By Fran Kruger
For a small-town girl from New Mexico, there was nothing more entertaining than a home-grown Rodeo.
When I was school age, all the boys in my classes who lived on farms and ranches would hurry home after school to “work” their horses, train them to be cutting horses, so they could cut the little calves out of the herd during roundup.
The horses had to be trained so that when the rope whizzed past their head to go from a full gallop to a complete stop, so the cowboy could dismount. Then the horse would back up keeping the rope taunt so the little dogie couldn’t slip the rope off, while the cowboy pulled the calf off his feet and tied his legs so he couldn’t get up.
I had a chance to see these horses and riders at the Folsom Rodeo this year. In addition to Calf Roping, there was a beautiful Rodeo Queen; Painted Ladies – wonderful horsewomen riding Indian ponies, or Paints; Mutton Busters – five and six year old kids who rode their sheep out of the chutes; Bronco Riding, Bull Riding, and death-defying Motor Cross.
It was a wonderful patriotic evening with a giant-sized American Flag delivered into the arena by a sky-diver; an honor guard presenting the colors; the singing of “God Bless America” and “The National Anthem;” and the Painted Ladies carrying American Flags as they rode full gallop around the arena. The evening ended with a glorious fireworks display.
It was a rip-roarin’ 4th of July celebration of America!
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