Bronc Fling 2014 was a bronc riding event at
"I haven't been on bucking horses like this for a long time. So I'm going to be bruised and battered for sure," Deaver said, somewhat presciently, after Friday's class with Henson.
After Saturday's ride, Deaver, the loan officer at
He was smiling and in good cheer afterward. But even though he qualified for a re-ride -- his horse snagged up in the chute -- he said once was enough for the evening.
But it wasn't Deaver's first rodeo.
"I rode bulls growing up, started playing ball when I was in college and kind of got away from it," he said. "
Barrett is the owner of
"We would get in the old pickup, go to two or three junior rodeos every weekend and win a little old handful of cash or a belt buckle or two," he said. "It was a great life growing up."
He grew older, moved away and got married. Twelve years later, after returning with his family, he found himself waiting for a flyer to come in the mail for
"In 2009, I sat around all summer waiting to get my kids in this junior rodeo," he said. "I started asking around and found out that the people who used to do it had quit."
One of the biggest junior rodeos in the nation was now just a memory.
"It was a big deal, us young boys that lived around here," he said. "We lived for that moment to hear our names called over the loudspeaker in that junior rodeo."
"So I took a giant leap of faith, I scheduled it in the middle of December when it was in the 20s," he said and laughed. "Everybody told me I was an idiot, you know. I kept telling everybody that God had my back on this one and that the weather was going to be pretty that weekend."
It's hard to argue with results. The weekend's weather, at least in the Big Country, was tailor-made for rodeo.
"I'm with the
After working the bucking machine for most of the day, the class of about 10 or so moved on to the arena to test what they'd learned so far. No machines out here, just plenty of twitchy horseflesh.
"Since last March, I'd been on about 50," she said.
It's rare to see a cowgirl riding broncs.
"There's a few of us out there," the 24-year-old said. "Not very many, but there's a few of us."
She went about four or five seconds on her ride Friday before hitting the ground. That was pretty much how it went for most in the class.
But no worries. Why do we fall? To learn how to get back up again.
Johnson laughed about the mare she drew for her ride.
"I kind of lost her whenever she really sucked her head down between her legs," she said. "I think my head followed her head and I just went between her ears."
Johnson has spent a lot of time around horses. She grew up with them and now shoes horses for a living.
While strength plays a role in the sport, Johnson said, it's more mental than anything.
"I feel like that's the reason why I'm able to ride broncs, because I'm not a big stout guy, I can't just hold on and bear down," she said. "I spend a whole lot of time thinking about what I need to do from one bronc ride to the next."
It's not the kind of sport you can practice at home. Practicing it in the mind, then, is how to make corrections.
"Whenever you think about it, you kind of condition your body to do things," Johnson said. "It turns into muscle memory."
Broncs are one thing, however. Bulls are something else entirely. She said that's enough for her.
"Whenever you get bucked off a bronc, you just go. You fly off of them," she said. "When you get bucked off a bull, you kind of get whacked and horses don't typically come after you whenever you get bucked off."
It's the sensation of having her hand tied in the rope, which is around the bull, that sits wrong with her. She admitted that's a little scary.
"I don't know, I'm not going to do anything that scares me," she said, and then laughed. "I want it to be fun."
(c)2014 the Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas)
Visit the Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas) at www.reporternews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services