Exception: If the Horse Cavalry Detachment of the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry is part of the show that day, there's a good chance that mounted soldiers from the First Team will carry the flag.
Absolutely military are always involved when they are present. One of the larger rodeos in my state always encorporates some sort of military presence into the grand entry each night.
SHOULD you have the opportunity to do so in this venue or another, I suggest that you buy a stirrup with the attachment for the flag.
I have never seen a stirrup that you can purchase with a flag attachment on it.
What you do want to get though, and that is a good suggestion, is a flag boot. It's a simple leather holder with an adjustable strap that you secure around your stirrup leathers. It's a lot easier to use a flag boot, than to try to wedge the flag pole into your stirrup leathers and hold it, especially if it is a large flag and very windy.
ANd you always carry the flag on your right side.
The drill team my daughter is on does usually carry the US flag during opening ceremonies...the other members carry either a TX or US flag -- or a smaller size, therefore the US flag is the largest in attendance as it should be.
Also, at a lot of the rodeos here(including the San Angelo rodeo-one of the 10 largest in the US every year) the flag is carried at at least a medium and usually a fast lope/gallop/run -- this is truly an amazing site! The colors streaming up above and behind a running horse!
I am a retired Army guy and am not offended by the flag being carried at the faster pace. I don't know the rules for how the US flag should be carried during ceremonies(I was never stationed anywhere we had a mounted unit)...but it looks mucho better at a fast lope than it does at a slow lope. The only rules we ever had to follow during any of our ceremonies was that the US flag had to be the largest and tallest flag there.
I've always been taught to never go faster than a moderate gallop while holding the American Flag. Even if you are exiting the arena. It's a respect thing. You will get scolded if you break that rule, at least where I've been.
Yup, and the American flag is always held the tallest. All other flags present in the arena are to be bowed and slightly lowered.
And if there is an eagle on the top of the flag pole, you have to make sure it is facing forward. Again, respect and attention to detail.
And it is never to touch the ground, as usual.
You sound pretty "easy going" for the most part about the American flag, but there are other's who are sticklers. So you've got to present it that way to make everyone happy.