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  1. #1
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    Question Rodeo - What is your point of view?

    I recently received an email from a friend who is an animal rights activist of sorts.... Claiming that rodeos are evil and cruel..I have seen some clips of some pretty terrible stuff..but that happens in every discipline...

    What are your thoughts on Rodeo in general..could someone enlighten me?

    I am an eventer and retired western performance person..so I haven't the foggiest idea what goes on at a rodeo....

    HF
    ~Proud founder of the "Addicted to Lessons" clique~
    ~Ribbon Ho~



  2. #2
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    I have mixed feelings, I used to love them, but have recently become more sensitive to certain things. I think at the higher levels you get more quality people handling their animals, but not necessarily so. I had to quit going to lower level game shows around here because of the bad horsemanship, it would make me cringe. Especially one, a horse and rider I knew, I don't know what they were trying to prove but when the horse was 21 or so she decided all of the sudden his snaffle wasn't enough and she needed to go to a "wonder" gag bit, the horse gaped it's mouth in discomfort the entire time. I think at 21, when you have served a person for a very long time and have lined their shelves with trophys, that doing something because it's trendy, isn't very fair.

    You tend to see some better riding at the upper levels, which I can appreciate. I think as far as bucking horses, etc, they are treated well.
    I lost count of the times I’ve given up on you
    But you make such a beautiful wreck you do



  3. #3
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    I think they are fun and an important part of our history as a country.

    I think that some people go off the deep end when it comes to animals. I'm sure they mean well, but .... they're not all housepets. Some animals have a job, even if their job is to be a racehorse, bucking bronc, or roped while running around in the ring (i.e. a calf).



  4. #4
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    Living out east I rarely see rodeo live, just occasional televised stuff, so that is usually the national level competitions, not local/backyard rodeos. I am in awe of the skill of the horses and riders, especially in cutting, roping, and reining. I think the professional level competitions have been very good about cleaning up their act, requiring decent treatment, vets checks, etc. Whether that's also the case with the local rodeos, I don't know. I'd assume you see some bad horsemanship at the amateur levels, just as in jumping or driving or any other sport, but as you get to the pro levels that tends to decrease, both due to better supervision and also because the better horsemen have a better chance of making it to the higher levels.

    I am glad things have been improving - you still see some pretty rough treatment of animals in Latin American rodeos, for example the bronc riding in Argentina, where the rider whacks the crap out of the bronc with a quirt the whole time he's riding. That's unfair, and unnecessary, to my mind.

    To the extent American rodeo needs any further "fixing", I'd rather see those changes come from (western) horse people, not from city folks or college kids who just want all the cute widdle animals to be freeeee. I think the relationship between a working horse and rider is a beautiful thing, and an important part of our culture.



  5. #5
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    here is the video that was with the email....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZxL7umkbRo
    ~Proud founder of the "Addicted to Lessons" clique~
    ~Ribbon Ho~



  6. #6
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    I agree with Chipngrace. At higher levels the animals are treated better. Lower levels its abit iffy. And I think with people that are so against it focus on the bad things in rodeo more than the good things. Same with horseracing. People tend to focus on the bad instead of thinking posotive. Making it look oh so horrible.
    Also people tend to accuse before getting all of the facts. I was watching a video on youtube where the bronc freaked out and got cast and was thrashing around and a lot of the comments where along the lines of "why the f*** are they not helping that poor horse!?" "why are they just standing around!!?". Well think about it, who wants to get near a 1200 pound animals thrashing legs? How can they help it if it is still moving around? They have to be very careful in a situation like that.

    The entire rodeo situation is a bit mixed up. I have mixed feelings about it also. I cant tell if what people say is really happening or if they are just saying that. There really is no great source of information that is always correct.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by twofatponies View Post
    I am glad things have been improving - you still see some pretty rough treatment of animals in Latin American rodeos, for example the bronc riding in Argentina, where the rider whacks the crap out of the bronc with a quirt the whole time he's riding. That's unfair, and unnecessary, to my mind.

    To the extent American rodeo needs any further "fixing", I'd rather see those changes come from (western) horse people, not from city folks or college kids who just want all the cute widdle animals to be freeeee. I think the relationship between a working horse and rider is a beautiful thing, and an important part of our culture.

    So true.



  8. #8
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    I am on the fence. I like bull and bronc riding, but some of the other events make me ill.

    I went to a rodeo a few years ago and I really felt sick to my stomach while watching the calf roping.

    Chipngrace and I also attended a rodeo while at the MN Horse Expo a couple years ago where one of the broncs in the holding pen was obviously colicing (panting, dripping sweat, repeatedly rolling) We approached some of the "cowboys" who were with the rodeo and they completely blew us off. I wanted to leave, but I could not take my eyes off of that horse the whole time. Fortunately she appeared to recover on her own.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett



  9. #9
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    While I do have to admit calf roping, team roping, and bulldogging do make me wince at times, I certainly don't think they should be outlawed.

    Besides, paybacks can be hell when you're a bull or bronc rider.
    Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?
    <><



  10. #10
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    I just wonder about animal activists who have never ridden, and live downtown Toronto....what do they REALLY know about rodeos and riding in general.

    It just makes me kinda laugh.....they will go on and on about how cruel we are to animals but will think nothing of stepping over and ignoring one of the many homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk using a cement curb for a pillow....

    I suppose their concern comes from a good place...but not an educated place.
    ~Proud founder of the "Addicted to Lessons" clique~
    ~Ribbon Ho~



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annie B. View Post
    I was watching a video on youtube where the bronc freaked out and got cast and was thrashing around and a lot of the comments where along the lines of "why the f*** are they not helping that poor horse!?" "why are they just standing around!!?". Well think about it, who wants to get near a 1200 pound animals thrashing legs? How can they help it if it is still moving around? They have to be very careful in a situation like that.
    That's also so true. You can put together a montage of bad falls, rider errors, stumbles, crashes, etc. and make it look like horse sports are nothing but a cruel disaster. But when I go to a show, I can wait all day for a major incident and see nothing but good, great, and mediocre rides. Nothing terribly exciting at all. Heck, you could make a montage of all the times I've fallen down (the stairs, skiing, tripping over my own feet, muddy spot in the garden...) and I'd look like a total klutz with a neurological problem!



  12. #12
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    When i saw the poor little goat freak out during a goat-roping event, we got up and left. that was too cruel for me. Some events are not cruel, but i do not enjoy watching little animals suffer thru fear or pain. I won't support the rodeo again.



  13. #13

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    I never take videos like this seriously. I've been around rodeo all my life and yes some bad things happen but some bad things happen in virtually everything. Can't ban everything.
    Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horseface View Post
    I just wonder about animal activists who have never ridden, and live downtown Toronto....what do they REALLY know about rodeos and riding in general.

    It just makes me kinda laugh.....they will go on and on about how cruel we are to animals but will think nothing of stepping over and ignoring one of the many homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk using a cement curb for a pillow....

    I suppose their concern comes from a good place...but not an educated place.
    Right, these are the animal rights people that say rodeo, racing, eventing, ANY use of animals by people is wrong:

    ---"Ingrid Newkirk, PETA's president, appears to take convoluted
    personal pleasure in killing dogs. She has written that she has
    personally killed thousands of dogs, and that she starts every work
    day in the euthanasia room.

    In an interview with Harper's Magazine, she said: "Pet ownership is
    an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human
    manipulation." She calls for the "total liberation" of all animals,
    which means their extinction."---



  15. #15
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    It's not just PETA who is concerned.

    Rodeos are probably the second biggest user of horses on double-deckers, after killbuyers/brokers. Double-decker trailers are designed for animals such as swine NOT horses: have very poor head clearance, have exposed i-beams in the ceilings, offer little or no padding, etc. Anytime a national ban on DD comes up, the rodeo folks fight it tooth and nail because it's "too costly" to carry horses show to show in horse trailers.

    Upper level rodeo stock are cared for well when they're winning. Where do they go when they get hurt and no longer win? Care of lower level horses is questionable at best.

    The very nature of rodeos is not looking out for the horses' best long-term interest. For example the bucking stock: who wants a horse who bucks every time a saddle is put on him? [ship them to slaughter!]. The roping stock are ridden hard and must plant their feet against the weight of a roped animal still in motion. Where do they go when they get back, hock, or other injuries? [ship 'em!] Rider blames horse for not winning and is "usless"? [ship 'em!]

    The rodeo originally evolved out of working horses & cowboys showing off their skills in their spare time. Now it's a big money event that exists just to sell tickets, a mere form of entertainment. It's about as close to the original rodeo riding as Disneyworld's Cinderella castle is to a real castles. It's all about the show.

    While it's a part of our history, there are some things in our history maybe we don't really need much anymore. We have no more use for slavery, wives as husband's property, Wild West shootouts, or child sweatshop labor. Maybe the rodeo entertainment show is becoming passe too?



  16. #16
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    It's hard to give an opinion of rodeo in general because, as has been stated in other posts on this thread, the differences in lower level and higher level rodeos. I have only been to a couple of rodeos and watched a few on TV so I can't give a very experienced opinion (Just a disclaimer!) A lot of animal activists say the bucking broncos are shocked before they go into the arena so they buck and rear better. This is not true in most cases. If you ever watch after the cowboy falls off there are at least two cowboys coraling the horse to pull the rope off that is tied around their back end. Most of the time it is either tickling or irritating the genitals, which causes the bucking and rearing. However mean you may say that is, it only lasts for a couple of seconds. It may not be "right", but it isn't constant animal abuse. Most of the animals are well fed because they have to be to perform. So right there you never have underfed or skinny animals at rodeos. The bulls are just being themselves. Heck, I wouldn't want to be in a room with a teenage boy or man hyped up on testostrenone either. So really rodeo also incorporates a modification of natural animal behavior in some of their events. But just like at any horse show you are going to get that stupid rider who doesn't know what they are doing and they think they do know what they are doing. So yes you do get some dangerous riding, however, you cannot judge an entire sport based on one person's poor judgement. Do you ever see lame animals in a rodeo? Barely ever because they can't be sore or lame or else they wouldn't perform like they wanted the animal to. Slaughter also rarely is an ending for many rodeo animals. Many bucking broncos are given to rescues to be rehabbed into riding horses or they are rehabbed by the same cowboy who owns them.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by twofatponies View Post
    That's also so true. You can put together a montage of bad falls, rider errors, stumbles, crashes, etc. and make it look like horse sports are nothing but a cruel disaster. But when I go to a show, I can wait all day for a major incident and see nothing but good, great, and mediocre rides. Nothing terribly exciting at all. Heck, you could make a montage of all the times I've fallen down (the stairs, skiing, tripping over my own feet, muddy spot in the garden...) and I'd look like a total klutz with a neurological problem!
    Gosh are we related?? It's such a joke around me, what is "Charlotte's Injury Of The Week" this week. This week it's two large bruises on my upper arm from tripping over a garbage bag in the dark and landing on the vanity. Earlier this year I twisted and broke my ankle. Broke a foot bone about 2 months ago. Dislocated my knee and ripped and tore all the ligaments in my knee but one about two years ago. Something happened last week and the week before I just can't remember?



  18. #18
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    I hav been around a lot of rodeo, and I don't mind it a bit. In the video the first horse that they ha in the cute looked like it had gone too far over backward, and they were trying to get it up on its feet again....As for that video- nope- anyvideo that has text boxes popping up assking for donations to stop the abuse is a video I will turn off and ignore. The people who made it are animal rights activists. I would love to let some of these people try to work some real livestock for a day though- let them try to move a rank bull or a cow on the peck and see how good they do at it.... Most of these people have no idea how "real life" is- they think there are actually nuggets on a chicken, and that milk comes from the store....things can happen, but you can go to multiple events and never see a mishap...



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny's Mom View Post
    I think they are fun and an important part of our history as a country.
    It is?? How is it history and important? I think important parts of history are like WWII or the Belin wall coming down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny's Mom View Post
    I think that some people go off the deep end when it comes to animals. I'm sure they mean well, but .... they're not all housepets. Some animals have a job, even if their job is to be a racehorse, bucking bronc, or roped while running around in the ring (i.e. a calf).
    I don't have anything really against the broncs and bulls (well, maybe a little, but not enough to end it and then only if they're treated badly) but saying a calf's job is to be chased, roped and jerked off it's feet is it's "job?" I think that eating grass in a pasture (at least until it's time to be slaughtered) is a better job, not terrified it's young life being chased and hog-tied. You enjoy that? I don't understand anyone who enjoys that, my heart really goes out to them so much when I see it and it just makes me hate people. I just don't get calf-roping.



  20. #20
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    MayS...please resaerch and get facts before typing worries as facts.
    Upper level rodeo stock comes from mid level rodeos...like any equine sport...the animals move up the ranks. Bucking stock (bulls and horses) are bred and raised for what they do. They're mostly retired afterwards to be bred...the top ones get full retirement after breeding. There are many ranches and farms that breed good bucking stock...bulls sell as high as top level hunters/eventers/jumpers/dressage horses. They command the same breeding fees. The bulls on the PBR are 6 figure animals...they're not eaten/slaughtered/whatever.
    Same with the bucking horses...although their prices aren't quite as high as the bulls. Some of the bucking stock horses are retired as saddle horses on the ranches. Yes, they're rideable. Probably not for a hunter princess or dressage queen, but rideable.
    The bottom of the barrel rodeos have bottom of the barrel treatment. Pretty much the same as the bottom of the barrel any sport. About the same amount of mid level horses and bulls move up to the upper levels as with hunters/jumpers/whatever. And on the flip side...about the same mid level rodeo stock gets a lovely retirement as with hunters/jumpers/whatever. (probably few, as with any discpline...mid levels get sold on to lower levels)
    As for being tough on the animals...so is dressage, jumping and eventing. And reining. And barrels. And most any discipline that requires more from the horse than grazing in a field. Planting hooves to stop a calf isn't much different than landing after a 5 foot jump. Those riders/owners care as much about their horses as english riders do. Just because many of us don't do these disciplines does not make them inherently evil. Rodeo does *not* mean used up trained horses get shipped any more than hunter horses do. It's almost elitist to think that.
    Rodeo evolved from working teams...not from spare time antics but from their actual work. Because ranch workers/hands really don't have spare time. Bull riding is one of the few sports that have no basis other than testosterone though. Rodeo is a money making discipline...for ticket sales *and* for the riders. Same with all other disciplines when being shown. Hunters has pretty much nothing to do with it's roots of hunting in fields....dressage basically doesn't have roots anymore...neither does jumpers. Or barrel racing. Or pole bending. (unless someone once raised herds of poles or barrels LOL) None of the disciplines have a purpose other than enjoyment and making money. At least with jumpers and rodeo...the riders have a chance of making some money too. Not just the folks selling the tickets and collecting the entry fees.
    Rodeo has about the exact same good and bad as every other discipline. It's absolutely no business of people who know nothing about it other than TV, youtube, internet to stop or allow to continue. If anyone ever wants to speak firmly in a huge public open forum about stopping something they do not have ANY personal experience in...they'd better go out and get the personal *unbiased* experience in it first. Because besides rodeo...another tradition of this country is being a democracy and not a dictatorship.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



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