Ryan’s Field Notes #27 – Dreaming of the Rodeo

posted in: Ryan's Field Notes | 0
Ryan’s Field Notes #27 – Dreaming of the Rodeo
Good morning/afternoon/evening/night (if it’s 2am you insomniac, you can use this to go to sleep)

As I was sitting here this morning I was thinking over the last year and how many (most) events of every type were cancelled. 
It has definitely been a challenging time for everyone in many different areas of life.
As I was thinking about it my mind drifted back to some of the events I used to love to photograph.  Of course rodeos was at the top of the list.

So I went back through some of my files and got lost in the memories of the thing they call a rodeo…
There was rattling and clanging in the chute, the cowboys were getting the feisty bronc ready for the ride. 
Over the speakers, announcements were made, past rides of the upcoming rider were talked about.
The rider is seen swinging over the railing into place on the back of the not so patiently awaiting bronc. 
As the rider nods his head in a signal that he is ready, the chute swings open, a heart pounding beat of music hits the air.
It is drowned out by the crowd, in the stands and behind the chutes cheering on the experienced rider.
Trying to unseat his rider the horse leaps into the air with a slight twist, an anticipated move, the rider keeps his seat.
Up and down, side to side, the bone jarring ride continues. 
As the ride continues the cheering and shouts of encouragement get louder.  Encouragement from all, even his competition.
They are the loudest. 
Cheering him on, because they know this is his ride, he is competing against himself and this horse, they will never have the same ride as he is having right now.
They want him to succeed.
Those long eight seconds pass, he is still in the saddle…barely. 
Dust is filtering through the air, shouts of success rise.
It was a good ride.

I thought of the many times as I would walk behind the chutes I would overhear riders visiting with each other giving tips, discussing past challenges, helping each other look over gear.
Nobody wanting the other to fail, only trying to help each other get better and better. 
The rides were tough, that’s how they wanted them. 
It was the challenge, that was what drew them, becoming better than the ride before.

It didn’t matter if it was bronc riding or bull riding, barrel racing, team roping or mutton busting. 
They were all there for each other, and they were all there for the challenge.
As I sit here thinking of rodeos of summer’s past I look forward to the hope of getting to participate again as a photographer in these events that showcase the depth of the American spirit.

Maybe one day again as the summer sun sets with the dust of an amazing ride settling I will be quickly looking at the back of the camera making sure that I captured what I thought I did on that one of a kind ride.
Current offering of Art Prints
Last year before Covid had locked down everything I was asked to do a presentation on rodeo photography for a local camera club.
A couple of months ago I decided to put that presentation into a slideshow video. 
If your interested in my take on Rodeo photography here is a 20 minute video. 
Rodeo Photography Video
What do you have planned to accomplish this year? 
Hopefully you are on track to meet the tasks you have set. 

Thanks for hanging out with me today. 
Hope your day is a good one.
See you next week.

Ryan McGehee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *