Page 1

LESSONS LEARNED ON THE RANCH Copyright Š 2017 Billie J. Tucker

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher.

Published by Zander

an imprint of BHC Press Library of Congress Control Number:


ISBN-13: 978-1-946848-17-8 ISBN-10: 1-946848-17-4 also available in Ebook

Visit the author at: &

Other Titles By

Billie J. Tucker Lessons Learned in the Tea Party Movement


Say Yes When You Want To Say No


’m a novice at shooting guns. I don’t think I’m very good at it, but I’m working on it and getting more comfortable with this new experience in my life. Guns were not a part of my life but a major life change, changed all that.

A few years ago, I was encouraged to learn how to shoot so I could defend myself after becoming single for the first time in 38 years. I was shooting at a gun range and those pictures were posted on social media. A friend noticed the pictures and called me. She asked why I decided to take up this new hobby and I told her of my recent divorce. She listened to my story and then she popped the question that would change my life: “Would you like to be in a reality show about Women and Guns in America?” My reply, “What?” My friend stated, “I’m producing a pilot for a reality show about women and guns. Each episode will focus on how or why each woman became involved with firearms. There is one woman who was raped. Another one was raised with them from a young age. Another one is a sharpshooter. I 15

Billie J. Tucker

think your story will inspire other women to not fear firearms and not fear changes in their life story at the same time.” I laughed at her invitation, because I didn’t think I was qualified or good enough to be in her pilot. But, she convinced me otherwise, and she reminded me that I had a story to tell about my broken heart and the life changes I was facing. Life changes I didn’t want to face but had to. So I said yes, when I wanted to say no. The pilot was filmed at Monster Lake Ranch in Cody, Wyoming. Cody, Wyoming is the home to real cowboys and cowgirls. It’s a sleepy town during the winter but during the summer, it is filled with tens of thousands of visitors making their way to Yellowstone National Park for vacation. You’ll find horses tied up outside restaurants, and men and women walking down Main Street with guns on their hips. As for Monster Lake Ranch, it is located about 15 minutes outside Cody, and its tagline is: “Where your spirit has no boundaries.” I loved the tagline, and I love Monster Lake Ranch. It does live up to its tagline, and I found my time there was healing and my spirit really did not have any boundaries. We filmed for two weeks on the ranch and every day we did something different and I was totally out of my comfort zone and wondering why I had said yes. My first “why did I say yes” happened at check-in. We were given an introduction to the ranch and to the show. During part of our introduction, we were told to keep our eyes open for rattlesnakes. They were out and they loved to sleep in the grasses. “Why didn’t I check into this stuff before I agreed to this,” I thought. As they escorted me to my cabin, I found myself looking down and not looking around at the beautiful mountains surrounding the ranch. I’m a Florida girl, and we have snakes in Florida but I’m not afraid of them. You 16

Lessons Learned on the Ranch

see, I understand Florida snakes because I grew up with them. But rattlesnakes—not so much. The only thing I knew about rattlesnakes was from watching western movies. And you know about rattlesnakes in western’s, don’t you? They rattle, they strike and you have to bite a bullet while your friends suck the poison out of your body and try to save your life. I was wondering—as I walked with my head down looking for snakes— why the heck I had said yes when I wanted to say no. What was I thinking? Those who had grown up with rattlesnakes convinced me that they were actually better than the ones I had back home. Why? Because at least a rattlesnake will alert you they are nearby and you can back away and give them their space. Moccasins don’t do that. After two weeks of walking all over the ranch, I never saw one or heard one. I relaxed more and more during my walks and I developed a strong appreciation for the rattlesnakes. So I learned how to live with another type of snake, and I could add that to my “got that done” on my bucket list! My second “why did I say yes” happened on day three of filming. At our daily breakfast briefing, I was told we would be filming on horseback and riding through the mountains. Horseback riding was not my thing and once again I was wondering why the heck I had said yes. Before we attempted to hop on our horse, a real cowboy (they call them wranglers on the ranch) instructed us in horsemanship. He showed us how to use the reigns to turn left, turn right, stop and move forward. He introduced us to our horses, and set us up with the one that best fit our level of expertise. I looked him in the eye and spoke out loud to him and the team, “Okay, Mr. Ed, listen to me and do what I say so we don’t get hurt.” The cowboy replied, “Billie, let him do most of the work. He’s done this before. He doesn’t want to get hurt anymore than you do. Just relax.”


Billie J. Tucker

I trusted this cowboy because he had spit in his mouth, a cool cowboy hat on his head, a gun on his hip and spurs on his boots so I listened to his advice. I relaxed and let the horse take charge of our ride. What I discovered by turning over the reins to the horse, was I could enjoy the ride of my life. As my horse did all the work, I turned my focus to the beauty of the mountain ranges and the clouds that met them in the sky. I breathed in the intoxicating aroma of crushed sagebrush made by my horse along the trail. I noticed flowers growing up from the crevices of the rocks. I noticed the sounds of horses snorting and watched in amazement as they worked together on the trail, and I started to fall in love with horses because of the humanness they showed as they guided us along. I was so glad I said “yes when I wanted to say no” because my soul was awakened to the world around me on that trail that day. My third “why did I say yes” happened the same day as my trail ride. When we returned from our trail ride, I could hear the sound of guns at the shooting range. We had not shot our guns yet because of filming other scenes but today was the day for range work too. We attended a class with gun experts who were there to help us hone on skills. Since my skills were minimal, I was extremely nervous to make a fool of myself in front of everyone. Some of these ladies looked incredibly sophisticated with their shooting abilities so I was really wondering again why I had said yes. The instructor assigned to me was a gentle man and a cowboy with a handlebar mustache. Another real cowboy was here to help me overcome my fears.


Lessons Learned on the Ranch

The instructor made sure I fully understood safety precautions and before he let me shoot, he asked me repeatedly, “You okay? You feel comfortable to take the gun now?” Knowing I had to finally say “yes,” he handed me the gun, showed me how to correctly hold it and then…he placed his strong, firm hand over mine to steady it and keep me from shaking. At that very moment, I relaxed and felt comfortable. A sense of peace came over me and I understood why. My instructor’s hand reminded me of the day my sweet Daddy taught me to dance. I had been invited to our 6th grade boy/girl dance, and he wanted to make sure I knew how to dance. He wanted me to be comfortable and not worried about what other people would think about my dancing abilities. And how did my daddy teach me to dance? He placed me on his wing tip shoes, and he danced me around the living room floor of our tiny home. He made sure I understood all the dance steps, and he kept assuring me I would not look foolish. His encouragement and lessons paid off at the dance and boy after boy asked me to dance with them. My confidence on the dance floor happened because I listened to my daddy and heeded his words of encouragement. As the instructor calmed my nerves, I felt my daddy’s presence next to me cheering me on and letting me know I would not look foolish, and he was proud of me. I aimed at the target. Then I pulled the trigger and…drum roll please… I hit it slap dab in the middle—a bull’s-eye! I was in shock. The others were applauding my great shot, and I found myself jumping up and down and dancing a jig right there in front of everyone—including my daddy who was watching from heaven! Once again, I was happy I had said yes when I wanted to say no. 19

Billie J. Tucker

The two weeks on the ranch became a life-changing experience for me. Monster Lake Ranch grabbed a hold of my soul and opened up new doors of opportunities and brought a new tribe of friends to my life. Because I said yes when I wanted to say no, I learned these valuable lessons: 1. Try and learn new things. Businesses and people succeed when they step out of their comfort zones. You can’t grow when you say no. 2. Let others take the reins. You can enjoy the ride of your life if you learn to give up control and relax. Some of us want to do all the driving and if that’s the case, you’ll miss the beauty around you. Sometimes it’s good to be the co-pilot! 3. Don’t worry what others think. So what if you can’t dance or shoot a target, at least try. You may find out you are the best dancer at the dance or you might even hit a bull’s-eye! How will you discover any of these hidden talents if you worry what others are thinking about you? And guess what, they are also wondering what you are thinking about them! Listen my friends, if your life didn’t turn out the way you thought it would, I encourage you to say yes to new experiences, new adventures, new aromas and new friends. You just might realize you are the best dancer at the dance and an expert at sharpshooting. How will you know if you don’t say yes? 20

About The Author

Billie Tucker has spent more than 30 years consulting with CEOs through development and facilitation of CEO roundtables, executive/leadership coaching, strategic planning, and board governance. She has been an expert speaker on CNN and Fox News and co-hosts a financial/political radio show, Smart Money. Her passion is to support visions and facilitate success through the lessons learned in daily encounters in our everyday lives. Billie believes life can be more fulfilling if we just stop, look and listen for messages coming from others and from the universe and the One who created it.

Visit Billie Tucker: Email Billie Tucker:

Profile for BHC Press

Lessons Learned on the Ranch by Billie J. Tucker  

Imprint: Zander Genre: Non-fiction/Motivational Release Date: 6/1/17 Book Description: When city girl Billie Tucker headed out West for a co...

Lessons Learned on the Ranch by Billie J. Tucker  

Imprint: Zander Genre: Non-fiction/Motivational Release Date: 6/1/17 Book Description: When city girl Billie Tucker headed out West for a co...

Profile for bhcpress