Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ride 'Em, Cowboy

Rodeo stories are usually the same each year. Someone looking rather red faced and/or wheezy appears at the first aid post, "I forgot I was allergic to [horses|dust|hay|air|people]! I didn't bring my puffer!" We give out so much benadryl and ventolin it's unreal. Silly people.

Thursday night was the "Tough Enough To Wear Pink" night. All the cowboys had pink shirts on, to raise awareness for breast cancer. They all looked really good. I noted once again, though, that some cowboys just look better with their hats on. It's not that they are hiding a bald spot or something, they just look better with the hat on. Female friends of mine have confirmed this to be true.

The start up of the evening was really impressive. The house lights go down, and a little girl comes into the arena leading a horse by its bridle. No saddle, no harness. She leads it into the centre of the arena and tries to get on, but can't. She's much too small.

She sits down cross legged in the dirt and looks forlorn.

The other side gates open and ten women walk out and fan out around the girl and her horse. As they do so, fifty cowboys walk out and fan out around the edge of the arena. They are all carrying flaming torches. The flickering of the fire lights up the area.

The women are carrying blankets, saddles, tack and harness. Some lead the girl to one side and speak to her. The others prepare the horse. The blankets go on, the saddle, the tack and harness. The horse is calmed and the girl is helped into the saddle. She rides around the arena, a huge smile on her face.

The announcer states that the five year old girl couldn't have done any of this on her own, and neither could her grandmother, who is a breast cancer survivor. The little girl was able to ride the horse thanks to the help of her sisters who came and supported her.

The women were the barrel racing contestants. The men were all the male contestants.

I've never seen so many cowboys cry.