"Natural" does not equal good. Racing is natural for a horse too, yet it's responsible for more injuries and deaths than any other sport.
"Natural" is also a misnomer. If bucking was so natural for broncs they wouldn't need straps or spurs of any kind to do it.
You mean like show jumping and Dressage? Nope, no spurs there...
You do realize the main purpose of a flank strap is to indicate to the animal it is time to perform? Have you actually watched broncs? The vast majority of them, including bulls, almost immediately stop bucking once the rider is off, even with the flank strap still on. In the older days of rodeo, it was completely common for the local farm horse/ranch horse to ALSO double as a rodeo horse. The flank strap was his cue to buck instead of ranch.
Those broncs are not "wild animals". They perform just like our pets do. And are probably given a better life and a better ending then half our so called "pets" do.
Exactly!!! And yea, racing causes injuries- so does running around a pasture- I can't tell you how many times horses have come to the vets office because they were running around and fell or did something. Let's face it- horses are clutz'. End of story. And let's also remember that alot of horses are injured in other sports as well.
I'm not knocking rodeo, I'm knocking the "but it's natural!" argument. That argument isn't sound (sound, get it?) Either everything we ask horses to do is natural or none of it is - it all depends on how you look at it. Some sports are easier for the horse, but none are more "natural" than others.
I have to disagree. Of all the sports we ask horses to do, the two most "natural" actions for them would easily be bucking (rodeo) and galloping (racing). Reining, cutting, pleasure, jumping, Dressage all incorporate things you really never see horses do (or rarely) either in the wild or domesticated in pasture. Bucking and fleeing are probably the two most natural responses/instincts horses have!
Maybe some "airs above the ground" could be considered natural though.
It definitely doesn't mean racing and rodeoing are "correct" or "best" for horses. But in regarding only the "natural" argument, I'd have to disagree.
I'm not too familiar with rodeo, but I watched some last night and want some clarification.
A small percentage of bulls actually began to attack their rider once they were bucked off. These bulls were the more difficult (harder to stay on) bulls, mostly. Is there any reason for this? There were quite a few that stopped DEAD once the rider was off, and many that just proceeded to run off (potentially trampling the rider, but not intentionally.) Any reason for this?
Bulls are a lot different then horses. Unfortunately, bulls are not domesticated the way horses are. A bull is a VERY dangerous animal whether you're on it's back or just in a field with it. A stallion will run, a bull will attack with little provocation.
The key is that if you took an actual "wild" bull and an actual "wild" horse, you'd have dead cowboys. Both animals would be terrified and stop at NOTHING to get the creature off it's back, and often go on the fight afterwards as well. If you've ever seen a cowboy break in a wild horse, you'll understand the difference between a "wild bronc" and a "trained bronc". Scared animals are highly dangerous animals - a scared horse will flip, slam into fences, and all sorts of other dangerous behaviors that are NOT wanted in a rodeo ring. Anyone who's worked with a few wild animals can so the enormous difference in a scared animal and a rodeo bronc.
However, with the bulls, it's a very fine line. Because bulls have a much higher tendency to inborn violence compared to horses, even the "trained" bulls will come after you because bulls actually get mad. A lot of rodeo horses you can walk up to in pens and pat with no problems - bulls you simply can't do this with, as most ranchers know. SOME are obviously more docile then others, I have known friendly bulls, but the domestication is a lot newer as compared to horses and bulls don't become "tamer" the more time they spend around humans as horses tend to.
Bulls, in general, are very aggressive creatures, especially when they are already in a moment of excitement or agitation. Driving normal bulls (not those bred for bucking) across a pasture on a horse can be a very delicate procedure because they are quick to turn and fight if you push them even a little bit too hard. One of the reasons why cattle have horns is because they cannot flee all threats the same way that a horse can, they don't have the speed, agility, or endurance to outlast most large predators. That is also why they are more willing to go on the offensive and attack. Even though the human isn't hurting them, the rider is seen as a threat because it has attached itself in the same basic location that a predator would (think lions and wildebeests as can be seen in the picture below). Therefore, the bull gets his testosterone up and goes on the offensive to eliminate the 'threat'.
Rodeos are a part of horse and human life together. Rodeos have been around for a long time. Even though there is tugging on the bits, sharp turns, and cattle to get grounded to the ground, that is what the horses have been trained for and its not that their riders want to injure them, its just that its a level the rider wants to aim for and a lot of the time it brings the horse and rider closer together to have a tight bond. Abuse is chosen by the rider. Horses are loving animals and with the right person can be confident happy creatures. There are people who do abuse their horses but the idea of a rodeo doesn't include abuse it involves horsemanship and passion.