Sweet Estes

Sweet Estes ('48)I was a student at North Texas from 1972 to 1974. While there, I took horseback riding for a P.E. class — much to my delight — taught by Sweet Estes (’48).

I was able to do some volunteer work around the stables on Bonnie Brae and got to know Sweet well. She had a ranch near Sanger where some of us would go on weekends to work as volunteer wranglers and take groups out for trail rides — Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church groups. We would get up before dawn to round the horses up, feed them and get them saddled and ready. Many of us also worked at the stables running the rental operation on the weekends, again volunteering for something we loved. We knew all the horses by name and knew their personalities, too. 

All of my close friends from UNT were “stable buddies” and are still my friends to this day. I believe Sweet has since passed on, but I’m sure she’s not forgotten.

Karen Wooldridge Mulliniks Derouen (’74)


Last year, on the 20th anniversary of Sweet Estes’ death, a handful of her former students teamed together and successfully applied for her nomination into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth. Now, a second campaign is being launched to ensure that she will be one of the four or five women chosen to be honored from the pool of several hundred nominees considered each year.

The NCHF accepts additions to the application packets year-round, bundles the information each January to be reviewed by committee members and chooses the honorees each July to be acknowledged at a gala in October. 

If your life was touched by Sweet Estes, or you have a fond memory you would like to share, please send it in an e-mail to sweet.estes@yahoo.com. These letters of support will be bundled and hand delivered to the NCHF.

David Fogle
Valley View



I bought my first and only horse. "Bo" from Sweet. This was back in the early '50's. I took riding lessons at her stables. We left Denton in '56 and moved to Dallas. I sold Bo back to Sweet. Those were the best years of my childhood. In '64 I attended NTSU and took horseback ridding as a PE class. Bo was still there.

Comment #1 posted by Lyn (not verified) 1 year 3 weeks ago.

I came to North Texas in 1974. I was thrilled to find horseback riding among the P.E. courses offered. For 3 years I was at the stables on Bonnie Brae every day. I took classes two semesters and had the opportunity to teach after that. I worked harder at that non-paid job than I ever have since, but I did it for love, not money. The stable ring was my first classroom as a teacher. Sweet provided a place of personal acceptance, high teaching and behavior standards, and respect for students as well as instructors, She was my mentor as well as my friend. Due in large part to her influence, I have continued teaching. I'm now a professional counselor, an LPC Supervisor, and a teacher of Master's-level counselors. Lessons I learned on horseback and in a riding ring are still being passed on today. Sweet Estes continues to influence people through the lives she touched through her teaching, her respect, her work ethic, and her horses.

Comment #2 posted by Shirley Moxley (not verified) 6 years 50 weeks ago.

Sweet created a community. The stables, her classroom - they were just the backdrops.

I met Sweet in the late 1970s when I enrolled for a horseback riding class. Then I took her Winter Backpacking course. Both classes, and the friendships that evolved from them, are among my favorite memories of college.

Comment #3 posted by Marc Lerro (not verified) 7 years 8 weeks ago.

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