I have mixed feelings about rodeos. Of course there is a sports medicine trailer right outside the ring and the announcer assures us that the animals are safe, all precautions are taken and there are vets on hand in case of a mishap. But it is hard to watch a cute little calf chased down, roped and tied. I always feel better when they cut them free and the little cuties saunter out of the ring with their heads held high. Seems like it's always a win for them. The bull and bronc riding seems a little more fair. The animals are clearly the winners in many instances and it's the cowboys in these events who seem a bit worse for wear. The barrel racing is exciting and the horses look like they are having the time of their lives, the trick riders are a beautiful marriage of horse and rider and the pageantry, the clowns and the verbal acuity of the announcers are most entertaining. Rodeos seem at least a little more animal friendly than a circus and are way less disturbing than the bull fight I saw years ago in Cancun. Now that I think about it, I think I like them better than a zoo. At least the horses, bulls and even the little calves have an opportunity to get one over on the humans.
Having said that, watching a rodeo is also like a living scrapbook to me. It seems that at least some of these guys are actually working cowboys doing what cowboys have done for ages. I am a bit of a sucker for tradition.
They have matching faces!
I never get tired of taking photos of our beautiful hills and mountains. After 28 years of living here, seeing these everyday, I am still in awe. This rodeo was also a reminder to me that Trails End Ranch is right here in the midst of what was once real cowboy country.
It is very late, I should be long asleep. Hopefully I am now tired enough to some shut eye, as the cowboys might say. Here's what I'm thinking; that I'm going to try to cultivate a constant state of wonder, never being too sure about what's right and what's wrong, but keeping my eyes and my heart open while life sorts itself out.