Saturday, December 27, 2008

Those Rodeo Days

Thinking back on years past, remembering things we all have done, or wished we would have done, brings back memories. Today I was looking through some old pictures and came across a few from my younger days when I did about a year and a half in professional rodeo.

At that time I had a couple of horses, loved to trail ride, and since a good friend of mine did some rodeo work as a bullfighter, I started going to those. It wasn't long before I caught the bug, had to try it out. I started out with bareback bronc riding, then added the saddle bronc to my entries. Of course along the way I tried some calf roping and bulldogging, which was fun, but I really couldn't get the hang of it, at least not enough to compete. The saddle bronc became my best event after a while. I suppose I spent a lot more on entry fees than I ever won back, but the experiences and the memories are priceless, so I think I came out well ahead anyway. The very first event I entered was a large rodeo, and I remember wondering why I was doing this. When it came time for the chute to open, I nodded my head and closed my eyes, and though I must be tied to some kind of rocket. Well, didn't make the buzzer that time, nor a lot of other times after. You have to make an 8 second ride, can't touch the animal with your free hand, and believe me, 8 seconds sure seems to take a long time. It's funny after a while, when you get used to it how everything seems to slow down, how you can almost get into a rhythm with the animal, and there are times when it almost seems to look easy. There have been a few cracked ribs, dislocated shoulder, and too many bruises to count, but I wouldn't have changed it for the world.

I suppose there are things that each of us want to do, and I consider myself very lucky to have at least tried most of the things I thought about. At least at this time in my life, I can look back and cherish the memories, relive those experiences, and be glad that I took the chance. How about you? Do you have some fond memories that you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about them.....