As one of the most misunderstood animals in rodeos, bucking horses are either feared or loved by the crowd. Some cheer on the bareback and saddle bronc cowboys, while others watch in horror. Before you pass judgement, it’s important to learn about the industry and get your facts straight. Here’s five things you should know:

  1. Roughly 40% of bucking horses are brought into the event because they have a natural inclination to buck. Whether from ranches, feed lots, or racetracks, these horses are usually considered dangerous by their owners. Many want their horse to go to a good home, but can’t get the ‘buck’ out of them.
  2. There are many successful rodeo stock contractors that have bred horses specifically to buck. These breeders boast that their horses are born with the bucking gene.
  3. There are two different types of horses in these rodeo events. There’s the bareback, which are smaller and bred to buck wilder, and the saddle broncs, which are larger, stockier animals born for durability and strength. Many times the broncs are draft crosses.
  4. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association protects the welfare of these horses in their sanctioned events. Professional judges enforce more than 60 rules that range from the type of spur acceptable to the flank strap. The PRCA also requires a veterinarian on site.
  5. Just like in most equine sports, there are named champions.

It can be a thrilling experience watching the saddle broncs and bareback horses during rodeo events. Whether born into the industry or brought into it, they all have one thing in common- a desire to BUCK!