Sunday, July 01, 2018

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy (revisited)

Creative cowboy math

By Julie Carter

Every now and then someone forces the cowboy to do a little scratchin' on paper.

He'll call it a tally sheet and prefers to keep his figuring on his left hand glove or the right leg of his chaps.

For the purpose of this story, I'll target the team ropers. Don't worry; they are used to the abuse.

If someone with a bookkeeping background were to put the ropers "figgers" on paper, it would read something like "Income and Expense Statement, Profit Center: Competition Roping."

The expense column would have a long list of "must haves" that total to a shocking number that the cowboy will qualify with "estimate only - exact records are not important." It is hard to tell which comes first, the rope, the horse or the rig. They are listed here in no particular order of importance.


Top-notch #1 winning rope horse $10,000

Back-up practice horse $9,500

Three-horse slant aluminum trailer $30,000

Two-seater truck to pull trailer $40,000

Ten practice Corrientes $5,000

Worthless Blue Heeler dog named Radar $200

Arena to practice and socialize in $5,000

Hydraulic chute (cheaper than a divorce) $3,500

Roping school with Nat'l Finals winner $700

Different roping school with good teacher $700

Entry fees (to date) $900

Equipment upgrade:

· New saddle $1,200

· EXTREME go and slow bit, $125

· Polyethylene urethane no-pressure saddle pad, $125

· A box of "no miss" ropes $250

Image enhancement:

· Space-age biothane tie down $20

· Straw hat (came with full-size George Strait pic) $70

· Headstall with turquoise $200

Total estimated expense $116,490


First in the average at Mineral Wells, Texas, 3:14 p.m., Sunday, May 1, 2006 $228

Picture frame (gift from admirer) $0

Total income (exact figure) $228

Of course this doesn't take any depreciation into account including the much depreciated wife who tries to keep up with it all.

Roping - what used to be a poor-boy sport - no longer is.

In Texas, where anything can happen and usually does, the classier covered arenas are now offering golf tournaments in conjunction with their ropings. One arena has a swimming pool, two restaurants, a western store, basketball court and is adding a softball field.

It is hard to find an arena in that area that you would recognize as such - built with 2" x 12" boards and used bull wire.

You cannot go to a roping in an open top trailer, single seat pickup and a ranch horse-you would not be allowed in the gate even if you could whup the entire list of entries. You won't find a single gunny sack girth in the bunch of them.

In spite of the math, every rodeo ground in America will be covered over in trucks, trailers, hats, and swinging ropes this July 4th holiday. Its Cowboy Christmas time and the cowboys are on the road 24/7 trying to win their share of the loot.

I'd like to designate the Fourth of July as "Be kind to a rodeo cowboy" holiday. They don't all win, they can't all afford it but they all love it with a passion only they feel and no one understands.

When the rodeo cowboy lays his hat on his heart in honor of the American flag, let us tip our hats to them for being an enduring part of American history.

Even the team ropers.

© Julie Carter 2006

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