As their confidence has grown, so have their abilities. They've gone from riding the old "automatic" ranch horses that follow along and babysit the kids to riding colts they've started themselves. There have been moments when I've sat paralyzed with my heart in my throat- watching them run full speed down a hill or over a ditch to turn a cow, but there is no denying they are capable.
Now that our three have reached the teenage years, our family has expanded to include two more girls. Friends from school that have visited over the years- these two girls did not have the opportunity to grow up with horses in their back yard. Upon meeting the Brown girls though, we've observed there is something that happens to a young girls brain when she is introduced to horse hair. Every opportunity they get, they visit us to help with brandings, moving cattle, or just a good old fashioned trail ride. Those "automatic" ranch horses now are trusted with our "town" girls, and those girls are also becoming quite skilled.
I lovingly tease Tom about his "herd" of girls. He just grins, because he knows there is not a job around this place that he cannot do with the help of his gaggle of girls.