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Bareback

Instead of a saddle, a double thick leather pad, called a rigging, is cinched on the bronc's back. No stirrups or rein is used in this event. To qualify the rider must mark the horse out of the chute by keeping his spurs over the break of the shoulders until the first jump out of the chute is completed. The bareback rider will be disqualified if he touches the animal or equipment with his free hand, or if he is bucked off before the 8 second ride is completed. No other event in pro rodeo is as physically demanding as bareback riding. Using only one hand, the cowboy must hold the leather handhold of the rigging. The rider tries to spur the horse on each jump, reaching as far forward as he can with his feet and then bringing his ankles up towards the rigging. It's the bareback rider's arm that takes the stress as it absorbs most of the horse's bucking power. While his arm endures this incredible tension, his hand must remain intact within the rigging's handhold for the full 8 seconds.

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