Brenn Hill, Sourdough Slim, Carin Mari, Erica Hansen, High Country Cowboys, Molly in the Mineshaft, Many Strings, The Cowboy Way, Stacy Despain, Belinda Gail, Hank Cramer, Charley Jenkins Band, Carter Junction, Flyover Town, In Cahoots, and the Heber
Valley Orchestra.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photograph with this post, but for other uses, request permission.)

OLD EAGLE EYE, by Yvonne Hollenbeck


by Yvonne Hollenbeck

He can tell if a heifer is starting to calve,
I swear from a mile away,
and see if he needs to go pull the calf
by just simply looking that way.

He can see if a windmill is working or not
from his horse on a faraway hill,
and tell what direction the wind’s coming from
by watching the tail on the mill.

He knows if a coyote or badger is near
by watching the tracks in the sand,
and sees if a staple is loose from a post
on the fence that encircles his land.

He’s got eyes like an eagle for finding new calves
that their mamas have hidden all snug;
so why can’t he see the mud on his boots
that he’s tracking all over my rug?

© 2012, Yvonne Hollenbeck, used with permission.
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted with out the author’s permission

Ranch wife, top poet, and champion quilter Yvonne Hollenbeck and her husband Glen raise cattle and quarter horses on their ranch in Clearfield, South Dakota.

Glen, a champion calf-roper and the subject of many of her poems, is pictured here.

Find Yvonne emceeing at the Dakota Western Heritage Festival in Ft. Pierre, South Dakota, September 14-16, 2018. Poets and musicians include Robert Dennis, Marty Blocker, R.P. Smith, Jake Riley, Colt Blankman, and others. Find more about the event on Facebook.

In October, she’s featured at the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering, October 26-28, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas along with Red Steagall, “Straw” Berry, Mikki Daniel, Don Edwards, Bobby Flores, Kristyn Harris, Jake Hooker, Chris Isaacs, Jean Prescott, Dan Roberts, Leon Rausch, Hailey Sandoz, and Jay Snider.

In January, she returns to the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, January 28 through February 2, 2019. Find more about the event and see the great lineup at

Yvonne Hollenbeck’s recent book, Rhyming the Range, and CD by the same name, collect her original poems about her life on the ranch. The book includes the most requested poems from her two out-of-print books and all of her newest poetry.

Find more of Yvonne Hollenbeck’s poetry at and visit

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but request permission for any other use.)