When it comes to a rodeo event, there are two very exciting 8-second rides that take place. One is the bull riding competition and the other is bronc or bronco riding. These are two sports that many people love to watch. Both rides last 8 seconds or until the rider falls off. One is a bull against the rider and the other is horse against rider. What makes them appealing and how can two similar sports be so much alike, but different at the same time? You have to first take a look at the history of each.

Bull riding has been around for many years. Its roots began in Mexico during the 16th century. During that time in history, the bull would be ridden until it died. From there, the idea that it should be stopped before that point was reached and riders simply had to stay on until the bull stopped bucking. By the time Wild West shows began using bull riders in the show, Texas had banned the rougher sport. In 1935, Brahma bulls began being the ride of choice whereas before, the preferred ride were steers. Over time, the safety of the animal has become a primary consideration. There are many rules set into place on how to ensure that the animal is not harmed. For the score, a rider and his bull are both graded on their performances.

Bronc riding can be dated back to the early years when it was necessary to break a horse so that it could be ridable. It took a brave soul to get on a wild horse and tame him to allow the rider to saddle him and ride out to herd livestock. The sport of bronc riding took root as people would try to tame the horse. Nowadays, horses are bred specifically for their strength, bucking ability, and their agility. However, to be a bucking horse, most of the time the animal will be a gelding, a castrated male. Though, there are some rare female and stallions who also get used as bucking horses. To do well, a rider must be in the right position upon the horse leaving its chute. The rider must be able to stay on the horse while riding one handed for a full 8 seconds. Both the rider and the horse are given a score and the total of the two numbers is what signifies the winner.

There are people everywhere who love going to or participating in the rodeo. One of the most favorite events is the one that takes only 8 seconds. It is the bull riding competition and for some reason, everyone enjoys watching to see how long a man can ride on his bull. For others, those who actually ride on a bull, it is a truly challenging sport. There are rules that they must follow and every year there are little boys who want to grow up and ride bulls. Those who do not enjoy watching a man successfully ride a bull for 8 seconds may wonder why is appealing. The answer is, in many ways, because it is controversial and entertaining all at the same time.

The controversy comes because many people feel that it is a sport which is dangerous for both the animal and the rider. However, though there is some potential for injury to the bull, most rodeos take measures to prevent it from happening. Bull riders wear spurs that will not hurt the bull, shoots are designed to be safe, and even the ropes that hold the rider in place are roped into areas that will not cause the bull to feel pain. If anything, the bull is annoyed by having a rope around him and unlike other theories, the ropes are not in an area that may damage their reproductive system.

The entertainment comes from the heart pounding music and knowing that the cowboy is holding on with all his might and still may be tossed off. There is danger. It is a big 2,000-pound bull and a man who is typically less than 200 pounds. Even when the bull rider comes down, there are clowns trying to protect the rider from an irritated bull. The ride may only last a few seconds, but the suspense and the action may last much longer.

As a spectator, it is hard to not feel the excitement pumping in your blood. For the rider, it is a rush when a ride is successful. When they make the 8-second buzzer, they know that they have trained well and performed well. They have lived their dream of riding that bull. It takes strength and courage. They are dedicated to the sport and the fans who hold their breath for those 8 seconds.

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