Bull Riding Equipment

Written by Linda Alexander
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Bull riding equipment really is quite simple. The main thing you will need is a rope. It's usually a braided rope with a reinforced handhold to make it stiff and keep it from twisting. At the end of the rope is a loop to tie the rope around the bull. The rider then wraps the tail of the rope around the back of his hand.

Cowbells add action and sound to a bull ride and their weight pulls the rope off after the rider dismounts. A cowbell is required by virtually every rodeo association. It's important for the bull's safety and so the rider does not get hung up in his rope after being bucked. Most bells are made of a copper alloy that will crush if stepped on by a bull, but is easily pounded out. Heavier bells can injure a bull if he steps on them.

Other Bull Riding Equipment

A glove for the riding hand is another important piece of bull riding equipment. It gives the rider a better grip and protects him from rope burn. Cowboys use rosin to make the rope sticky and give a better grip. Amber rosin is most popular; black rosin tends to be gummy and makes the rope really sticky.

A rope pad is placed under the handhold to protect a rider's knuckles from the bull's spine. Rope pads are covered with suede or leather for durability. They tie on with latigo thongs or Velcro straps. One final type of bull riding equipment is protective equipment, such as a helmet, face mask, and protective vest. These help prevent or minimize injury from falling, being trampled or kicked by a bull, and from being bucked around. Bull riding is an exciting but dangerous sport, and any cowboy with good sense will use protective equipment.

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