In the “classic event of rodeo”, the rider spurs from the animal’s shoulders in an arc-like motion toward the back of the saddle in time with the bronc’s actions. The cowboy rides in an “Association Saddle” with no horn while holding onto a braided bronc rein. He wears spurs with dull rowels and leather chaps. The cowboy places his hand on the rein carefully to maintain balance and avoid either being pulled down over the front end of the horse or launched out ‘the back door’.
To qualify for a score, the rider must have his boots over the break of the horse’s shoulders until the horse has completed his first jump out of the chute. He cannot touch any part of the animal or equipment with his free hand, lose a stirrup or get bucked off before the end of the eight second ride. The higher and harder the horse bucks and the better the cowboy spurs – the higher the score.