Rodeo! #2

I heard about another kiddie rodeo so I called to get the kids signed up. Turns out it was not so much kiddie rodeo but a fun/play day. When I called about it I was assured that it was usually over by four, we would have no problem making our previously scheduled engagement. Then Paula called and asked if we wanted to enter and ride with her. I happily told her we were already entered but would love to ride with her. Did I mention her new living quarters trailer?

I resumed loading practice with Onna, got our barrels back out and made The Goblin Child go around them and got as much as I could ready. When Paula showed up that day we loaded everything, including Onna who hopped right in and were off. The children stayed behind with their much beleaguered father, who would feed them lunch and bring them later so they didn’t have to sit out in the hot sun any longer than necessary.

We got there early but the grounds were packed. Paula drove her big, long rig right in and found a spot anyway. The spot might have been the point at which we could no longer go forward but hey, it worked! And we were right behind the rest of the family who were there competing or watching. It was perfect.

Once saddled we went in to warm up. I debated hard which horse to ride. Paula had very kindly offered to let me ride one of hers because Coyote is off a little. I was going to take him to ride anyway, he isn’t exactly lame just a little off and I hoped it would be an easy day for him. This was much better but, now I had a young horse that I had never ridden and would like to get used to. Paula assured me that he had ponied a horse, once or twice and had been “OK” with it. I am a chicken rider, not one who rides chickens 😉 but a rider who is chicken, thought I should clarify that, and the “OK” part didn’t reassure me. I also had Onna who did great last time but last time was not near the mad house this time was and I was going to put my small children on her. I chose Onna to warm up.

In the arena it was crowded. By crowded I mean I could almost see the ground occasionally as people walked trotted and loped endlessly to the left with the occasional stop and back thrown in. I’ve shown horses for years but I had never seen a warm up like this.  I tried to discern some sort of pattern, was the outside track for walking? No. Maybe the inside and loping to the fence? NO. Everywhere for everything, cutting back and forth and through then slamming on the brakes and backing into the rest of the horses doing the same thing. I guess more people can fit in to a rode, each run last a few seconds as opposed to a cowhorse event where each rider gets approx. four min. There were lots of people. I don’t think the pictures can show just how crowded the parking was, maybe that made it seem worse.

I didn’t want to do anything but walk Onna in the warm up. She needed to learn that it was a calm place with nothing to be worried about. It wasn’t but it would be nice if she could think it was. That done we went back to the trailer where I switched horses. Luckily Paula showed up about then and I was able to get on with her there and her horses buddy that she was calling for so desperately. Tee Bird is a she so if I refer to her as a he anywhere forgive me I seem to keep doing that. Once on she was fine, with her buddy. I was a bit nervous on a new horse in that madhouse of a parking lot. She wanted to be with her buddy pretty bad but once we got that settled she was great. She never spooked as children on foot and children on horses galloped about, she wasn’t bothered by ponying Onna, she didn’t even get upset about the idiots that thought this was a great time to play football, throwing the ball over the heads of horses walking down the narrow isle between parked pickups and trailers and the tents set up all around the arena full of people and more vehicles.

The Goblin Child did the goat snatching, where you run up, dismount, and grab the ribbon off a goats tail. I let her go on her own and they were both great. She can’t quite get all the way off on her own but she’s so close. She did the poles,they’ve been doing great practicing at home so I let her off the lead. It was a mistake,I thought sh was going to die. There was some over steering and I was sure Onna was going to leave. She got a little far off the side of the saddle once but managed to pull herself back on. All in all it was a good run. And she did barrels, that was their best event of the day I think. I ponied but was able to let them go around the barrels by themselves after the first.

8 only ended up getting to do poles. I had been going to ride Onna like last time but Tee Bird was doing really good and I felt safe just riding her with 8 in front of me. We didn’t quite fit in the saddle but it worked and I hear he looked happy, pointing at the crowd and smiling. 8 left with his exhausted father to make our previous engagement before he got to do barrels. there was no way this show was going to be over by four as previously predicted. It was after five already with many classes left to go.

It was a fun day, hot and dusty, long for the kids but their cousins were there watching which helped a lot to keep them entertained. They seemed to enjoy this one that I thought had everything conspiring to make it slightly miserable and I think we will try to hit a few more next year. The Goblin Child is just starting to ride off of a lead line and with a winter to work on it she should be doing good by next summer. 8 is difficult. Maybe he will develop a lick of sense and make an effort not to fall off, maybe he will grow enough to reach the stirrups or maybe he will keep going in front of me. Princess Onna is great, we are using clicker training to help her learn how to do these things. She handles the crowds and all the scary things involved like a pro I couldn’t have asked for a better horse for the kids to learn on. As for me? I’m learning about this whole rodeo thing. It’s still not my thing, I’m discovering that I am a dressage queen at heart but, I am slightly competitive. Maybe I’ll have to show Rusty how to run a round a pole 😉 I can see why people think a horse that’s been rodeo-ed on should be so broke they have to put up with a lot. If nothing after hauling Rusty to these things a good old normal horse show will seem like a vacation!

 

Rodeo!

First edition.

For my mom who desperately wanted to be there but couldn’t make the two day drive for one afternoon of horse stuff. I’ll get more up later, this is all that was on my phone.

 

A Well Deserved Thank You

We had no intention of going. A night at home resting is always preferable to a night out. Until a friend who was managing the event pulled me aside to whisper in my ear. He was astonished at my change of heart but didn’t question me further. In the end I think it was worth it, I enjoyed it and think he did too.

 

They did this during PEO’s Family Fued fund raiser for friendly festival as a “commercial”.

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We May Be In Trouble

I think we’ve created a monster.

She enjoyed the little rodeo. Sh says she wants to be a horse show girl. Now she’s practicing her roping and apparently wants to be a trick rider.

Am I happy about all this? You bet I am!

 

 

And not to leave 8  out. He’s doing pretty good with his trusty little steed too.

 

 

8’s Head

There’s so much to say about it.

First, he fell and tried to bash it in. He was trotting along the sidewalk leaving the swimming pool and crashed. He wasn’t doing any of his usual crazy stuff he was just going along. I thought at first his elbows were going to be scuffed pretty good, I thought this during the fall, then I heard the solid thunk of his forehead hitting the ground.

He came up crying and I could see he was going to have a goose egg.  By the time we reached the car I was worried. It had swollen. That may be a bit of an under statement. I texted our doctor and waited around town to make sure I didn’t have to drive home and then back again if he needed to go in. He wasn’t showing any symptoms of severe damage and fell asleep so we went home. He is fine now, the swelling is down and the scratches almost healed.

Second, we were sitting at the table after supper last night. We were talking and he was trying to fit inside a diaper box. First he came to me and wanted his pants off. I complied. Apparently that did not allow him to fit. He came back saying “head off, mama, head off?” It took me a bit to figure out what he wanted for sure. He must have decided that he would fit in the box better without that pesky head.

I told him no, I couldn’t take his head off. He asked his father. Of course his father told him no too, so he came back and asked me again. He was very earnest. I tried, I grabbed him by the sides of his head and pulled up as hard as I could but his head was stuck on. It was a sad thing. His father pulled and pulled, but as hard as we tried his head was stuck on his body. He was concerned about it being stuck so we let him try to take ours off. Everyone’s heads were stuck.

Who would have thought.

Category: 8  2 Comments

This Aint My First Rodeo…. Oh Wait

Heather wanted to know if we were interested in going to a youth rodeo at the Dawes county fair. I looked into it a little and decided it would be a good way for The Goblin Child to get a chance at playing cowgirl. She had recently informed me that she wanted to be a cowgirl and show horses while she was in college learning to be a doctor and an airplane pilot.
We set up lick tubs and practiced barrels and poles, and getting on. She is getting very good at steering by herself, it hasn’t been very long that she’s been riding by herself. I remember all the times I fell off Tally and am slow to let her loose too much. She’ll go by herself away from home when we ride out but I always take the lead rope back on the way home, just in case.

The day of the rodeo we spent lots of time getting Onna all pretty, then did the same for The Goblin Child. Onna loaded beautifully and we went to pick up the horse of the friends who invited us. It was getting hot. The pickup that was on the trailer didn’t have air conditioning. With the windows down we headed for Chadron. Going through town we met my husband who had gone in to work on his day off so he could take the afternoon off and come along.

At the fairgrounds we saddled Onna and I took her around a couple of times, then The Goblin Child got on and I led her around. For one run back to the pickup I got on with on child in front and one behind and she didn’t bat an eye. I wasn’t ready to let them off the lead quite yet and led them around the barrel pattern for their first run. It nearly killed me running to the finish line. After that I let them go and all our work on stopping at the end that we did at home paid off. They did wonderful together. 8 got to go around the barrels too. I was still half dead from the first run so I climbed in the saddle behind him and let him try to steer a little. It was much easier than running.

Whitten and his sister each got to go on their big beautiful mare. She’s a draft cross and shows it, she’s huge and gentle. He wore 8’s helmet for a bit and Brenna rode behind T.G.C. for awhile. Their poor mom was able to leave her brand new baby watching from the grandstands with grandma so she could run alongside both children in every event. I only had to do one, 8 needed a nap and was done after the first one, and I thought I was going to die. I don’t know how she did it.

We were both lucky that my hard working husband had come along. He watched everybody and juggled hats and water bottles, so we could play with horses and whichever child was riding at the moment. He and Heather are both driven crazy by lack of organization and general order to things. They were both flustered and annoyed that the children didn’t have an assigned order to go in and that they didn’t know exactly what was going on, when and where. I think they’re so cute.

I thought the people who had organized it had put a lot of work in and done a really good job of putting on a playday that the kids loved. After the riding part they had a dump trailer full of hay with coins mixed in. The children got to jump in the hay and search for the money. T.G.C. says that was her favorite part.

It was hot when they got done. Kids were tired, We were ready to go home. I unsaddled and went to throw Princess Onna in the trailer. She had different ideas. She said no. That was it, just no, she had no intention of getting in. She does that sometimes at home. Not for loading, we had never tried that, just about whatever I ask her to do and she doesn’t want to. She will set her feet and say no. I loaded the other horse to see if that would help. It didn’t.

I ended up staying there while everybody else went to coo children with drinks and air conditioning, working her into the trailer. I had been proud of our front row parking earlier, now not so much. The parking filled up with real rodeo people coming in for the nights rodeo. Big fancy rigs, very stylish riders. They all had to walk past us. I nearly died of embarrassment. In the end I wrapped the lead rope around a bar in the trailer so I could stand next to her and still pull forward. Standing next to her I tapped the back of her foot with mine. It made her mad. One time she looked at me, picked her foot up and stomped it down on mine. It was so plainly on purpose, and she missed my toes only getting the boot, I thought it was hilarious. Finally she heaved a big sigh and jumped in. We were finally able to go home.

Videos are completely backwards in order. I would recommend watching them from bottom to top!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Reading Program

I joined the local library board because they were begging for people and because I love books. I loved going to the library as a child and wanted my kids to love it too. The board filled up with mothers of young kids, all except one who is the mother of older kids and the grandmother of young kids, who felt the same way. The former librarian wanted nothing to do with kids in the library, preferring to sit around and gossip with the older clientele who were in her age group. She soon quit. I don’t know if we drove her to it with all our enthusiasm and energy or if she really moved to take care of her ailing daughter, either way she’s gone and the new librarian shares our goals and hopes for the library.

The new librarian started just in time to take over our summer reading program we planned despite the old librarians objections. The old librarian had allowed us to carry on with our plans as long as we did it all ourselves and she was not bothered. The new librarian joined in the fun wholeheartedly and led the way.

It’s been three weeks now, three mornings of a library filled to the brim (about 20 kids, it’s a small library) with small children laughing and playing noisily as they, hopefully, learn to love the library and reading. We have read countless books, colored bookmarks, made a large cardboard box into a puppet stage, made puppets to perform on the stage and next week hope to act out the books as they are read. I believe the three pigs and billy goat gruff are planned along with others. I’m having a blast.

p.s. I think I should mention that we really in no way tried to drive the old librarian away. Yes we were happy that she left but did not do it on pupose.

 

Category: Books, Family  2 Comments

Growing Like…. Pumpkins?

Every year my favorite part of the garden is the pumpkins. To be specific, the arbor that the pumpkins grow over. This year I had plans and came home to fine that my hard working husband had built it for me while we were gone for the morning. The pumpkins were just starting to vine at the time, that was a few weeks ago. Now the trellis is nearly covered.

I couldn’t believe that the vines were growing as fast as it seemed so I took pictures. I took them morning, noon, mid afternoon, evening and the next morning. In twenty four hours the vines grew at least six inches. We really could sit and watch them grow.

Company

My parents stopped to see us on the way back from this years grand adventure up the west coast. We had our own much littler adventure camping with them at Fort Robinson, then some time in Chadron and even a little spent at our house. Then my brother and his family came and we all enjoyed each others company for a day. Then my parents went home and we got to spend a few more days with my brother and family. It was so fun and so busy that I would never get this post written if I tried to include everything. So I will stick to pictures, they will convey the idea just as well.

Category: Family  2 Comments

Wheat Harvest ’17

This post is long over due. I don’t know where time went, how did it get to be over a month since I last did anything here? I have to document the start of corn and wheat harvest every year. We often look back to see when we did things last year and this is the easiest place to do so.

So it’s started. They started on the neighbors and it’s going pretty good. After rats destroyed the combine over the winter it’s amazing that it’s going at all. I can never mention enough how awesome my husband is. He spent the spring and early summer coming home from work a little early, disappearing into the quanset where he clean and deconstructed the combine cab entirely. On weekends he spent all day in there, soaked in sweat from the heat. Crammed into that tight little cab with the filth and stink of the rats, until he got every drop of the wiring carefully pulled out.

He took the entire wiring harness into work at his real job and carefully reconstructed it. Many trips down to the giant tractor junk yard were required for parts. We went along and explored as he sweated away inside the cab of a wrecked combine digging out the needed parts. Using the new/old parts to piece together the original the rebuild required countless hours, an office that now smells like rat poop, and approximately one hundred and seventy five connectors. After finishing the careful meticulous job of finding every single chewed through wire, finding the matching end of the wire, and reconnecting them he hauled the entire wiring harness back home to the tractor.

There he continued his cleaning while he hooked back up every piece of electronics in the entire tractor, turn signals, lights, sensors, and controls. There was some flickering but after tightening the ground wires everything worked on the first try! Only a few new parts were required, such as the seat, and he brought the rebuild in under what insurance paid and WAY under what just a new wiring harness cost alone much less after adding the labor to have someone fix it. He saved his dad a fortune.

The much loved combine is back up and going. Small children are once again riding around in a cab that didn’t look as though it would ever go again much less be safe and clean enough for the kids. Have I mentioned that my husband is awesome?

 

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