Baldy

Baldy and me

Baldy, also known as DJ Cats Peppy Rey, is my registered quarter horse. He’s a recent addition to the family joining us from Bowen, North Dakota in December. My husband helped me purchase him in a cow horse online auction for my 70th birthday. You may remember I had a performance horse, Joey, who I sold to a family member last spring because with my foot surgery last year I couldn’t ride him. That’s a whole another story but the transfer of ownership didn’t work out as I had hoped. I had committed myself to being without a horse because of my age and disability. A friend took me to a cow horse show and I was fascinated by the responsiveness of the horses and the way they go after cows (known as a horse being cowie). I thought I would really enjoy seeing the competitions and hopefully we could find a competitive horse that would also let me ride him. That’s where Baldy comes in. I paid an expert to help me draw up criteria for a horse I could ride and could also be shown. We decided to bid on Baldy because he had won cutting competitions in North Dakota but his auction advertisement showed him being ridden around the ranch with a woman and small child on him.

I don’t have a horse trailer. One of the auction requirements was that you be able to pick up the horse. I contacted an equine shipping service that said they shipped anywhere in the continental United States. But when I gave them Bowen, North Dakota, I got a response that it was outside their shipping region. It’s a 17 hour drive from Bowen to Boise. I called Baldy’s owner, Matt, and said, “I can’t bid on your horse unless you can get him to me.” He promised to do that for a reasonable sum so the auction was on. Being sly auction experts, we held our hand as the low bids came in. Lots of people dropped out as the horse rose over $5,000. I was gritting my teeth as he passed my max but this is where my husband stepped in. He encouraged me to go higher. In the end, we won the bid for Baldy.

Getting Baldy to Boise was not easy. We were headed into Christmas, snowy weather, bad roads, and a pandemic. Matt wanted his brother to join him so they could drive straight through. They arrived in Boise at 3 am on a cold, early morning a few days before Christmas. Baldy was like Lady Gaga who I’d seen in Oklahoma City. Her huge trailers for her concert filled the parking lot of the arena. Baldy showed up in a huge horse trailer that was all lit up. My helper bee and her honey were there to get in him in the barn. Pete and I were their to greet our new investment.

Baldy is more than I expected. He turns on a dime, spinning as a good cow horse should. But I am able to ride in around the arena. He hates the mounting block but will let me climb up on him using it. After all cowboys and girls are suppose to swing up from the ground. But with my balance and foot issues that’s a tall order. One of my goals this year is to mount him without help and the mounting block. We’ll see if I make it. Barns are essential business. Someone has to exercise the horses and keep them fed and watered. While everything else has been closed down, I gotten to see a lot of Baldy. Our bid was pretty crazy because we hadn’t seen him or ridden him. We went on the word of the owner, Matt, that he was a good horse. The only reason they were selling him was “they needed the money.” During a pandemic, sometimes tough choices have to be made. But Baldy has a good home. He’s ridden regularly by expert riders. I trot around on him weekly after he’s practiced going for the flag. I can’t wait to see him go after cows. I’m sure he’s going to win some double reining cow horse contests.

The Bachelor in Boise

IMG_0655Tonight and tomorrow many women will be watching Pilot Pete, the Bachelor star, give his final rose in a 4 hour finale .  The Bachelor has been going strong for more than 20 years though few engagements have led to marriages.  The Bachelor is so popular that there are many spin offs such as The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor Live on Stage which made it’s way to Boise at the Morrison Center last week.

I admit to a minor distaste for the popular show which seems to have the potential for meanness, bullying and great pain for some participants while viewers are voyeurs watching on national TV.   I have walked through the living room right when my daughter was watching a guy dump a girl on  TV for his second choice.  I’ve seen pieces of many shows over the years because we did have a member of the viewing audience, my teenage daughter in the house.  The only redeeming part is the participants, who get paid nothing, know what they are signing up for. The bachelors and bachelorettets do get paid.

Even though I have never watched an entire Bachelor show much less a full Bachelor season, I bought two tickets last fall to the Bachelor Live in Boise.  I gave one ticket to my friend for Christmas. I bought the tickets because I wanted to see how the producers condensed months of magical, emotional couple moments into a 90 minute extravaganza that could be moved around the country for a live audience.  I thought it would either be a hoot or at the worst boring.  There can’t be too much drama among people who have barely met.

The show was hosted by former Bachelor Ben Higgins who remains unmarried as far as my sleuthing can tell and Becca Kufrin, a former Bachelorette engaged to her choice with no plans to marry, too busy getting to know each other, making money on Bachelor podcasts and traveling with the live show.

The Boise show opened with pzazz; dancers, music and great backdrop.  The chosen bachelor  was an Air Force engineer who brought some of his buddies with him. Here in Boise, we have great respect for people who serve in the military.  He had the audience with him from the  beginning. Ben Higgins encouraged the Bachelor Nation crowd, almost exclusively women, to participate. Boise Nation, never a place to engage in polite decorum, hooted and hollered all night long.  The airmen up front helped their buddy along.

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The Bachelor live is a happy 90 minute experience!

In 90 minutes, the roses go by fast and furious.  Twelve women introduced themselves, all of them dressed up, lined up on risers, and the first rose ceremony came, an introduction and your on or off.  Somewhat shallow at best. Then there was a game show about how the bachelor had answered  questions.  The woman getting the most answers right got a rose. There was a dance off called Lip Stix.  The dancing provided some of the best entertainment of the evening. Two of the women were fabulous dancers and our bachelor even had some moves.  Best dancer got a rose.  Then the girls lined up again for a rose ceremony and the numbers dwindled quickly.  There was slow dancing with women cutting in and then a rose ceremony cutting down to six.

There was a intermission for the bachelor to meet 6 young women and engage in intimate conversations in 20 minutes.  Mainly, I think this was for potty break.  The Morrison Center is known to not be kind to women built during a period when male designers didn’t provide enough female restrooms.

After the intermission and cozy chats with a half dozen women, 3.3 minutes per minute, the second half opened with another rose elimination.  Now down to 4 women, big chairs were brought out. The bachelor got to ask each woman questions. The big chairs are large so the bachelor can go sit next to the woman if he wants to.  Two of the women had children in grade school which surprised me.  I had a hard time imagining myself on a show like this with my children.  But let’s face it, if your single with kids and you want to date you have to put yourself out there.

After the chairs, we were down to two and the fantasy suite.  A colorful bed with gauzy screens was pushed on stage. The bachelor picked his two top choices.  While one couple was in the suite for 3 minutes, the other sat on stage visiting with one of the hosts.  The first couple engaged in necking because we heard a lot of cheers from the main floor.  Our seats were in the mezzanine, no peaking through the gauze from that vantage point.  When the first woman jumped out of the suite, her dress was unzipped.  The second young woman obviously more cautious tucked her legs demurely beneath her when she hopped on the bed providing a physical barrier.

In the end, our bachelor picked the second young woman.  She was an audience favorite. With a psychology degree from Boise State University, she worked at Saint Vincent dePaul with homeless clients.  Her dating plan was to go hiking in the Sawtooth Mountains.  Besides showcasing caring and adventure, she was stunningly gorgeous with a perky pony tail, lithe body encased in a tasteful twinkling midnight blue mid-calf, slip dress with spaghetti straps. Our airman got lucky.

The Bachelor Live is different every night depending on the Bachelor, ladies, and audience.  Boise is a good place for audience engagement and I think everyone had a great time.  I wouldn’t pay to go again but I would recommend it if you are interested in a fun girls night out.

P.S. Ladies if you ever get on stage and you don’t know what you’ll be asked to do wear a jump suit.  The contestants in jump suits looked great, could do everything asked without worrying about their skirts creeping up and were able to move better than those in long dresses.