February 24, 2012
Tuscon has the longest non-motorized parade in the world. It’s all horse-flesh and bands. Everyone walks or rides a horse or something pulled by a horse.
We don’t know the various schools or anybody in the parade, but everyone loves a parade, right?
Parades are always colorful.
It’s not everyday you get to paint your mule’s hooves to match your clothes. Aren’t they pretty in pink?
I don’t know my horse breeds well enough to know what they all were, but I recognized quarter horses, percherons, clydesdales, thoroughbreds, palominos, and paints; there were many others and quite a show.
People watching is always part of the show and this little guy did everything he could to make his mother mad. He had it down to an art and I got a kick out of watching his mischief, but, of course, his mother was not very happy with him.
Later in the day, we attended the Tuscon Rodeo, touted as one of the best western rodeos in the nation. They attract riders from Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, California, Colorado, Washington and probably others.
The bronc riding was exciting and dangerous as anyone can see. They have to stay on for 8 seconds. And, they can only hold on with one hand. There are rules about how they hold their feet as well.
It takes great skill and practice. Then, getting them off the bucking bronco is another challenge since the bronc doesn’t hold still while he dismounts. A good many get bucked off as you can imagine.
Bronc riding comes from the old days of catching wild horses and taming them to accept a rider.
The next event was single calf roping. The rider has to rope the calf, dismount and tie three of the calf’s legs. The horse (trained by the cow puncher) has to hold the calf steady for six seconds before the event is finished. This is a skill from when calves were branded on the open range.
Then, double calf roping is even harder. The idea is for one to rope the neck the other to rope the back legs and make short work of getting it on the ground for a brand.
The rider must hold on with one hand only. They don’t get very far from the chute. The announcer kept saying, “I don’t know what they get paid, but it ain’t enough!”
This bull was bucking inside the chute and the rider barely got out.
The final event for the day was women’s barrel racing. They have to make it from the starting point, circle three barrels and then hell-bent for leather back to the gate. I took a lot of pictures and will load them tomorrow if you want to see them. I did a very short, maybe six second video of the barrel racing you can see by clicking on the link below.
And, people watching is part of the deal, too. I liked her earring-on her!
Parade and Rodeo pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/106530979158681190260/2012223ParadeRodeo