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This is the main gate at the Pima County Fairgrounds with clouds rolling in just after sunrise
I went to the office and re-uped for another week of boondocking at the Pima County Fairgrounds. Now that the office understands that I'm not bothered by construction noise, or half a dozen horse trailers right next to me, with two or three horses hitched outside of each one, or waking up at 5:30 in the morning to various horse noises, they tell me it's okay if I want to stay here, and of course I do.
So getting that out of the way, I went to Walmart and, for the first time, noticed that the shelves are starting to get noticeably thin of merchandise. A few shelves are empty, but not many. Mostly what I'm seeing is canned goods like soup don't have much of a selection anymore, and some cans, instead of having dozens of them on display, will only have four or five cans of something visible. And the prices of some things have taken a serious jump.
This makes life a little more difficult for me because I need ready-made things to eat since I don't cook. I have used not cooking as a survival strategy for years, and it must be working because I'm still alive.
Today was a beehive of activity at one of the horse arenas, so I moseyed over there and asked the first guy I saw, whacha doin? And he explained there rearranging the main indoor arena for a cutting horse competition that will last for about four days! Cool! Says I, as if I find cutting horses all that interesting. The truth is, cutting is fun to watch for about half an hour, after which I have no desire to see it anymore for the rest of the year.
If you're interested here's a six minute video of what goes on at a cutting horse competition. And the main thing to know is, after the rider shows the horse which steer to cut out of the herd the cowboy can't give the horse anymore signals. The horse has to keep the steer out of the herd and keep him away from the herd for some amount of time with absolutely no input from the rider.
I'm pretty sure the only thing that could make it interesting for me after the first day is for the couple of hundred head of cattle that's penned up a hundred yards from me to stampede across the campground scattering campers hither and yon while watching all of these cowboys and their cutting horses try to gather them all together again.
But I can deal with four days of cutting horses because there's a rodeo this weekend here at the Fairgrounds, and thinking of rodeos always makes me happy.
The stock contractor unloading steers into the holding pens.
Holding pens full of steers, that the cutting horses will cut out
The arena that used to be full of girls barrel racing, is being completely rearranged into a cutting horse arena.
Like I mentioned before these girls are usually barrel racers because the skills required for this discipline are almost identical.
The whole idea here is to weave through the poles, I believe there's eight, and then get back to the start line in the shortest period of time.
And just like in barrel racing there's a time penalty for every pole you knock over.
So just like in barrel racing you need a fast horse, but one with enough finesse not to hit the polls because they are really easy to knock over, much more so than a barrel.