Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mutton Bustin'...wha?!

Saturday night we went to the Morgan County Rodeo, and
yes, I like rodeos seeing how we had just gone to one the week before.
We were watching all the regular events...
 James lovin' on Bompa during the rodeo

...when they announced that all kids 7 and under who wanted to do 
mutton busting to go over and get ready.
Well, for those of you who don't know what mutton busting is,
it's where kids ride sheep, similar to a
cowboy riding a bucking bronc. 
So, James had practiced a few
times on our neighbors sheep,
 but the last time practicing when I asked if he wanted to
 ride in the fair he had said no, I didn't 
think much of it after that.
After the announcement though
(I thought you had to sign up previously),
 I asked James if he wanted to again,
and he enthusiastically said "Yeah!"

So we go over, pay our money and sign him up.
Bompa takes Jack and comes with me while
Nathan stays at the grandstands to take pictures.
The sheep were much bigger than Ethon's lamb
(120bs) he had just ridden earlier that day, 
and they try to stay on for 8 seconds, just like the regular rodeo. 
Other rodeos offer helmets (sometimes),
and when this one didn't, I found 
another kid about James' age who had a helmet
and asked if we could borrow thatat our turn. 
So it takes a few cowboys to wrangle the sheep
out of the holding pen,and I'm thinking to
 myself "this is okay, he'll be okay". 
Then I help him onto the sheep,
and the announcer calls his name out, and off he goes!

He held on much longer than in practice, and longer 
than I thought he would,
about 5 or 6 seconds (longest of my life).
When the sheep ran over James, and he was on his stomach, 
I about had aheart attack, and even now 
I get A LOT of anxiety just thinking about it.
I kept thinking "What was I thinking! What have I done to my baby!"
I'll let the picture speak for itself.

He was crying of course, but the rodeo clowns were to him first, 
they picked him up, and James gave them
 hi fives and they said he is one
of the toughest little buckaroo's they've ever seen.
This is where a sheep kicked or stepped under his chin.
During baths that night we found more bruises on one armpit.
James says he got his owies from when he fell off.
He was more sad that he fell off than getting hurt.
We explained that all the cowboys fall off.
I was never more grateful for helmets that day!
IF we ever do it again, we are going to be prepared
 with a helmet with a face mask
and the vest that cowboys wear
(there was a kid who had one!).

But way to go to my little mutton buster! 
You are one tough cowboy!


Jennifer said...

Holy cow that would be stressful! I'm glad everything's okay and he didn't get seriously hurt :)

Maggie said...

Why don't you get James involved in 4-H? He could raise an animal instead of ride one; a lot safer.

Kendra said...

We would totally raise a lamb, but we don't have the property for one :(

Maggie said...

In 4-H, you don't have to have the property. It is cooperative with those who have animals. It may not be a lamb but another animal. It is the best program out there.