Thursday, July 7, 2011

RO-DE-O RIDERS

A fine way to spend a long summer evening
 is with your neighbors and friends at a local rodeo.

The smell of hot nachos and fried bread drifts up from 
the crowd gathered under the shelter at the open-air arena.

The show usually starts with plenty of patriotic music and flags.
We get to see real cowboys of all kinds and ages—senior cowboys…

junior cowboys…


…used cowboys


…and pretty cowgirls.

One of the first events is bareback riding.  
The competing cowboy gets on a bronc or semi-wild horse 
specially bred for its bucking ability. 
The horse is held in the bucking chute until the cowboy is ready.

The idea is to stay on the horse for eight seconds hanging 
on to the handle of a special rigging cinched on the horse’s withers,

...and without touching the horse with the free hand.

Staying on is the challenge.

Getting off a runaway bronc is also a challenge. 
 The rider is assisted by a “pickup man” on a skilled pony, usually a quarter horse.

The pickup men help riders dismount and make sure animals exit the arena safely.

A similar event is the saddle bronc riding.
Here the cowboy uses a special bucking saddle 
with free swinging stirrups, but no roping horn.

The rider holds on to a braided rein attached to a halter. 
 He lifts the rein and attempts to find a rhythm with the bucking of the horse.

Sometimes the cowboy stays on for that looong eight seconds, 
and sometimes the horse wins.  This bronc looks like 
he had a great time and is laughing as he puts his rider in the dirt.

More rodeo photos next post.

9 comments:

lizziviggi said...

WOW, you got some great action shots! Those guys must be black and blue the next day. It looks like fun to watch, but it takes a special kind of person to participate!

Sarah said...

Excellent photos! I would LOVE to see that!

frayedattheedge said...

Wonderful photos ..... do they play country music as well!!

Leenie said...

frayedattheedge--Yes! They cue up banjo music and similar yeehaw tunes to play just as the gate opens to the bucking chute. An announcer keeps up a running patter with info on points earned and comments on the rides.

Debbie said...

wow....you got some great photo's!!i have never been to one!! awesome attire, very country.

i loved the cowgirl, very pretty!!!

Mama Zen said...

These are outstanding! I love rodeos.

Buttons said...

Wow these are incredible photos. It was like I was there I even felt a scream emerging. B

CeeCee said...

Great shots! The only rodeo event that I can stomach anymore is the bull riding. I've seen too many horrible wrecks at the gate in bronc riding. Death of a calf in calf roping (before the days that the calf's feet couldn't leave the ground).

Anzu said...

ヽ(*'0'*)ツ Wow!
How exciting and thrilling !! Even more surprising to me is that your camera work is fantastic !! Thank you for sharing the sunny & happy day.