Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Rodeo moms have lots of odd jobs and side businesses to support their kids in rodeo. Some moms have gone out on their own and started their own business. We would like to support those moms by featuring rodeo moms in business.
The first business to be featured is All Horse Utah. As a rodeo mom, I was having a hard time finding information online about junior rodeos and other horse events for my kids to participate in. So I developed the site www.allhorseutah.com and then contacted all of the junior rodeo associations that we were associated with. The site provides information about other horse events in Utah too.
The junior rodeo section is probably the most comprehensive in the state. There are a lot of associations and single rodeos posted there. Associations also have the option of having a page on the site to post member information, points and rules.
So if you are looking for rodeo information in Utah try All Horse Utah first.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I saw something a few weeks ago that I never want to see again. I went to a Rodeo because my brother was competing as a calf roper. As we were watching the team roping, this team came out and roped their steer. They got their ropes off the steer, and the steer cut back towards the roping chute. The heeler went to head the steer off, and as he turned, his horse went down. The horse fell on its side and it began convulsing. It was horrible. I can remember grabbing my brother’s leg because he happened to be sitting right next to me (poor guy). I kept saying, “What’s wrong with that horse?” over and over again. My brother thought that maybe the horse had had a heart attack.
People, of course, went out to help. A man from the audience yelled to get the saddle off. He thought the cinch was too tight. The poor kid who was riding the horse began tearing the saddle off. By this time, a vet who happened to be in the audience went running across the arena. A huge group of guys came in carrying a panel. They rolled the horse over on the panel and carried it out of the arena. The horse died.
My brother went to take care of his horses and when he got outside he ran into the vet, so he asked her what had happened. She said that it was a pulmonary embolism--the main artery to the horse’s lung had burst and the horse had basically drowned in its own blood. He then asked what had caused it. She said more than likely the horse had been out to pasture, was a little bit out of shape, and was not warmed up as well as it should have been. It was very cold the night of the rodeo, so I am sure that the combination of all of these things didn’t help. I don’t know for sure exactly what caused this to happen.
Even if there was a previous problem, this was a good reminder. Please make sure that your kids, or anyone else for that matter, realize how important it is to warm up their horses. I know sometimes we get in a hurry or we show up late to the rodeo, but it so important to warm the horse up and cool it out as well. I can’t imagine having that happen to one of my animals if it was something that I could have prevented. It was terrible to have to watch, but a very good lesson for my kids.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I have been struggling with my kids always worrying about winning and being the best. Also them having all the best horses and equipment that goes along with rodeos. It is no different than when a kid comes home and wants a certain pair of designer pants because every popular child has them or when your child comes home and wants to cut their hair like their friends hair.
In rodeo, it can be a lot the same. The kids want the best barrel horse because one of their friends/competitors just got a new horse. Or they want a living quarters trailer because everyone else has one. Well we can not afford all of the latest trends. But as a mom I want my kids to have the best and feel that they fit in and are a part of the in crowd. However, that does not have to be the case in rodeo.
In our family, we focus on the best that we are as individuals and the best that we have as a family. As well as focusing on doing better each time we compete. My rewards system is not focused around if they win or not but if they try hard and did better than they did the time before. I have found that in doing this my kids have actually started to win even though they do not have the most expensive horses or the most expensive equipment. They are learning to be proud of themselves because they are doing better each time than the time before. They are becoming much better cowgirls and they actually are doing their share of placing in the top.
I also have found that by slowly improving with what they have to work with they have learned that their own level of improvement has grown. They slowly have become better and better and it has made them much more confident in their abilities and the abilities of their horses to actually compete against the kids they thought they would never be able to compete against. This is something that has really worked with my oldest daughter and I can see it working slowly with my youngest as well. I know that if I had the money I probably would have went out and purchased a better horse and a better trailer and all of that stuff. However, I am glad in some ways that we were not able to do that because I really feel it has made my girls a lot better cowgirls.
Friday, December 12, 2008
- Michael Masterson
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Now, for the scariest part of all!! How are you going to afford rodeo queening? Start off slow! You only need a few basics (contest rules will tell you specifics). No matter what the contest requirements are you can build an amazing wardrobe around a few nice basic pieces.
First, I suggest choosing one main color. For example, even now at a national level when we travel my daughter usually only takes a black hat, black boots, and outfits that will match. And she is not the only one. If you ask any of the rodeo queens who are doing a lot of travel most of them will tell you the same thing. If it is good enough for Miss Rodeo America, it is certainly good enough for your daughter starting out. The most important thing is to make sure that the clothes are clean and fit, your hat is blocked, and your boots and belt are polished. Start small and then build.
Last, remember this is supposed to be fun. Make sure that it is. Don’t let the stress take the fun out of rodeo queening. Start small and build up. You wouldn’t expect your daughter to enter much less win a professional barrel race her first run, don’t expect any different from queening.
Also, remember you can learn as much, and sometimes more, when you don’t when as when you do. So heads up, smiles on, and go armed with confidence and a can of hairspray because if you and your daughter are dedicated there is a way to make the dream of becoming a rodeo queen a reality.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
The first step is to take it one step at a time. First, how old is your daughter? Your daughter’s age may determine what contests are available to for her to compete in. If your daughter is very young, let’s say under 9 or 10, I would start by looking at local and 4-H type contests. Many of these are horsemanship only contests. Your daughter is already interested in horses and if you are a rodeo mom she probably already has a horse so the battle is nearly over. In fact, no matter the age of your daughter I recommend that you find one of these low key kinds of contests to begin with any way. This way you will be able to get a better feel if your daughter really wants to be a rodeo queen or just likes the idea of it all. Also, it is important to keep in mind that being a rodeo queen at any level is a lot of hard work. So make sure you have this conversation from the start.
One of the best places to find contests to try out in is to talk to other rodeo queens. Don’t be afraid to walk up to any current queen and ask for information. They had better be friendly and willing to help, after all that is their job. There is no better place to get information than from the people who are doing what you want to do.
Once you have decided on a contest to enter, I suggest you contact the coordinator and get the rules as early as possible. The more time you have to prepare, the less stress you will be under. You can not fully prepare until you know what you are preparing for. Once you have the rules, simply follow them. Don’t try to tweak or stretch them, just follow them.
One of the best ways to learn what to prepare for is to attend a contest and watch. Go in to the contest with an open mind, even if you know one of the girls trying out. Watch and see what catches your eye. What looks right? What looks wrong? What stands out good or bad? And then, did your opinion agree with the judges? If so, you are probably on the right track. If not, you may want to talk to the judges and see if they can tell you what they saw that you didn’t. (Talking to the judges may also be a good place to find help for your daughter.)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
We ride a horse that only has one eye. She is our rope horse. She is an amazing story of second chances.
Racheal had been using her for High School Rodeo Breakaway. She had done okay in the fall but she was still a little unpredictable. In the spring, she got a little infection in her eye. We thought it was no big deal. She would be fine. Then one day it got a lot worse. We hauled her to the vet. He gave us several things to treat it with. In a few days she was looking better. Then the next day, it was horrible. We hauled right back to the vet. Our only option was surgery to remove her eye.
When she first lost her eye I thought for sure we would not be able to use her for anything. It was sad because her and Racheal had just started to get along. We gave her some time off to recuperate.
Racheal wanted to try riding her again. So we started really slow. She did okay with normal riding. I thought we could at least sell her for a trail horse. Then we thought what the heck, we should try to rope on her again. It worked. She roped just fine.
Now my nephew Cole who is 5 is also using her in rodeo. He placed 3rd on her in Poles and placed twice on her in the goat tail untie!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
2. Heart Rate: this should be a resting heart rate. Normal: 30-40 beats per minute. Trouble: 50 beats per minute or faster (may indicate pain, shock, dehydration, or fever).
How to check: Take the pulse at the mandible artery, which passes under the lower edge jaw (either side). Feel for a notch on the lower edge of the bone; the artery is right there. Count beats for 15 seconds & multiply by 4 to get rate. You can also find the pulse under the horses left elbow & just above the fetlock, where major arteries run between the tendons.
3. Body Temperature: average temperature ranges from 97 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to check: Use a flexible, non-glass thermometer with KY jelly or petroleum jelly, before inserting into rectum; you might want to add a string to this so you won’t lose it in the horse.
4. Capillary refill time: This is the time it takes for color to return to a horse gum tissue next to they teeth after pressing & releasing your finger. It should be 2 seconds less.
5. Membrane color: The color of the mucus membranes of gums should be salmon pink.
6. Dehydration; Just pinch or fold a flap of skin on neck & then quickly release it. It should immediately snap back into place. Failure to do so is evidence of dehydration. Find some shade & water.
7. Respiratory Rate: This should be 12-20 beats per minute at rest. This rate should never exceed the heart pulse rate.
As always check with your veterinarian
Monday, December 1, 2008
1. I let them know in advance (way in advance) that we will be leaving for the farm at a certain time. I try to make it a time that doesn’t interfere with what they have planned. We usually go out to ride at 5:00 p.m. in the summer.
2. I invite their friends to practice with us. This is the BIGGEST and easiest way to get them to come out and ride. If their friends are there, they want to socialize. They will want to ride. It turns into a fun time for all. Even if they don’t “practice perfect” they are having a fun time doing what they do.
3. The last thing that I have found to be successful is to have some type of reward system. If they practice good and don’t argue for X number of days they get something (candy bar, soda, movie rental, etc.)
These are ideas that work for me and my kids, hopefully they or some version of it works for you.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This is a fun blog with helpful recipes. The thing I love is that if you are in a hurry you can forward the shopping list to your phone and stop at the grocery store on you way home from work. If you don't like one of the meals, substitute it with your own. You can even take time to create your own calendar. This site fits any grocery store.
The best part is it is free!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
My kids are an interesting bunch. They are all very talented but most of them are also very lazy. I really have a hard time motivating them to practice consistently. Sure most of them will practice real hard if a big rodeo or finals is coming up. I just don’t think that works really well as opposed to a consistent practice all week/month/year long.
Here is an example of what I mean. Calf roping could be broken down into the following areas:
1. Rope the sparky (we have a Sparky tie down machine that I pull behind our 4 wheeler)
2. Rope calves
3. Tie the sparky
4. Tie the calves
5. Run down rope and throw the calves
6. Getting off the horse
7. Score calves
8. Ground rope
9. Work the barrier
10. Ride (Since he rides our horse Holly in these events the exercise of the horse, ride and lunge would also be included in that event)
We don’t practice everything every day. That would become an unbearable practice. We would be out there for 8 to 9 hours daily with the 9 events he does between the three associations. He will ground rope and tie our dummies daily for a few minutes each day. He will ride the horse daily to condition her. He will practice other items every other day depending on what he needs the work on. He is really good on getting off the horse so we don’t practice that as often.
I have also found that a lot of the main ideas behind each event have the same theory and that if you practice ground roping for breakaway with a little bit of a change it also works for team roping. Shane just needs to know what the change is and do it consistently and be aware of what he is practicing for.
After the rodeo is over you can evaluate what he did right and wrong then change the practice schedule to match his weaknesses and strengths. My experience is that if he tries to practice perfect and follow the schedule he usually does well
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I love to watch the kids compete
I love to see them grow
I love to see them as they ride
And learn to rodeo
When they start, it’s fun to see
The smile upon their face
First they walk and then they trot
Then run the barrel race
First they pull a ribbon
From the tail of a goat
Then they learn to tie one
Just two wraps and then you gloat
Some cowboys started riding
On a calf or on a sheep
But soon they’ll have to ride a bull
If they want to compete
Chute doggin is good practice
To wrestle with a steer
Then they jump right off their horse
I swear they have no fear
I love to watch them rope
On their own or as a team
The loop must fly just right
If they want live the dream
Pole bending can be fun
Sometimes they cannot wait
But you must not hit a pole
Just leave them standing straight
The parents—you can’t miss them
Sitting in the crowd
For when their kids are out there
They holler really loud
They coach their little cowboy
As he learns to rope and ride
They can’t wait to help him
And be there by his side
Their little cowgirls are there too
For they just can’t be beat
The girls they just aren’t pretty
They’re sure here to compete
The whole family gets involved
It doesn’t matter big or small
All contestants and their fans
They come and give it all
This sport is special it is true
Contestants never fail
The lessons learned are many
When you ride the rodeo trail
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
A good rule of thumb for a rodeo mom is to have a vet kit at hand. You never know when you are going to have to clean, dress and administer a little helping hand to your best ride or someone else in the rodeo family.
First of all a prayer in your heart that you will be able to fix what’s broken – that’s instinct really for all mom's I know. These are items that I have on hand for all types of mom – vet work!
1. Tool box or box to hold supplies and equipment
2. Vet Wrap – doubles for Halloween costumes or compression
3. Gauze – good to put with vet wrap or bandages
4. Diapers – these are great to bandage with, soak up fluid or blood
5. Beta dine – great for hoof abscess, cleaning wounds
6. Bantamine – muscle relaxer, must have a scribe to get, critical if your horse starts to colic
7. Ace – depressant – must have a scribe to get
8. Syringe – good for water fights on a hot day or administering medicine
10. Penicillin – cure all
11. Furazene or ointment to help with infections I really like Neosporin
Which is a human product but works great.
12. Hoof Freeze – made by Hawthorne Product
13. Ice O Gel or FreezeEx – good for muscle strains or wind puffs
14. Leg wraps – good for wrapping muscle strains
15. Quilted wraps- good for heat wraps
16. Equine boot – lost shoes – hoof abscess
17. Ice packs - strained muscles
18. Ice boot – strained muscles
19. Scissors – hair cuts?
20. Duck tape – mouthy rodeo kids after a slow run? Hoof abscess,
21. Saran wrap – heat wraps
22. Dish soap – cleaning of wounds
23. Clean dry towels – water fights - compression bandage if nothing else
24. Alcohol – sterilize
25. Holy water – not a blessing from a father but a great rub made here in Utah
These are items that I seem to use year around. There are some great websites that go along with these products, and all of these you can purchase at a feed store or the vet.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
by Kendra Sagers
No matter what barrel race we attend there are always a hand full of horses that refuse to go in the gate. Some whirl circles, others rear, and still others run backwards faster than a lot of horse can run forward. We all dread these horses, many of us have had a problem gate horse, and all of us know that this behavior is neither fun nor safe. So, what do you do if you have a horse with a gate problem?
There is no simple solution, but first and most important I that you know your horse. When trying to find the cause and then the cure for a gate problem, there are several areas I like to cover and in order to come up with the right answers I have to know my horse. In my opinion, the reasons for gate problems can usually be lumped in to one or more of three categories.
- Training or Respect Problems
- Pain or Injury
The first thing we need to ask is “Why am I having a gate problem?” In general, horses do not disobey just to be “bad”. There is almost always an underlying issue. Has your horse always had a gate problem? Or is this a new issue? The following is a short version of the process I go through to help identify the source of a problem.
Training and Respect Problems
Your horse must respect you. If you don’t have the respect of your horse, you can’t begin to fix any problems. When you are not entering a gate, do you always have control of you horse? If the answer is no, this is probably the best place to start. Horses get excited and nervous, this is normal, but if your horse is not listening to you when he is at home and you are working then you are asking for gate problems.
There are a few exercises I do to check for control.
No matter where I am or what speed I am going, when I want to stop my horse I need to be sure I can. To do a brake check, start at the walk and periodically ask your horse to stop. If from the time you say whoa and ask him to stop until the time he actually does is more than two or three steps, you need to work on your whoa. Gradually speed up this exercise until you are at a good paced lope. Even with speed, I expect a horse to stop within a few steps.
Give Me Now
Second, check to see how responsive your horse is to the bit. When you ask for his head either to the side or to give straight back, does he give willingly? If you ask and he quickly gives at the pole and follows the bit, then you are probably ok. If you have to use a great deal of force to get a little reaction, your horse is not listening and you need to spend some time softening your horse.
Move There Now
When you ask your horse (no matter what speed) to move whether it is forward, backward, or to the side; does he do so quickly? If the answer is yes, you are probably ok on this exercise. If he takes time to move then you have some work to do. This is a good indicator of both respect and training level. If you can not get your horse to move off of your legs and other cues at home, it makes perfect sense that he would not want to do so under stress conditions.
I suggest you check these skills as one of the first steps in identifying a gate problem.
Pain or Injury
Pain and or injury can also be a major reason a horse does not want to go in to a gate. Think about it, if you knew you were going to do something that was going to really hurt you would you be really eager to go and do it? Likely not, and your horse is no different.
Make the Gate A Happy Place
Also, it is so important to make the gate a happy place. I suggest you haul your horses to a lot of practices before actually running especially if you get nervous or the horse is new to the sport. Spend a lot of time going in and out of the gate with no pressure at all.
When you are done practicing or competing walk the horse back to the gate. Dismount at the gate. Loosen their cinch and take off their boots. This will make them look forward to going to the gate.
Monday, November 17, 2008
As you look at each week, you may feel overwhelmed with so many things to get done. As a rodeo mom, you have daily mom duties but you also have to make sure that your chores are done daily and you get your kids to practice. This week for example, not only do I have to work a normal work schedule but we leave on Thursday for a High School Rodeo that is all day Friday and Saturday.
In addition to working, I need to get the all the laundry done, go to the grocery store, pack the trailer and get my daughter to practice on Monday and Wednesday and be ready to leave Thursday as soon as I get home from work. Here are some tips to help get you through it and get motivated to do more.
First, congratulate yourself. Women are amazing. We are great at multi-tasking. Although I may be stressed about it today, by Thursday when I leave I know I will have everything ready and we will have a great weekend at the rodeo.
Second, can I mention lists? The best way to get things done is to know exactly what you need to do. So today before I leave work, I will make a list of all the things that need to happen by Thursday. Also when, I clean and go through the trailer we are staying in, I will make a list of things that need to be bought before we go. You should also prioritize the list. There is always too much to do. So make sure you only do what is important. There is always a great sense of accomplishment when you get mark things off of the list.
Third, put your priorities on a schedule. Most people waste a lot of time because things are not scheduled. If you break your tasks up into manageable pieces of time, you will get a lot more done. Also, you need to learn to set time limits for things. For example, tonight we only have 2 hours for practice because we need to get home and start cleaning the trailer. So only practice for 2 hours. It is way easy to let things go beyond schedule but if you stick to it, I promise you will get more done.
Fourth, reward yourself. One of my favorite rewards is to do absolutely nothing Sunday morning when we get home from a rodeo. Really. I make some coffee in the morning, grab a blanket and watch HGTV for a couple of hours. Yes I don’t watch anything horse related. Or I pop in a movie usually a chick flick. Then when I have chilled for a little while I will get my children back to work, clean the trailer and deal with everything else left over after a rodeo weekend.