Bareback Rigging

Written by Linda Alexander
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Bareback rigging is a specially designed collection of leather, cinches and a bareback pad used for the bareback riding event. This one is tied on to the animal and has a built-in hand hold. It looks like a heavy piece of leather with a suitcase handle.

Bareback riding produces some of the wildest action in the rodeo. To ride right, a cowboy must start the ride with his or her feet extended forward over the horse's shoulder on the first jump out of the chute otherwise the cowboy receives a penalty or is disqualified.

Size and Design Requirements for Bareback Rigging

Before purchasing bareback rigging, doublecheck the rulebooks for any associations you plan on competing in. That way you will be sure to get the proper bareback rigging for that competition. Cinches, which secure the rigging to the horse, can be made from mohair with steel D rings; latigos are usually leather or nylon, and the rigging itself is leather with rawhide.

A bareback rider must ride the whole time with only one hand; with his the free hand he may not touch himself, the rigging or the horse. Depending on the competition, contestants may ride two-handed from start to finish, but will receive a lower score. If the rider is lucky enough to make the required 6 or 8 seconds, he may be taken to safety as the two pickup men attempt to rescue the rider from his bucking horse.


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