Rodeo Equipment

Written by Linda Alexander
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Rodeo equipment includes cowboys' personal gear, horse gear or tack, and safety items. Cowboy apparel and accessories are usually what we think of when we think of rodeo equipment.

Personal Cowboy Rodeo Equipment

Essential to the rodeo competitor are cowboy boots. They have high heels to keep them from slipping through stirrups and to use as a brace in roping. Roper boots with flat heels are used especially in arenas, or for walking around. Spurs are often attached to the boots; each has a rowel, which is the pointed disk or star attached to the spur.

Suede chaps are leggings that are worn as protection against the weather and brush. In northern areas, they are covered in angora to protect against the cold and are known as "woolies." Some chaps are tight and can be pulled on as trousers, while others cover cowboy jeans, such as those worn in rodeos.

Cowboy hats usually have four to six-inch brims, keep the rain off cowboys' faces during rainstorms, and shade the sun in hot weather. Cowboy hats are styled differently in different regions, and you can tell where a cowboy is from by the crease in their hat. A slicker, a waterproof coat to protect the rider and saddle from rain or snow, is also standard rodeo equipment.

Safety Rodeo Equipment

Keeping cowboys safe in the arena takes a lot of different equipment. Using a jaw joint protector helps reduce concussions by locking the lower jaw, protecting teeth and preventing the jaw from slamming into the base of the skull. Tail pads are probably the least expensive rodeo equipment, but are crucial for preventing tailbone injuries. To protect internal organs and prevent head injuries, vests and helmets, respectively, are used.

Ropes are used extensively in the rodeo. A lariat, or lasso, is a long rope made of braided rawhide, hemp, polyester or nylon. It has a loop at one end. The lariat is also known as a lash rope, string, or catch rope.

Horse gear, or tack, is also considered rodeo equipment. It includes saddles, saddle blankets, bits, horse halters, bridles, saddlebags, stirrups, reins, and skirts. You can purchase this rodeo equipment wherever you get your rodeo supply.

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