BETWEEN A HORSE AND ME is a collection of eleven western songs written and inspired over the past decade by Almeda's life as a westerner, horsewoman and caregiver. Songs about horses, homeland, relationships and the reasons for them are written into ten original songs and one cover song by IWMA award-winning, Dave Stamey.   

Produced by Aarom Meador & Kristyn Harris at Allegro Sound Lab, Cleburne, TX, and Almeda Bradshaw, M2B Ranch Music in Huntley, MT, early reviews declaring "fantastic musicianship all around" and "strong session folks support her" and "production collaboration is extremely successful" indicate the music alone is worth listening to, but combined with "heartfelt and sensitive lyrics" along with "great arrangements," the album's songs have garnered a "highly recommended" from Rick Huff's Best of the West Reviews, who declares it "may rank as her most artistically successful yet."


This project was produced by AAROM MEADOR, KRISTYN HARRIS and ALMEDA BRADSHAW with engineering, editing, mixing and mastering by AAROM MEADOR at ALLEGRO SOUND LAB in Cleburne, TX.  

ALMEDA'S lead vocals and harmonies were engineered and edited by GIL STOBER of PEAK RECORDING in Bozeman, MT.  

NOTABLE EXCEPTIONS' harmonies were recorded by JUDY CODER and JENNIFER EPPS in their home studio somewhere out west.  

BARBARA SITES' marimba was recorded at THE LOFT RECORDING STUDIOS in Bronxville, NY, with engineer AL HEMBERGER.  

BRADY GOSS' piano was recorded at RAINMAKER STUDIO in Pasco, WA, by engineer, LUKE BASILE.  


 Almeda Bradshaw:  Lead Vocals and Harmonies as noted, Finger-style Rhythm Guitar  
 Rocky Gribble:  Lead and Rhythm Guitars  
 Kristyn Harris:  Rhythm Guitar                                                                               
 Brook Wallace Deaton:  Fiddle, Violin, Viola, Cello  
 Steve Palousek:  Pedal Steel Guitar  
 Aden Bubeck:  Electric and Upright Bass  
 Drew Phelps:  Upright Bass  
 Josh Rodgers:  Drums and Percussion  
 Andrew Griffith:  Drums  
 David "Strummer" Sawyer:  Mandolin  
 Jimmy Lee Robbins:  Lead Finger-style Guitar  
 Lionicio Saenz:  Cuatro and Percussion  
 Barbara Sites:  Marimba  
 Steven Brown:  Lead Electric Guitar  
 Brady Goss:  Piano  
 Gregory Waits:  Trombone  
 Kevin Bailey:  Harmonica  

Aarom Meador: Acoustic Guitar  

Notable Exceptions: Vocal Harmonies                                                                                                                                                



Lead & Harmony Vocals:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Lead & Rhythm Flat Top Guitars:  Rocky Gribble  
Mandolin:  David "Strummer" Sawyer  
Upright Bass:  Aden Bubeck  
Drums:  Josh Rodgers  

This song celebrates the unique relationship humans are privileged to experience with horses. And I, like so many who have had their lives enriched by the West and its horses, am deeply grateful for the blessings that Fog, Black Jack, Willy, Sonny and Benz have brought to me throughout my life. There are various animals humans have utilized for transportation - elephants, camels, oxen, asses - but none has carried man with such speed, grace and beauty as the horse. It's no wonder this animal holds such a special place in our hearts and minds.  

IF I HAD A HORSE                         Almeda Bradshaw ©2018  

If I had a horse, I’d ride across the ranges of my imaginations and my dreams  

If I had a horse, I’d lope, walk and trot, I’d sing, cry and talk of how I feel.  

If I had a horse, I would not be so lonely for my one and only who is gone again  

‘Cause if I had a horse, I would not be alone, he would take me home at the end of my trail.  

If I had a horse  

It’s something you can’t see between a horse and me,  

It’s in the air, in the air.  

Unseen threads between hearts, between heads  

It’s meant to be harmony  

If I had a horse, I’d ride upon some mountain, far from the crowdin’ of this small town  

And if I had a horse, I’d learn to listen to him, I'd feel his spirit moving to the rhythm in my soul.  

If I had a horse  

Each day would be a treasure, a brand-new adventure,  

Oh, the possibilities, I’d see the forest in the trees all around  

And I’d find what’s to be found.  

If I had a horse, I’d ride across the ranges,  

Of my imaginations and my dreams……  

If I had a horse  


Lead & Harmony Vocals:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Flat Top Rhythm Guitar:  Rocky Gribble  
Electric Lead Guitar:  Rocky Gribble  
Electric Bass:  Aden Bubeck  
Drums:  Josh Rogers  

I set Charles Badger Clark's poem Riding to music in 2012, before I was aware of Don Edwards' version. I've produced mine with a Don Rich-style chicken-pickin' electric guitar to capture my favorite Country Western Bakersfield sound.  

RIDING                 Charles Badger Clark/ Adapted to music by Almeda Bradshaw 2016  

Some folks like the city, grass that’s curried smooth and green  

Theaters and strangling collars and wagons run by gasoline  

But for me, it’s hoss and saddle, every day without a change  

And the desert sun’s a blazing on a hundred miles of range  

Riding, desert rippling in the sun  

Mountains blue along the skyline, I don’t envy anyone  

When I’m riding, just a riding  

When my feet’s in the stirrup and my hoss is on the bust  

His hooves are flashing lightening in a cloud of golden dust  

And the bawling of the cattle is coming down the wind  

There ain’t no finer life than riding’s ever coming ‘round again  

Riding, splitting long cracks in the air  

Stirring up a baby cyclone, ripping up the prickly pear  

When I’m riding, just a riding  

I don’t need no art exhibit when the sunset’s doing her best  

Painting everlasting glory on the mountains to the west  

Your opry sounds mighty foolish when night bird starts her tune  

And the desert’s silver mounted by the touches of the moon  

When my earthly trail is ended and my final bacon’s curled and  

This great roundup is finished on the home ranch of the world  

Well, I won’t need no harp nor halo, no robe or other dressed up thing  

Just let me ride them starry ranges on a pinto hoss with wings  

Riding, who can envy kings and czars  

When coyotes in the valley they’re a-singing to the stars  

And you’re riding, riding,  

Just a riding, riding  

Just a riding  


Lead Vocal:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Harmony Vocals:  Judy Coder & Jennifer Epps "Notable Exceptions"  
Fiddles:  Brook Wallace Deaton  
Pedal Steel and Electric Lead Guitar: Steve Palousek  
Rhythm Guitar:  Kristyn Harris  
Upright Bass:  Drew Phelps  
Drums:  Andrew Griffith  

This is the true story of a horse I used to own. I first wrote a poem about him called Willy, the Wonder Horse which appears on my album A Way of Heart. He was such an amazing animal and I was blessed to ride him to a MRCHA Non-Pro Limited High Point Championship in 2005. He was so broke, it came as quite a surprise for me to find out he was very unpredictable as a colt! His story makes a fun song.   

WILL HE OR WON’T HE                                       Almeda Bradshaw © 2018  

Here’s a little story about a horse I used to own,  

He was a push-button Cadillac cow horse to the bone.  

His pedigree? Performance, a cutting cow machine.  

Willy was a wonder horse, my every equine dream.  

Dry Docie was his papered name, but he was known as Willy.  

Broke to death, a gentleman in every way, he really  

Was a wonder horse. I thought his tag a perfect fit,  

But then I learned the truth. I heard the story in back of it.  

Will he or won’t he, it’s the question of the day  

Will he or won’t he, buck me off today  

Aint’ no way of knowing, throw your saddle on and pray  

Will he or won’t he, that’s how Willy got his name  

Now as a colt in training, Willy was a problem child,  

A juvenile delinquent with a hair grown awful wild.  

And there was no predicting when that hair would trigger loose.  

One moment he was mannered, the next a broke in two cayuse!  

Will he or won’t he? Hey, I’m asking you  

Will he or won’t he break himself in two.  

Ain’t no rhyme or reason to the rules, just play his game  

Will he or won’t he? That’s how Willy got his name.  

He really was a “wonder” horse, had ‘em guessing every ride.  

But two-year olds grow up and he shed that wild hair from his hide  

His equine education earned Willy high degree,  

A suma cum laude graduate with a bridle PHD.  

He’s always been a wonder horse, each and every day  

As a question or in awe, he could hold you sway  

A fitting name forever, I was blessed to call him mine  

One way or the other,  he was full of wonder all the time  

Will he or won’t he, it’s the question of the day  

Will he or won’t he, buck me off today  

Aint’ no way of knowing, throw your leg up all the same  

Will he or won’t he, will he or won’t he,  

Will he or won’t he, that’s how Willy got his name  


Lead & Harmony Vocal:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Fingerstyle Rhythm Guitar:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Lead Guitar:  Jimmy Lee Robbins  
Harmonica:  Kevin Bailey  
Upright Bass:  Aden Bubeck  
Drums:  Josh Rodgers  

The first time I heard Dave Stamey's Buckskin Horse, I said to myself, "Thank you, Dave, for writing my song."  It's easily relatable because I once had a buckskin horse named Willy on whom I experienced the freedom, power and joy of riding that this song expresses so beautifully. And even more, I've lived the ups and downs and the hopes and the doubts related to the music I write and produce for the public. "And her dreams.....she can almost touch 'em.... perhaps she never will."  

BUCKSKIN HORSE    Davey Stamey, © 2011  

And she always wanted a buckskin horse with a yearning burnt deep within her soul  
In dreams she’d ride the hills at night with a river running somewhere far below  
She’d feel the power beneath her as up the trail they’d fly  
And his coat would shine and gleam like the secrets behind her eyes  

And she always wanted a buckskin horse and his breath would smoke when snow was on the ground  
He’d test the air, with nostrils flared and together, they’d ride the morning down  
When she climbed upon his back, she’d finally know just what her life was for  
And she’d ride across the skyline to meet it on that buckskin horse  

And her dreams, oh, it seems they’re a long time coming  
And it seems she can almost touch ‘em, perhaps she never will  
In her dreams, oh, it seems she’s on that pony running  
Running down the river’s course on that buckskin horse  

She always wanted a buckskin horse and though life can push your dreams aside  
Still within the ranges of the heart, there are miles and miles yet to ride  
If you ask, she’ll say it’s nothing, just a fantasy of course  
But like a secret hidden just behind her eyes, there’s a buckskin horse  


Lead & Harmony Vocals:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Flat Top Rhythm Guitar:  Rocky Gribble  
Marimba:  Barbara Sites  
Cuatro and percussion:  Lionicio Saenz  
Upright Bass:  Aden Bubeck  
Drums:  Josh Rodgers  

This song was inspired by the opening line of Gary McMahan's poem A Cowboying Day which begins "Morning is just a thin line to the east...." I have seen that kind of morning light many times on the prairies of eastern Montana. Gary's description of cowboy life got me thinking about a day in the life of a cattle drive cowboy and how the sun's placement in the sky would have dictated what he'd be doing with his time throughout the day. Musically, I wanted to pay homage to cowboys of color whose background may have came from the Caribbean. Hence, the calypso style featuring the fabulous musicianship of Barbara Sites and Lionicio Saenz.  

ON THE TRAIL                          Almeda Bradshaw ©2011  

The dawn sits on the horizon,  

A line of rose-colored sky.  

The cold, it’s blowin’ from your muzzle  

As the circle we turn and ride.  

Clopping along, it’s the only sound for miles  

And the squeak of leather  

Mixes with the stir of the herd  

As the cattle rustle and rise.  

Time to rope the remuda, boys.  

Time to get along, little doggies.  

Time to sing a new day’s song  

On the Texas Trail, boys, on the Texas Trail.  

The day is breaking, the sun is making  

Light and shadow play on the plain.  

The dew shimmers, glimmers on the grass  

Looking like new fallen rain.  

There’s a damp in the air and a mist so fair  

Rises in layers of gray  

The herd moves slow, listen to them bellow  

On their way to the stockyard train  

Time for a point and some flankin‘, boys.  

Time for some dragging dust, now don’t be sorry!  

It’s time for Kansas, Dodge City or bust!  

On the Chisholm Trail, boys, on the Chisholm Trail.  

The sky is bright at the zenith,  

Hot sun bleaching it white.  

The air is laden with dust that sticks  

And burns with an acrid bite.  

We’re hoping the herd will soon pick up the scent  

Of that watering hole up ahead  

‘Cause now they’re balking & bawling,  

Oh, them damned doggies is a-bunching up tight.  

Time to keep on pushing, boys.  

Time to move ‘em out! I’m a-getting ornery!          

Time to crack that whip and shout!  

On the Western Trail, boys, on the Western Trail.  

The day now ends, the evening begins  

With a coral-colored sky.  

The heat’s still beatin’ warm from the floor  

Of this sandy arroyo we ride.  

Meandering along a ribbon of stream,  

Reflecting gold and pink and blue,  

The herd strings out to water and feed  

And settle for the night is nigh.  

Time to throw the bedrolls down, boys.   

Time for cookie’s fire and a story.            

Time for a night rider’s lullaby  

On the Goodnight Trail, boys, on the Goodnight Trail.  

On the Texas, Chilsom, Western, on the Good Night Trail  


Lead & Harmony Vocals:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Lead Gut String & Acoustic Rhythm Guitar:  Rocky Gribble  
Lead Electric Guitar:  Steven Brown  
Electric Bass:  Aden Bubeck  
Drums:  Josh Rodgers  

In 2011, I attended a writing workshop presented by Henry Real Bird at the Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Lewistown. I love Henry's stream of consciousness poetry with his delivery like water running over river stones. And I had just finished reading Ivan Doig's novel Bucking the Sun about the building of the Fort Peck dam and the word "bucking" captured my imagination in a new way. It took on more meaning than the iconic action of riding a bronc. Bucking in its fullest sense is a contest of wills, of elements in conflict, be it man versus animal or forces of nature. So as I listened to Henry, I started my own stream of consciousness about a cowboy bucking up against forces coming between him and a safe return to the home ranch. And within that context, the question arises: where does man put his trust?  

TRUSTING               © 2011 Almeda Bradshaw  

I’m bucking the wind blowing hard out of the west  

Chin tucked into my silk-wrapped neck,  

Hat brim broke down over my eyes,  

I’m bucking the wind howling over the rise  

Bucking the wind and trusting this ride  

I’m bucking the sun setting low fast  

Time’s slipping on leaving shadows in the track  

Up ahead winding dark into the night  

I’m bucking the sun’s last fading light,  

Bucking the sun and trusting this ride  

I’m trusting my pony to carry me through  

Trusting my head to know what to do  

But in my heart, I know who to trust in the end  

I’m trusting  

I’m bucking the odds of making it home  

There’s a blue norther coming, I can hear it howling down  

Ice in the rain cutting like a knife  

I’m bucking the odds, it’s a gamble tonight  

Bucking the odds and trusting this ride  

I’m bucking the cold, its frozen grip  

In these leather gloves my reins are stiff  

And my fingers are gone, my heart’s beatin’ tight  

I’m bucking the cold and fighting for life  

Bucking the cold and trusting this ride.  

I’m bucking the end, God’s at hand,  

I hear His voice calling to me over land,  

And I feel the Son, I see the Light,  

The ranch house ahead, it’s a heavenly sight,  

Bucking the end and trusting this ride  

I’m trusting my pony to carry me through  

Trusting my head to know what to do  

But in my heart, I know who to trust in the end  

“Cause He is my friend, I’m trusting  


Lead Vocal:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Harmony Vocals:  Judy Coder & Jennifer Epps "Notable Exceptions"  
Gut String Lead & Auxiliary Rhythm Guitar:  Rocky Gribble  
Mandolin:  David "Strummer" Sawyer  
Pedal Steel Guitar:  Steve Palousek  
Rhythm Guitar:  Kristyn Harris  
Upright Bass:  Aden Bubeck  
Drums:  Josh Rodgers  

This song came out of the time I took care of my mom-in-law, Elaine. She lived with us and eventually passed away in our home. She was a fortunate woman to be able to spend her last days in a safe and familiar place surrounded by family and all that was important to her. Not everyone has that security in their final years. Another influence for this song comes from a Circuit Riding Preacher, Dan Boyd, who dreams of building a home for old cowboys.  

LOOKING FOR HOME         Almeda Bradshaw ©2019  

It’s been my life for years, this range ‘n’ droving  

I seen days of plenty and and I seen nights so empty  

No star in the sky to light my way home  


I was a good hand, my loop was the Blocker  

I trailed ‘em up north and I repped in Montana  

Life was my own, living alone  

But I’m looking for home now, a place I can lay down  

My body so weary, I’m looking for home  

I had a home once, warm as my mother  

But that was before the drink in her jealous lover  

Came between us, and for me, there was only the road  

I’m looking for home now, a place I can lay down  

My guard so wary, I’m looking for home  


More than walls of four, a home has so much more  

It’s where hearts burn warm, I’m looking for home  

Where there’s room for me and my memories  

Can fade gracefully, I’m looking for home  

I’ve traveled 'cross this land, trails I've followed  

I've climbed to the peak, and I've lain in the hollows  

Now I hear a voice, a voice calling me  

He’s calling me home now to a place I can lay down  

My burden so heavy, I’m looking for home  

I was a boy when I left to wander  

Me and my dog ‘n’ my old Meanea saddle  

Now I’m old and I’m looking for home  

I’m looking for home now, a place I can lay down                         

I’m looking for home  


Lead Vocal:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Harmony Vocals: Judy Coder & Jennifer Epps "Notable Exceptions"  
Piano:  Brady Goss  
Violin, Viola, Cello:  Brook Wallace Deaton     
Upright Bass:  Aden Bubeck  
Cymbals:  Josh Rodgers  

This is another song written during the years I took care of Elaine, 2008-2013. Caring for an elderly family member was not easy and I often found myself in an impatient rush and later dealing with feelings of guilt for not giving more time to Elaine. In Abide, I also reflect upon the loss of cowboy singer Curly Musgrave in 2009 and how important it is to not lose the songs and stories of the people who preserve and promote western culture.  

ABIDE                     Almeda Bradshaw © 2010  

The prairie surface seems alive,  

The wind's out of the west,  

The grass, in cadence like a dance,  

Keeps rhythm without rest.  

I hear a lonely tune it sings,  

A longing in my heart it brings  

For when I rode those range lands far and wide.  

Those days of old are memories,  

Cobwebs in my mind,  

They weave a web of tales to tell,  

A history that binds  

My cowboy life to days long past,  

My mind drifts back to hold them fast,  

I must not lose them with the changing tide.  

Abide with me, I have a tale to tell,  

Abide with me, Come on and sit a spell  

I know I'm old, I'm past my glory  

But my life, it's worth a story,  

Take time, Abide.  


I know you’re rushed, your days are full  

With all there is to do,  

I know it’s hard to take the time,  

But let me share with you  

A life from which there’s much to learn,  

More than in an hour you could earn,  

So, with this old cowboy, abide  


I am old, I rock upon a porch,  

Who will know my heart's burning torch  

For I may not be with you long  

My western way and my cowboy song  

Will cross o’er with me to the other side.  


Lead Vocal:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Electric Lead & Rhythm Guitar:  Rocky Gribble  
Electric Bass:  Aden Bubeck  
Drums:  Josh Rodgers  

I met Ed Nusselhof in 2009 when he served as a judge during the first National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo I entered. Through the course of that weekend, he heard me sing songs from my, as yet unrecorded, Voices From the Range album. He was impressed enough with my work of adapting Rhoda Sivell's poetry to music to give me a poem of his to put to music. The subject of the poem was masculine and after I sent Ed an mp3 of my song idea, he emailed me back saying, "I was looking for something with a bit more testosterone." I had a good laugh over that and thought to myself, "Good grief! Then why did you give it to me??" Anyway, I have tried to record my adaptation of Ed's poem with as much testosterone as possible! I asked Aarom to make it sound like something that could open a PBR event!  

DANCES WITH BULLS  Poem by Ed Nesselhuf  

                                        Adapted to music by Almeda Terry @ 2010  


Some men play a game, seek fortune and fame  

Use muscle, balance and grit  

Paired with a bull, gives flat rope a pull  

Then nods for a ride with no quit.  

The bull clears the gate, they battle for eight  

The rider is sometimes bucked down  

Now on the hunt, the bull gives a grunt  

As the cowboy is saved by a clown.  


He’s the clown with the pull, he dances with bulls  

He twists and turns them away  

From horns and hooves, making all the right moves  

The cowboy’s angel guard  

His saving angle pard  

He’s the clown who dances with bulls.  

Not tempted to run when a job needs done  

Lays life and limb on the line  

He jumps to the fray to dance a ballet  

With a head-swingin’ snot-slingin’ tail-ringin’ bellowin’ bovine.  

He stares down fear when danger is near  

To give the downed rider a chance  

Inches from death and stinkin’ bull breath  

Clown and animal dance.  

            He’s the clown.............  

It comes to an end, the bull’s back in the pen  

There will be other chances  

And the man on the ground gets another go-round  

He tips his hat to the clown who dances  


Lead Vocal:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Fiddles:  Brook Wallace Deaton  
Trombone:  Gregory Waits  
Rhythm Guitar:  Kristyn Harris  
Upright Bass:  Drew Phelps  
Drums:  Andrew Griffith  

I wrote this song in February 2018 after a particularly stressful string of life events. It was still cold and bleak outside, much like I felt within myself, and looking out the window one day, I saw my horse, Sonny, slip and slog through the half-thawed corral mud. He was a depressing winter mess of long dirty hair and I decided I needed to write something cheerful.  

MY PALOMINO PONY                                          Almeda Bradshaw © 2018  

My palomino pony is my perfect pal  

He whinnies when he sees me, he knows I’m his gal  

I whisper in his ear, we hook up in harmony  

My palomino pony and me  

My palomino pony is my faithful friend  

He never lets me down, stays with me ‘til the end  

No matter what I ask, he answers willingly  

My palomino pony and me  

Some ponies paw impatiently, some never leave the gate  

‘Cause they’ve quit before they start! Then there’s those that have no rate,  

But when you find a pony who times up just right with you,  

Then you can sing a song like this ‘cause you will have one, too!  

Not every horse is heavenly, not every cayuse cool.  

In fact, some blowin’ rollers should be sent back to school!  

And when your pony finally earns his bridle PHD  

You’ll understand my song and you can sing along with me  

My Palomino pony, I call him Sonny  

My Palomino pony and me  


Lead Vocal:  Almeda Bradshaw  
Fiddles:  Brook Wallace Deaton  
Pedal Steel Guitar:  Steve Palousek  
Arch Top Rhythm Guitar:  Kristyn Harris  
Upright Bass:  Aden Bubeck  
Drums:  Andrew Griffith                                                                                                                                                         Acoustic Guitar: Aarom Meador  

Early in my western music career, I rewrote the classic Autry/Burnette song Riding Down the Canyon to reflect my home in Montana. It's become a standard show opener in which I introduce folks to where I live and what life is like living along the Yellowstone River. Merritt's voice-over admonition to "forget those chores" comes from my IWMA Song of the Year-nominated, Heavenly Here With You.   

RIDING ALONG THE RIVER   Adapted from “Riding Down the Canyon”   Autry/Burnett  

When evening chores are over at my home on the Yellowstone  

And all I’ve got to do is lay around   (I wish!)  

I saddle up my pony and ride along the Yellowstone  

And watch Montana’s sun go down  

Riding along the river just to watch the sun go down  

It’s a picture that no artist e’re could paint, (‘cept maybe Charlie Russell)  

Those black baldy cattle, they're a lowing right along the riverside  

And I hear an eagle screaming for its mate   

The cottonwood seeds are blowing, the geese are everywhere  

And the Pryor Mountains are standing to the south  

I tell you folks it’s heaven just to ride along that Yellowstone  

And watch Montana’s sun go down