Items

Forums
Rodeo Horses
 By Saferaphus   •   25th Jul 2018   •   231 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
Equine Mange Mites
11th Dec 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Mange is a skin condition caused by mites. There is actually a few different types of mange, each caused by a specific type of mange that may affect certain areas of the horse’s body. Some are more rare than others. Sarcoptic mang ...
Red Dead Redemption Horse Review
8th Dec 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Something that keeps showing up in my newsfeed lately is content about something called Red Dead Redemption 2. And at first glance it seems that horses factor big in this something. So, I decided to find out more. ...
Horse News
5th Dec 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Bodybuilders taking horse drugs, the carriage trade takes another hit, and once again we learn not to drink and ride. Here’s what’s been showing up on my news feeds lately. ...
Horse Saddles Around the World
2nd Dec 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
We almost see the evolution of the saddle all over again once the Native People of North American started riding horses. We often see images of riders riding their horses without saddles. But saddles were used, with some influence ...
Equine Polydactylism
1st Dec 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
In horses the extra appendage is called a supernumerary digit, and it grows off the splint bone on both front or hind legs. There may be four supernumerary digits, there may be only one, or a partial digit. The splint bone is a sm ...
Jobs on Horseback
28th Nov 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Have you ever dreamed of spending all day riding horses? There are a few jobs out there that might suit you. Whatever career on horse back you pursue, be prepared to work long hard hours, and some aspects of these are decidedly un ...
2018 Christmas Horse Toys
23rd Nov 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
Was it last year that the top toy, Hatchimals, disappointed children everywhere? This year’s top toy is similar, but instead of hatching and then doing nothing, you can groom its tangles out and let it languish on a shelf. ...
Learning The Why of Horses
21st Nov 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Saferaphus
There is so much to learn about horses. Truly, you could spend your whole life studying them and still need a few more lives to cover even a fraction. For example here are a few questions that start with why... ...
  View All News by Saferaphus
 
©2002 - 2018   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
250 Members Online 241,548 Registered Members 2,500 News Articles 10,453,599 Unique News Article Views 230,537,456 Website Views