Today's photos are of some of the activities that go on before the contests actually start. What looks like pointless milling around is actually interacting with other contestants and renewing old acquaintances. Many of the horse trailers are divided into two sections; one for the horse(s) and an abbreviated apartment for the owner. The other part of the milling around is to loosen up and warm up the muscles (human and equine) and to double check the gear and to loosen up the lariats. Lariats (lassos) are made of very stiff materials and must be stretched and loosened before use. Coming in to popular use are colored lariats such as reds, greens and blues. They don't photograph as well as the traditional white ones. Photos from 1 to 4 are as follows:
#1. A horse having a quick snack. #2. Man sitting on his horse after completing a cell phone call. You just can't get away from those phones anymore! #3. A man riding a horse and leading another: Warming up two for the price of one. #4. Exercising horses, men and ropes in the ring just before the starting contest.