Monday, July 28, 2014

They call the thing Rodeo

"It's the bulls and the blood. It's dust & mud.  . . .  And they call the thing rodeo."  You know that Garth Brooks song. "Rodeo". If not go listen to it. Up until now the thing they call rodeo was something that every year or so we would go watch at the local county fair. 

 That was until my brother-in-law talked to my husband & told him about a Jr. Rodeo Association in our area & how he thought our boys would love it & maybe we should look into it. 

And so he did.

And then we looked into it.

We have been debating for a long time what we could have our boys do, that wouldn't take a ton of time away from the family & chores.  You see I live in a small town & we have a great athletics program for kids around here. HOWEVER, even for the 5 year olds  have games twice a week & practice twice a week & some groups practice every day. I am sorry, but for me I feel like that is a little ridiculous to be taking your 5 year old to sports practice everyday in the week. It's at least too much for this family. I know others think it is great & if that is you. Good for you, but for us. That isn't what we want. Since rodeo is primarily individual sport, my boys could practice in the front yard if they wanted. That was an appeal.  

Then we asked my boys what they thought.

Then my hubby found out that only the #1 spot in each event actually got a belt buckle & 2nd & 3rd a gift certificate. There were no trophies for just participating or taking a up space in the arena. 

Then we joined. 

And so for the last few weekends over the last 2 months we have spent our Saturday watching our boys Rodeo. Now we know nothing about rodeo, but we have been trying to learn as much as we can as quickly as we can. And we have loved it.

My oldest son has been participating in Chute Dogging & Steer Riding. 
  Chute dogging is they start the boys ages 9-12 in the chute with the steer, open the gate. Once it passes a line 10 feet out there goal to to turn the steer so it down. It's quite the challenge for these boys.

                                                   Then of course there is steer riding . . .
         There is definitely a technique to staying on.We have eaten a lot of dirt this season, but we are definitely getting better. They are required to stay on the full 8 seconds.

                      My 2nd boys "the monkey" participated in Goat Tying & Calf Riding. 

       The last rodeo we went to, he finally rode the calf his entire 8 seconds & received a score. He was so proud of himself & it was so fun to watch.

When we started goat tying (this is an 0-8 year old category) We didn't even know how to tie a goat.

 By the last rodeo he had made a time. It has to be under 30 seconds in order to received a time.
                               My little dude also participated in calf riding & goat tying as well.  


   Once the goat it tied, you have to wait 6 second to make sure it holds. This little boy finally got his first time at our last rodeo. He has been working hard to finally get it!

 Then of course the calf riding. For being the youngest in this event, he always got some of the biggest calves.

He came so close so many times of lasting the whole 8 seconds, but he never quite made it there. 

                      "Red" (my new baby) was usually quite good the whole time of the rodeos & this little mischief

  Well this mischief  LOVES to watch. He loves the animals & is constantly yelling & waving his arms at them trying to "herd" them back to the corrals.
 He spends the whole rodeo just like this: leaning against the bleacher in front of him. watching intently & occasionally I can get him to peel his eyes away & smile for the camera.

Overall our rodeo experience this summer has been great. The 5 rodeos we participated in were so fun to watch & the boys made some good friends. They had some great mentors helping teach them, since their mom & dad are still learning as well. The boys favorite part was one of the older boys, a bull rider, who helped them & coached them every rodeo. I loved to watch how even though they were all competing against each other there were plenty of pat on the backs & coaching along the way.

This is the bull rider the boys have become friends with. 

I must admit. I love watching the bulls, but I know that these boys are only 13-16 on these bulls & it honestly makes my heart stop every time one of them gets on & rides, and I am not even their mother. I can only imagine what is going to happen as my boys grow up & want to hop on & ride bulls. 

Until then we will savor every moment we can with what we are doing. They are already asking about next year & what events they can do. They are counting down days until we can find some calves & practice in our own yard. So we are learning & will continue to learn & practice & watch events. And keep working at this new sport. because there is something rather addicting about this thing they call rodeo. 

1 comment:

  1. What a fun summer! Did you know Bob, my husband, was a bareback rider in the rodeo, and for a really short time after we were married, he was a rodeo clown! We love the rodeo! I think you are so smart not to participate in every sport that comes along - so dang time consuming, and the time away from home and family . . . is it really worth it?! I was talking to Jessica this morning, and we were talking about this very thing, she agrees, her kids will not participate in sports either.

    I love the pictures of your boys, they are growing up so fast! I need to come and see that cute baby of yours!

    Fun Post!