13 July 2014

Rodeo time


It isn't hard to imagine what's going on inside a little girl's head as she circles a ring on a patient old pony...



... rodeo dreams. A lot of girls growing up in the West dream of this: the perfect little quarter horse, a nice black hat, tailored shirt, fancy belt, good boots, and above all, the ability to ride lickety-split.




If the dreams don't pan out, well at least one can get a hat. If you've ever worn a cowboy hat, then you know it is imbued with special bad-ass powers.



As usual these were for sale at the local rodeo, the Philomath Frolic, always held the second weekend in July. I love going to this rodeo, which is a pageant of color, sound, tradition, patriotism, and the Old West. For one night I'm totally into it. Let's go to the rodeo!




Saddle bronc riding.



Bulldogging.


Barrel racing.



The second part of the rodeo is devoted to the super-macho sport of bull-riding, but first we must have an interlude: the Local Business Donkey Races. The donkey race participants are all local business sponsors who bring forth two employees, each pair matched with a random, recalcitrant donkey.

First one team member has to get on the donkey. As you see here this is much harder to do than it sounds, after a couple of long minutes causing the announcer to say impatiently "GET YOUR ASSES UNDER CONTROL."


This team is H. Storch Pollination Services. They are dressed like honeybees, of course. The harder you tug a donkey, the slower it moves forward and H. Storch did not win. Too bad! We were cheering for them because H is actually a friend.




On to the serious stuff: bull-riding. Such a terrible idea! What a ride, eh?




This alert horse and cowboy both watched the bull riding from a safe distance, ready to step in if needed.



At their side was a cow dog named Jake.



As soon as a rider goes down, the bull must be guided out of the arena. That was Jake's job.




Maybe the best spectacle of all is at the very end of the rodeo when the horses are turned loose, creating a gorgeous stampede around and around.





Then in a cloud of dust they disappear. Time to go home.



Western art sculpture, created entirely of horse shoes.
There were fireworks afterwards, but we didn't stay. The sky was aflame with color and I can't imagine that anything could have surpassed its drama.



20 comments:

  1. I once owned a cowboy hat, and it wasn't cheap. Darn thing hurt my head like crazy. Bad fit. Sigh.

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    1. I always wonder how they manage to (usually) keep their hats on their heads. Maybe they're just really really tight. That would be uncomfortable.
      AC, you look like a person who loves hats.

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  2. Rodeos are, to me, nerve-wracking. It is fun to think about how bored cowboys must have been, once upon a time, to think up all that crazy stuff.

    I'm sure I would have loved the horses running wild.

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    1. Yes, most of these games are products of many hours alone with livestock, and also the need to be really good with a rope and a horse. Sometimes when driving past ranches in eastern Oregon I see them practicing roping and barrel racing.

      The stampede at the end of the rodeo is my favorite part.

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  3. Looks like a fun day. Nice action shots! And I love your last photo of the artwork in the sunset.

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    1. Thanks Linda; it was super fun.:)

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  4. Today I am in search of a cowboy hat because I am in desperate need of some bad ass powers. What did I do with Ron's Stetson?

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    1. Find that Stetson and all bad ass powers shall be granted. Truly.

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  5. gorgeous sunset. I would enjoy a small outdoor rodeo like that. I haven't gone to the one in Houston in many many many years. It is so big, held in February and in an enormous indoor stadium.

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    1. The big indoor ones hold little attraction for me as well. During the summer months it is pretty easy to find small rodeos around Oregon, all dusty outdoor events. Old school for sure.

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  6. This is a test, because it looks like my first post went into the nethersphere...not that I had anything phenomenal to write.

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    1. Uh oh. I hate when it does that. Maybe it will show up in its own sweet time, after dallying with other wayward comments in the nethersphere.

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  7. What a great collection of action shots. I love these kinds of event. People watching abounds. My favourite shot was the first. That little girl looks so focused. Adorable.

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    1. That is my favorite too, Hilary. She is wearing a purple tutu & riding a pony, what a perfect evening for her. :)

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  8. Wonderful shots of the rodeo.. I love the shot of the hats and that last shot of the sky is stunning.. Have a happy day!

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    1. Thank you Eileen. We think the dust made for a fiery sunset, very photogenic.

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  9. Love this post. So much fun! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Thank you Cuban! Have a wonderful summer, dancing up a storm in London.

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