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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed at all these rodeo events that cowboys ride an animal (bronco, bull, calf, steer, etc.) with only one hand. I went to a cowboy bar once and the mechanical bull was one-hand-only too. I think if they are right-handed they control the animal with their left hand. I just read something on line about western riding. The reigns are still in only one hand.

It only makes sense for one-handed horse control since the cowboy has to rope the cattle with his other hand or shoot his gun with his free hand. I would think cavalry horses are one-handed deal too since the mounted soldier needs the other hand for his weapon.

Am I correct?

I've always thought the word RODEO was interesting too. I figured the word comes from RODE since animals are commonly RODE in RODEOs.
 

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With regard to rodeos, the short answer is that they ride with one hand because it's in the rules. In western riding, we typically (sort of) control the horse with our non-dominant hand because the dominant hand is involved in other tasks. I say "sort of" because a lot of the signaling is done by seat and legs and a lot of good western horses will work just fine without even using the reins. The same reasoning applies to cavalry, although most countries taught cavalrymen to ride both ways, often starting with direct reining and graduating to neck reining as they gained experience. In the 20th century, the U.S. Army used a double bridle with curb and bridoon, although in practice they usually ditched the snaffle bit in the field.

Edited to add: I believe the word "rodeo" is Spanish and translates approximately to "round-up." It was once applied to normal ranch work as well, at least in the southwest, but more recently came to mean only the sport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
With regard to rodeos, the short answer is that they ride with one hand because it's in the rules. In western riding, we typically (sort of) control the horse with our non-dominant hand because the dominant hand is involved in other tasks. I say "sort of" because a lot of the signaling is done by seat and legs and a lot of good western horses will work just fine without even using the reins. The same reasoning applies to cavalry, although most countries taught cavalrymen to ride both ways, often starting with direct reining and graduating to neck reining as they gained experience. In the 20th century, the U.S. Army used a double bridle with curb and bridoon, although in practice they usually ditched the snaffle bit in the field.

Edited to add: I believe the word "rodeo" is Spanish and translates approximately to "round-up." It was once applied to normal ranch work as well, at least in the southwest, but more recently came to mean only the sport.
When I was about five, I associated the word RODEO with RODE as in RIDE (a horse), past tense. I wondered then why it wasn't called a RIDEO instead. I suppose a country-western music station might dub their broadcast as "Rodeo Radio".


Ox Driver folk song

Was early in October-o
Hitched my team in order-o
To ride the hills-a Saludio

To-me-rol, to-me-rol, to-my-ri-de-o
To-me-rol, to-me-rol, to-my-ri-de-o
To-me-rol, to-me-rol, to-my-ri-de-o
To-my-ri-de-ay, to-my-ri-de-o
To-me-ro, to-me-ro, to-my-ri-de-o

I pop my whip, I bring the blood
I make my leaders take the mud
We grab the wheels, and we turn them around
One more pull and we're on hard ground

When I got there the hills were steep
Would make a tender person weep
To hear me curse and pop my whip
And see my oxen pull and slip

When I get home I'll have revenge
I'll have my family, I'll have my friends
I'll say good-bye to the whip and line
I'll drive no more in the wintertime
 

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From Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

rodeo noun

ro·​deo | \ ˈrō-dē-ˌō , rə-ˈdā-(ˌ)ō \

plural rodeos

Definition of rodeo (Entry 1 of 2)

1: ROUNDUP

2a: a public performance featuring bronco riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, and Brahma bull riding
b: a contest resembling a rodeo

rodeo verb

rodeoed; rodeoing; rodeos

Definition of rodeo (Entry 2 of 2)
intransitive verb


: to participate in a rodeo


History and Etymology for rodeo

Noun

Spanish, from rodear to surround, from rueda wheel, from Latin rota — more at ROLL
 
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