This event is the most physically demanding in rodeo. The cowboy inserts his gloved hand into the suitcase handle-like bareback riggin’ which is made of leather and is cinched around the horse. The stress on the cowboy’s riding arm is intense, absorbing most of the horse’s power. The rider will be disqualified for failing to keep his spurs over the break of the horse’s shoulders until the first jump out of the chute is complete, for touching the animal or equipment with the free hand, or for getting bucked off before the end of the eight-second ride.
Riders try to spur the horse on each jump, reaching as far forward as they can with their feet, then bringing their spurs back toward the riggin. While they look wild and out of control, the great bareback riders are anything but – keeping their bodies in the middle of the horse’s back while working their spurs to advantage for the entire eight seconds.
2017 CFR Champion Garrett Smith