Labor Day in Montana, means Rodeo! We chose to attend a ranch rodeo in Choteau, Mt. Half the fun was that we knew some of the cowboys, or knew their folks, so the action gets very personal. The crowd is involved, and loud, and the riders are totally harassed by their friends and viewers.
My favorite horse choice for this rodeo, was this buckskin. His performance was flawless! These photos are of the trailer loading contest. The announcer called out the number of a steer, the cowboys would rush the steers, sort out their number, and one of them would rope the steer.
Sometimes there are four or five ropes out at once, and there's more rope dodging than roping going on! In this instance, the buckskin and his rider, got the loop on the steer and began dragging him toward the trailer.
In this contest, the steer is drug to the trailer, the rider piles off his horse and hangs onto the steer, while the other cowboys on his team try their best to help him. They push the steer into a horse trailer, and get him into the pen at the front, then slam the door on him and go get two horses and load them into the back compartment of the trailer.
At this point, the cowboys lock both latches on the trailer gate, and run around to sit on the flatbed. Contest over! The team with the quickest time wins the money.
This guy got the steer to the trailer, jumped off and his friends grabbed the end of the rope with him. The steer made a big swing around the back of the horse, running the rope up under the saddle as he did so. One of the guys came running to try to extricate the horse.
When he ran up, the steer began to swing around the horse, and the rope came undone.
Some horses would have gone crazy in this situation, but not this buckskin! He calmly walked away. Now that's a horse! The crowd went wild, the cowboys got the steer and the horses loaded and that was that. What fun.
Ranch rodeos promote the old time cowboy ways of doing things. A real, hands on approach to rodeo, with lots of teamwork involved.