Jindabyne Rodeo

Rodeo-a3

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Last December, we watched our first rodeo. The first thing you notice when you walk in, is the hats. Big hats… everywhere, on everyone. Even the babies wear 9 gallon hats. Then, you notice that smell. It is the scent of unbridled testosterone. I mean, this really IS the land where men are men (and the sheep aren’t nervous anymore – they’re used to it). Honestly, these people are tough, honest, no nonsense hard and tough. It’s like stepping into a different world, a world of miller shirts and muscles, whips and embroidered denim. They have to be tough to do what they do. The animals they ride are serious amounts of muscle and animosity. The sole intent is murder, and these men (and women) play with them like they are poodles. They have events for 6 to 11 year olds. They put them on angry animals that are many multiples of their size. It was great to watch, but the men I admired the most for their bravery were the distraction clowns, who put their bodies in the way of these monstrosities after the riders has been unceremoniously “dumped”. And also the rounders, two very serious looking mountain men on horseback who gather up the still bucking horses after each ride. They do it with no fuss, no fanfare and an amount of skill that would make Clancy proud. I came away feeling quite inadequate.. (But unbruised, which is more than I could say for most of them!)

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