From the moment they called for the kids to come to the arena, she did not want to go. She cried from the time she had to line up, waiting with the other kids for her turn. We could see the little tears streaming slowly down her face. But she kept walking forward, with her face mask helmet down over her head and her protective vest on tight. I saw the volunteer bend down to talk to her and she moved forward to the bucking chute where the sheep was waiting.
Then she disappeared behind the chute and we all crossed our fingers and hoped that when the gate opened Jo would be up on the sheep’s back. And so we waited. Ally had told her to get in her jumping position (from her horseback riding lessons), put her arms around the sheep’s neck and hold on tight. Finally the announcer said “Next out of the chute is Jordyn Taylor!”.
And out she came, the sheep running into the arena. Jordyn up on the sheep’s neck, little legs clasped around. It lasted about ten feet and even fewer seconds. Off she came, hard into the dirt. Then the crying started in earnest. We all cheered for her and told her how great she had done and how proud we were of her. But she said she didn’t ride far enough and that she didn’t do well.
She had scraped up her arm. She had scraped her side. Not bad, but I knew it stung. We all tried to console her but she was very disappointed in her debut. Ally, Luke, Kendyll and Jo headed off to get ice cream (ice cream makes everything better). Lauren and I prepared to head home. As we came around the end of the arena we saw a big box with belt buckles. The announcer was calling for all Mutton Busters to come back into the arena and get a group picture. But more important-everyone no matter how long their ride would get a belt buckle.
We called Ally on the phone and told her to get Jordyn back to the arena. And the little girl who had bravely jumped on the back of a sheep when she wanted to quit, stood proudly in line and received her buckle. I told her “you did a great job, Jo!” And she answered, “Yep, I did, Granny.”
My pictures are not loading. I have some good ones of this-so will upload as soon as I can.