The big screen at the far end of the arena displayed what I couldn’t see from my place in the stands. In all his pixel glory a cowboy is twisting a strip of leather and rawhide around his hand and the saddle so he can create a suitcase-like grip. With each second he is tying himself more firmly to the bronc’s back. I can’t help recalling what a former classmate said when I interviewed him earlier about being on the rodeo circuit as a saddle bronc rider. “It was the most comfortable, natural thing for me to do and it’s what I like the best,” he said.
“I wasn’t interested in tying myself to a bull.”
There is a bang as the horse shifts in the stall, jostling the cowboy and causing the men around him to jerk back. After a moment the spat is nothing more than a memory.
Seconds later the door flies open. The horse leaps out with explosive energy. Flying out like a coiled spring it bounds forward kicking at the air in energetic earnest. The crowd is cheering trying to glue the cowboy to the bronc’s back with their enthusiasm.
Points will be awarded to both the bronc and the cowboy for their performance. This is a shared moment, a split effort, a reenactment of a historical bond—bound to less than 8 seconds in time. Continue reading “Kinsmen Pro Rodeo: June 7th and 8th”