Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Almost wordless Wednesday

For the first time in a long time, my family has an expanded cable package.  This has given me access to channels that broadcast horse events, and I've spent many hours this week watching the National Finals Rodeo on the Great American Country channel.  I'm not a big rodeo fan per se, but I've thoroughly enjoyed the coverage.  In addition to going over the general rules before each event, a lot of time is spent discussing the nuances of each go round.  This is a super reference for performance showers and judges alike!

It's also reminded me that I have a lot of pictures leftover from last June's Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo.  Today's group focuses on the saddle and bareback broncs as well as the pickup horses and riders.  Enjoy!


  1. I hope the horse in the 6th pic down was ok! :( i hope the mustangs(?) were treated fairly.

  2. No worries. That horse (who was a stallion, by the way) was just fine. He bucked his rider off almost immediately, tripped and went down and came right back up bucking. The pick up riders had to chase him all the way around the ring to remove the bucking strap.

    (I'll stick to cooperative little pony mares, thank you very much!)

  3. I must admit I don't like watching the horses especially when that back strap is the main reason they are bucking BUT what I do like is the bulls because thay can really take care of themselves! Horses on the most part just want everything off their back but the bulls are totally intent on getting the riders!!! You've got to be really brave!!

  4. I can imagine how fit those horses are! Good and solid as well, but I wouldn't want an ex one. #5 is such a nice colour too!

  5. I've been watching the NFR, too, though not as closely as I'd like. Too much goin gon this year...sigh.

    Nice looking broncs! All of them are obviously draft crosses and they look like they are pretty powerful buckers. Most good stock contractors these days have a bronc breeding program and hardly ever use mustangs or "normal" horses.

    Remember when making a saddle bronc saddle that it is the "Association" saddle whose dimensions/specs are closely regulated. You can't differ from these to give the cowboy an unfair advantage.

  6. OOO look at the giraffe markings on the back of that blue roan. So many beautiful horses end up in the bucking strings.

  7. Stockstill: I think that's probably because they're not breeding for color at all, all that matters is performance. When you do that, you do get the odd wild color, because you're not really keeping track of what color it'll give you.

    Anonymous: I'd rather see the horses bucking because of that strap than bucking because they're truly trying to break a terrified wild-captured horse.

  8. Lovely images, Jennifer! I love the drafty look of them <3 Love drafts :D Thank you for always sharing these great pictures!!

    If I may, please allow me to assure that most broncs nowadays are bred to be broncs (just like some water dogs are "bred to love water"; my dog HATES water and would consider terribly inhumane to make her touch it where water dogs consider it terribly inhumane to hold them back lol).

    Broncs live a pleasurable life getting to be on pasture with their friends when not working and traveling with them when they do. When they do work (I don't recall the exact rule) they work no more than a couple rides -usually only one.

    The strap does nothing other than sit on a ticklish spot (not around the groin, etc.) -the animal learns to associate between the stap/tickling and when they are supposed to do their job just like stallions associate which halter is to go to pasture and which is to go to the breeding shed. That is why I do not really mind this event: the animal gets to learn what its job is. If you ever have a chance to see a ride all the way through, the animal is very calm in the chute, explodes when the gate opens, and then just trots over to its buds when the rider is thrown usually. Also, unlike cattle, they work very hard not to step on their "riders", which I find very suprising.

    This video (I didn't listen with sound though) might show you a good behind the scense view of the animal at least for a few moments:

    There are a few events I do not particularly like, but broncs seem fine enough to me.

    I can only speak however for those registered rodeos in the United States -other countries and backyard rodeos may or may not be another story.

    ((I study animal behavior and welfare --pre-veterinary; we covered rodeos in class:))

  9. Like I've said before--I'm not a rodeo expert. Still, I don't worry much about the broncs. Assuming the NFR commentators are correct, a lot of these horses have very long careers. Any horse that can compete at the top of its sport for the better part of a decade is probably a horse who is at least reasonably happy with its lot in life. A couple nights ago, I noticed one mare getting forehead scritchies from the handlers while she waited her turn in the chute. She looked postitively serene there, but it didn't stop her from bucking like a hellion moments later. Seems to me that's the mark of a horse who understands and likes her job!

    Also, I suspect the bucking straps are at least mildly uncomfortable but probably no more so than an overly tight crank noseband. At least the broncs don't have to wear them very long!