Howdy! Remember when we went to the rodeo, and there was a real rodeo queen and everything? That fancy lady up there was the 2010 Grand National Rodeo Queen, and she was very, very sparkly. This photo doesn't do her one bit of justice, but you get the idea. (You'll have to forgive the somewhat sad quality of these pictures because the lighting at the Cow Palace is atrocious.)

This sweet pup was hanging out where all the horses are kept. Lest you think she's all beauty and no brains, she was a clever girl named Allie who even knew how to sit and wave hello (or goodbye). Her coat was so gorgeous, she looked like the best possible ice cream - rich vanilla bean with peanut butter and chocolate!

The popular Clydesdale horses, getting the final touches on their grooming done before the start of the rodeo. They're enormous draught horses with origins in Scotland, and their hairy feet are one of their best known features. Very pretty, sturdy beasts!

I must have stopped to say hello to nearly every horse in those stables. This one was friendly and very silly, and tried to stick his whole head through the bars to be petted. Both M & the petite are a bit weary of horses in general, and only M reluctantly reached out to pat one on its velvety soft nose! (After the two-hour lesson we have together this weekend on the beach in Half Moon Bay, I'm sure that'll change.)

Someone had just left this little go-cart lookin' thing all alone and my legs were tired, so I just sat down for a minute. (JK, I have a habit of clambering all over things that don't belong to me.) You might remember this dress from the skateboard post, but this time I paired it with slouchy suede boots and a denim jacket. I added the big goldenrod flower from Ruche just for fun.

Let's get started with the show!

In the future, I'm totally a mountie. They were handing out sticker badges for the kids and you know I grabbed a few.

I missed what this sweet old lady was all about, but she sure carried that big old American flag around the arena like a champ!

Clydesdale horses in action, carrying that big red wagon around. So cool!

The lady with the white sash is the new Rodeo Queen! The one in the black vest is the one in the very first picture here, and she helped get the new queen all sorted out. It takes a village, apparently! They both proceeded to keep things in check in the arena throughout the entire night's events, chasing out the cheeky calves or stubborn steers who needed a little bossin' toward the exit after each event.

I tried so hard to get action shots of the bucking broncs, the bull riding, barrel racing, and especially the cowboy mounted shooting (one of the only events where men and women compete against one another!), to no avail. But it was a really perfect night, it being M and the petite's first time at the rodeo, and they both enjoyed themselves a great deal.

Plus, M turned me on to bull riding when we met, so it was neat to see her watch it live and up close for the first time! We even found tasty cocktails at a random little Duck Hunt-lookin' bar.