Items

Forums
Rodeo Horses
 By Saferaphus   •   25th Jul 2018   •   124 views   •   0 comments


The Calgary Stampede has just ended as I write this, and although its promoters claim it is the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, the controversies around the rights of the animals performing always swirl. Those controversies haven’t seemed to dampen the spirits of the people who attended that Stampede. This year’s event attracted 1,271,241, attendees, up more than 56,000 from 2017’s show, and exceeded only by the centennial Stampede held in 2012.

But not everyone is so enthusiastic. One Canadian humane society called the Stampede ‘a spectacle of animal abuse’. Most of the outcry has been against competitions like calf roping and other chasing and roping sports, and chuck-wagon racing continues to be a controversial sport, often with multiple horse deaths in all but one Stampede since 1986.

Unlike horse shows or racing, the individual animals in rodeo seem to take second billing to the human competitors. Few of us will remember the names of famous bucking or cutting horses the way we will Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Big Ben or Stroller. But of course, it wouldn’t be much of a show without them, however controversial their participation may be. Just what sort of horses are used for things like bronc riding and chuck-wagon races?

Chuck-wagons, the rolling kitchens of the cowboy era, used to be pulled by mules, oxen or horses. Chuck, of course was a slang for food. The wagon would be loaded up with long-lasting foods like sourdough and flour, dried beans, potatoes, salted meats, coffee beans, and preserved fruit and tinned milk that might be supplemented with fresh game, eggs or vegetables found out on the range. Also on board would be all the pots and pans, utensils even wood or buffalo or cattle manure for burning, all needed to cook up a simple, but hearty meal.

By comparison, today’s chuck-wagons are pared down and built for speed. And today’s chuck-wagon horses are a far cry from the slower, heavier, smaller horses used back then. Instead, Thoroughbreds, often retired race horses, provide the power to get the chuck-wagons around the course with speed and agility. Therein, says Temple Grandin, might be why there are so many injuries and deaths in these competitions. An overemphasis on breeding solely for speed, with large muscles and fine bones means TB’s legs are simply more prone to injury. It’s an interesting opinion, but unless someone is willing to run something other than a TB, it will be hard to prove. And of course not all horses are breaking down. Some chuck-wagon race horses are still racing into their late teens and early twenties.

And where do bucking horses come from? Bucking a horse out used to be the normal way to ‘break’ a horse for riding and ranch work. So what started out as job became a sport as cowboys challenged each other to stick on as long as they could. Today some bucking horses might come from the riding horse world. They might be former race horses, show horses or trail horses that have learned to launch a rider. And many bucking horses will be bred to buck. One source states that 60% of the horses used in bronc riding are from breeding programs that strive to produce top bucking horses. Many will be Draft crosses, Quarter Horses or QH crosses. Saddle broncs tend to be heavier, taller horses. Bareback broncs tend to be smaller and lighter.

Bucking horses are kept just like any other performance horse, with an eye towards their health, fitness and attitude. It isn’t unusual for horses to have a long and illustrious career until they are in their twenties. And really, having a job of getting ticked off for nine seconds every now and then doesn’t sound like such a bad deal if you are otherwise treated well.
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Rodeo,
Horse News More In This Category:  Shows and Events      Horse News More From This Author:  Saferaphus
 More News by Saferaphus
Drama Free Horse Boarding
20th Sep 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
It’s pretty bad when stables start actually advertising that they are drama-free. But much gossip and drama can be avoided by simply being upfront when you have a problem. Cryptic notes written on the blackboard and snide remarks ...
Online Horse Courses
16th Sep 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Some horse courses are free. But, you get what you pay for, for the most part. With any online purchase, even courses, you’ll want to check the credentials of the institution offering it and spend some time researching reviews by ...
2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Hurricane
11th Sep 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
The 2018 WEG is set to begin September 11, 2018 near Mill Springs, North Carolina. But, a weather emergency threatens the games. At this point, it's not known what the exact track of the hurricane will be, or how intense the storm ...
Buying The Perfect Pony
8th Sep 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Pity the poor parent, not already in the horse world, that wants to buy their child a pony. A good number will just go buy the first pony they come across, perhaps one that’s been languishing in someone’s cow pasture for several y ...
How To Make Money With Horses
6th Sep 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Lots of the jobs in the horse industry are lower paying, minimum wage or slightly higher. But there are jobs that will bring you a much higher wage. Most of them will require college, university or an apprenticeship, and perhaps s ...
Horse Mounted Martial Arts
1st Sep 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Two separate skills are needed for mounted martial arts; horseback riding and mastery of the weapon that is being used, whether that be a spear, bow, sword or other weapon. For the most part, horses are guided using the leg aids ...
Buying a Carousel Horse
29th Aug 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Even though I had a pony at home, I always wanted to ride on carousels, or merry-go-rounds and those mechanical horses that used to be beside the doors of every department and grocery store. A ride was rare however, because I did ...
Preventing Equine Obesity
25th Aug 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Horses that are overweight are more likely to suffer health problems than horses that are on the lean side. Generally, you want to be able to feel, but not quite see your horse’s ribs. There shouldn’t be fat pads on either side of ...
  View All News by Saferaphus
 
©2002 - 2018   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
366 Members Online 240,286 Registered Members 2,473 News Articles 10,292,795 Unique News Article Views 224,705,651 Website Views