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Horses of Summer

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Caiden Flynn races between two pick-up riders

Caiden Flynn races between two pick-up riders after his horse turned back toward him and the gate during the bareback riding competition on June 18 as a part of Chris LeDoux Days weekend. The Flynn was one six riders in the bareback contest, kicking up billows of dusts s the sun set behind the stands.

As the summer months wrap up and the season for warm weather rodeos and summer rides fades, we wanted to look back on the role of the horse. Used for everything from work on the ranch to rodeos and races to rides on the mountain, horses are a part of so many lives in Johnson County. Enjoy some of our favorite images celebrating the horse and their many purposes from the last few months. 

Norris Graves looks down as he begins falling while his horse curls

Norris Graves looks down as he begins falling while his horse curls down before exploding into the air during his rookie saddle bronc ride at the first rodeo of fair on Aug. 7. Graves was one of eight rookie saddle bronc riders on Saturday - only one of which made it the full eight seconds.

A horses stands in the chute before his saddle bronc ride

Kaycee kicked off their Friday Night Rodeo circuit on LeDoux days weekend in June as locals and guests alike joined to watch sunset-lit events like saddle bronc riding. 

The annual Johnson County Fair and Rodeo Parade brought visitors out to celebrate

With the theme of Back in the Saddle, the annual Johnson County Fair and Rodeo Parade held in early August brought community members and visitors alike out to celebrate the horse heritage of the county. One parade entry featured a horse led down main street wearing an upside saddle. Other entries featured backwards saddles, saddles on trucks, and regular riders. 

Elijah DuBray, representing the Oglala Nation in South Dakota

Elijah DuBray, representing the Oglala Nation in South Dakota for team Blue Moon Relay, pulls his final horse to a stop after winning the kids relay on June 13 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The event included ages 12 and under and featured miniature ponies with this being the largest of the animals used to run around a set of barrels in front of the grandstands.

The Horse Nations Indian Relay Races returned to Buffalo

A rider speeds off on his newly mounted horse for his second lap during the relay races in mid June. The Horse Nations Indian Relay Races returned to Buffalo for their annual weekend trip to town, providing a two day competition for teams from around the West to compete with their horses. 

The horses and mules used at Adam Todd’s Black Tooth Excursions

The horses and mules used at Adam Todd’s Black Tooth Excursions stay in a electric fenced pen in their free time rather than being tied or hobbled. They are fed alfalfa pellets twice a day to keep fueled and healthy.

Jamie Curuchet moves up a steep bank along the side of the road, keeping the sheep moving forward

Jamie Curuchet moves up a steep bank along the side of the road, keeping the sheep moving forward and making sure they wouldn't turn around during the morning drive on June 10. The Curuchet's used a combination of horses, four-wheelers and trucks to move the livestock west toward the mountains where they will graze for the summer. 

Kreyton Stotlz holds Hank the Mustang

Kreyton Stotlz holds Hank the Mustang during the outdoor assembly at Meadowlark Elementary on May 28 on the last day of school. Hank the Mustang visited school as well as Audrey Ludwig’s mare Roxy.

Eli Schiffer enters the box while practicing his trail class

Eli Schiffer enters the box while practicing his trail class skills during the final 4-H horse night July 26 at the fairgrounds. The trail class everything from opening and closing a gate, to retrieving mail from a mailbox and spinning in the box. 

A rider stretches his fingers down as his horse bucks

Losing balance and beginning his fall, a saddle bronc rider stretches his fingers down as his horse bucks straight up into the air. The horses won most of the rides during the first day's rough stock events at the Johnson County Rodeo this year. 

A horse stands parked next to an electric scooter

A horse stands parked next to an electric scooter before the start of the final rodeo in the Johnson County Cowgirls season. The weekly rodeo brings kids and women out to participate in a number of rodeo events.

Stirrups hang

Stirrups hang from one of the several stacks of saddles set aside at the Flatiron Lake Camp run by Black Tooth Excursions. 

Locals and tourists alike gathered to watch the horse drive

Locals and tourists alike gathered to watch the horse drive through downtown Sheridan as the Eaton Ranch drives their horses back from winter pastures to their ranch at the edge of the Bighorns on May 23. 

A pack string with Black Tooth Excursion moves out of a clearing and into the trees

A pack string with Black Tooth Excursion moves out of a clearing and into the trees as Adam Todd and his crew packs out a group of fishermen from their camp on July 16 to take them down the mountain and begin about a week off. The group uses a combination of horses and mules to haul both people and equipment up and down the mountain. 

Photojournalist

Jessi Dodge joined the Bulletin as a photojournalist and a Report for America corp member in 2020. If you have ideas or comments, reach out at jessi@buffalobulletin.com.

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