Mackenzie Vollans hangs from her horse Bayou upside down to entertain local students. June 12, 2018. (Photo by Greg Higgins)

Local Students Treated To Rodeo Tricks

There were a lot of dropped jaws and “wows”  at St. Joseph Catholic School in Chatham Tuesday morning as students were treated to a rodeo presentation.

Brittnee Brett and Mackenzie Vollans from Off Kilter Equine Entertainment made there rounds to multiple schools to promote the upcoming Crime Stoppers Ram Rodeo at the end of the month.

Brett said, even though they were promoting the event, she also wanted to eliminate the negative stigma surrounding rodeos that they are dangerous and cruel to animals.

“I think it is more of a lack of education,” Brett said. “We want to teach the kids about the history of the rodeo events so they know it is safe and something the animals to like, opposed to something the horses and animals don’t like.”

The presentation started out with Brett teaching kids the history of different tools cowboys use and why. She showed students different ropes used to tie up cattle and that the whip was used to create a sound to steer animals in a direction, rather than hit them with.

The fun really started when Vollans took over. She showed students a few rope tricks before hopping on her horse Bayou.

Vollans ended the presentation by letting the kids ask a few questions, many of which pertained to how many times she has fallen off and how to become a trick rider.

“I have [fallen] more times than I can count,” Vollans said. “I’ve been doing this for ten years. It takes at least two to three years to teach yourself how to do it and it takes a lot of practice and a lot of hard work.”

Vollans added, while injuries do happen, there is a safe way to get out of every trick they do.