Sketches: Behind the Chutes

Last fall I attended several local rodeos here in New Mexico: the Casper Baca Roughstock Rodeo Fall Series and the Bosque Farms Rodeo Association Fall Rodeo. Both rodeos allowed me up-close access, for which I am grateful. This kind of access allowed for photographs beyond the action in the arena and a glimpse into the focus and preparation involved in rodeo competition.

Recently a short series of behind the scenes images from these rodeos were posted on my Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr feeds but were neglected here. This post rectifies that.


4 year Cuylee watches other competitors as she awaits her event, Mutton Bustin’. She will try to ride a bucking sheep for a full 8 seconds. Her father was a bull rider in his youth and Cuylee looked at the pictures and told him she could do better


A young cowboy awaits his 8 seconds on the steer. Bull riding is as much a mental game as it is a physical one.


Bull and Rider

Bull Prep

A bull rider sits on a bull in the chutes leading to the bucking chute. A sense of familiarity appears to exist for both cowboy and bull.


A cowboy awaits his ride. There is a lot of time spent waiting for the 8 seconds aboard a bull.


A cowboy perhaps ponders what could have been after a Bosque Farms Rodeo Association Rodeo, Bosque Farms, New Mexico.


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2 Responses to Sketches: Behind the Chutes

  1. Charlene says:

    I seem to remember reading here and there, about how 8 seconds on a bull feels like forever. That last image complements that sentiment of time’s crazy warping so much, to me.

    • Brian Miller says:

      Hi Charlene,

      Yes, I imagine it does feel like an eternity. I’ve also heard it likened to the world trying to shake itself to pieces! Yikes. I haven’t tried it myself. I did, however, watch one cowboy ride his first bull. I didn’t realize it was his first time until he neglected to slide his body up onto his grip hand like they all do. Then I though “Oh crap! He hasn’t done this before!!” Someone then told him they wouldn’t open the chute until he gave the go-ahead, which he did, hesitantly. He has more guts than me.

      Thanks for your comment, means a lot to me.

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