Off to the Rodeo with Jeannie Watt

One of my favorite rodeos is not a PCRA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) sanctioned rodeo, but rather our local rodeo, where we get riders from southwest Montana.
As we headed out to the rodeo, my husband had reservations... What is that, you ask? The view from inside the truck as we drove to town.

I assured him the skies would clear and sure enough they did, but not before making a nice amount of muck.

The arena hadn't gotten sloppy, however, so it wasn't too slick to ride in. This is the mounted drill team my mother coaches. She rode with them for over a decade, then retired from performing at the age of 76 and took over coaching.

What follows are views from behind the chutes where the competitors saddle their broncs. I do love me a yellow slicker, thus the photo of yellow slicker guy.

Each cowboy puts his own gear on the horse he's going to ride. In general there are fewer bareback bronc riders than saddle bronc riders because it's so hard on the body. They were vests with special neck rolls to cushion their head as it snaps back. The cowboy in the pink chaps is wearing his vest and you can see the roll on it. By the by, cowboys are not afraid of pink. Something to do with being comfortable in their masculinity, I think.

These are the saddle bronc riders getting ready to go.

The rodeo is a real family affair. If you look closely you'll see a cowboy holding a baby, another holding his toddler and, of course, a dog. This photo was taken behind the chutes as they were prepping the bulls for the bull riding. The guy in the chaps is a bull riding contestant, who is thankfully wearing a helmet. I'm a proponent of helmets in rodeo events.

It rained during the bull riding and got my boots wet, but they didn't soak through. I could have sat under the cover of the grandstand, but I like to sit on the open bleachers next to the chutes. You can see's worth getting wet.
All in all it was a great time at the rodeo!


  1. Hi Jeanne! Thanks for the great pictures. I love me a good rodeo! We had one in our tiny little town every year and I can still remember the excitement I felt when it was time for the grand entrance. All the colors and pageantry made my childhood heart go pitter-patter. Arizona is home to the oldest rodeo in the US. Something I did not know before moving here. Almost every ranch around here has an arena and hosts impromptu ropings or cutting competitions every weekend. One of these days I'd like to see some rodeos up your way. I bet they are fabulous!

    1. That sounds wonderful, LeAnne. I'll have to look up the oldest rodeo. That's quite a badge of honor.

    2. It's in Prescott, on the 4th of July. We're usually in Alaska for the summer, but we've been to that one once. Small and cozy, like yours, and lots of fun.

  2. I loved this. Your pictures made it feel as if I was there.

  3. Great pics that show what it's all about. Haven't been to rodeo in forever...something I need to correct.

  4. Oooh, Jeannie, what a terrific post! I love rodeo, and no wonder you like to hang out by the chutes. What great scenery.

  5. What great photos. The rainbows over the grandstands while the team is riding kind of sums up the day, doesn't it? Just wonderful.

  6. Thanks--I always learn something from your posts--the photos gave me a good sense of the atmosphere and made the event real. The rainbow was like the icing on the already lovely cake.

  7. I also learn from the posts. I've never been to a rodeo, but I'd love to go to one.Also, I've set two books in Montana (working on #3 now) and I'd love to see the landscape for myself. Well, one of these days. The pictures are great. Thanks for clueing use in.

  8. I've never been to a rodeo. These pictures really capture the feel. And I love the picture of the cowboys holding the babies.

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