Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: middle of nowhere
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.