My First Trip to the Rodeo

September 3, 2012

It is hard to write with the distraction of our horses, who are now racing through their field.  We don’t know what has set them off, as they usually spend their day as dedicated lawn mowers.  At this minute however, their tails are flying and their hoofs are pounding  They are so beautiful when they run.  Perhaps they heard the rodeo was in town.

I did love our first trip to the rodeo.  We were so close to the action that as the posses thundered in bits of flying dirt came sailing into the seats in front of us.  The hoof beats were loud and the riding fast and very impressive.

Obviously, the rodeo comes mostly from the age-old skills needed to run ranches.  Cattle roping, quick riding, calf tying, and the ability to stay on a bucking horse, all by riders who impressively look like one with their horse.  The rodeo also seemed to show some age-old truth about the differences in men and women.  All the men’s events called for the rider to leap off, fall off, jump off, get bucked off or get pulled off to safety.  I did notice that there were two rodeo events for women with barrel racing and calf roping, the only two events where the riders actually stayed on their mount.

An elder gentle man once told me an age-old truth.  He said:

1 boy = 1 brain

2 boys = 1 brain

3 boys = 1/2 brain

I’m not sure how many boys it took to decide to try bull riding, but I’m guessing it was at least a few.  It takes a lot of men to assist with the bull riders and they all need the ability to be brave, run and climb fences quickly.  The bull riding itself is an amazing act.  Of course the fact that they don’t just get killed is part of the amazement.  I am also impressed that after being tossed around like a rag doll, that they can even get up and walk.  I felt like I had whip-lash just watching them.

One of the more humorous county events was Wild Cow Milking.  Again, I’m pretty sure thought up by a whole group of boys, as the cows are very wild, do not want to be caught let alone milked and the kicker…. you’ve got to talk a buddy into helping you do it.  There were two entries for the event.  The wild cow is set loose and the rider ropes it.  Let me tell you a wild cow is not only one big animal, but it is not too happy about being in a rodeo.  Once roped the second man runs out to try to hang onto the cow, so the roping man can milk it.  The cow is thrashing the guys are hanging on to it as it drags them about.  The bell rings and then they try to convince the judge that the mark in their bottle really is a drop of milk.  No one won this event as no one actually came up with any milk, but it was entertaining.

For me, the best part was the Pick Up men.  Unlike ‘pick up artists’, these men are not only helpful, but amazingly athletic.  They are the two riders in the arena to assist with the bull riders and the bucking horse riders.  They ride different horses for each event, one for strength and one for speed.  Watching them race up alongside the bucking horses, as they are thundering around the arena, stay with them and then pull the riders off to safety was awe-inspiring every time.

All the horses seemed beautiful to me, exceedingly well-trained which one knows doesn’t happen by accident, but takes hours and hours of hard, consistent work.  The riders calm, confident and capable (with great cowboy hats), yep, I did love the rodeo.

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