The Total Experience

By Pauline Johnson

Gutsy bow-legged COWBOYS with ten gallon hats (slapping them against the side of their legs after the last fall – ready to get on and ride again).

Feisty COWGIRLS waving their hats to the crowd as they finish their barrel race.

Beautiful spirited and fast HORSES, of so many breeds (wild and reckless, trying to throw their rider, or quick-witted, and obedient to their rider’s every command)

Restless CATTLE, heads down, swaying together (you can almost feel their fears, as if they know their fate).

Menacing, frightful WILD BULLS, snorting and pawing the ground, ready to charge without notice, their size dwarfing even the biggest cowboy.

The exhilaration of watching  the CHUCK WAGONS, as they circle the track, reigning forward to have their horses run even faster, as each wagon master strains to outwit and outrun his opponent and the final hooray when the winner crosses the finish line.

Delightful, funny and extremely brave RODEO CLOWNS, entertaining the crowd and helping to save the lives of many cowboys.

Deep voiced rodeo ANNOUNCERS, keeping the crowd updated on all events.

EXCITEMENT – the crowd sitting on the edge of their seats, straining to see every moment of every event.

FEAR – as a rider leaves the shoot on a bull.

PRIDE – after a cowboy throws and ties his cow.

SMELL - of the dust and manure, the food and the coffee.

HAPPINESS – being part of such an exciting event, hearing the roar of the crowd and ever popular shout – YAHOO!

This is the CALGARY STAMPEDE I know and want to see time and time again.