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Jason Olson, Deseret News
Two young cowpokes wait for the games to start at the Lil' Cowboy Party at the Lehi Legacy Center on Saturday.

LEHI — Brock Bedier was too embarrassed to dress up like a cowboy for the Lil' Cowboy Party at the Legacy Center on Saturday.

But he didn't mind wearing the cowboy hat or the tin sheriff's badge the party organizers gave him.

He also didn't have a problem trying to lasso a steer, pin the tail on a cow cut-out, play a serious game of tug-of-war that included Legacy's mascot Lenny the Lion, toss horseshoes or ride a sock pony.

"Finally, there's something for him to do," said his mother, Aspen. "He loves to play cowboy, and they have these princess parties all the time. It's nice to have something for the boys."

Three-year-old Corbin Segraves brought his own black, felt hat.

Zachary Balderree put his hat and vest before breakfast so he'd be ready, said his mom, Heidi. "He's been pretty excited."

About 20 other little boys and girls, most of them peering out from beneath the brims of their own cowboy hats, felt the same, apparently.

Many of the youngsters chose to wear cowboy boots, scarves and hats like 5-year-old Roger Wilson.

"This was kind of a chance to do something different," said Brad Wilson, watching his young son gallop off on his sock horse. "Oops. He lost his hat!"

"I wish there were real horses here!" said Roger Wilson when he returned, panting from his rapid, one-handed ride.

Actually, there was one real horse.

Kelly and Chad Taylor brought their white quarterhorse, a rope horse named Lucky, to meet the small fry on the grass at the side of the building.

Kelly Taylor explained how to work around a horse and how to avoid getting kicked or stepped on.

She said her 2-year-old son Tate thinks Lucky is his horse and really rides him.

She pointed out the different parts of the horse and explained why a rider needs a bridle and a saddle.

"That's his hair!" shouted the kids when she held up Lucky's mane.

"It's where you hold on so you don't fall off!" one said when she pointed out the saddle horn.

"We need to do more of this kind of thing because the horses are going away," said Chad Taylor.

Inside, Daniel Linford patiently taught cowboys and cowgirls, some as young as Tate, to lasso the horns on a steer's head mounted on a bale of hay.

"My brothers used to rope me, and all my buddies did it so I learned it," Linford said. "You just kind of get the swing going and throw."

Abby Havea, the director of programs at Legacy, said they plan to make the Lil' Cowboy party an annual event that will be scheduled around the same time as the Lehi Roundup.

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