Monday, February 8, 2010

Should have Skipped the Rodeo this Weekend...

The Winter Rodeo Circuit that DD runs in is winding down to a close. Last weekend we were scheduled for a rodeo but it was postponed to this weekend with Finals coming next weekend. I had a feeling for a couple of days to just skip the rodeo this weekend because she doesn't need it for points or anything as she has everything needed to qualify for finals next weekend but we like to let her run when they have them because it never hurts to get the extra practice, right?! Well I could have begged to differ with that this weekend, it ended up being a time that I wish I could just undo and spend the time doing something else....

As some of you know DD runs on an 18 year old gelding Pete for her rodeo's. This horse is actually her dad's but she started out on him and we bought her her "own" horse but she had already got this one working the patterns fairly well and they were working good together so we just left it alone. Over the course of the Winter season we added breakaway roping to her rodeo events, it has been a learning process and I really think if she was running on a "roping horse" she would love it! But as it is we have had her on Pete running everything. After the first couple of times running him he started to act up when it was time to go in the box. We have had issues in the past where he would randomly rear up on her but it was always short lived and they would move on. But it has slowly gotten worse, which is very strange because he has never gotten his way by rearing up, she always completes what she is doing... So this weekend proved that he was definitely having issues, yesterday it started with him not even letting her ride him to the arena with out rearing. He would get within a couple hundred feet and start acting up! My Hubby is always with her but he asked me to come out and observe what was going on, so I did. Basically he is just pitching a fit, and I do believe that DD is being kind of scared of what he's doing so that is making it worse. Her and I talked about some things she needed to do and that seemed to help. So yesterday was left with a few error's on his part but overall ok....

Today we started the day out with poles and he broke pattern, but barrels and goats he did ok on. He was still having an issue getting close to the arena but not near as bad as yesterday. So come time for breakaway and the Hubby leads her into the box in case he rears, they did ok getting in there. One of the judges came over and guided him in with his horse and Pete was in. Well they get semi set up (she won't get set up 100% right because she doesn't want to get him worked up) so she gives the nod for the calf and kicks to go, well the calf was a little late coming out of the chute so she ends up ahead of it. She tries to get Pete around and back to the calf and then it happened....

Watch the video....And please don't judge because I left the camera running a bit longer than I should have...

So now let me explain what happened...When they got to the gate he of course was ready to go out, she was obviously trying to get him turned around when he hopped up the first time. My "lack" of fast response kind of comes from his habit of doing this I think. I have my camera on a mono pod with the strap around my neck so I'm not real mobile with this 5 foot tall contraption. I am also watching all of this through my 2 1/2 x 2" LCD screen on my DSLR so when I am recording it actually takes me a second or two to catch what is going on, I actually usually have to watch it after she runs as I spend the whole run making sure I get it on camera so I don't ever feel like I have "watched" her run. So with that said when he went up the second time and walked forward I thought to myself "oh crap his foot is going to go through the gate" then he landed on top of the gate. So it took me a second to figure out what the heck to do, I was about 5 levels up in the bleachers and I was trying to get the dang thing off my neck and get down there all the while watching her because I was scared for her. I start to head down the bleachers and another rodeo mom starts freaking out and starts to run over there then turns around and apologizes to me for what she said (bad word) I said "oh no it's ok"! So Pete is caught up on the gate and D is holding on but he started to go over backwards (where I shut off the camera and ran) as he starts to go over he is like falling sideways over to the corner of the arena and DD falls and I thought OH MY GOD she going to get crushed! She was falling into the same corner he was falling into, I must have looked down for a split second while running down and when I looked back she was pulling herself back up! Her foot had stayed in the stir up and so she managed to use all of her strength and pull herself back onto Pete but on his butt behind her saddle. So then somehow they got his foot untangled and she hopped over the back of the saddle then they opened the gate and pulled her off! Then I couldn't see her anywhere so I was freaking out with tears in my eyes and I see her behind a banner but she is just standing there so I holler out to her and she comes over crying but ok. She hurt her chest by hitting it on the saddle horn during the fall and her knee is pretty bruised up but other than that she was ok. The women around me all had tears in their eyes and one of them grabbed her and hugged her and said "D you are one tough little cowgirl, and God was definitely watching over you"... It made me cry, I pray before every run she makes and usually my momma is there with me and she always says a prayer too but she wasn't there because she is out of town. So I texted her and told her what had happened and her response was that on their way to the cruise ship this afternoon she had told her friend please let's pray for DD because Pete has been acting up...I know that God saved her life and I am SO very thankful for that.

I would also just like to pause and point out something here....Did anyone notice that she still had ahold of her rope?! She held onto that thing until she fell I think, silly girl!

So you probably are thinking what will I be doing with him now? As it stands right now a girl who runs in the high school class will be bringing her old breakaway horse which DD had been running on but they didn't have room to haul it this weekend but they are bringing him next weekend and she will use him for breakaway and goat tying. She really can ride Pete for barrels and poles but another friend has offered his daughter's barrel/pole horse for her if we decide we want to, we talked to her about this and she said she would be fine with that. So we will see, we will continue our search for a different horse for her which we have already been doing just haven't found one that is "good" and not overly expensive...

When something like this happens and you don't respond in the "proper" way it's kind of hard because other people judge you when you already feel horrible enough as it is. Why is that?! But the point is, is that she is fine and I am humbled...

Sidenote~ Please pray for a little girl "Cowpirl PR" who runs the circuit with DD. She was kicked in the belly by her horse today and was flown by helicopter to the hospital where she is recovering from a laceration to her spleen...She is a beautiful little angel and her family has suffered a lot of tragedy's in the last year and a half but still feel blessed to still all be here. Now that's perseverance!


  1. As a mom, you must have been coming out of your skin. I'm so glad she and Pete are okay. Think Pete's just messing with her because he can?

    That is one brave cowgirl.

  2. What the heck is Pete's issue? Michelle please don't think you've done anything wrong, because you haven't. DD is a great rider and a great girl who is doing something she loves. What we can't do is is control the horses actions, and horses have bad days too.

  3. Oh, You are all so brave. Prayers with you DD for safe rides. Hang in there - you're the best rider. Prayers for you friend too.

  4. I had just broken my 4 year old Appaloosa and she started the habit of rearing just after I got onto her for a ride. Knowing that there was a pattern emerging, I waited for the rear to begin, and when she was almost fully up, I hit her with a closed fist right on the back of the head. I thought I had broken my hand. By the way, this was the first time that I have hit a horse, but it cured her of rearing, and she is now the best horse that I have. I have only hit a horse one other time, and that was an elbow in the neck when she grabbed my belly flab with her teeth. With some thing as life threatening as rearing, I would be tempted to put a big, strong guy on the horse and try it. What have you got to lose?

    DD is certainly a confident young lady and quite a horse person from what I can see. Thank God she was not hurt seriously! BTW, where is the helmet?

  5. Sorry to hear about that, I am sure it was a very scary moment. But thank gosh everyone is ok! It is so hard to know why horses do what they do sometimes, it can be so many factors besides just attitude problems, bits, saddles, people it is just so hard to narrow it down sometimes. I hope you can get it figured out for dd and pete. Prayers are with ya!!!

  6. have you had anyone else ride to see if he does this to anyone else??

  7. Oh my, what a frightening moment for you as a mom! I can't even imagine... your heart must have been in your mouth as you ran down there. And you did NOT leave that camera running too long, you shut it off and took off the moment it went bad. Thank goodness DD is ok... and I think A Country Cowgirl nailed it when she said that sometimes it's hard to figure out why horses do what they do... there can be so many different variables!

    Good luck to DD at the finals! :)

  8. Goodness, what a scary situation, I am so glad DD is okay. My thoughts are with you as I am having such problems with my own horse at the moment.

  9. Leah, Jeni & WSOS~ Well I don't think he is just messing with her I think he is not thinking right...It's like his nerves are getting the best of him. Thank you guys for your kind words and making me feel better than I was last night.

    Ian~ Yes we have a friend who has suggested a 2x4 over his head as the Hubby has punched him and that didn't work. However D isn't strong enough for that LOL! I am glad that fixed the issue for yours! As far as the helmet goes when she first started riding she wore a helmet and did for a while but as she has progressed she does not wear one. If your wondering no they are not required to for rodeo..

    ACC~ You know we haven't changed anything for him...The only thing "different" that has gone on other than breakaway was my nephew rode him for a few breakaways as well and he had problems with him as well. Myself and my husband have both ridden him (the Hubby more than I, it is his horse) and yes he will do the same thing...With me it's more hopping but it's really like he is getting nerved..So the Hubby has a couple of things he is going to try with him when he rears so I will update.

    OZ G~ Thank you for your kind words...I wish someone else had the camera LOL!! Because I would have loved for everyone to actually see how the hand of God was laying on her! It was a miracle!

    AM~ Thank you, ughh isn't that so frustrating!! I hope you get yours figured out soon! And stay safe!!

  10. Oh Michelle.

    I had tears in my eyes reading this. I am sitting here bruised and beat up from my own fall from a horse (my first) and have goosebumps reading about how God protected DD too.

    There is no doubt in my mind that He kept her safe. As soon as I saw him going up near the gate, I had that horrible feeling that he was going to get caught. How afraid I would have been for DD at that moment! I cannot imagine how you felt (well, I can - but it makes me sick to my stomach to know you had to watch it).

    I know you wouldn't put your child in danger. And dealing with a giant beast that has its own mind means having to teach our kids to handle them as safely as possible - then trust that they are learning. How are you supposed to be safer? Taking her completely out of riding, not allowing her to be in a car, banning roller skates... etc?

    Thank God she was okay.

    *(And I can't wait to tell you what happened with my fall... it is an unbelievable story).

    God Bless You!

  11. Please keep us posted on how Pete makes out as it may be something that will help a whole bunch of us learn. How are his teeth?

  12. Oh goodness, how scary! I'm glad everything turned out ok, though!

  13. I know you guys have done the best you could, with what you had, so forgive the bluntness...

    You have burned Pete out! Get DD off of him NOW!!!

    There was probably a time when you could have simply backed him off of a few events and DD could have gotten by using him until you found something out, but he's pretty much finished now.

    I wouldn't put her back on him and send them into the arena for any event. I can promise you, Pete IS going to hurt DD and/or himself at this point. He isn't messing around.

  14. Rach~ I am SO sorry to hear that you had a fall!! I definitely want to hear the story soon! I am so glad you are ok!!

    Ian~ Yes I will keep you all posted on what happens with him..

    Thanks LeAnna!

    BEC~ Thanks for your candor...We are looking for her another horse. Unfortunately the horse she was supposed to ride for barrels/poles this weekend for finals is limping...UGHH!

  15. First off, don't worry about how long you video'd!! My goodness, you had to have been stunned. I'm just glad she is okay. Good luck on finding her a new horse.

  16. Oh.. I am so proud of that girl of yours. What a scary thing to watch!

  17. Yikes! I remember how terrified I was for her when Pete did this during that barrel run. Maybe Pete is trying to tell everyone something very important? Maybe he's fed up with this rodeo stuff and just wants to be retired? He seems very unhappy in there and just wants OUT.

    Your daugther is brave, brave, brave! But don't let Pete ruin that spark and determination she has for her rodeo sports. I think it's awesome that so many other people are offering her their good horses for her to ride. Tak 'em up on it and don't let your daughter ride Pete out there in that arena. Next time she might not be as lucky.

    Whew....I'm shaking.


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  19. Yikes!! Thanking God though that it all turned out ok! I'm going to be showing this year in 4H for the first time, I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I'll be following your blog :) Come check out my photography blog if ya want! I love your playlist, I listen to alot of the same music :)

  20. Oh yes this horse is used for running cattle, trail rides, crossing rivers. He does it all! That is why we have had such a difficult time with understanding his current behavior! He has always been reliable, but he is now retired from rodeo so we will see how he does back into plain old ranch life! He is actually out running cattle right now, so hopefully he's back to normal!!

    Thanks for checking out my blog! I will be sure to pop over and visit!


DD's Rodeo Video's