Equine Superstars & Everyday Heroes – A Cowboy’s Cinderella

The entrance to Cinderella Ranch. (Photo by Janis Blackwell)

By Janis Blackwell

In this month’s column you will meet Karen Herbst, owner and operator of not only the Cinderella Ranch and Arena in Whitesboro, Texas, but also the woman behind Cinderella Horses.

Karen was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Wyoming that is over 100 years old and was homesteaded by her grandfather who emigrated from Austria. Her father expanded the ranch and ran a Hereford cow/calf operation, later changing to an Angus/Hereford cross. Karen and her siblings were the primary cowhands of the ranch, and Karen was her dad’s right hand man.
She attended college and decided that she wanted an office job. In 1981 just before graduation, her mom helped her secure a job in the oil and gas industry, which sounded better to Karen than another summer of moving cattle and stacking hay.

Her mom had been visiting with the independent oil man who oversaw their interests, and he was willing to help Karen get a job in the industry as a landman. Karen asked her mom what a landman does, to which her mom responded, “You remember that man who drove a Cadillac and wore a lot of gold jewelry and came out to look at maps all day with your dad and drink coffee?

That’s what they do.” To which Karen replied, “I can do that.”

For the last 37 years Karen has pursued that profession and became quite outstanding in it, working alternately as an independent and other times for companies. Throughout the course of her career, Karen has lived and worked in Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma and finally Dallas. Dallas had been Karen’s dream location since watching the TV show by that name during her college years and admiring the elegance represented by the characters and seeing that Dallas was a hub of oil and gas activity.

To read more pick up a copy of the May 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.

Karen Herbst (Left) and Lisa Seed (Right). (Photo by Janis Blackwell)
Cinderella Arena prepared for a luau benefit. (Photo by Janis Blackwell)