3 Quarters Today

My Life, my photography, my passions


Patriotic Horses at the County Fair

Patriotic Horse Stole My Heart

The social event of the year in many rural communities is the county fair and in Cass County Nebraska this is no exception. Saturday night at the horse arena is the 4-H Horse fun event which includes a costume contest, ribbon ride, egg and spoon, and sit-a-buck. This painted patriotic horse was my favorite horse of the night and I had to get more of their story.

Patriotic Horse

Meet Willy the Red, White, and Blue patriotic horse

So meet Willy, the Red, White, and Blue horse and his little owner Courtney. This is what 4-H, friends, family, and the fair is all about, fun, smiles and horsing around, literally. According to her Mom, Micki, Courtney couldn’t decide how to decorate Willy for the costume contest, Pegasus was the first idea, but the thought of trying to create wings and attach them to the horse was just too challenging.

Tail Tamers PPNTS-TURQ Pony Paints Grooming Chalk for Horses, TurquoiseJacks Twinkle Mane & Tail Glitter Gel 4 oz Tube Horse Paint Parade Costume Paint Fun Color Sparkles (Pink)

Patriotic Horse Costume

A girl and her horse (photo by Mom)

Courtney’s Dad was in the Air Force, and still works at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue Nebraska, so when her Mom saw this idea on line Courtney was very excited. Her friend didn’t have a horse to decorate so they went together as a team, one painted the stars and the other the red and white stripes.

God Bless America

God Bless America

They decided the opposite side should say “God Bless America” and tie red, white, and blue ribbons in WIlly’s mane and tail.  The red leg wraps gave the whole presentation a patriotic “pop” and although they didn’t win, they turned some heads and made more than a few people smile.

American Flag Star Equine Body BlingDerby Originals Nylon Patriotic Horse Headstall & Breast Collar Set Full Size

These girls have quite a number of years showing ahead and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year. Fun night is held the last night of the fair after all the “serious” show competitions and events. It’s time to unwind and have some fun. Thank you Micki for texting me pictures from earlier in the evening. By the time I got to the arena Willy’s paint was starting to rub off from the saddle and reins. Patriotic Horse I love watching the 4-H horse kids. I was a horse crazy when I was a kid and rode my bike into the country just to look at horses. Even though I didn’t own a horse, I joined 4-H and “borrowed” horses from club members, my first was a Quarter horse mare, Wimpy’s Kelly. I entered a few shows, but never really learned to “ride” and get a “seat” until college when a friend and I exercised roping horses at the local stable one summer.

The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the HerdRiding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I Learned from Horses

Riding 3-4 horses a day taught you more in one day than a months worth of lessons. We even borrowed a cowboys horses an brought them to school one semester. When I became an adult and bought an acreage buying a horse was the first thing I did, her name was Tomcat Pat and she was a feisty energetic barrel and poles horse that loved to go trail riding. I was lucky enough to have her until she died at age 32, wish she were still around.

Patriotic Horse Costume Ideas and Resources

The Patriotic Horse – Stayton (Oregon) Daily Photo

Patriotic horse is patriotic. Or it’s just a coincidence it’s standing next to an American flag. Or is it? Yes, it is. Or not. This photo was taken along Sublimity Rd. SE, just outside of nearby Sublimity. In other news… Tomorrow is the …

Patriotic Horse Wear | Velvet Rider

Patriotic Horse Wear. July 3, 2014. Bookmark and Share. In honor of Independence Day, I decided to do a post on equestrian gear that celebrates our patriotism. There are options from subtle red, white, and blue to obvious flag references.

Patriotic Plume Browbands, Saddle Blankets and Rein Covers

WishPony.com to order your patriotic horse costume today! If placing custom orders for 4th of July (2011): Order by 5PM PST Wednesday June 15, 2011 for Standard Service Time and delivery by Saturday, July 2, 2011.



Sidney Iowa Rodeo

Welcome to the Sidney Iowa Rodeo

Rodeo is an American sport, born and breed in the Great West. Tradition, patriotism, respect, and family values are celebrated at the start of every rodeo with the American flag and a tribute to the US military.

Opening of the Sidney Iowa Rodeo

Opening of the Sidney Iowa Rodeo

Saddle bronc at the Sidney Iowa Rodeo

Saddle bronc at the Sidney Iowa Rodeo

The Sidney Iowa rodeo is no exception and 2012 celebrated their 89th year with 339 cowboys participating in the five-day event. The talent and quality of stock was definitely better than what I saw the week before at the Wahoo Nebraska rodeo. While both were PRCA sanctioned events, Sidney takes it to a whole different level.

Sidney, Iowa Rodeo Sidney Original Vintage Postcard

Calf Roping at the Sidney Iowa Rodeo

Calf Roping, just look at the horse, he knows what to do

Sidney Iowa has a population of about 1,500 people and hosts more than 38,000 people during five days. To this small town come professional cowboys that are nationally ranked in the top ten and perform in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.  This meant watching a large percentage of full 8 second rides and few missed throws in the roping competitions.

Barrel Racing

Barrel Racing, times in the low 17 second range

Bull riding at the Sidney Iowa Rodeo

Bull riding at the Sidney Iowa Rodeo

The RideArena Legacy: The Heritage of American RodeoCowgirl Up!: A History of Rodeo WomenRodeo History and LegendsBlack Cowboys of the Old West: True,Fearless Funnymen: The History of the Rodeo

Famous Rodeos and Cowboys

Bud Sankey to be inducted into the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame

… national finals in bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding and now runs Sankey Rodeo Schools and Equipment in Branson, Mo.; Ike Sankey runs Sankey Pro Rodeo in Joliet, Mont., and contracts the livestock for some of the most famous rodeos in the world.
Cottonwood roper to compete in Red Bluff Round-Up Rodeo

“It’s one of the most famous rodeos,” he said. “It’s an awesome rodeo, the whole nine yards. It’s a rockin’ crowd, good announcers, good added money.” On the side, Davis trades horses. Since he spends all day on horseback he’s putting time and training
Northern rodeos buck trend – Stock Journal

Carrieton is a tiny town but stages one of the most famous rodeos in the region. While Marrabel Rodeo is the oldest – the first was 75 years ago – Carrieton is the longest-running consecutive rodeo, and last December …
10 Top Tourist Attractions in Canada – Touropia

The Calgary Stampede, one of the most famous rodeos in the world, traces its origins back to the traveling wild west shows of the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Stampede has grown over the years, today attracting the best …
Travel Online: America’s Wildest Rodeos

One of the most famous rodeos in the world, the Stampede features 6 major events: bull riding, steer wrestling, racing, tie-down roping, saddle and bareback riding, and offers payouts up to $100,000 in each category.




Wahoo Nebraska Rodeo

On any given summer Friday or Saturday night in the Western United States a rodeo can be found within driving distance. In eastern Nebraska the Wahoo rodeo has been a long tradition for 58 years.

In his younger days my husband traveled the rodeo circuit as a steer wrestler, otherwise known as a “bull dogger”. Every rodeo event has a practical working purpose on the ranch. It didn’t start as a sport, but as a way for a ranch to gain bragging rights and cowboys to one up each other. The history of rodeo dates back to the 1600 Spanish ranchers and their Mexican cowboys.

Patriotism is Strong at the Opening of a Rodeo

Patriotism is Strong at the Opening to the Wahoo Nebraska Rodeo. Note the young boy with his hat over his heart.

The rodeo opened with the announcer giving tribute to family, thanking all military personal, and saying a prayer for God to protect the cowboys and keep them safe during the night. I wish I had brought my video camera as the speech is extremely moving and brings a tear to your eye.

Calf Roping at the Wahoo Nebraska Rodeo

Calf Roping at the Wahoo Nebraska Rodeo

Cowboys waiting for their turn

Cowboys waiting for their turn

Saddle bronc riding

Saddle bronc riding (click for larger image)

All photos were shot with a Canon Rebel XS with a 75-300 lens. Since the rodeo doesn’t start until 8pm and everything is fast I had the ISO cranked up to 800 right away and it wasn’t long before it went to 1600. Aperture was high at 5.6 and shutter speed no lower than 1/100 sec.

Being around horses and attending previous rodeos I could anticipate my shots to get the best picture like this bull exploding out of the chute.

Bull riding

Bull riding

Lightroom 4 was used in post production for cropping white balance and increased clarity. Noise reduction was accomplised in the Luminescence function I described last week.

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Save On Gas, Use Horsepower

I think gas prices are a little high when the department of roads starts using horsepower the sides of the road. This is a sight you don’t see very often, a team of horses mowing the grader ditches. I know the Nebraska state budget isn’t in that dire of straits, but I wonder if gas prices have just gone up a little too much?

Draft Horses (SOOC)

Draft Horses (SOOC)

My husband and I spotted these Belgian mares north of Lincoln Nebraska mowing the grass and also saw them four days later, raking the same ditch to turn the hay. They do not belong to the state of Nebraska, nor are they doing the county’s job of maintenance. Of course I had my camera with me, you never know when you will find a photo opportunity, and talked to the farmer. They had just mowed over two miles of grass and would go back in a few days to bale the hay. He believes that horses need to be exercised on a regular basis, especially draft horses, and what better way to do this than put them to work. 

 I don’t remember their names, but they are full sisters, one a seven year old and the other other eleven.

Team of Belgians Mowing

Team of Belgians Mowing

Edits were done in Lightroom 4 with a decrease in exposure, increase in clarity and opening up shadows on the horses to bring out detail. The sky was still washed out so I used the adjustment brush and decreased the exposure in the sky to get a better balanced image. Voilia! Clouds appeared.


  • Horses (littlemarichris.wordpress.com)


Sometimes You Just Have to Hug a Horse

Before and After, A Girl and her Horse

The first part of March my hubby and I attended the Great Nebraska Horse Fair in Lincoln Nebrasaka at the Lancaster Event Center. Meet some wonderful people including Jess and her yearling Belgian horse above. Photo was taken inside a horse trailer and lighting was just a little poor. Didn’t want to use my flash so just opened up the aperture.

I first rendered this in GIMP and adjusted the white balance. Although it rendered the image accurate the photo just didn’t give me the warm fuzzies. So after cropping in Photoshop I used a the Color layer adjustment with orange at about a 10% opacity to give the overall image a warmer tone.

What do you think?

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