Thursday, June 19, 2014

Interview | Julie Dunlap

I first met Julie Dunlap at a branding several years ago, and I don’t know what was more fun to watch…her roping, or her roping with her husband and best friend, Jim Dunlap. Julie has been a huge role model and an encouragement to me ever since. When I was still very sick with Lyme disease and desperately wanting to braid but physically unable…she and Jim skinned an old cow in the cold rain of winter and delivered it to me with the hopes that I could use it someday. Her kindness, work ethic, and drive to always better herself continuously inspires me.

Julie was raised on a remote ranch east of San Jose, CA and met Jim Dunlap in college at 19 years old. ” I went to a one-room school that went from 1st-12th grade. I met my husband Jim when we were 19 years old at college. We will have been married 28 years in August and we have 3 kids. Being a mother has made me a better person in every way and is the best thing I have ever done. Family and church are the most important things to me. I don’t really have any hobbies, I just like to work. I like making a good horse from the ground up. I love every phase of the process. My husband is my biggest supporter. He has always encouraged me and believed I could accomplish anything.”

What makes home home is…Because we move twice a year, I have learned that home is where ever we are together as a family.

If I could achieve anything in the world it would be…there is so much I would like to achieve. I would really like to get into a horses mind and be able to understand them better. Also I am always trying to be a better person, which is a real struggle. Some days it’s one step forward and two steps back.

The one piece of advice I would give to girls who are interested in the cowboy world is …don’t sell yourself short because you are a girl. You are capable of more than you think you are. Push yourself beyond what you think you can do but don’t try to be one of the guys.

My most prized possession is…I have two things that I hold very dear. A saddle my husband Jim surprised me with for Christmas many years ago. The other is a bridle set up made completely by my husband from the spade bit to the California style rawhide reins. Is it wrong to include my husband Jim as one of my most prized possessions?

As a kid I was always…with my Dad. Whatever he was doing I wanted to be doing it too, working cows, greasing tractors, fixing fence, cutting firewood. He always told people his girls were cowboys NOT cowgirls.

My favorite non-cowboy activity is…I love watching my kids play sports! We are down to one at home now and she plays volleyball, basketball and softball. I try to make all her games and hate when I have to miss one.

I knew I was on the right track in life when…I met my husband Jim. I didn’t know where life would take us but I knew I needed to be with him.

My ideal day would include…Branding calves with all the kids. We have so much fun when we are together.

If I could be friends with anyone in the world, dead or alive, it would be….I know this sounds corny, but I would like to be friends with Jesus Christ. As the creator, He would have all the answers to all my questions about the mysteries of life.

My favorite beauty product is…moisturizer with sunblock. A must!

Honestly I didn’t know I was!! I think it is that I have been able to make my way in a man’s world while not losing sight of the fact that I am a woman first…is what makes me a Buckaroo Barbie!


  1. I am happy to know Julie Gilligan Dunlap and privileged to call her friend. Your interview showcases her true beauty.

    1. That means the world coming from someone who knows her, thank you so much Cheryl for reading! She's an amazing lady and someone I truly look up to! :)

  2. Great feature!!! She sounds like an amazing lady and role model!

  3. Great feature!!! She sounds like an amazing lady and role model!

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth! She really is remarkably like wonder woman :)

  4. Replies
    1. I'm so glad, I've been aching to share Julie with the rest of the Buckaroo Barbie world, she is such an amazing woman! Thanks for reading it Jenn! :)

  5. Great interview! She sounds like a wonderful woman and a great example of how to build a successful life that includes marriage, family and work you love. Wishing her continuing success and happiness.