The Pryor Times


March 29, 2012

Rodeo in red dirt country

— The second ranch rodeo of the season was at Waurika over the weekend.

Since the rodeo started at 10 a.m., we traveled the night before. We often camp on the road.

My teammates Kate and Melissa, Kate’s husband, Howdy, and my brother, Keith, made the drive in less than four hours.

We’d been told to stick our horses in any pen at the arena. We arrived about 11 p.m. Evidently, several teams had the camping idea. The first thing we saw was a teepee. Camps were set up in several spots on the rodeo grounds.

There were no night lights at the arena, so it was dark as pitch when we unloaded. After a cursory look, we decided the pens were all full of horses.

We jumped on bareback and carried a flashlight around to look. What a memory of childhood - that’s the kind of thing we did at night as kids. I expected one of my teammates to yell “bang, you’re dead,” at any minute.

The pens were indeed all full. Instead of tying our horses to the trailer, we opted to turn them out into the arena. It was empty.

Someone must have been afraid we’d leave water faucets running - they were all turned off. Several big stock tanks had been filled with fresh water. It was all at the other end from the gate and on the other side of the fence, so I loaded the buckets in front of Melissa and we went to fix the water situation. I lit the way with the flashlight.

We had to lift water over the arena top rail to fill the buckets - by flashlight - but with a lot of laughing we got some water in buckets on the same side as the horses.

Rode the horses back to the gate and turned them loose. Waurika really is red dirt country. That’s what was on the arena floor - red sand. My horse is gray. Not steel gray - light gray. She promptly started rolling in the red dirt. Suffice it to say, even after I cleaned her up, she was red. Matter of fact, she’s red today.

I was laughing about my red horse with a gal from that country. She said “that’s the color of all gray horses here!”

After a restful night in the bedrolls - it was just the right temperature - we cooked breakfast burritos. Full of burritos and two pots of coffee, we were ready to rodeo.

What a great day. We won second in three events and second in the average. Even better, our teammate Kelsey Mosby won top hand and top horse.

The Waurika High School softball team was cooking ribs and hot links to raise money. The girls also had every baked dessert imaginable.

After the rodeo there was team roping, so those of us not roping ate barbecue and cheered for the others.

Beautiful sunny weather, ranch rodeo, good friends and good food.

I am so blessed. I can never be grateful enough. Life is good.

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