About Sandy Seaton Sallee
Montana Legacy and The Yellowstone Poet

Contacting Sandy Seaton Sallee


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  About Sandy Seaton Sallee

Sandy Seaton Sallee writes and rides from her home in Paradise Valley, Montana. Sandy grew up in Yellowstone National Park, where she rode horseback among the elk and drove four-up stagecoaches. After cowboying in New Mexico, she returned to her native Montana where she met her future husband, Scott Sallee, in a wilderness hunting camp. Sandy and Scott now own and operate Black Mountain Outfitters, a wilderness and ranch outfitting business. They also raise and train hound dogs, horses, and mules. 
Sandy’s original western writing has been featured in magazines, gatherings, and shows across America and Canada. Sandy has been inducted into the Montana Poet Hall of Fame, and is proud to share her tales of the history, animals, and people that are the heart and soul of the West.
Sandy has been an invited performer at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering a number of times since her first appearance there in 1990.




Horse Training 101

The Wolf

Code of the West



Horse Training 101

I was cruising through the want ads
Of the Mini Nickel rag
When I spied a real bargain
I ain't talkin' 'bout no nag

He's a thoroughbred and Arab
With some walkin' horse as well
Just a touch of Morgan breeding
And some Paso, too, to sell

A quarter part is quarter horse
A sixteenth Appy blood
With all those shining qualities
This horse could be my bud.

So I called the gal who owned him
This future dream of mine
He's three, he's green, he's still a stud
But he's priced one ninety-nine.

No, that's not a misprint
This steed was good as bought
For just two hundred bucks, less change
A deal was what I got.

I brought young Lucky home that day
A wee bit hard to load
We couldn't get him in the stocks
But how that fine horse towed!

It wasn't far back to my place
Just as well for him
His feet wore down right to the quick
An automatic trim.

You might think that he's no steal
You've always been a cynic
When I am through he'll be a champ!
I'll take him to a clinic.

For doubling my purchase price
We'd learn to trailer load
A couple hundred dollars more
This green horse could be rode!

A clinic then for round corrals
We circled 'til I'm dizzy
But how that horse can run that fence
He's kept me real busy.

And then I paid to cut him
'Fore I joined the cuttin' class
He's working cows in fine corrals
He'll spin and slide and pass

But still he needs arena time
For just five hundred more
A week long barrel school for us
Just leaves me wanting more—

I'll work two jobs!  I'll sell my truck
I've got to pay for schoolin'
A leading clinic, kicking clinic,
Striking, biting, that's no foolin'—

I'll train him not to run away
For just three hundred more
Penning clinic cost two fifty
But we're smarter than before.

So many kinds of roping schools!
There's calf, and ranch and team
Lucky and I took them all
We're ropin' like a dream.

We even did the "Vets on Pets"
I saved some money there!
It cost me some, but now I know
To give my horse home care.

A packin' school!  A doggin' school!
There's even one for mules
'Course they won't let ol' Lucky in
Said we'd just look like fools.

Well, finally we hit them all
We'd clinic'd with the best
And I was proud my little horse
Had stood up to the test.

'Tween clinics and the traveling
And troubles 'long the way
I figured my investment then
Was just about to pay—

A stranger asked to buy my horse!
I sold him in a flash
'Cause I DOUBLED what I'd paid for him
 I got four hundred cash.

© Sandy Seaton Sallee
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.



The Wolf

Silhouette drifts softly past my fire

Silence then the pad of hardened feet

Slipping through the dark, becoming shyer

Time of birthing pups is near complete.

Black wolf, bad wolf, wolf within my dreams

Denning by the beaver dam below

Killed a bull elk, here to stay it seems

Drifting by me like an ancient flow.

Long eared mules are stamping all around

Horses on their pickets rustle rope

Somewhere there!  I hear a startled sound

She wolf has departed at a lope.

I have dogs to guard me in the wild

Love them and they love me to a fault

Black wolf keeps them nervous and they're riled

Keep them chained in camp like it's a vault.

Mules, the Airedales, all our horses bright

Raised from babies, oh our lives entwined

She wolf is an aching chilling sight

Mother and harbinger of her kind.

Tearing at her prey, hearts still beating

Playing with the meat like it's a bone

Gorgeous wolf please be merely fleeting

Don't kill what I love and call my own.

Shadow wolf is howling like a child

My gun hand trembles...but I'm torn

My heart split by wolf and living wild

It's done...the wolf pups have been born.

© Sandy Seaton Sallee
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.



Code of the West

Ella Liddy Watson stood proud at six foot two
Sparkling eyes and willing smile for all she loved to do
But married to a farmer, Kansas neighbor man
She learned the feel of meanness, and soon she packed and ran.

She cooked across the prairies, heart yearning for the West
There's always work for bakers, and Ella topped the best.
She filed divorce in Denver, then she's Wyoming bound
She'd heard of work in Rawlins, and free homesteading ground.

Cookin' at the Rawlins House, 'til Jim Averell came through
He sparked a fire in Ella, he's a gentleman and true
Down from Sweetwater Valley, owned a farm he'd claimed up there
Ella dreamed of owning land, and all that they could share.

One homestead to a family, that's strict Wyoming code
A wife can't file a separate claim, so to Lander off they rode
To marry there in secret, their love known in their heart
They struck out for the valley, to make a brand new start.

Ella staked a homestead out on Horse Creek near her man
There she ran a store and cookhouse, up north of ol' Cheyenne
She gathered homeless children, who'd found the need to roam
She gave them food and loving, a safe and precious home.

One day in cold mid-winter, a wagon train came by
With 26 old mother cows, their calves had sucked them dry
Starved and nearly staggering, frostbit, worn and beat
A buck apiece changed hands and Ella's cowherd was complete.

She fed them and she doctored, she kept them all alive
The calves grew sleek and sassy, and the cows began to thrive
The orphaned kids had chores now, feedin', up at dawn
They nicknamed Ella Cattle Kate, and so their lives went on.

They were settlers, Jim and Ella, just playin' with a herd
But settlers should be farmers, and soon there spread the word
To cattle baron Bothwell, who owned adjoining land
This greenhorn female sodbuster had burned her cattle brand.

Now cattlemen were angry, in 1889
At farmers and homesteaders, for their cabins were a sign
That days of open rangeland, and water left for cows
Could not survive these families, with their grass-destroying plows.

Bothwell seethed resentment, it struck him to his core
A farmer woman owning cows sparked off a cattle war
He staked out skull and crossbones on Jim and Ella's land
The couple just ignored his threats, they dug in for a stand.

Bothwell rode from ranch to ranch, mid-summer made his stance
He stirred a mob to back him, and Ella had no chance
He knew she had no papers, on those poor cows she'd bought
So he told a liar's story, and spun his gruesome plot.

The ranchers all believed him, that Ella rustled beef
For Bothwell said her calves had died, and branded her a thief
Tempers flared in fury, this damn woman must be taught
Cattlemen still ran the land, and rustlers soon were caught.

Albert Bothwell led the charge to Jim and Ella's store
The pounding hooves and shouting men were one bloodthirsty roar
Ella's voice was soft yet strong, but still they made her pay
Moaning winds still mark the shame of that hot mindless day.

The ranchers yelled for hanging, their maddened horses raced
The pine was huge and twisted, the ropes were slung in haste
The sun glared though the branches on Ella's blooded bay
Jim screamed and pleaded with the men to let her ride away.

A woman in a hangman's noose was not the western way
Though Bothwell led the cowardice, no cowman thought to pray
There in Sweetwater Valley, that rolling land of fate
The legend born that never dies:
                       THE LYNCHING OF CATTLE KATE.

© Sandy Seaton Sallee
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.

[Ed. note: George F. Hufsmith's book, The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate, High Plains Press, 1993 explores the historical event, and the web has sites with excerpts from his book and other sources of information about "Cattle Kate," including the Legends of America site.]


See Sandy Seaton Sallee's

The Price of the Pearl,

 a tribute to her grandmother, in a special 2011 Mother's Day feature

Recording and Book


  Montana Legacy CD


Sandy Seaton's Montana Legacy CD includes 13 original poems, some accompanied by her vocals, including "They Call the Wind Maria," "Night Rider's Lament," and "I Ride an Old Paint." From the official description:

Listening to the moaning whip of the "Wind" or the howl of a newborn pup in "The Wolf," Sandy Seaton's Montana Legacy CD is a saga of the West. From the true story of Cattle Kate in "Code of the West," the legend of the Crazy Mountains in "Mountain Madness," or Sandy's own hilarious wilderness adventures in "Pack Trippin'," you will experience the past and the present with her heartfelt delivery. Travel through her family tree with "Grandma's Gift," or share her childhood misadventures in "Six Mule Hitch." Craig Hall backs many of Sandy's original poems and historical song with his incredible guitar picking. Montana Legacy was produced and mastered by Emmy nominated Gil Stober's Peak Recording in Bozeman, Montana. 





Horse Training 101
Mountain Madness
The Visit
Six Mule Hitch
Grandma's Gift
Pack Trippin'
Code of the West
Hangin' Out
The Wolf


Montana poet and writer Gwen Petersen reviewed Montana Legacy in her "In a Sow's Ear" column in The Fence Post. Read the entire review here at


Montana Legacy is available for $17 postpaid from:

Sandy Seaton Sallee
P.O. Box 117
Emigrant, MT 59027



  The Yellowstone Poet Book



The Yellowstone Poet contains poems and stories by Sandy Seaton, with photography from Scott Sallee, Sandy Seaton, the Doris Whithorn Collection, and the Pendleton Cowgirl Company; and illustrations by Shirley Seaton, Scott Sallee, Edward Borein, and Frederic Remington.


Horse Training 101
The Visit
Cappuccino Cowgirl
Code of the West
Ridin' with Charlie
Christmas Magic
Last Mare
Grass Ain't Free
Montana Rosie and the Three Bears
Martha Canary
Greasepaint Man
Old Shep
Full of Grace
My Mountains
Cosmopolitan Cowboy
Silvertip (the saga of Frenchy Duret)
Fencing Fools
B. J.
Lady Guide
Mountain Madness
The Yellow Dog
Pack Trippin'

The Yellowstone Poet is available for $10 postpaid from:

Sandy Seaton Sallee
P.O. Box 117
Emigrant, MT 59027




  Sandy Seaton Sallee was featured in the April, 2007 issue of Western Horseman, in an article by senior editors Jennifer Denison and Ross Hecox, "Wilderness Woman." She is quoted, "My writing comes from life experiences. What made it easy for me to fit into cowboy poetry is that my life has been full of interesting characters and stories I can write about. I intertwine history and wilderness into my poems."



Sandy Seaton Sallee's poetry can be found in anthologies, including:

cpreunionbk.jpg (25377 bytes)  Cowboy Poetry: The Reunion


  Ten Years' Gatherings; Montana Poems and Stories

"Hard Winter"
"Mountain Madness"




Contacting Sandy Seaton Sallee


Sandy Seaton Sallee
P.O. Box 117
 Emigrant, MT 59027

(406) 222-7455 phone/fax




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