Advice for my first rodeo?

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Advice for my first rodeo?

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  • Horses first rodeo

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    09-11-2012, 04:26 PM
Advice for my first rodeo?

I've been riding with the drill team for a few months now and our rodeo performances are fast approaching! We have just 5 practices left assuming we can get into out arena while the rodeo committee sets up.

I've never ridden in a rodeo before. I have attended though and know its loud and probably overwhelming for the horse. Luckily the horse I'm riding did drill in another rodeo a year or so ago, but my teammates, who saw him and his rider do well at that performance, tell me this rodeos atmosphere is different and aren't helping my confidence necessarily.

Anyways! I'd love to hear experiences from you guys! The good and the bad. The horse is fine with traffic noise etc so I'm thinking the rough stock and just huge amount of activity may be the challenge. What quirks at your rodeo do you watch out for?
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    09-11-2012, 10:27 PM
Don't even have anyone who wants to talk me out of it?? That's a welcome change I guess!

Seriously guys, any and all stories of your experience riding in or I guess just watching the exhibitors riding in the rodeo are welcome! I just ask that debate of abuse or mistreatment or wether you like or don't like rodeos because they're smelly or something be left to another thread.
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    09-12-2012, 07:48 AM
Green Broke
I love rodeos....just don't have any experience or words of wisdom to offer you....

Any unknown can be scary......have confidence in yourself, plan for the unexpected.....and just try to have fun.
    09-12-2012, 11:23 AM
Just make sure you ride in the pen before the grand entry. The horse will get to experience the noise and the people in the stands. And you will probably relax when you realize it's not nearly as big a deal as you thought it was.
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    09-12-2012, 11:46 AM
Green Broke
I rode in a drill team for quite a while. The most important thing you can do is walk your horse around the arena at least an hour before if you can in the arena. My two normal
Drill horses had been around te block a few times, but I did have to introduce my younger mare to it. I just got there early and let her check out EVERYTHING until she was okay with all of it (cattle, banners, scary water pumps, bucking chutes). Basically live that entire evening on your horse.
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    09-12-2012, 12:14 PM
Getting in the arena before the performance sounds key! Luckily we've been practicing in the arena for months but it will definitely feel beyond different for the horse. I'll be adding a warm up lap or two before the rodeo to my checklist!

I keep reminding myself....breathe! Truly think I can handle anything and get the horse through it if I just stay calm.
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    09-12-2012, 01:44 PM
I don't do DT but I do barrel race....

My horse LOVES the environment, the louder the crowd and music the better he works it doesn't bother him one bit.

But for the 9yr old OTQH mare of mine gets a bit more nervous when the music gets loud or people clapping (just at a regular barrel race not a rodeo). So I usually just haul and camp on her when I am not on my other two just so she gets comfortable with the environment before upping up the amp like at a rodeo.

So if your wondering how he will be just camp on him the entire rodeo and just let him chill.

And I don't really see a "different" rodeo environment....they are loud, pumped, and sometimes a little rowdy. But if your horse has been in drill team for a while he should be fine.
    09-12-2012, 02:33 PM
Originally Posted by BarrelRacingLvr    
I don't do DT but I do barrel race....

And I don't really see a "different" rodeo environment....they are loud, pumped, and sometimes a little rowdy. But if your horse has been in drill team for a while he should be fine.
A teammate's mother is trying to tell me there is more stock at this one and the people get rowdier etc. May be true but I'm thinking if he can do it once he can do it again. Just to clarify he's only done this once before, at a rodeo in a ritzier part of town...supposedly that makes it calmer (to this mom anyways). I'm going to try to get him there early, if not a time or two before the weekend we ride since it's at our riding association and I might have access, to see EVERYTHING a couple of times. We'll see...

I hear "horror" stories about warm-ups and the dreaded "shoot" leading into the arena, so I guess I'm just talking myself into being relaxed. I'm hoping we'll both love the crowd cheering, that would help!
    09-14-2012, 12:33 PM
Practiced cantering with the flags the other night at practice! Was WAY easier then I thought it was going to be. The flag even got wrapped around a small pole as we passed (oops!) and we didn't get hung up, horse was fine and I feel so much more confident now. I'm a little weird in that, any spook I make it through can sometimes be give the confidence to handle more, I'll take it though!

Rodeo is only two weeks away....getting to do grand entry is honestly a dream come true, just hope I don't cry happy/patriotic tears lol. Getting excited!
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    09-14-2012, 01:10 PM
How exciting!

Sometimes horses can surprise you in a good way. I once rode a Morgan mare (that had been labeled as "flighty and unpredictable" by her former owners) in a parade. You should've seen their faces as we pranced by with her ignoring the firecrackers, waiving flags, and sirens. I was SO proud of her! The only thing that gave her pause was the railroad tracks, and after studying them for a few seconds she decided it was safe to high step her way across.

My only other experience that would compare at all to a rodeo was with a mare that had issues due to a scary animal attack. We were at a county fair with lots of commotion and it was my job to sing the national anthem on horseback. A friend of mine cantered around the ring with a giant American flag and my horse thought it was going to eat her. She spun around in a few circles but I just kept singing and hung on. :) Made for a more dramatic anthem, that's for sure!

So, my advice is: hang on and have fun!

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