First of all most of the events were different, or varied from the norm. Second, everything was done on teams. Either co-workers on a ranch or an assembled group of cowboy/cowgirl buddies out for fun. The teams consisted of 4-5 members, some very organized teams and some who...well... flew by the seat of their pants, or so it appeared. All got the job done though.
The first event was Team Branding:
Calves were down in the corner, behind a chalk (flour) line. One cowboy rode in and roped a calf and drug it to the "fire" which was a paint bucket. Two or three of the team members laid the calf down, and the "brander" ran over and laid a paint brand on the calf in the designated area, ie. left shoulder, right hip etc... I think they had to try in do 3 calves. Fastest time wins. Surprising thing about this event - They could rope the calf any way they wanted. Around the neck, hind leg's (most optimal catch), or around the barrel (how many where caught.)
Next Event Team Doctoring:
A bunch of numbered steers down at one end of the arena behind a chalk line. The team starts at the other end runs down, past the timer. The announcer gives the number for which steer they are to get. 3-4 team members stop at the line. Only one cowboy crosses to sort out the steer. He chases him out of the hold area and attempts to rope him around the horns. Meanwhile the other team members have the dual purpose of keeping the other steers back over the line. As the steer they are after is sorted out, they follow suit, if the heading cowboy catches the horns, the next team member heels the steer. Once roped the other 2-3 team members dismount. One is armed with a paint stick to "doctor" the steer with. The others remove the head rope and put it on the front legs. The steer is doctored and then released. Fastest time wins. I really liked this event.
The third event is the crowd pleaser, it is wild cow milking. I have yet to figure how or why this would be done on a ranch. But, it is entertaining none the less.
Object: Get a wild cow to hold still so you can get a few drops of milk in a cut-of pop bottle.
Again, cows at one end of the arena, cowboys start at the other. The announcer gives the number. One cowboy sorts out the cow. (By the way these are not Holsteins, and where not very happy about being milked to say the least. ) The cow is roped around the neck, hopefully (a lot got caught around the barrel.) The other three cowboys dismount, one grabs the head, one grabs the tail. The object to slow the cow down enough for cowboy #3 to get some milk into the bottle. The "milker" then runs to the judge pours out the milk and the timer stops.
During a break the kids all went out for a Calf Scramble. Colton included. Object being, chase a calf around and pull the ribon off his tail. While Colton didn't win, he sure had fun trying. All the kids where so dang cute. I was so proud of Colton for going out there.
Fourth and final event is Stock Saddle Bronc Riding:
Same as regular saddle bronc riding except the tack... and the showing off. The cowboys use their own stock saddles which adds to the difficulty I am told. As to the showing off... If the ride is going good they might try to make a loop with their rope, and there was one guy with a bull whip - though his ride didn't go that smoothly.
Best part about the rodeo: The tack. Kyle was in heaven. There where a lot of riders who follow buckaroo tradition, so we saw hackamore (bosal's where we come from), we saw two rein rigs, and horses straight up in the bridle. There where also a lot of "hybrid" buckaroos and some with more of the simple Texas influence too. So very interesting to see each rider express his/her individual style. The hats where also awesome. I personally love a cowboy hat as much as the next gal. But, their is something so unique and nostalgic about seeing a cowboy/cowgirl in a traditional flat hat.
It was a beautiful day too. A great day to spend with the family. Alex was a great sport only waking to eat. Colton made a friend, and we even found some swings. Can't wait for our next opportunity to attend a Ranch Rodeo.