^^ ;) And on that same note, calf ropers who have horses who stop too hard and put the calf at risk will put sliding plates on their horses to soften the stop a bit. The last thing that they want is a horse that will yank a calf off its feet because then they have to pick it up before they can throw it and tie it down making their time longer and leaving them out of the money. Yes, there are freak accidents but that kind of stuff happens when they are turned out to pasture too (had to put down several cattle due to broken bones and serious wounds sustained while turned out loose).
And as for the flank strap on bucking stock. It is not tight enough to hurt them, it is used as an irritant to ENCOURAGE them to buck. They cannot be forced to buck, just encouraged, and whether they buck or not is their choice. Rodeo contractors will debut a bucking animal in a smaller sanctioned rodeo and if they show the inclination to buck, then they will be used. If they are weak buckers or if they refuse to buck, then they are simply sold. No sanctioned rodeo allows cruelty i/e beating, injuring, shocking, etc to MAKE an animal buck. Maybe the ones you attended were not sanctioned by a rodeo association and were more the backyard type rodeos, I don't know but most of what I have attended in my life were PRCA sanctioned events and there were a few hometown rodeos that were run by good people that made sure the animals were treated right.