Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Rodeo Week in Mineral Wells

Last week was Rodeo. I've had fun posting some old photos on Facebook of when we as a family first participated in Rodeo in 1995. This is me on Blue (gray horse) and Vanessa behind me on Valentine (black horse) riding in the Rodeo Trail ride from Weatherford to Mineral Wells. It's about an 18 mile ride. We stopped about halfway in the small town of Millsap for lunch and to rest. We bought Valentine in February 1995, Blue in March and Doyle's horse Clyde after the Rodeo as the man who owned him was a Sheriff's Posse member and needed him for Rodeo.

Vanessa on Valentine. She is 9 (turned 10 in September of that year.

The young lady on the left is a girl we became friends with. She was a neighbor to the people where we kept our horses. Her mother wasn't a horse person and she was only 4 years older than Vanessa so I took her riding with us on many occasions. Doyle is riding a borrowed horse.

Me and Vanessa warming up our horses before the Grand Entry. Valentine was used to this type of activity but Blue had never been exposed so I was a bit nervous of how he would do. (That might explain my serious face!)

Me and Vanessa during the Grand Entry.

Blue died the week of Rodeo in 2007. Needless to say I didn't ride that year and didn't ride in the Rodeo again until last year. Some of it was because of grief but some of it was because we only had one horse and 2 of us that wanted to ride. I let Vanessa ride most of the time.

Now I have Diamond and I was ready to participate again. Although he's not a young horse he's not been exposed to any of these types of activities. I figured the best way was to just do it starting with the trail ride which was last Thursday. At least he would be worn down so that maybe he wouldn't get too bent out of shape if he got scared during the parade or grand entry. I didn't try to do the whole ride. Neither he nor I were in shape for that. We did however join the ride at Millsap. Historically this trail ride has had as many as 400 riders but this year there were only 60-70 riders. It could have been the weather as it rained earlier that day with the threat of storms that afternoon. I looked for anyone I might know to ride with but didn't find anyone. Just as well as Diamond wanted to be in the front...very front!

Do you know how hard it is to take a selfie while riding a horse that's nervous? Well, I managed to get a couple to prove I was there!

Our leaders Palo Pinto County Sheriff Possee members Sam Hickey (owner of North Oak Dairy Queen) and Sam Singleton. Because the trail ride was over roadways we had law enforcement escort.

Pretty wildflowers and trash :( .

Going up Patterson Hill. This is a long stretch of hill. Our escorts had traffic stopped in both directions until we reached the top.

Looking back at the rest of the riders.

Once at the top several took advantage of the opportunity for a break while the rest of the riders gathered before we crossed the highway.

At the edge of town I peel off and ride to where we keep horses to get Clyde and pick up Doyle for the parade. I loved the reflection of the clouds I saw in this small tank.

I also saw this beautiful hay field. Although there are rain clouds in this photo they were already past us and we didn't get any additional rain from this. If we don't get more rain there won't be anymore hay!

We saw some calves too! They were very curious of us but also afraid.

Not knowing how Diamond would react during the parade I thought it best to ride with Doyle. At least he's familiar with Clyde. Doyle is a Palo Pinto Sheriff's Posse member so I rode toward the front of the parade with the posse.

Looking behind us. Many riding clubs and individuals lined up for the parade.

Looking to the front and the parade has begun!

This photo was taken by the Mineral Wells Index (our local newspaper). The only picture I have of me in the parade. I'm wearing the blue shirt on the black and white horse.

Mr. Parade himself! This is the first time in YEARS Doyle has ridden a horse!

Last leg of the parade. It was all over in 25 minutes! So glad I rode earlier that day...hardly worth the work for 25 minutes!

Gathered for the Grand Entry.

Waiting to begin our "10 minute" ride!

This photo was taken by a friend. Doyle looks good! You can see my blue shirt! I got separated from Doyle coming into the arena and got behind another nervous horse. I was trying to catch up when this photo was taken so I wasn't riding the rail like everyone else.

This was Diamond's 1st trail ride, 1st parade and 1st grand entry. He did extremely well! He was a bit nervous in the grand entry but I expected that. The fact that he trusted me and didn't freak out is what I am thrilled about! I am very proud of him!

Have a good one!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a fabulous rodeo week! Diamond was riding way up front on the trail ride. LOL. Love the parade and grand entry photos! And good to see you in a good pic from the Index!