Exposing The Myths Of Professional Rodeo

Professional rodeo is immersed in several myths. Some are perpetuated by the public. Others are the result of misinformation used to support an agenda. Oddly, the truths that dispel these myths are in plain view for anyone who cares to look for them. In this article, you'll discover some of these myths. We'll explain the strange things that some people believe about the rodeo industry and its events. We'll also provide the facts behind each of these fabrications. By doing so, you'll gain a deeper understanding and richer appreciation for professional rodeo.

Rodeo Comes From The American West

Millions of people believe that rodeo competitions sprang from the ways of the cowboys in the United States. But, that's only partly true. In fact, modern rodeo tournaments have their origins in Spain and Mexico. The daily duties of "vaqueros" (or Spanish cowboys) included many of the activities that have been canonized into professional rodeo. While these same activities later become the standard for cowboys in the United States, they originated elsewhere.

Cruelty To The Wild Bucking Bronc

Because of the loud protests from animal rights groups, many people believe that the broncs used for bronc riding events are severely mistreated (often, to the point of death). Further, activists claim that the broncs are merely wild horses, terrified to be forced to work at the rodeo. Both ideas are ridiculous. First, broncs are not truly wild. They're bred and trained for bronc riding. Second, the investment made in broncs is substantial (they can be sold for amounts exceeding $10,000). No logical bronc owner would mistreat such a valued possession.

The Flank Strap Debate

Another myth that pervades the industry is that flank straps are fastened tightly around a horse's testicles and is agonizing to them, forcing them to buck in pain. In truth, horses used in bucking events are castrated. There are no testicles around which to fasten the flank straps. Plus, every horse owner knows that a horse that is in agony will not buck.

Horses Are Unhappy And In Pain

For some reason, many animal rights activists seem to think that the horses used in professional rodeo competitions are unhappy and in pain. But, that's illogical. Horse owners understand that if a horse is sad or in pain, it will not perform. That is, the horse won't buck, gallop, or bound energetically. Instead, when a horse is upset, it will typically act as if it has no energy. It will stand lifelessly, showing no signs of animation. The horses used in rodeos are filled with the vitality of a happy life. Their performance in the arena is a testament to this.

Rodeo Animals Are Mistreated And Unfed

This myth is as puzzling as the previous myth. Any animal that is not fed or is mistreated in any way doesn't exhibit the stature, pride and energy that professional rodeo animals show. Plus, many of these animals can fetch up to $50,000. An owner would never mistreat such a prized animal. The animals routinely used in rodeo performances are fed well and cared for attentively.

Putting Myths To Bed

Most of the myths surrounding the rodeo industry are a result of animal rights groups' claims. Unfortunately, these claims perpetuate a common misunderstanding about the treatment of rodeo animals. Stories of their abuse and agony are preposterous, often disseminated by those who have never owned or cared for such animals. But, the truths behind the myths are freely available to you. In time, these stories will hopefully dissipate as people gain an appreciation for the animals, riders and healthy competition of professional rodeo.