Sunday, May 1, 2011

HS Rodeo & Horse Fighting

Glimpses into a Spring Rodeo Weekend

The following will not be a nice flowing story. It’s quite possible it won’t even be complete sentences. Wild ramblings from a rodeo weekend and few of the crazy thoughts that run through my mind.

Pull your hats down tight! It’s going to be a wild ride!

Friday morning, graining calves at the rodeo grounds. Green green grass pushing up through a thin fresh coat of white snow glistening in the morning sunlight. What a wonderful way to start the day!

Sorting sticks and ski goggles: these were two of the mandatory pieces of equipment used to sort in Sand Blast, Idaho in sand drifted corrals on a windy spring day.

Helpful Tips from Regg:

  • All your bulls are nice. The Black one looks like he might but never actually offers
  • All the tags are Yelllow except for the Blue Tag and a No Tag

Bull Fighting:

A row of old Russian olive trees surrounds the grounds as a wind break. The back area is fenced off and used as pasture for the rodeo stock. The trees have grown in so thick they are almost impassable by horseback. Usually, a person on foot can or good dogs can get everything pushed out. We gather the stock but one bull breaks from the ranks.

One of the helpful tips Regg gave me on the bulls were that they are all real good. The black bull looks like he might want to “take ya but he’s never actually offered”

Well, after a few failed attempts our renegade bull is now on the fight. Hooking at a horse and now sulking in the back corner in the midst of the trees. He won’t budge and the horses can’t get in to him. I get the bright idea to step up closer and push him out to where the riders can get to him. Linc is on a horse right by me so I’m pretty courageous. I set up to push on him. He moves but comes toward me! It worked : ) ! He moved out enough the riders could apply some pressure and usher him back in. I named the black bull….Bluff : ) (Successful bull fighting…little did I know the bulls would be the least of my worries)

Horse fighting:

Pre-rodeo sorting, the easy task of sorting a hand full of broncs. The back pens are thick tall old wooden planks that tower feet above your head. Standing in one of the small pens I start to sort out horses one at a time. The first horse slips out perfectly. Standing to the side of the gate, I escort her out of the pen. Two horses standing in the corner awaiting their turn to go…or so I thought.

Crash, a collision bodies…a big buckskin and white paint gets nervous and decides he can’t wait his turn. He decides to make his way out the gate. He hits me from behind and blows over the top as he makes his escape.

It happens so quickly…the next thing I know I am face down in the dirt. I can see a contestant looking in from the outside of the pen. (I’m assuming that he saw the whole thing and was checking to see if I was ok. I’m not sure who it was and with any luck….I’ll never find out : )

I’m ok. I’m ok. Get up….two nice young men were in the back sorting with me….I think I answered an onslaught of questions from various people….but to be honest….the details are foggy. Walk it off…wondering around for a few seconds. I make my way down to end pen where my escapees had found refuge. Sorting again….this time I made certain my anxious friend was FIRST to leave the pen.

Backside of my calf :)

Thank the good Lord above the night involved a LOT of walking. I do believe that was my saving grace.

It was quite a wild night! Just as we are getting ready to crack the latch on the first bareback horse….a pickup horse braks in two! Blows and goes to bucking! Thankfully no one was hurt ….and it took some of the pressure off my performing earlier : )

Things that made me smile:

  • A nice lady walks by shivering and asks, 'Aren't you cold' I reply No, I'm pretty good" As I walk away, evaluating my wardrobe of ...a Elmer Fud winter hat, down filled coat to my knees, large Wild rag, and leather chinks....I thought to my self....Do I look cold? :)
  • Bronc gets let through the stripping chute with a halter on. The Dad was walking up to the bronc in the back pens to take the halter off. Contestant says to his Dad "That horse ran Mindy over earlier!" I did recommend running him back through the stripping chute to remove all gear :)
  • Last but certainly not least...the wreck stories :) I'm not sure I will ever know how many people saw my failed horse fighting debut....and for embarrassment purposes I'm glad I don't :)...but the comments make me laugh.This was one of my favorites "Good job with the rodeo this weekend..Joe talked about you getting ran over...several times. He was impressed with the getter done toughness!!!!!" ~Linda Piva.
  • A girl did you keep from breaking your leg?!? I honestly replied, "I think its because I'm chubby and still packing my winter fur! I think it would've broke a skinny girls leg!" ;)
  • Dads comments upon seeing my leg "Chicks dig it....if you were a guy"

What a great rodeo! I was so happy with most all of my animal athletes performances. So blessed! Also, I’m so impressed with District 1! Great contestants, parents, and volunteers! Everyone working together towards a common goal and having a great rodeo for everyone involved!

A special THANK YOU to Crystal Carpenter for running Lil' Red Roan! Thank you to Regg and ALL my family for taking such good care & watching out for me!

THANK YOU to Dave Burtenshaw family, Bret Zollinger family, Johnsons, McGarry’s, Neville’s, Wagners, Stan Dowton, Ma Baker, ….I could go on and on! Thank You to EVERYONE who made it such a great weekend!

Thank you to the good Lord above for blessing us with such nice weather and protecting over our weekend!

CONGRATULATIONS to Loni Dowton for the Lil' Red Roan ABOVE & BEYOND Award!
Voted by her peers as a student athlete that goes ABOVE & BEYOND to help her fellow contestants and is a shining example to everyone around them!

for giving me the oppurtunity to rodeo this weekend!
Learn more about Hoggan Rodeo!

THANK YOU for letting me share my Rodeo Tales with you today!
See you down the Gypsy Trail!

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