Want a taste of the Old West? There is nothing better than a good old-fashioned RODEO! Our little cowboys had a fantastic time at the Steamboat Pro-Rodeo. (Mom and Dad had a blast too!)
The rodeo in Steamboat Springs is the most successful weekly rodeo in the country and can trace it’s roots back over 100 years! You can see hints of the Wild West and cowboys even when you’re walking in! (Check out those belt buckles!)
What I really loved was the intimate setting. The bulls and broncos are right under the stands. My kids were fascinated with their size! I was concerned that they didn’t get too close or make them mad.
We were able to get close enough to see the brands on the broncos!
There are several fun activities before the rodeo begins, so make sure you get there early. Your kids will love playing on the playground and all the parents can enjoy the savory barbeque and great music! That night a there was a musician who sang great covers.
When you come early you can watch the event come together.
The competitors came in with their saddles,
and everyone can see the arena up close!
The cowboys hang out under the stands while waiting to compete.
We were early enough that we sat in the first row overlooking the chutes!
Our kids loved seeing the activity up close.
After a cowboy version of the national anthem,
the first event is bull riding.
Team roping is next. A conversation with a young cowboy taught me the practical reason for this skill. When the calves are young they may be reluctant to be looked at by the veterinarian and may need to be captured. It’s something cowboys have been practicing out West since Colorado’s first ranchers. One rope is for the horns and another is for the foot. Look at the skill!
Bare back bronco riding is next. It happens so fast!
Steer wrestling was crazy to watch! The cowboy rides beside the animal and then jumps off the horse. The goal was to wrestle the cow to the ground by grabbing it’s horns. I know the meaning of the phrase “grab life by the horns” now!
I think this guy’s boots were full of dirt by the end!
The kids have this hilarious event called the ‘calf scramble.’
Think of it like flag football – except the flag is on the tail of a calf and the arena is full of kids trying to grab the flag to be declared the winner!
Saddle bronc riding looks pretty crazy too.
I’m not sure which would be more painful – with or without the saddle!
We also learned that they are not called rodeo “clowns” but instead barrel men and they play an important role keeping the competitors safe in the arena.
Tie-down roping involves a cowboy lassoing a calf, jumping off his horse with one end tied to the saddle horn and the other used to tie it’s feet. This entire practice is useful for ranchers when they need to capture calves for branding or vet exams. Look at how fast they use the rope!
The moon rising over the ski runs is quite beautiful, too!
Make sure you head out to the Steamboat Pro Rodeo – your little cowboys will love it!