Rodeo came about because of long cattle drives. The cowboys needed a diversion after the lengthy journey. They needed to also determine who was best at riding and roping. From the casual competitions in the 1700s to the massive tournaments of today, rodeo has become an iconic American tradition.
The skills and strength of the riders, the power of the bucking broncos, and the thrill of witnessing everything unfold in speedy motion — these and more drive the popularity of the modern rodeo. And here are just three of the exciting activities you’ll see.
It requires a rider, or a steer wrestler, to capture a 600-lb steer with his bare hands. He would initially ride a horse and would go after the steer, once it comes out of the chute. The steer wrestler must capture the animal and stop it by holding onto its horns and digging his heels into the dirt.
The thrill of the chase and the capture make this one of the most exciting activities in rodeo.
This unlike riding a horse, the way you would if you were into dressage riding. For one thing, you may wear full seat breeches whereas the bareback rider only needs a good pair of jeans.
Bareback riding is similar to bull riding, in that the rider needs to stay on the horse for eight seconds. Cowboys need to hold on to a suitcase-like handle with one hand then raise the other hand in the air. He must not allow his free hand to touch the horse during the eight seconds, or else his ride will not merit a score.
Women’s Barrel Racing
Rodeo is not just a man’s game because women also dominate in rodeo. In the women’s barrel racing, participants ride horses, take them around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern and head back to the starting line. Every second counts in this event, and women do train to prepare for the tough competition.
These are only three of the many events you can enjoy in a rodeo. With the display of strength, endurance, and moxie, the activities may even inspire you to become a participant and no longer a spectator.