California isn't all Hollywood parties, glamour and movie stars with their fancy awards ceremonies. My Dad wouldn't visit me here for the longest time because he was not interested in setting foot in this crazy land of 'nuts & fruits'. I will agree that California may have a few 'interesting qualities', but I am here to share some of the rural roots we find so appealing.
For example; the 50th Anniversary of the ''Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale'' held in Northern California, in.....Red Bluff! We took a little five day working vacation and spent five days with no plans to buy either Bulls or Geldings. We just enjoy the country folk and the atmosphere.
If you aren't a 'horse person' you may be wondering what a gelding is, or I don't know, maybe everyone knows what a gelding is? Anyways, a gelding is the term used for a male horse that has been altered (castrated). You all should know what a bull is, a massive male bovine that has not been altered (castrated). Some of my worst and most humorous memories of vet school involved working with bulls *shudder*. I am definitely a horse person, not so much a cattle person. You won't find me referring to myself as a cowgirl. Nope.
So, back to Red Bluff, we set up our camp in the parking lot along with all of the other rural campers. Right at home in the mud and muck. This was the second day and the road had dried up quite a bit. Those who thought ahead had packed rubber muck boots, we hadn't thought ahead. But it sure beats paved city streets, eh?
I enjoy watching fine horses and people watching. There was a rigorous three day screening program for the geldings, all between 3-10 years old, all ranch and cattle horses. I like horse rumps.... apparently from my pictures, cowboy bottoms too.
Some say people and their dogs look alike........
Lots of cowboy hats, lots of horses, lots of visiting.
I so enjoy watching youngsters show their horsemanship skills. This young fella rode a very well-broke young horse and he handled that rope with skill. The ladies were lovin' him. One grandma-type asked if he came along with the horse if she bought it. He seriously answered,"no 'mam".
It was a whole family affair. Seems as though this entire family rides together.
Up in the left hand corner is #50, "Molly". Mules are the exception to the gelding rule, she is a she-mule. I bonded with her, I got me a buyer's number, I remembered our agreement NOT to buy a creature, I did not buy Molly, good thing too, she sold for $6000.00!
Here is the sale ring. This horse was an amazing cow horse. This was a $25,000.00 horse.
I think this was the oldest man at the Auction, he couldn't stay awake and he was sitting ring-side, where it was very noisy and busy. I was worried about him and kept looking over to make sure I could see his chest moving.
He didn't seem very interested in the auction, I wondered if his family made him go.
This young cowboy wasn't getting the high bids he wanted for his palomino so he kept upping his act. Everyone is wanting a horse you can stand on to rope your cattle off of, don't you know. I think I heard the grandma-type lady yell out asking if he came with the horse if she bought it?
Then there was the Rodeo, Bull Riders and Bronc Riders. Great family entertainment.
The pre-rodeo show was a local band. After the rodeo, the local country-rock-new age-rap- combo band played some more and a dance was held out in the arena. Have you ever danced out in arena dirt? Strange experience.
Also strange was watching young adults at the dance busy texting friends while standing in groups with friends also busy texting others. There are no tables out in the arena, so another strange thing was watching couples dance while holding on to their full plastic cups of beer, while trying to maneuver around in the dark arena dirt. This was getting way too red-neck for even Jerry and I so we headed back to our swamp.
You know, at least those movie stars have tables for their drinks at those fancy affairs of theirs.
The Military carried in the red-white-and blue and we thoroughly enjoyed a local singer do an absolutely wonderful job singing the national anthem. I love it when the cowboys and cowkids take off their hats for the flag.
The Bull Sale was awesome, bulls are massive and scary. Some people handled their bulls with only halters without nose rings. My palms were sweaty. Bulls make me nervous. I think the high dollar bull sold for about $6000.00. There were hundreds of bulls sold that day. I wasn't even tempted to go find my buyer's number.
Then I go out and see this tiny little munchkin helping her Daddy shine up their bull for the ring.