Bareback Riding

Bareback riding is the most physically demanding event in rodeo. Strength and timing are vital in maintaining control during a wild and often unpredictable ride. Riders grasp a one-hand rigging that fits over the horse’s back. Judging during the 8-second ride is based on the cowboy’s spurring technique, the degree to which his toes remain turned away from the horse throughout the ride and his willingness to lean far back and take whatever may come during a ride. As the horse bucks, the rider jerks his knees, running his spurs up the horse’s shoulders. As the animal comes back down, the cowboy straightens his legs so his spurs are again over the horse’s shoulders as its front feet hit the ground. The rider is disqualified for bucking off or touching the bronc or himself with his free hand.