Monday, April 23, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

We went to our first rodeo a year ago, and since that time have been counting down until the same rodeo (the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southern Regional) returned to town.

This year we enjoyed ourselves even more than we did last year. Now a year older, the kids were able to stay up later, so while last year we only made it through about half of the events, this year we saw eight of nine. The kids were also considerably more interested in what was actually going on at the rodeo; Hallie was a big fan of the animals, and Will enjoyed the speed and competitiveness of the night.
Hallie neglected to nap on rodeo day, so she snuck
in a quick cat nap in the car on the way there.
Half of the excitement of events like the rodeo is
having hotdogs and lemonade for dinner.  Both
kids eat their hotdogs in really weird ways - I think
Hallie looks like she's playing a recorder.
The rodeo is a proudly patriotic place.
Saddle Bronc.  I still can't figure out how these riders stay on their
horses for eight seconds, and then after those eight seconds climb
off of their still-bucking horses onto another moving horse.  I also
can't figure out how these riders survive when they're
thrown from their horses.  
I provided a play-by-play of Tie Down in last year's rodeo post, but since my pictures from this year's rodeo are better I thought I'd share the details again.  I sound like a cheesy teenager when I say this, but Tie Down is really just so cool.
Tie Down.  This fast-paced event requires incredible teamwork
between horse and rider; you can actually see this horse
stopping on a dime as his rider's loop reaches the calf.
As the horse stops the rider dismounts and runs down the rope.
And when the rider reaches the calf he "throws" the calf and
ties any three of the calf's legs with a "piggin' string."
Saddle Bronc.  Will loved this event, especially
when the riders were bucked from their horses.
When the riders were bucked from their horses
I hoped their mothers weren't watching.  Shivers.  
This steer refused to get up after his round of Steer Wrestling
and therefore provided me with a perfect way to bring up
and discuss bad sportsmanship with Will.
A couple of minutes later the cowboys were
still pulling on this stubborn buddy's tail.
This was the first time we'd ever seen Goat Tying; it was a little like Tie Down, except for the fact that Goat Tying is a women's event and the rider doesn't have to first rope the goat before tying him/her up.  Does the way this goat is leashed remind anyone else of how the Jurassic Park dinosaur handlers fed goats to the raptors?  Creepy... 

Don't worry, little buddy.  This won't hurt a bit.
(I don't think being tied hurts, but they sure do seem
scared while horse and rider are barreling down on them.)
Goat tying involves pretty impressive dismounting from the
horse.  I'm not sure you could pay me enough to ride a horse
running that fast though, and I'm definitely sure you couldn't
pay me enough to dismount a horse WHILE it was
running that fast.
This was also the first time we'd ever seen Team Roping, and boy, were we impressed.  

Both riders take off after the steer, and the header (the first rider)
ropes the steer's horns, wraps the loose end of his rope around
the saddle horn, and then turns the steer away from his/her partner.
The heeler (the second rider) then ropes the steer's hind legs .  
Can you imagine how difficult it must be to
rope both hind legs of a running steer?!
The Zamboni of the South.
Barrel Racing.  Another new event for us, and one we really
enjoyed, but we weren't able to see the event through until the end as the kids were starting to melt down.  
Once again, the rodeo delivered.  My hope is that next year, when the kids are another year older, we'll be able to make it through the entire evening and actually see the final event - Bull Riding.

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