Bull Rope

Written by Linda Alexander
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A bull rope must be "loose" according to pro-rodeo rules. That means the rope is held tight around the bull only by the strength of the cowboy's hand. It will come off the bull when the cowboy dismounts or is thrown off at the end of a ride. A cowbell is attached to the bull rope to act as a weight so the rope will fall off.

A bull rope is a woven rope with a handle plaited in. It can be made of hemp, polyester, nylon or rawhide. Bull riding gloves and the rope are heavily rosined so the cowboy has a firm grip on the rope.

Getting a Better Grip on the Bull Rope

When a rider is getting ready in the chute, s/he will run a gloved hand up and down the bull riding rope. With friction, this warms the rosin and allows for a better grip. Bull riding is the rodeo's most popular contest. It is not related to any ranch task, and can add years to the life of a bull. More male cattle are born than are needed for breeding, and females are needed more in the daily operation of a ranch.

After the ride is over, the danger still lingers. The cowboy has to run for his life from the bull to avoid being trampled like a rag doll. The cowboy's safety depends on his own speed and the skills of the rodeo clowns and bullfighters.


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