Rodeo was derived from the working men and horses of the cattle herders throughout the Americas.
The modern American rodeos test the skills that original cowboys and vaqueros needed to survive in the rough and tumble ranges of the west.
While today’s rodeo doesn’t mimick every aspect of life in the wild west, it does incorporate horses and other livestock that was the lifeblood of the cowboy times including rodeo gear similar to what was used by cowboys.
Rodeo’s range in size from small local events to large events that draw competitors from around the world.
Rodeos also vary in the events that they offer, but you are likely to find some of the following rodeo events at the next competition you attend.
Team roping is one of the most exciting horse and rider events you can get into. It is unique to every other rodeo event as men and women compete in the same event.
Teams are comprised of a header and a healer.
The header, as the name implies, ropes the steer around the horns.
The heeler then ropes the steer by his hind legs.
Calf Roping (Tie-down Roping)
Another exciting horse and rider event is calf roping. Calf ropers are timed as they attempt to lasso the calf around the neck. The rider then jumps off his horse and must tie three of the calf’s legs together.
Tie down roping winners are decided by fractions of a second.
The fast-paced steer wrestling event, also called bulldogging, isn’t for the faint of heart. While at a full run, the rider drops off the horse while grabbing the horns of the steer and pulling the steer off his feet.
Steer wrestling is a very dangerous event and takes tremendous athleticism and coordination from both the horse and rider.
Both saddle bronc and bareback bronc riding events are usually held at rodeos. In both events, the cowboy attempts to ride the bronco without being thrown.
Based off the skills needed to break horses in order to ready them for work on the range, bronc riders have incredible balance and focus.
One of the most popular events at any rodeo event is bull riding.
Bull riders compete by attempting to ride a bull for eight seconds. The score is based on both the technical performance of the rider and the bull.
The bulls are highly athletic and powerful leading to an awesome show. There is a good reason bull riding is as popular as it is.
Barrel racing is a speed event where horse and rider race for the best time completing a cloverleaf pattern through three barrels.
This event takes tremendous skill and athleticism from both horse and rider.
Pole bending is another timed race event where the horse and riders compete for making the best time running through a pattern of six pole lined straight down the arena.