Jeannie Watt Goes to the Rodeo

One of my favorite rodeos is not a PCRA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) sanctioned rodeo, but rather our local rodeo, where we get riders from southwest Montana.

As we headed out to the rodeo, my husband had reservations… What is that, you ask? The view from inside the truck as we drove to town.

I assured him the skies would clear and sure enough they did, but not before making a nice amount of muck.

The arena hadn’t gotten sloppy, however, so it wasn’t too slick to ride in. This is the mounted drill team my mother coaches. She rode with them for over a decade, then retired from performing at the age of 76 and took over coaching.

What follows are views from behind the chutes where the competitors saddle their broncs. I do love me a yellow slicker, thus the photo of yellow slicker guy.

Each cowboy puts his own gear on the horse he’s going to ride. In general there are fewer bareback bronc riders than saddle bronc riders because it’s so hard on the body. They were vests with special neck rolls to cushion their head as it snaps back. The cowboy in the pink chaps is wearing his vest and you can see the roll on it. By the by, cowboys are not afraid of pink. Something to do with being comfortable in their masculinity, I think.

These are the saddle bronc riders getting ready to go.

The rodeo is a real family affair. If you look closely you’ll see a cowboy holding a baby, another holding his toddler and, of course, a dog. This photo was taken behind the chutes as they were prepping the bulls for the bull riding. The guy in the chaps is a bull riding contestant, who is thankfully wearing a helmet. I’m a proponent of helmets in rodeo events.

It rained during the bull riding and got my boots wet, but they didn’t soak through. I could have sat under the cover of the grandstand, but I like to sit on the open bleachers next to the chutes. You can see why…it’s worth getting wet.

All in all it was a great time at the rodeo!

Jeannie Watt
Jeannie Watt raises cattle in Montana and loves all things western. When she's not writing, Jeannie enjoys sewing, making mosaic mirrors, riding her horses and buying hay. Lots and lots of hay.

24 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing. Rodeos are such family affairs that’s for sure. I have rodeo in my blood, from Wednesday through Sat, my dad was whisking us off to which ever one he had entered as I was growing up. Then it became us kid’s rodeo’s he was hauling us too.
    I can’t think of another sport more patriotic, American, or as much fun as a rodeo. I guess everyone thinks it’s baseball, but to me rodeo outshines that popular American sport too!

    1. Avatar

      This post was so up your alley!!

    2. What a great upbringing, Tonya. You do have rodeo in your blood. I agree about rodeo being the American sport!

  2. Avatar

    I loved this blog! Thanks for sharing! I love rodeos! I consider my hometown to be the cowboy capital of the world, Stephenville, Texas. My family moved around a lot until my 8th grade year when we moved to Stephenville. I graduated from highschool there, attended college there and have lived there off and on as an adult. My parents still live there as well as some of my siblings. I’m also the daughter of a retired cattle broker, ranch and feedlot owner so I’ve always been around cowboys!

    Your mother sure did have a long career riding and it’s awesome that she still teaches her career choice to others! So cool!

    As many rodeos as I’ve attended I don’t recall ever seeing bareback bronco riding so I’m trying to figure out if I just don’t remember it or if I really have never seen it before. I have memory issues because of my MS.

    I’ve yet to read one of your books. How did that happen?

    1. Stephanie, I’m so proud of our Hometown of Stephenville Texas and all our friends and family that keep Rodeo front & center in our little community!

    2. What a great place to grow up, Stephanie. My brother lives in Austin. When I visit, I try to tour around, so next trip I’ll try to hit Stephensville. It sounds like my kind of town!

      Bareback is usually the first event of a rodeo and saddle bronc comes later in the event schedule.

  3. It looks like y’all had a good time. I am surprised to see the cowboys holding their kids in the one picture. It does show how much of a family affair the rodeo is.

    1. It’s pretty cool. When we had the lady bronc riders, one of the contestants showed up with her cowboy husband. He held the baby while she saddled the bronc.

  4. I love going to rodeos. Thanks for the great post. Congrats to your mother for all her hard work.

  5. Thanks for all the pictures to look at. Sure enjoyed your blog.

  6. I love seeing cowboys doing their thing. You are certainly right about them being secure in their masculinity, Jeannie. 🙂 What beautiful rainbows you captured in the photos of the drill teams. Gorgeous! Looks like a wonderful event. I’m glad you didn’t let the rain scare you away.

    1. Me, too, Karen. It was a great time and I love this rodeo because of the photos I get.

  7. Thanks for great post, and pics!! Gotta love a man who will wear pink!! The only rodeo I know of where I live is the Silver Spurs Rodeo; however, I’ve never attended. I really don’t like crowds and traffic!!! If someone else was doing the driving, I’d like to go!!

    1. I agree about the crowds and traffic and popular rodeos can draw a crowd. But if you can get someone to drive, it’s worth braving the crowds. 🙂

  8. I love your post and your wonderful pictures! Thank you for sharing!

    1. You’re welcome, Melanie!

  9. How wonderful to get up close to the action.

  10. How fun. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos

  11. Beautiful rainbows. We’ve been watching “Montana Rodeos” on the local tv sports channel (SWX). Except for the Columbia River Circuit Finais the rodeos have not been PRCA. It’s been fun to watch them and see some of the local competitors including the college teams.

  12. Hi, I loved reading this post and looking at the very nice photos, Thank you for sharing them. They have a rodeo here in my town where I live. I have gone to rodeos and they are pretty exciting, just something about seeing the cowboys riding the horses and the bulls, that is something to see. I’m always scared for the clowns though. It is really nice that they make it a family affair. You really have an Awesome mama, still teaching, that is Great. I enjoyed reading this blog and I enjoyed looking at all the very nice picture. God Bless you.

  13. My uncle was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Comments are closed.