Outside of western states like Wyoming, people have many misconceptions about rodeo cowboys. To some, they are simply guys who jump around on the backs of bulls in front of a crowd; to others, they are akin to bullfighters because they put their lives at risk for a few seconds of glory. In a state like Wyoming, though, the rodeo cowboy is king. Indeed, many kids aspire to become rodeo cowboys and cowgirls when they grow up. What is it about rodeo cowboys that is so compelling to so many people? It helps to learn the basics, which you can do below.
The Main Draw of Rodeo Cowboys
The main thing that draws people to rodeo cowboys is the fact that they put themselves in grave risk every time they enter an arena. Pair that with the fact that they are generally very athletic and strong, and it’s plain to see what makes them so fascinating. Rodeos are fast-paced and a lot of fun to watch; rodeo cowboys are at the center of these events. Rodeo cowboys who do well can easily become household names in the state of Wyoming. At every event, whole crowds of people watch rodeo cowboys’ every move.
If you think it doesn’t take strength to be a rodeo cowboy, think again. In reality, most rodeo events require a decent amount of strength, dexterity and stamina. Many rodeo events require short bursts of extreme energy, including frantic dashes across the arena. Vertical jumps, usually onto the backs of unsuspecting bulls, are also par for the rodeo course. In order to make it through these punishing events, rodeo cowboys and cowgirls must work out regularly. A great deal of preparation goes into these events, and the physical fitness of the cowboys is of chief importance.
To give you an idea of what a rodeo cowboy has to do at any given event, you should take a closer look at an event called tie-down roping. This event is the perfect example of the many different physical things that a cowboy has to do during a rodeo. First, he has to leap off of his horse; next, he has to grab a calf. As quickly as possible, he must throw it down and tie up its legs. All the while, the calf is struggling and the crowd is going wild. It’s intense - and a whole lot of fun, too.
If one rodeo event exemplifies the importance of physical fitness for rodeo cowboys, its steer wrestling. During this popular event, a cowboy must wrestle one-on-one with a steer that weighs as much as 500 pounds. His goal is to wrestle the creature all the way to the ground. If he’s able to do so, he wins a few seconds of rodeo glory and the respect of the crowd; if he’s not able to do so, he has to hope for better luck next time. All the while, the risk of being seriously hurt is quite real.
The event that generally attracts the most attention during any rodeo is bull riding. During this well-known event, a bull with a rodeo cowboy on his back is unleashed into the arena. The cowboy’s goal is to hold on for eight full seconds. That may not sound like a whole lot of time, but the cowboy has little to hold onto - and the bull is bucking, running and going generally wild due to the crowd. Bulls have horns, too, which can seriously injure a cowboy. Therefore, a lot of finesse, strength and prowess are required to be a successful bull rider.
Rodeo Cowboys: The Heroes of Wyoming
Every state has an officially sanctioned state bird and state flower. If there was an officially sanctioned state hero for the state of Wyoming, it would be the rodeo cowboy. The very young and the very old alike idealize the rodeo cowboy, placing him on a very high pedestal. Without the bravery of these men and women, the sport of rodeo would cease to exist. While the potential risks are quite high with most rodeo events, the payoff - glory and fame all across Wyoming and beyond - is more than worth it.