So I'm thinking about being a flag carrier at an upcoming local rodeo and was just wondering if anyone who has done it before has any advice or what to expect? Thanks!:D
That flag gets heavy FAST. I would recommend a flag carrier for your stirrup. Is your horse used to a flag?
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I agree, get a flag boot, it gets old trying to pack it with your toes! :) I like the shorter ones better than the tall ones. Just in case you need to pitch it if you get in a wreck its easy to get out of the boot to toss it.
Get your horse used to the flag touching him, flapping in his face, up above, etc. And make sure you are confident of riding one handed to control your horse and even more so in a crowed, loud arena.
Another tip, get a visual and feel for your arm is and flag pole for it to be standing straight up. Flags held at an angle look sloppy.
Take it from me, my horse had NO problems with people carrying flags, troting by, galloping past him. If the person holding it comes too close and it touched him, he didnt care, at all. But as soon as I tried to grab it, he FLIPPED out and I ate dirt, and landed flat on my head. I suggest practice, practice, practice. Dont wait till the day of the show to try to carry the flag.
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I rodeo queened for a few years and carrying flags in front of a full rodeo crowd is a blast!
But I think you are wise to wait a year, as everyone else has brought up things to think about.
Your horse needs to have a very good neck rein. Especially if it is a windy night, it takes all your focus and strength to hold that flag perfectly straight. You can't be worrying about controlling your horse.
Your horse needs to be comfortable in a LOUD rodeo environment. A lot of times, you have to run right by blaring speakers with the flag, so your horse needs to be comfortable with that.
It gets crazy hectic behind the chutes to pass off your flag, and go grab another one. Again, your horse needs to be able to handle that, and not be scared when people are literally tossing flags at your as fast as you can catch, get it into your flag boot, and GO again.
And flag boot is a MUST. Especially with a wind and a large heavy flag, you won't be able to keep it upright without a boot.
And most of all remember: You are carrying a SPONSOR flag for someone who is giving money for the rodeo. If you drop their flag, or don't hold it straight, or whatever, that's playing badly on that sponsor. They won't like that. You've got to keep the sponsors happy and present their flag correctly.
Prepare yourself this year, haul your horses to lots of places to see sights, sounds, and noises, build a flag at home to practice (buy a wooden dowel for a closet and staple a large piece of noisy flapping farbic to it), and desensitize your horse to it.
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