1. How is bareback/saddle bronc riding judged?
See rodeo descriptions below!
2. Why do outriders throw a barrel into the back of a chuck wagon?
Outriders consist of the horse holders and the stove men. The holder holds the team pulling the chuckwagon while the stove men put in the stove and the tent pegs. Once those are loaded, the stove men yell at the holder, who lets go of the team and makes a flying mount. The outriders have to cross the wire within 5 seconds of the wagon, or they will get "late outrider" penalties. There are also penalties for missed pegs, dropped stove and other things the spectators seldom catch.
Chuckwagon races originated way back when chuckwagons with horses or mules were used on roundups, sometimes several outfits running the same roundup, with a central ranch in the range and headquarters for supplies, etc. After the cattle were gathered, and separated, and sent on to their respective homes, the wagons would often race to headquarters. The now outriders were then cook's helpers, horse wranglers and night riders. The original version included packing the kitchen, breaking cook's camp which inclueded the eating tent, fly over the end of the wagon, several large dutch ovens (the stove), and the assorted large cooking utinsels required by outdoor cooking. One man always held the team, and when the last item was packed in the wagon, the team took of for headquarters. The winner of the race was the first one to arrive with all items intact. Prizes, if any, would include whiskey, sides of beef, pigs, flour, potatoes, tobacco, etc; things essential to the well-being of everyone involved.
3. Why are outriders even running?
See above the description!
4. Why do you never see ladies bronc/steer riding and wrestling?
It depends on what rodeo you are watching.
If you were watching one on TV, it most likely was a PRCA (professional rodeo cowboys association) sanctioned rodeo where the only event women are allowed to compete is in the barrel racing if it is sanctioned by the WPRA (Women's Professional Rodeo Association).
However, the WPRA holds its own world finals with all the rodeo events being only for women! And there are many other rodeo organizations throughout the country that allow women to compete in roughstock too.
5. How is steer riding judged?
See the description below.
6. Why do people wear hockey helmets when riding steers and not when riding broncs?
They don't wear hockey helmets. They are helmets designed specifically for roughstock events.
Helmets are not required in all events or in all rodeo associations. So if they are not required, it is up to the contestant to decide if he (or she) wants to wear one.
In timed events
(calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping), cattle are given a head start from the chute. They de-activate a headstart “barrier” when a rope around their necks pulls a pin and then breaks away. If a contestant's horse hits the rope barrier before this pin is pulled, a pressure point in the barrier breaks, and a signal from the barrier judge indicates a 10-second "broke the barrier" penalty.
In saddle bronc and bareback riding
, two of the three roughstock events, the cowboy must have his feet ahead of the horse's shoulders, his spurs touching the horse, when the animal's front feet touch the ground the first jump from the chute. This is called "marking out". Failure to comply means disqualification. In bull riding, the third roughstock event, this rule is not applied. Bull Riding
Scored on body control and balance. Spurring is not required although cowboys can if they choose (resulting in a higher score). They ride with just a flat-braided rope pulled tight that is not tied or cinches around the bull; it is just held fast by the cowboy's riding hand. They must remain mouted on the bull with one leg on each side for a full 8 seconds to receive a score. Up to 50 points can be earned by both the bull and the rider, so that a perfect score on both parties would earn a 100 (only happened once in PRCA history, to my knowledge). Tie Down Roping
After the cowboy nods that he is ready, the calf is released and must release the barrier before the horse crosses the same barrier. The horse must quickly catch up to the calf, position the cowboy to rope it, then maintain tension on the rope as the cowboy dismounts, throws the calf and ties any three of its legs (usually two hind and one front). The tie must remain secure for six seconds after the roper remounts and permits the horse to slacken the rope. Steer Wrestling
The barrier rule applies here too. For the takedown, one horn is pushed low, the other lifted, nose tilted high. At about the time their horses reach the tail of the hard-running steer, the hazer (a mounted helper for the wrestler) keeps the steer moving in a straight line while the steer wrestler, from the opposite side, begins transferring his weight from his horse to the steer. His horse runs on past, carrying the cowboy up to the horns and taking his feet out in front of the steer, in position for the cowboy to slow the steer, turn him, and take him to the ground. Bareback Riding
Scored on the front-end spurring motion. The trick is to time the spurring motion with the horse's bucking action. When the horse leaves the ground, the cowboy jerks his knees and his spurs come up to the shoulders. His feet fly up, out and away from the horse. For the cowboy to stay in control, his feet must be back to the shoulders and against the neck when the horse's front feet come back to the ground. The more "excessive" the cowboy can spur while staying in control, the higher the score. Team Roping
The barrier rule is applied here, for the header (the first roper) The header rides after the steer and ropes the horns or head, takes a dally (wraps the rope) around his saddle horn and turns his horse away, leading the steer. A second roper, the heeler, rides in and ropes the hind legs and takes his dally. In an instant, the horses face the steer, the ropes come snug, and a judge signals time. If only one hind leg is caught, a 5-second penalty is added. Barrel Racing
The three barrels are “run” in a cloverleaf pattern requiring quick turns at high speed to win. Either a right turn or a left turn is legal to start the pattern. Times are so fast and close they're measured in hundredths of a second. A tipped barrel results in a 5-second penalty. Saddle Bronc Riding
Scored on sweeping, front-and -back spurring motion, buckrein held high. Ideally, the cowboy falls into a stylish rhythm with the horse, feet thrust full forward, toes turned out in the stirrups, as the bronc's front feet touch the ground. Then as the horse jumps high, the rider crooks his knees, drawing his feet back, toes still turned out, along the sides until his spurs strike the back of the saddle. The feet go forward again as the bronc descends.