September 7, 2022
The ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs is dedicated to professional rodeo riders, livestock, equipment, clowns and events. Opened in 1979, it has historical exhibits, stories of over 300 inductees and displays of saddles, ropes, lariats and outfits. I learned that lariat comes from the Spanish, La reata or lasso. It is a light rope, usually of leather or hemp, used to catch livestock or tie grazing animals.
We first watched a 15-20 minute video showing all the events and history of rodeo. Then we toured the museum.
I wanted to pick up one of the saddles to see how heavy they were, but they were anchored in place. They look heavy, maybe up to 60 lbs. This article notes that a working saddle needs weight to remain stable under stress. They also distribute the load over a larger area, therefore applying fewer pounds per square inch. https://www.western-saddle-guide.com/saddle-weight/
I also enjoyed the outfits, shirts, hats and chaps. Rodeo has certainly brought out more flare to the dress. Having been in the southwest all summer, I tried to picture what it was like on a cattle drive for a couple of months. You would have only one outfit, a raincoat and bedroll. That outfit would have to be pretty versatile.
Then I looked around for my old hero, Gene Arnette, who roped for a time, but he didn’t make the Hall.