Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Daddy of 'Em All"

I've lived in Wyoming my entire life, and never once have I been to a rodeo. Believe it or not, it's not actually a requirement to live here. And yes, we have running water, electricity, and cars. We also have cities.

Rodeo is a subculture, a fairly large one, but a subculture nonetheless. It embodies the ideals of the Old West: wild horses, mean bulls, and cowboys proving their grit. I've never been a part of that culture, and I'm not about to buy a cowboy hat and boots, but I did enjoy the experience.

So much more goes on at a rodeo than just bull riding. There's also calf roping, steer wrestling, bronc riding (both saddle and bareback), barrel racing, and a wild horse race. There's also a lot of beer drinking. Pretty much all of the events have some practical application to living on a ranch. A rodeo is a place for cowboys to gather and show off their skills. It's only slightly different from watching football or basketball. (The difference is the animals.) Each cowboy is an athlete and better than someone else (especially me) at his skill.

I was pretty lucky that on my first rodeo we had amazing seats. Six rows up from the chutes. Some "dirt" clods hit us, and we were in the sun all day, but it was worth it. Being that close to the action was exhilarating!

I'm trying to break out of my protective bubble and try new things. The rodeo might not seem like much, but I wouldn't trade the experience. If you get the chance, you should try something different too. I have some pictures to share, so I hope you enjoy!





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