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Bareback bronc

Bareback bronc riding involves a rider getting on an untamed equine or bronco, weighing between 800 and 1,500 pounds, which is held in a small pipe enclosure called a bucking chute. The rider tightly grips a handle which is strapped to the horse. When the rider says he is ready, the gate of the bucking chute is opened and the horse bursts out and attempts to throw or buck off the rider.

Broncs can be either neutered males (geldings) or females (mares), with mares being somewhat more common. Horses, being prey animals, do not care to have things on their backs. Horses that cannot be trained to accept riders may become broncs in rodeos. (On cool fall mornings even a trained riding horse may buck off the rider, just for fun.) In addition, horses are somewhat ticklish and a flank strap is used to encourage the bronc to kick out in addition to bucking. The flank strap is about 4 inches wide, is covered in sheepskin and fastens behind the widest part of the abdomen. Contrary to popular opinion, the flank strap does not touch the horses' genitals (which are located beneath the tail on females and between the hind legs on males).

The rider attempts to stay on the horse for 8 seconds without touching the horse with his free hand. The rider that manages to complete a ride is scored on a scale of 0-50 and the horse is also scored on a scale of 0-50. Scores in the 80s are very good and in the 90s are exceptional.

see also: rodeo