Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Western Pennsylvania
From what I understand (have read and been told) that yes, they have the handheld prods, but they aren't actually used unless the horse stalls in the chute and doesn't leave, seeing as it's dangerous if they don't immediately leave the chute, for both bronc and rider.
I don't see it being cruelty at all. I could put a back-cinch on a few horses and get quite a bronc show, and they aren't even bred/trained for it. The flank strap is only to let the horse know that it's working and to convince it to kick a bit harder to get the rider off. The spurs used are rounded off, not sharpened. I've run them across my arm (to the point of how the bronc riders would, seeing as the spurs are rolled across the horse, not stabbed) and they don't hurt, just add a bit of pressure.
And like others said about anything else, the large majority of broncs love their job and know when they're suppose to be doing it.
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