Mutton bustin’

My little mutton buster at RodeoHouston

On Monday, my husband took the day off work and we took our kids to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It’s something we look forward to every year.

Over the last few years, one event has become increasingly popular at the rodeo – mutton bustin’.

Basically, you take a group of 5 and 6 year olds and outfit them in vests and helmets. Then you take them into a dirt arena where you load a sheep into a chute, put a child on the sheep’s back, open the chute and watch what happens.

Smile. The things we do for fun in Texas.

My six-year-old daughter is definitely a girly-girl. But she’s also surprisingly tough. So when she said she wanted to try mutton bustin’, we were all for it.

When her turn came, I had second thoughts. My heart was beating out of my chest. What kind of mother willingly hands her child over to ride on the back of an unwilling sheep? And I could tell by the look on her face that her nerves were a little shaky as the cowboys dropped her in the chute.

But she did great. In fact she held on for the entire 8 seconds. And then she held on some more. Finally, one of the rodeo clowns had to pry her off the sheep’s back. (Did I mention there are rodeo clowns for mutton bustin’?)

After the awards ceremony, my husband and I went to claim her by the sheep pens. She was sporting a smile from ear to ear. So were we.

I was proud of her for so many reasons, but mostly because she met a challenge head on. Way to go, honey!

Let’s talk: Have you stared down a challenge lately? How did it make you feel?

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