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What is the Difference Between Bulls and Broncs
 By Winniefield Park   •   29th Sep 2014   •   3,438 views   •   2 comments
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One of the more recent additions to the International Plowing Match is a small rodeo. This included roping competitions, barrel racing and bull and bronc riding. As my daughter and I watched the bareback bronc riding she said, ďIíd totally do that.Ē I donít know, I said. I think if I was forced to choose, I might choose bull riding. Yes, theyíre bigger and more powerful. But from what I can see, theyíre slower and a bit more predictable.

Back in 2011, my daughter and I attended an evening of the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada. Iím not a big rodeo fan, but local rodeos are a small affair and the opportunities to see a big event are rare. Iím also not a fan of the roping competitions where scared calves are stopped dead, half strangled and then leaped on and tied. I know this was part of cowboy life back when it had to be done. But, Iím not sure what I think of keeping it a sport now. But, the main events were the bronc and bull riding and I donít think these animals have any worse life than any other animal used for sports.

My impression in Las Vegas was that the horses were much quicker, craftier and agile than the bulls. The bulls, while impressive in size, seemed much more predictable in their movements. They twisted, bucked and plunged. But, they didnít do it with the cunningness that I saw in some horses. One horse in particular made a point of taking its rider as close to the fence as possible, so that the cowboy was in danger of being swept off on the rails. The horses were more likely to change the rhythm of their bucking, and it looked like they got a lot more air. I thought they twisted more than the bulls and changed direction, rather than staying in a straight line.

But, rodeo riders are likely to disagree with me. Apparently bulls are far more powerful. They twist hard, and change direction more often. They can get their hindquarters much higher than their front end, so the rider has to stick to a steeper incline. Iíve read comments by bull riders online and they claim bulls have nastier tempers and canít be broke, while a horse can. I think Iíd disagree with this, as so much of any animalís behaviour is shaped by its environment. Bulls can be broke to ride. I know of a Texas Longhorn, with an incredible set of horns that was broke to ride. He was a popular attraction at local parades for a few years.

So what do you think? I still think if I had to, Iíd ride a bull. Since itís not likely to happen, Iíll stick with my opinion, from the nice comfortable seat on my chair. My daughter though, thinks sheíd go with the broncs. What would your choice be, broncs or bulls?

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Dark Star  
The main difference is a bull rider is a bronc rider with a death wish. If you wish to live a long life, you aren't a bull rider. They go into that pen fully knowing they might not walk back out (which I guess is every sport, but bulls are the only rodeo animals that will actually try to kill you)
  Sep 29, 2014  •  3,618 views
 
Winniefield Park  
Since I plan to live a very long life, I'll avoid both!
  Oct 2, 2014  •  3,518 views
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