Sorry, but I absolutely love rodeos. I think most of the animals in rodeo are well cared for. My only concern is the fact of how young are most bucking broncs? It doesn't seem good to me for a 2 year old to be doing that kind of work. But you see horses bucking out in the pasture for pure enjoyment and being excited. So why not throw someone on them to see how long they can stay on? It's not hurting a bull to be doing that, I'm sure of that. And as far as the other events go, the calf roping is sad to watch happen, but it's part of everyday ranch work too, and I don't here anyone complaining about that. In fact I think barrel racing is probably one of the hardest sports on animals other than olympic jumping. Most barrel racing horses come out of their career with arthritis from the turn and burn. But there isn't a horse sport in the world that doesn't somehow affect a horse's overall health other than maybe light trail riding.
I can't say for other areas of the country, but most of the bucking horses around here are well over five years old. They have to be old enough to be sure that they are hopeless buckers and won't suddenly quit in the arena. They are well cared for and it isn't unusual to see them bucking until well into their twenties. The oldest one I remember was a 26 year old gelding. I was there when they officially retired him - 100% sound.
I do rodeos once a year? Sometimes more if I happen to go to a monthly rodeo during the year. I barrel race full time but that's NBHA. My uncle is a stock contracter though and puts on a rodeo at our fair every year. I got 5th this year out of 20 some horses. I love rodeos especially the bulls, and my boyfriend is a bull rider lol
I am really looking into getting involved in high school rodeo but right now im stuck with gymkhanas but theya re GREAT practice I actually have my first one coming up on Oct 9th. It will be outlaw(my lease arabian gelding)'s second official gymkhana,first being trained probperly. There are very few cowboys where I live its mainly dirtbikes for the boys horses for the girls hah I do both :]