Sunday, November 16, 2008

Leather and bling - it's a cowgirl thing
Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Julie Carter

Cindy is a cowgirl who, like many, is fond of shiny things. In her world, bling usually comes attached to leather and both can be found on her shiny, very flashy rope horse.

Roping can be a family sport that promotes a cautious togetherness both at home in the practice arena and on the road to the competitions.

A four-day extravaganza roping was on the calendar for a pair of sisters, their husbands, dogs and other assorted family members.

Their hearts were set on having a good time and winning their fair share of the big bucks that would be handed out. Both families had nice trailers with living quarters and a history of camping out at ropings.

The trailers were parked next to each other and camp gear - including a table with breakfast burrito makings - lawn chairs and coolers were all set up. Everyone was getting their horses ready, breakfast eaten and the day's game plan made.

Cindy had her new wonder horse, the sorrel beauty with the flaxen mane and tail, all tuned up and wearing his new big-bling headstall complete with a space-age unbreakable roping rein. Seemed to go well with her zebra-striped spur straps - the cutting edge of cowgirl fashion.

She was sitting on the sorrel, visiting with the rest of the crew while they got ready.

When he put his head down to eat a stray blade of grass, he pulled the rein out of her hand.

Without thinking much of it, when she got ready to head to the arena, she stuck a spur into his side to indicate it was time for him to pick his head up.

He stepped over the new unbreakable rein and when it all came tight, he was sure a monster had captured him.

He reared up, came down and began to buck all in a single motion. Cindy went out of the tailgate of her saddle, and while making a smooth back flip, she lost points on her landing.

Her rope had been hanging loose over the saddle horn and in these proceedings of chaos, it caught a lawn chair and set the horse into a spin.

The sorrel was panicked at the sight of a lawn chair chasing him on the end of a 30-foot rope.

Cindy made good time on all fours crawling out of the danger zone.

The dogs, ever alert to a party, came along and helped the best they could.

The neighbors, thinking a little Toby Keith would add to the excitement, cranked up the decibels on their boogie machine.

When the dust settled, horses and riders all collected and an old-fashioned, tried and true leather rein attached to the blingy headstall, it was decided the only real damage in the wreck was that the trailers would forever wear clinging breakfast burrito ingredients.

The shiny sorrel had stopped his runaway as soon as he got to the first patch of grass at the edge of the fairgrounds.

Cindy limped around a little but went on to rope four fast steers in a row and win all they wanted to give her.

Nothing like a little dramatic excitement to get hearts pumping in the cowgirl and her horse.

The family plan for ropings remained the same. They'd circle their rigs the next weekend and camp together again, with one change in the rules.

Horses were banned from the inner circle, even the new wonder horse with the big-bling headstall.

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