After seeing the above picture, you are probably wondering what in the world? But let me digress a bit. I have some concluding thoughts to my bull-riding post. Don't worry, we'll come back to this picture. If you can stand to look at it again.
One of the comments on my post about bull-riding was from Sydney who asked if I'd ever heard of "mutton busting." Yep I have, but have never seen it live at a rodeo. Here is the definition of mutton busting according to Wikipedia:
"Mutton busting is an event held at rodeos similar to bull riding or bronc riding. In the event, a sheep will be caught and held still while a child is placed on top in a riding position. Once the child is seated atop the sheep, the people holding the sheep let go and the sheep then starts to run in an attempt to get the child off. Often small prizes or ribbons are given out to the child who can stay on the longest. The children are on occasion injured by the sheep. Height and weight restrictions on participants generally prevent injuries to the sheep. Parents are often asked to sign waivers to protect the rodeo from legal action in that event."
Interestingly, this was also part of the definition:
"Anti-rodeo groups such as S.H.A.R.K describe the practice as child abuse. Organizations such as the A.S.P.C.A also discourage the practice on the grounds that it does not promote kindness or respect of animals."
Most bull riders get their start at a very young age, probably mutton busting, riding bucking burros or calves, then moving into high school rodeo. You have to start somewhere. In fact, one of our fellow cowgirls, The Wife, recently posted about her own adventures riding rough stock as a young girl here. Can we get a woo-hoo? You go, girl!
I remember a video I saw over at the Pioneer Woman's site of her oldest daughter riding a bucking burro at their local rodeo last spring, which you can watch here. Goodness! Hold onto your hats. Can we get another woo-hoo (after knowing she was okay, of course!)
Let me tell you, I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to ride a sheep, a burro, or a calf as a 11 year old.....then again, at that age I did climb aboard my pony and did this, and in this outfit.
Oh, the humiliation! This one is going in the mortification memoirs. I mean, let's break down the whole awful mess.
First of all, let's take a look at the outfit. The hot pink too-small sweatpants. The grubby tennis shoes. The little 1980's rainbow t-shirt, also a size too small. WHERE OH WHERE were the Twisted X boots? The Cruel Girl Jeans? A shirt that fits? The Troxel Sienna helmet?
And how can a pair of sweatpants be too small for you when you appear to only weigh about....42 pounds?
I am most proud of the bareback pad I am riding on. After all, I made it myself, probably on my mom's sewing machine. Or maybe I even hand stitched it. Don't ask how it was secured around my pony's belly. I think I just knotted the nylon strap. I do remember the material, it was striped like a train engineer's denim overalls. The underside was some leftover batting my mom had in the sewing basket.
Now, that jump. One blue vinyl lawn chair on one end, an orange vinyl lawn chair on the other. Two cedar split rail posts and two 2x4's in between. It even looks like we (I saw we, because I am most certain Paint Girl was my partner in crime here) propped up the rails onto scrap plywood and bricks to give it an extra couple of inches of height. This was one well-thought out and designed obstacle, my friends. Which we probably also made the family dog jump over after we put the ponies away.
And just so you know how influential my fashion sense was at the time, here is a picture of Paint Girl jumping her pony the same day.
I guess I hadn't taught her how to make bareback pads yet. I was probably too busy filing the paperwork to trademark my pattern. But the too-small sweatpants and t-shirt, sneakers, and lack of helmet....she clearly took fashion advice from her big sis.
I guess I have come a long way since I was.....11.
But as I said, you have to start somewhere.
Miss Lucie Grace
1 year ago