Well, I should have studied up on rodeos before I wrote on them. And sometimes, I just suffer from diarrhea of the fingers.
I did some research on Bodacious (the bucking bull) after I posted the last one. Apparently, hot shots, or shock guns or whatever you want to call them, are far more liberally applied than what I believed, that being only once or twice. This is, in and of itself, reprehensible. I don’t like seeing animals forced to do things they aren’t inclined to do. If a bull wants to buck a rider off, that’s one thing. To irritate him or hurt him by shocking him and yanking on the bucking strap is entirely another.
But to give myself a break, I’ve seen bull riding, and those bulls didn’t appear to need much in the way of encouragement. In fact, they seemed to give as good or better than they got, and there’s more than one bullrider walking (or not) around out there with a bunch of broken bones. There’s an entire class of entertainment in the rodeo, that being the clowns. Their job is to jump in front of the bull after he’s bucked a rider off, diverting his rage away from a fallen rider. It’s not necessary for the clowns to do that for the broncs. This leads me to believe that one, horses aren’t naturally going to attack a rider they just dumped. The bulls, though, do. Part of that must be the mindset of a bull bred for the bucking arena, and two, through the artificial inducements. But there’s another one.
If you look at the butts of bucking bulls, they’re always smeared with excrement. This can, now and then, be explained by a bull rubbing his butt on a shit covered wall, but it’s far more common for it to be that simple. They all have shitty bums. And yet they’re healthy as can be, so it’s not a disease, or an intestinal irritant. I bet it’s something far more sinister. I seem to have a head full of trivia, and in this case, somewhere along the way, I learned that animals that are dosed with steroids usually have projectile diarrhea. So now we have bulls that are dosed with steroids, to make them extra mean, as well as pinched in a sensitive place and given a shock.
As an aside, if you watch the horrible display of so called machismo called a ‘bull fight’, the bulls are in the same condition: shit on their butts.
Nope, it’s not right. I don’t think they’re doing it to the rodeo horses, but again, I don’t know. Bronc riding doesn’t have the possibilty of sudden death that bull riding reeks of. Riding a saddle or bareback bronc is merely (I use that term breezily…no way could I stick aboard a horse that was determined to buck me off.) an exercise in balance and buns of steel . Riding bulls is an excellent way of getting hurt and even killed. From the days of the Roman gladiators, it’s all for the possibility of seeing a human get killed by an animal. We still want to see death, nature red in tooth and claw (or in this case, horn).
Still. It’s not right, to do that to any animal, whether it’s a pretty chestnut gelding or a killer bill like Bodacious.
It’s not much different, really, than dog fights, cock fights, etc.
So I am going to say I am probably wrong about the picture of the chestnut gelding bronc. He is NOT enjoying it, so much as merely doing something to get it over with, and then go back to lunch.
But you must admit, he IS in good flesh. Clean, healthy, good skin, and not a knot in his tail or forelock. His feet are in good shape. Someone’s been taking care of him.
By the way, the photo was by Rob Bynum. I did NOT ask permission to use it, therefore, I will put in a plug for his website (which I did NOT access, as this photo came off a public, free magazine). This is fair. If Rob complains, I will be forced to pull it. His website is http://www.eospn.com
Next post will be regarding a horrendous abuse of judgement…and trust.