Dear darling Coco is (hopefully) ready for her first rodeo.

This Ain’t My First Rodeo

The day before my first-ever rodeo, I found myself walking my limping horse “Coco” home and crying the whole way. I headed across a couple local roads and through our neighbor’s ranch on home. Coco and I had been in adult horse camp all week, training for the Sundance Hills Equestrian Center’s annual rodeo. Just minutes before camp ended, Coco started limping.

I got off, we felt her leg and it was hot. And swollen. After rinsing it with cool water, applying a topical treatment and wrapping it, we slowly walked home together. She had injured her leg in a game of Red Light, Green Light of all things. Red Light, Green Light is exactly what you think it is: the stop-and-start game we played as kids but in this case played on horseback. On the first “green light,” Coco saw other horses start to thunder down the arena. Terrified, she did a 180-degree turn and tried to run the other way. Given my girl is pretty green, this simple game was a scary new experience, and a tough one on her tiny feet.

A year later we’re going to try again! This afternoon we begin adult horse camp 2018. It will be a four-day preparation for Friday’s rodeo and thankfully sans Red Light, Green Light. I hear in camp we’ll be doing flatwork (boring and hard but incredibly important), jumping (Coco and I will take it easy, keep the poles on or near the ground), western dressage (I love dressage) and pole bending and barrel racing (Coco loves poles) to prep for the rodeo. I’ll post updates. Wish us luck!