After reading FHOTD and her reference to Mutton Busting. I had a tiny epiphany. I think I really began my love for cow horses with riding sheep. Strange right, but this was before I even owned horses. Of course I loved them and wanted one from birth, but for years, I settled with petting them every time any horse event was in town and pretending to be one.
The biggest rodeo of the year in our area is the Y's Men's PRCA Rodeo held every year in October. That particular year of my beginning, my Dad somehow got me entered in mutton busting which is like the rodeo half time show. I couldn't have been more excited. I was a very tall kid and for some reason that meant I had to be last. All the sheep were in a couple bucking chutes with a rope tied snugly around each one's girth. A handful of cowboys were wrangling them and placing a kid on one then sending them out the chute. Just like getting on a bull. Well just like it if you're 6. The sheep would buck and run down the arena to where another cowboy was holding a catch sheep to form a herd. At that time, you had to make it to the herd to win, any ties were decided by the audience. None of the other kids had made it yet, their sheep were small and very quick. I remember my sheep being the biggest, wooliest, stinkiest and meanest of them all. I got put on that sucker and death gripped my hands on that rope. The next thing I remember, I was being pulled off of it from the middle of the herd by a clown, and I was mad because one of the other sheep pooped on me while I was stuck there.
I believe, riding that sheep while it ran zig zag style hopping like a rabbit on drugs was almost as much of a rush as cutting is to me now. So I'm pretty sure my cutting roots come from being the 1989 Mutton Busting Champion, and I have the T-shirt and trophy to prove it.