Timing, coordination and strength are prerequisites for a steer wrestler. To begin with, he must remain behind the barrier, a rope stretched across the front of the starting box, until the steer crosses the score line, giving it a prescribed head start. If the cowboy breaks the barrier, ten seconds are added to his time. The horse is trained to run beside the steer and then run on by as the steer wrestler reaches for his steer.
The steer wrestler catches the right horn in the crook of his right arm and then must hit the ground with his legs extended forward in order to bring the steer to a halt. Using his left elbow and forearm as leverage under the steer’s nose, he ‘bulldogs’ the steer to the ground. The steer must be flat on its side with all four legs extended. The second mounted cowboy is the hazer, and it’s his job to keep the steer running straight, allowing the bulldogger to get down on the steer.
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