Tag: rodeo

Welcome Guest – Pam Meyers

 

The Pioneer City Rodeo – A Perfect Setting for Second Chance Love

I’ve loved everything cowboy since I was a child, and dreamed of living where I could have a horse. But, unfortunately, that wasn’t a dream my parents shared, and as I grew into adulthood, I moved on to other interests. Like many in Wisconsin, or Illinois where I live now, I used to think that all rodeos happened in the west. Just yesterday at church a woman was surprised I was interested in rodeo or that rodeos occur so close to us. There are a lot of rodeos going on in my home state of Wisconsin and all around the Midwest during the warmer months. A fact I learned about a dozen years ago when a friend invited me to a rodeo.

The Pioneer City Rodeo, where Second Chance Love is set, is a real event that happens every Labor Day weekend, which I attend every year now. Like in my story, there are rodeos on three consecutive evenings, and we attend all three. Located in the tiny village of Palestine, a southern Illinois town nestled along the Wabash River, the rodeo offers a wonderful getaway to cap off the summer. We meet a lot of the locals sitting around us in the stands and on Main Street during the street fair. Although some of the retail establishments in my story are from my imagination, many are real, including the Back Porch Smokehouse and the Wabash Coffee House, located a short distance upriver from Palestine.

When I decided to write the story, it was a natural to make my hero, Jace McGowan, a bull rider, since that’s one of my favorite events. My heroine, Sydney Knight, is a born and bred Chicagoan and can no more picture herself living on Jace’s Texas ranch than he can see himself hanging up his bull rope and living in a Chicago apartment building. This conflict leads to a lot of tension, but they both have baggage beyond that which must be overcome before they can move forward and learn how much they really do have in common. I hope you’ll read my story to find out.

Second Chance Love

Chicago lawyer Sydney Knight and Texas bull rider Jace McGowan have nothing in common but everything to lose when they are thrust together during a weekend rodeo in rural Illinois. Neither one of them would have imagined two years ago that the deep attraction they sensed during a day-long outing would resurface when Sydney’s boss assigns her to Jace’s legal case.

Sydney has been through a world of hurt since losing her dad when she was sixteen, then being dumped the morning of her wedding. She’s sworn off romance and instead devotes her time toward a partnership in her father’s law office.

Jace has found faith in God and wants out of his sponsor contract with a risqué restaurant chain that requires him to pose with scantily-clad women. He’s about to bail on the contract and pay steep penalties—something he can ill afford, given that his deceased father left the family with unpaid taxes.

Sydney is determined she’ll get Jace out of his contract and return to Chicago with her heart intact, but Jace is just as determined to help her see they are meant to be together. Can a city girl with roots deep in Chicago and a bull-riding rancher with roots deep in Texas give themselves a second-chance love?

Giveaway!

Pam will give one lucky reader a Kindle version of Second Chance Love. Leave a comment to enter.

  • What is your favorite rodeo event?

Ranch Hand Rodeo

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday!

IMG_1001 A few weeks ago, I set up my small vending booth at the 27th annual Winnemucca Ranch Hand Rodeo and enjoyed a rodeo weekend. It’s my fourteenth year of vending there and I love, love, love attending. For one thing, I get to see my neighbors, many of whom I only see a few times a year. Several of them are on ranch hand teams, so I also get to see them compete, which is a lot of fun. Also I get to seefamily kids grow up, from being babes in arms to competing in stick horse races, then sheep riding, then…well, I haven’t been there long enough to see any of the kids reach the age where they compete on an actual ranch hand team, but I’m sure it’s coming.

Ranch hand, or rancher, rodeos are competitions betwRanch Hand 1 007een teams of cowboys and cowgirls representing different ranches. The events are those that a working cowboy might encounter in the course of their day. There are a few traditional rodeo events—bronc riding, team roping and steer stopping—along with ranch events—branding (with paint), ranch doctoring, cow mugging, steer loading. The wild horse races and wild cow milking may not be everyday ranch occurrences, but they add some spice to the competition.

Ranch Hand CalcuttaThe rodeo starts off with a Calcutta, where people bid on the teams. The money goes into a pot proceeds are used as prize money, with a portion going to the person buying the winning team(s). Yes, you can buy your own cowboys.

 

Steer loading is one of my favorite events. There are times on a ranch when a steer on the range needs to be loaded into a trailer to be brought back to the ranch.

Cow mugging is along the same lines. Sometimes a steer or cow needs to be caught and cared for due to an injury or some other circumstance and is in an area where it can’t be run through a chute. It may take three or four people to take a grown cow down after it’s been roped.

This video does a great job of showing just what happens at a Ranch Rodeo.

There are sanctioned ranch hand rodeos and qualifying teams compete for a national title in early November. The Winnemucca event lasts for four days. In addition to the two-day rodeo, there are children’s events, cow dog trials and a stock horse competition, followed by a ranch horse sale.

If you ever get a chance to attend a ranch hand rodeo, I highly recommend it. It’s a great family experience.

And…my first  American Romance is out this month!

Watt The Bull Rider Meets His MatchTESTING THE LIMITS 

Rodeo star Grady Owen has a new challenge. No-nonsense Alexa Benjamin is tougher than any bull he’s ever faced…but she sure is a whole lot prettier! Not that Grady has time for much between caring for his twin nieces, rebuilding his family’s farm and training. Trouble is, the more he tangles with Lex, the more he wants to win her heart. 

Lex is drawn to Grady…in spite of herself. But ever since her bullfighter father died in the ring, she’s determined to never need anyone again. She’s afraid, and Grady is all about facing fear head-on. Taking a chance on this bull rider is unthinkable…but so is the idea of letting him walk away!

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Barbara Ankrum and the fun research into rodeo bull riders!

Hello, my name is Barbara and I’m a rodeo fan-girl.

There, I said it. Yes, I love watching cowboys take their lives in their hands aboard those lunatic pro-bulls. (Screaming into my fists, aside.) But after agreeing to write a bull-riding hero for my next book, I realized how little I actually knew about the mechanics of the sport. I needed to do some research, which is always one of my favorite parts of writing. I’ve discovered many a good turning point through research.

Hours of YouTube marathons yielded these tidbits, for example:

* Bull riders most often use man-made barrel contraptions manipulated by a huge lever to practice on and not (for the most part) real bulls because…life and limb.

* There are coach/mentors who teach/hone bull riding technique, even to the pros. One of these ended up figuring into my story and even changed my hero’s living situation.

* The bull ‘athletes’ are respected every bit as much as the riders and are specially bred to buck. One is even crowned champion at the end of the season for big money.

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* The difference between a slinger –a bull that tries to hit the rider in the head with its horns and a honker: a really ‘rank’ and difficult animal to ride.

Most intriguing was the bullrope—that woven rope/strap that goes around a bull’s chest and which the rider wraps around his gloved hand—which he must release at the end of the ride or risk getting hung up and dragged around by the arm. (The screaming into fists part.) It took a while to figure out the wrap techniques and how riders freed themselves at the end of a ride.

Traditional American bullropes, position the cowboy’s hand directly over the bull’s spine. Each time a bull bucks, the rope slides a little to the left, tightening on the cowboy’s fingers. And if the stars align badly, the cowboy is unable to release this bucking strap from his pinched fingers and he gets dangerously hung up.

Barbara Ankrum Bull rider 1Brazillian bullropes are relatively new on the scene. They appeared with the influx of Brazillian cowboys who have taken many of the top spots on the rodeo charts in the past few years. The bullrope they use is slightly different from the American one.

Their grip handle starts off center, to the right of the bull’s spine, and releases to the right, the opposite direction of the American rope, which takes the pressure off the cowboy’s hand and allows him to easily free himself, preventing hang-ups. Some U.S. rodeos have banned them, claiming they’re an unfair advantage for the Brazillians and U.S. riders who have embraced them, but the jury’s still out on whether it’s simply a smarter design or an advantage. With the high stakes money in the PBR, it’s understandable that some sour grapes linger over these ropes. But I decided to use one in my story, because it felt like a smarter choice for Finn Scott, who had two little children waiting at home for him, along with a temporary wife with commitment issues.

Barbara Ankrum bull rider hung upI loved every minute of writing CHOOSE ME, COWBOY (Part of the Montana Born Rodeo series) And for those who read last year’s, A FAIR TO REMEMBER, this book follows the second of the Canaday sisters, Kate.

I have a $10 Amazon gift card for one lucky commenter here. Just tell me your favorite rodeo event!

Barbara Ankrum is the bestselling author of fourteen books, including her latest contemporary romance, CHOOSE ME, COWBOY, from Tule Publishing. Her bestselling western historical series, ‘Wild Western Hearts’ and ‘Wild Western Rogues” are available on all e-book platforms. She’s been twice nominated for RWA’s prestigious RITA Award.

Women in Rodeo by Barbara White Daille

Ride ‘em, Cowgirl

Thanks to Petticoats & Pistols for the opportunity to drop in for a visit!the texan's little secret

Carly Baron, the heroine of my August romance release, has upheld her family’s time-honored tradition of rodeo by competing as a barrel racer.

Writing Carly’s story made me curious about the origins of women in rodeo.

The first professional organization was formed in San Angelo, Texas in 1948 by a group of women who established the Girl’s Rodeo Association. In 1981, the organization was renamed the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. According to its website, the WPRA is “the oldest women’s sports association in the country and the only one governed entirely by women.”

The organization originally stemmed from the efforts of thirty-eight cowgirls who came together to create a fair and competitive environment for women in rodeo. Their number nearly doubled to the seventy-four members who established the organization that is now more than twenty-five hundred strong, with members in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

In the sport of barrel racing, three barrels are set up in an arena, and a cowgirl and her horse perform as a team to complete a circuit around the barrels. They’re working against the clock—a stopwatch measuring their time down to a hundredth of a second. Their goal is to complete a cloverleaf circuit in the shortest time possible…without knocking over a barrel, which would result in a penalty.

Barrel racing is a test of speed and control and is a testament to the cowgirl’s dedication to her sport. That dedication can be handsomely rewarded as, in annual competitions across the country, barrel racers vie for millions of dollars in payouts.

During her story, Carly faces conflict with the bull-riding-champion hero, her first love, as well as within herself. She mistakenly ties her growing restlessness to her feelings about her family’s tradition.

Once, she had thought she would never get enough of barrel racing, of the thrill of commanding her mount, honing her skill, adding rate. But since she’d left the ranch, with each year that had gone by, her interest and enthusiasm had waned by ever-increasing degrees. Though her eyes stayed on the prize, the motivating spark was gone.

And she needed a spark. A lure. A challenge. She needed something to make her feel whole again.

Like her dad, she needed a reason to get up in the morning.

There is a history of women bull riders, too, beginning in the late 18th century.

Rancher at RiskCarly’s need for a challenge leads her to try bull riding. Here’s a look at her first attempt.

A hunk of metal had nothing on a real live, stinkin’, snortin’, stompin’ bull.

Heart in her throat, Carly fought to keep her butt on the bull she intended to ride. The animal her brothers used for riding practice wasn’t having any of that idea. Her hundred-twenty-plus-pounds in jeans and sturdy boots were no match for twelve hundred pounds of playful bull.

Twister flicked his heavy haunches and tossed her as easily as Anna tossed greens for a salad. Carly landed in the dust of the arena, splat like a thrown tomato. Again.

After today’s short session with Twister, every muscle in her body seemed stretched like a worn-out rubber band. Worse, every bone felt like it had been worked over with an off-duty branding iron.

I’ll be honest. That scene was not written from personal experience, and you’ll never find me on the back of a bull! But I tip my Stetson to any cowgirl—or cowboy—willing to go the distance in the sport of rodeo,

Barbara hopes you’ve enjoyed this brief look at Carly Baron’s story. She is offering both a giveaway of an autographed print copy of The Texan’s Little Secret and a second giveaway of her previous title, Rancher at Risk. Two winners’ names will be drawn from comments left here at the blog (US & Canada addresses, please).

The Texan’s Little Secret can be purchased from the following sources (Just click on the name for the link!):

AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-Million HarlequinPowell’s BooksThe Book DepositoryIndieBound

Barbara White DailleBarbara White Daille

Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara writes romances—usually with cowboys, kids, and a touch of humor. Her previous title is Rancher at Risk, and she’s excited to share that her current title, The Texan’s Little Secret, has just been released.

She would love to have you drop by her website: www.barbarawhitedaille.com
and to see you on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BarbaraWhiteDaille
and Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbaraWDaille

Donna Alward: Wild Cow Milking


Years ago, when I attended my first rodeo, I had a great laugh at the Wild Cow Milking event. These days when I write rodeo scenes, it’s usually the bull riders or saddle broncs that get my attention. But when I was writing LITTLE COWGIRL ON HIS DOORSTEP, I was faced with a unique challenge.

My hero is a dairy farmer.

In the middle of ranch country.

Callum Shepard bought the place from a retiring farmer. Dairy is what he knows. He spent lots of time working on his uncle’s farm on lower mainland BC.  When he’s looking for his own little slice of heaven, this small dairy operation is just the thing. But Callum’s also a bit of a loner, and doesn’t make friends easily.  The only people he seems to trust when Avery comes on the scene are the Diamond brothers who run a local ranch.

Throughout the book Callum mellows out and comes out of his shell bit by bit. And since it’s summer, there’s the annual rodeo to think about. Is he going to go? Sam and Ty Diamond seem to think it’s time he become a part of the community, so they drag him into a fun event: Wild Cow Milking. Right up Callum’s alley. Sort of. Because Wild Cow Milking isn’t like putting a Holstein in a milking parlor. It looks more like this (only more often a 4 man team and not 2):

Well, you’ll have to read  to find out if they win or not, but I will tell you that Callum is a great sport, and even receives a proper

cowboy hat at the end from rodeo royalty.

What’s your favorite rodeo event? Answer in the comments and we’ll draw for a copy of LITTLE COWGIRL ON HIS DOORSTEP!

And please visit me at my website at www.donnaalward.com! You can find out more about my new releases…and the Cadence Creek series. Next up at the creek is A COWBOY TO COME HOME TO… coming in July.

THE RODEO–by Celia Yeary


Even though I am a Native Texan, I”ve never attended a rodeo. Growing up in the western part of the state, I saw that many small towns had a rodeo arena. Those never looked appealing, because they were small, dusty, and open with wooden bleacher seats.

We live near San Antonio, and we follow the NBA basketball team, the San Antonio Spurs. During February, the team travels, playing all games on the road because the rodeo takes the convention halls and the arenas for two weeks. The Spurs call their away games the “Rodeo Road Show.”

During the weeks of the rodeo events, there are many family oriented events. This rodeo is a very big event in San Antonio. A few of the events are: Animal Adventures, Dairy Center, Horse Discovery, Little Buckaroo Farm, Food Sampling, Carnival, Cowboy Church, Petting Zoo, Wine Garden, Songwriters Front Porch, Commercial Exhibits, Bar-B-Que Cook Off, Boots and Shoots, Rodeo Ball…I cannot name all of the events. This list comprises about one-fifth of them. In addition, the convention center hosts concerts with big name country western stars.

The 1800s was a landmark period for the rodeo; the era of the American cowboy began. In the early 1820s the first Anglo-American settlers moved into Texas. As these settlers moved from East Texas to Central Texas to West Texas and other settlers moved to these areas from South Texas, a blending of the Anglo and Spanish-Mexican cultures occurred. With the Spanish-Mexican knowledge of riding, roping, herding, and branding available, events occurred that culminated in the Southwest cattle industry.

However, with the fencing of the open range in the late 1880s, the cattle industry changed to a more confining job for the range cowboy. When communities sprang up, social occasions, especially

Fourth of July celebrations, gave cowboys a chance to challenge the bronc riding and roping skills of cowboys from other ranches. Soon, local contests became annual events. By the 1890s, the rodeo had become a spectator event in the West, and an annual event in many places.

Many rodeo events were based on the tasks required by cattle ranching. The working cowboy developed skills to fit the needs of the terrain and climate of the American west, and there were many regional variations. The skills required to manage cattle and horses date back to the Spanish traditions of the vaquero.


Rodeo Man is a novella about a Dallas woman, Marla Ellington, who inherits an abandoned town in West Texas. She must live there one week to claim her inheritance. However, when she arrives, a cowboy sits on the porch of the dilapidated, abandoned honky-tonk, whittling and whistling to the tune of “Mamas, don”t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.”

Marla works in downtown Dallas in a bank. She knows nothing about cowboys or the rodeo. But this man on the porch–Cody Matheson–suddenly changes her life for he is a professional bull rider–among other things.

To learn more about the rodeo and a contestant, I watched numerous uTube videos complete with an announcer calling the ride. I decided to make Cody a bull rider instead of a bronc rider. Why a bull rider? I have no idea, except they looked very nice in their rodeo gear!

BLURB for Rodeo Man
Celia Yeary

Marla Ellington inherits an abandoned town on ranchland near Arrowhead, Texas. When she arrives to claim her property, and finds Cody Matheson sitting on the porch of the dilapidated honky-tonk, her temper flares hotter than her pistol. Anger blazing, she settles in for a showdown.

Cody’s only goal for the week is to

win the bull-riding event at the Saturday night rodeo. But when Marla receives an anonymous threat that forces her to leave town, Cody finds himself smack-dab in the middle of a mystery. ’Course, catching a criminal and lasting eight seconds on a bull are easy compared to winning the love of the feisty, strawberry-blonde beauty who wants nothing to do with him. Now it”s his turn for a showdown.

EXCERPT:

Cody turned to her, shaking his head. “Not a good spot for your bedroll. Not good at all.”

“Why not?”

“I saw mice droppings over here when I arrived.”

“Mice?” she squeaked.

“Yeah, I guess they come out over here.”

“Noooo,” she said with her hands on her cheeks. “Is that the truth?”

“Seems likely to me. That’s why I sleep back over there.” He motioned with his head.

“Then, where am I going to sleep?”

Cody looked behind her, and said, “Whoa! One just popped his little head out that hole.”

Goosebumps popped up on Marla’s arms and down her back. In one motion, she squealed, “Eeek!” sounding just like one of the mice again, turned, and slammed into Cody. He stood his ground while she literally climbed up his body, grasping his shirt, wrapping her legs around his hips, and moving on up to clasp her arms around his neck.

After only a few moments, she noticed that he hadn’t moved, except to lock his arms around her bottom and boost her a little higher. Leaning back, she looked into his face. He grinned like a Cheshire cat, or the one that got the cream, not unlike the roguish grin she’d seen earlier.

The man was dangerous.

“I’ll get down now,” she said, pursing her lips and looking away.

“Well…you’re gonna have to let go of my neck.”

When she did, he kept her escape in check by allowing her to slide down his body, unhurried, holding her close. When she stood toe-to-toe with him, she make the biggest mistake of her life. She looked up into his eyes.

“You sure are a little thing,” he whispered.

“I’m petite.”

“You’re short and compact,” he said low and sexy.

“I’m…will you stop it?”

“Haven’t done anything, yet.”

She raised one eyebrow in challenge. “Well?”

RODEO MAN-A Contemporary Western found at Amazon and B&N in ebook.

http://www.amazon.com/Rodeo-Man-ebook/dp/B00B14S4X4/ref=sr_1_21?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358284697&sr=1-21&keywords=celia yeary

Note: I will give away an ebook copy of Rodeo Man, gifted through Amazon or B&N–or the pdf. Also, Rodeo Man is available for 99cents until February 11, when it reverts to $1.99. Please leave a comment to be entered for the drawing. Thank you!

Celia Yeary-Romance…and a little bit “o Texas

My Blog
My Website
My Facebook Page

Resources:
The Handbook of Texas On-Line
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia
Rodeo Man-rereleased with Publishing By Rebecca J. Vickery

Jodi Thomas: A Certain Kind of Man

 

A certain kind of man —

Throughout history there has been that certain kind of man—the hero?  The daredevil?  The fool who risks death?  — Who rushes in when other men would have hesitated.

In my writing I often create heroes who fight for what is right, who win battles, who save the day, but there is another kind of man born for adventure. In flight, we call them the barnstormers.  In the Army, they might be the Special Forces who go in when the odds are against them.  And in rodeo, they are the bull riders.

I once did research on pre-WWI pilots. I found that some were gamblers playing with death but most loved the thrill of skating on the razor’s edge. (The book was CHERISH THE DREAM)  These kinds of men are like mountain climbers and people who do extreme sports.

For the past few months I’ve been doing research on bull riders. Just by accident one afternoon I was talking to a man in his early forties who was a fireman. We were both waiting for a play to start. I mentioned that I was writing about rodeo bull riders. He tugged up his sleeve and showed me a long ugly scar running up his arm.

“That’s just one,” he said. “There are others.”

The character in my latest book is named Noah. I watched this fireman sitting beside me and in my mind my Noah came alive before my eyes. All at once this man became an older version of Noah. The fireman might be older and wiser than my young man, but the love for the rodeo was still there.

I watched him move to the edge of his chair as he talked, widening his long legs as if getting ready for the gate to open.

“I started college,” he said. “Into my sophomore year I got to going with a friend to rodeos. At first we rode to pick up a little extra money and for the thrill. Then we got our cards and took it seriously. School became less and less important as I began to ride every weekend. It was almost like a drug. We lived for the ride.”

He laughed and said, “It’s been almost twenty years but I can feel the adrenaline running through my body just thinking about the ride. If I thought I could still ride, I’d be in line to draw a bull right now.”

I kept talking to him because I was no longer in Lubbock waiting for a play; I was talking to my Noah from Harmony, Texas.

Only my Noah is 21 and he’s been hurt for the third time, and this time he’s afraid to climb back on and ride. His dad was a national champion. The whole town thinks he’s a hero living the life they’d all love to live.

Once in a while reality and fiction mix for me and I love it. 

Noah was called Preacher in WELCOME TO HARMONY because when he rode in high school rodeos he got religion. In SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY coming out on Nov. 2, 2010, he’s started riding pro. In my third Harmony book, he’s hurt.

Come along with me and Noah and Reagan’s journey. I promise you’ll fall in love with them and the town of Harmony, Texas.

 

 

 Contest:  In my story Noah rides once using a Suicide wrap.  Leave a comment and tell me your stories of attending or being in a rodeo. If you include the definition of this kind of wrap, you’ll be in the drawing for a copy of SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY.  We’ll draw a winner on Sunday.

And let me know how you like the video.

MANY BLESSINGS,

JODI THOMAS

*************
Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 31 novels and 8 short story collections. As of July 2006, she was the 11th woman to be inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame. She is also currently serving as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
 You can visit her at www.JodiThomas.com.

Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy?

Rodeo Cowboy

Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy?

 Chris Amundson, the editor of Nebraska Life, spoke at a Nebraska Press Women’s conference I attended and I loved listening to Chris talk about the great things to be found in Nebraska.

However it was a little distracting to have this picture blown up into a poster right behind his back. It was the cover for an article they did on small town rodeo.

Here’s a link to a lot more great rodeo pictures.

http://www.nebraskalife.com/SmallTownRodeos1.asp

It hits close for me because we have a rodeo in the next town down the road called the Hoot Gibson Memorial Rodeo in Tekamah, Nebraska. And we’ve got neighbors who are big time into rodeo, entering and competing when the rodeo is in the area, although they don’t follow the circuit.

So today I’m including a little history, a quick look at events and some great, great pictures all about rodeo.Chris Ledoux

 Fun Fact: Rodeo is the official state sport of Wyoming and Texas, and the iconic silhouette image of a Bucking Horse and Rider is a federal and state registered trademark of the State of Wyoming.

 Rodeo Quote: I can remember sittin’ in a cafe when I first started in rodeo, and waitin’ until somebody got done so I could finish what they left.
Chris LeDoux(1948-2005) Real  life cowboy and Country western singer of Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy among many great hits.

Barrel Racing

 

 

 

Main Rodeo Events

Barrel Racing

Barrel racing is an exclusively women’s sport. In a barrel race, horse and rider gallop around a cloverleaf pattern of barrels, making agile turns without knocking the barrels over. Look at that picture on the left. Really notice how low the horse is, almost on it’s side.

Bulldogging

A calf is roped around the neck by a lariat, the horse stops and sets back on the rope while the cowboy dismounts, runs to the calf, throws it to the ground and ties three feet together. (If the horse throws the calf, the cowboy must lose time waiting for the calf to get back to its feet so that the cowboy can do the work. The job of the horse is to hold the calf steady on the rope) This activity is still practiced on modern working ranches for branding, medical treatment, and so on.

 In spite of popular myth, most modern “broncs” are not in fact wild horses, but are more commonly spoiled riding Bronc Ridinghorses or horses bred specifically as bucking stock. Rough stock events also use well-trained riding horses ridden by “pick up men” (or women), of whom there are usually at least two, tasked with assisting fallen riders and helping successful riders get safely off the bucking animal.

Bronc riding

There are two divisions in rodeo, bareback bronc riding, where the rider is only allowed to hang onto a bucking horse with a type of surcingle called a “rigging,” and saddle bronc riding, where the rider is allowed a specialized western saddle without a horn (for safety) and may hang onto a heavy lead rope, called a bronc rein, which is attached to a halter on the horse.

Bull riding Rodeo Bullriding

An event where the cowboys ride full-grown bulls instead of horses. Although skills and equipment similar to those needed for bareback bronc riding are required, the event differs considerably from horse riding competition due to the danger involved. Because bulls are unpredictable and may attack a fallen rider, Rodeo clowns, now known as Bullfighters, work during bull riding competition to help prevent injury to competitors. 

VaquerosSome interesting rodeo facts: Rodeo stresses its western folk hero image and its being a genuinely American creation. But in fact it grew out of the practices of Spanish ranchers and their Mexican ranch hands (vaqueros), a mixture of cattle wrangling and bull fighting that dates back to the sixteenth-century conquistadors. But you know…what does American mean if not a melting pot from all over the world? Bill Pickett

 There would probably be no steer wrestling at all in American rodeo were it not for a black cowboy from Texas named Bill Pickettwho devised his own unique method of bulldogging steers. He jumped from his horse to a steer’s back, bit its upper lip, and threw it to the ground by grabbing its horns. He performed at local central Texas fairs and rodeos and was discovered by an agent, who signed him on a tour of the West with his brothers. He received sensational national publicity with his bulldogging exhibition at the 1904 Cheyenne Frontier Days. This brought him a contract with the famous 101 Ranch in Oklahoma and its traveling Wild West exhibitions, where he spent many years performing in the United States and abroad. I’ve seen bull riding competitions and it’s a mean sport. I don’t care for it. But the crowd goes wild.

 I remember a few years ago some company was selling ‘Great Rodeo Moments’ on TV and they’d run these awful clips, over and over, of riders getting gored by a bull or trampled by a horse. I went and looked at YouTube but honestly the clips there are pretty hard to watch. So I’m not sending you there. Go at your own risk.

Some Great Rodeo Movies—it seems like they always have them riding the bulls.

8 Seconds-starring Luke Perry

Electric Horseman – starring Robert Redford

Pure Country – Starring George StraitPetticoat Ranch

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys – Starring Scott Glenn.

 If you want to see some more really cool rodeo photos by Erik Stenbakken who took the picture at the top of this that I’m calling Mud Soaked Cowboy go here: http://www.stenbakken.com/ Click on Portfolios and then Rodeos. Very talented guy.

Any rodeo fans here today?

Seriously, have you ever been to the rodeo?

Have you got a favorite rodeo movie or rodeo cowboy I didn’t mention? What’s a cowboy got in him that makes him climb on that bull? There are cowgirls out there, too, and they’re pretty tough. Let’s hear rodeo memories, opinions or just tell me Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy……

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