Rodeo pickup rider - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-26-2018, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Rodeo pickup rider

I’ve recently become interested in learning to be a pickup rider. Just wondering if anybody has experience or knowledge of the sport and if anyone has seen/knows of any female pickup riders
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-26-2018, 11:39 AM
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Ooo. Nice. I am subbing to this thread because I hope if you follow through, you'll keep us updated.

I myself don't know any female pick up riders. All of the one's I know or have seen, are men. And stout men at that. So I'm curious.

So I'm subbing.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-26-2018, 01:13 PM
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It's not really a sport -- it's a serious job. Usually rodeo pick up riders are part of the stock contractors for rodeos. Usually, stock contractors are family owned and run and the people who work for them have grown up in the business.

If you wanted to learn, I would reach out to local stock contractors and see if they were interested in helping you.

There's more to it than an untrained viewer would think. It takes a lot of knowledge of the individual bucking stock and how they will best react when they're done with their job. Bucking stock, horses and bulls, are highly valued athletes, and their safety is as important as getting the rider off safely.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-26-2018, 02:33 PM
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Yes, most have grown up in rodeo families and have been doing it all their lives-- some only pickup their family's rodeos, others are professionals. Reach out to a stock contractor and see if they would be willing to show you more about the job. Being a rodeo pickup rider requires immense knowledge not only of each individual bucking-stock's preferences and issues (do they come out and go right, do they buck straight, will they savage a rider once off or do they leave the scene, etc.) as well as keeping that animal and the rider's safety in mind. If a rider is injured, they need to be able to quickly subdue the bucking stock and/or the rider's regular mount until the rider can be safely extricated from the situation. They must know horses and cattle inside and out, be able to rope anything that moves, and most provide their own horses-- pickup riders are some of the best-mounted people at a rodeo. Those horses are worth a lot of money and do their jobs well. Different horses for different events, too. For saddle bronc and bareback, your pickup horse needs to be fast and stout. For bull riding, you need a 'bull puller' a horse capable of roping and dragging a bull weighing over a ton out of the arena without getting himself, his rider, the contestant, or the bull hurt. Most pickup riders use 3-4 horses a night. And in the rare instance that an animal is injured, the pickup men need to know how to handle a gravely injured animal safely and effectively without traumatizing the audience any more than necessary.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-26-2018, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by awilkins5573 View Post
Ive recently become interested in learning to be a pickup rider. Just wondering if anybody has experience or knowledge of the sport and if anyone has seen/knows of any female pickup riders

Ditto to the other responses.

Reach out to stock contractors in your area and inquire if they are looking for help and/or would be willing to train someone.

In the beginning, you could start by helping with the livestock at the rodeos and work your way up.

Yes, most of the stock contractors are usually family-run but that doesn't mean that an "outsider" can't become "family" too.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-26-2018, 10:49 PM
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It is a hard gig to get into let alone being female. Hate to be a Debbie Downer.

I know of one off the top of my head that is truly capable. She had been doing it all her life. Her dad raised bucking horses and put on bucking horse schools. On top of that she was handy all-round and had the ability.

When it comes down to it, it takes someone who can read livestock and is handy with them.

The most important part is someone who can react fast in a bad situation.

It is up to the pickup man to prevent a wreck or save someone in a wreck. I believe people are born with that ability and most are not. The most talented guys are the ones who were born with that ability of reacting fast to save someone.

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