Monday, July 26

ranch rodeo weekend

last friday i left work a couple hours early to meet up with scott, pick up friend mike and his brother russel and head to meeteetse for the weekend's ranch rodeo with a trailer full of tack, horses and coolers.

we met up with fellow team members bob and friend ryan at thermopolis, where'd they'd stopped to congratulate the lakes, a couple who had that day signed the contract on a ranch of their own. at meeteetse we dropped the horses at the bratens', where we usually stay when we're in that area, then headed back into town for dinner, where we crashed a wedding rehearsal dinner at the local bar and restaurant.

saturday morning we saddled and loaded the horses and headed into town mid-morning for breakfast at lucille's cafe before heading to the rodeo arena, where the rodeo started at 1 p.m. i don't have many photos of the rodeo itself, but i did take some video because it better demonstrates how these things work. i'll try once again to figure out how to upload them to a blog.

the events of the day were team trailer loading, team branding, team tying, wild cow milking, ranch bronc riding and team doctoring.

in team loading, three steers of a certain number have to be sorted out of the group, taken to the opposite end of the arena and loaded in a trailer. needless to say, they were squirrely and only one team got that accomplished, and it wasn't ours.

in team branding, scott roped a calf out of the group, pulled it to the 'fire,' where ryan and mike wrestled it and i branded. time started when scott crossed the line and ended when i dropped the iron back in the bucket of paint, which was the branding fire.

in team tying, two team members, bob and ryan, rode out to rope a steer by the head and heels, and then the header dismounts and ties the steer's hind legs together with a square knot.

in wild cow milking, all eight teams go at once. a herd of cows is let loose in the arena and one team member ropes, two 'mug' and one milks and runs to the judge. it's quite the ordeal.

mike rode the bronc for our team - he was an essential member as nobody else wanted to do it. the broncs at this particular rodeo were especially tiny, kicky, reary animals.

and in team doctoring, three guys go out to head and heel a steer and the third dismounts and marks the steer's head with a paint stick.

all events are timed, and the team with the fastest time that follows the rules wins. needless to say, it wasn't a good roping day for any of the teams, and our team came in fifth of eight teams. but we still got paid! enough to get our entry fees back.

scott, bob and mike following the rodeo.

and we got a new good picture of me and scott together. originally we had the prettiest red shirts, but bob's didn't quite fit so he went back to exchange them and we ended up with tan. not nearly so pretty. :-(

becky's brother owns a screen printing/embroidery company, so they put the lettering on for us.

these kids got a horse ride following the rodeo, when we were standing around visiting at the arena. i don't know who they were, but they looked quite content with their cookies.

after the rodeo we took care of our horses and went back to town to take part in the town picnic/dance/wedding reception (the same wedding rehearsal we'd crashed the night before had their reception in conjunction with the town party. makes sense, i guess.) there was a band of older gentlemen playing classic country, and a dance floor, so it made for a fun evening, and the weather couldn't have been better. friend daniel woody set his niece up with russell, from our group, and at one point they were out dancing and i was dancing with bob when russell stepped through the crack in the dance floor and his boot got stuck. it was really smooth and a great way to impress a new girl. :-)

a lot of the people i know from that area were there to visit and dance with, and i was the driver for our team and hung around until midnight, but the bus was leaving when bob suggested continuing on to the elkhorn bar.

sunday morning we took our time packing up and loading the animals, gathering our teammates back together, getting another breakfast at lucille's and heading south for the long process of dropping people and horses off. jazz was the last one out at casper, and from there i went to the house, went back out to clean the roundup office, then sat on my couch to get a few hour's break before the work week started all over again. next weekend i'm not scheduling anything!!

oh, and this morning i woke up to the top shelf of my dishes shattered all over my kitchen floor. that was great.

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