Thursday, May 3, 2007

College and High School Experiences for Doc, the Little Bay Horse

(Doc and I awaiting the VEISHEA parade with the shiny Sunshine "S" Trailer Sales trailer in background!)

Beautiful weekend weather and faithful alma mater support brought thousands of Cyclone Alumni and other visitors to Ames for the 150th birthday of Iowa State University and the VEISHEA Celebration on April 21. The little bay and I were colorful participants in the Saturday morning parade as we made our way through the route waving and smiling at all of the red-and-yellow-clad bystanders.

As we were waiting for our turn to enter the parade route, Doc (the little bay) told me that he had never been in a parade before and was not quite impressed with the loud bands and huge helium-filled creature balloons, but since he did not know what to expect, he would give it a shot. He did really well and didn't seem too phased by all of the activity and commotion, so I am sure he will learn to love parades as much as me! The VEISHEA parade had an estimated 75,000 people in attendance, so it was nothing like breaking the little bay into his "PR" job at a "small" event . . . or so I told him!

(Rachel Burton, me, and Holly Soucie awaiting the grand entry in Sidney--yes, I do have a little bay, but Rachel's horse Tank proves true to his name and is REALLY TALL!)

Saturday, April 28th I attended the Sidney, Iowa High School Rodeo for another "first" for the little bay. Doc has never been to a rodeo, so I wanted to have a trial run with a large crowd, flapping flags, blowing fence banners, and the PA system of the announcer before we get ready to attend the professional and amateur Iowa rodeos. Before the grand entry I ran into two of my most favorite high school rodeo competitors and beatutiful queens, Rachel Burton (Miss Rodeo Iowa Teen) and Holly Soucie (Iowa High School Rodeo Queen).

I did not participate in high school rodeo, but after spending the day in Sidney, if I could go back in time I would have added it to the list of activities I participated in. All of the student directors, judges, and contestants were very helpful and cordial to one another. The atmosphere of the rodeo was the epitome of why people refer to rodeo as "one big family." I felt very fortunate to witness the camaraderie, healthy competition, and sportsmanship that contributed to a successful rodeo.

Doc and I got to help the pick-up men chase out calves and steers. The little bay proved true to his Doc O'Lena lineage by being very keen and serious about his bovine-tracking and cutting duties during the rodeo. I am looking forward to spending the summer on the road at rodeos with this little horse because I think we will have a lot of fun, and he will turn into a very handy horse to have!

On Sunday I traveled to Knoxville, Iowa to put on a small "Cowgirl Queen Clinic" for a group of girls vying for their local title. We had a lot of fun practicing how to sit, stand, and pose properly, as well as how to create "queen hair" and "horse show make-up." The last part of the clinic we spent in the arena practicing how to sit on a horse correclty and tuned-up thier horsemanship. I hope the girls enjoyed themselves as much as I did because it was a wonderful experience for me. Best of luck in June, gals!

May is somewhat of a slower time for me for traveling as Miss Rodeo Iowa, however, I get to travel to the Gallo Dairy Farm in Merced, California the day after graduation from Iowa State. I was selected to go with a group from ISU to help with a reasearch project. I am very excited to return to the farm (we were there last spring and this fall) because it still amazes me to see a farm with 40,000 dairy cows! We will spend most of our time in the maternity barn, but it is an impressive operation, nonetheless.

My Miss Rodeo Iowa duties will resume the weekend of May 25-27 for the John Wayne Centennial Festival in Winterset, Iowa. As far as I know, the little bay and I will be participants in the parade, along with a few other events. If you are even the SLIGHTEST John Wayne fan, you should mark it on your calendar to attend because they will be opening a new museum, you can tour the house he was born in, hear singers such as Riders in the Sky and Michael Martin Murphy, as well as watch trick riders and other performers. Check out the website: . . . you KNOW you want to go!

Until the next time for more adventures with the little bay . . .