Thursday, May 1, 2014

Interview | Mesa Pate

I have enjoyed an “internet friendship” with Mesa over the last several years where we’ve talked horses, gear, and an occasional workout program. While I have never met her in real life, she has been someone I have admired for a long time. She is classy, hard working, and has done nothing but live in a manner that gives women in the cowboy/roughstock industry a good name. How can you NOT look up to someone like that?

Mesa Pate was born in Helena, Montana.  Her parents worked on local ranches, started outside horses and eventually bought a place of their own in the valley when she was just a baby. Her father, Curt Pate, was a technical advisor on the Horse Whisperer when she was about six years old.  That opportunity set him up to start doing clinics and demonstrations on the road.  He became part of the Purina and Priefert teams and Mesa and her brother Rial spent their childhood homeschooling from the backseat of a pickup. “Our teachers weren't just my parents, they were the people we got to meet, the places we got to see and the horses we got to ride.”

Mesa grew up watching the PBR with her family and during high school decided that it was something she wanted to be a part of as well. She didn’t rodeo her senior year and instead saved her money and bought her first set of rodeo cows. The “crippled” breeding bull that came with them ended up being a bull called Highway 12 who was in the running for PRB Bull of the Year her very first year of hauling bulls.

While attending Panola College in Carthage, Texas on a rodeo and writing scholarship, Mesa spent a lot of time with mentor and stock contractor, Terry Williams. It was there that she bought a few more bulls and Highway 12’s career really took off. Since then, she has had the opportunity to haul quite a few bulls to the PBR, something she feels very blessed to have been able to do.

Mesa is now living in Ardmore, Oklahoma and dating HD Page, who as she says, “is probably the best bull man there is.” She works for their operation, D&H Cattle, and is in the midst of starting over with her own bucking bull program, focusing on raising her bulls from the ground up. She is also is able to concentrate on her horse program and loves the fact that everything they do with the bulls is done horseback. Mesa has a mare she is planning on showing in the reined cow horse this year, along with three young prospects that she is very excited about. “Training rope horses, ranch horses and cow horses is what I want to focus on, along with raising bulls.”

You can follow Mesa here on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

What makes home home is….well, I tend to change homes pretty often! Home will always be in Montana where my family and mountains are, but for someone like me who tends to move around a lot, home is also where my animals and people close to my heart are. 

If I could achieve anything in the world it would be…to be a great hand. I would like to be known as someone who makes really great horses and bulls. I'd also like to show the same horse in reined cow horse, a couple roping events and barrels, and be able to go do a days work on him/her. My goal is to make really versatile, all around horses. 

The one piece of advice I would give to girls who are interested in the cowboy world is...oh man, I probably have way too much to say about this! First of all, everyone was a beginner at some point. Don't worry about screwing up if you are trying hard! The right people will see the effort. Second, be proud of your accomplishments, but don't give yourself too much credit just because you are a woman. Gender has nothing to do with working hard and doing a good job. And there's always someone out there better than you (man or woman), don't let envy or jealousy keep you from learning how they got there! 

My most prized possession is…my bay horse, Dakota. 

As a kid I was always…glued to my dad's hip. I remember one time he was about to go outside and I asked where he was going. As I was running to get ready to follow him he said "crazy!" Without thinking I hollered back, "hold on, let me get my boots!" I literally would, and still would, follow him anywhere. 

My favorite non-cowboy activity is…to do anything outside. Hiking, kayaking, fishing...I just never get to! I love to read and if I can ever get to a concert that's awesome. I'm a music freak. Also...Pinterest. 

I knew I was on the right track in life when…shoot, I haven't quite gotten there yet, ha! In a lot of ways I have, but I've obviously gone through quite a few changes and gone a few different routes in life. I think that's ok, I just try to make sure I know what kind of morals and character I want to have, and try to constantly work on myself, my faith, etc. I am pretty positive the rest will fall into place! 

My ideal day would include…if I could have a day where I got to brand all morning with my whole family and close friends, then bucked some calves in the afternoon and worked horses and roped that evening, I can't think of a better day! 

My favorite cocktail is…depends a little on the season. Crown and water is my go to. Gin and tonic is my summer drink. I'm a big beer fan though. The darker the better! 

If I could be friends with anyone in the world, dead or alive, it would be….that's such a good question! I would have really loved to have known Tom Dorrance, I only got to meet him a couple of times. Also, I've always wanted to have a conversation with Christoph Waltz. And Beethoven! Oh wait, you didn't say to make a list? 

My favorite beauty product is…Tarte Amazonian clay foundation! On a day-to-day basis that's usually all the makeup I wear. I love it. 

I'm working hard to be respected as a person, stock contractor and horsewoman, and to advocate our way of life…and that is what makes me a Buckaroo Barbie!


  1. You are one of a kind. Stay strong and true to yourself!

    1. Thanks for reading Anon!! Mesa is so inspiring, she truly is a light leading the way for the rest of us! :)

  2. Hangin' P RanchMay 2, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    Mesa has always been a contractor that ive always looked up to, not because of her gender but because of her originality. Great interview!