22 Words You Should Know for your First Rodeo

Each year during rodeo season there are hundreds of questions that swarm our inboxes. From ticket prices to very specific questions about individual rodeo events – we’ve heard it all. So if you’re one of the many people that have questions and are just too shy to ask, here’s a cheat sheet of 22 words you should know before your first rodeo!

Florida rodeos

  • Breaking the barrier: In the timed events, if the roper or steer wrestler leaves the box too soon – not giving the animal a head start – he’ll receive a 10-second penalty.
  • Bronc: An untamed horse that habitually bucks.
  • Bucking: The rodeo word for a bull or bronc “kicking” in rough stock events.
  • Bronc: Synonymous to the word bronco, this term is used to describe an untamed horse that habitually bucks.  
  • Bulldogging: Another term for steer wrestling.
  • Bullfighter: An athlete who protects the bull rider after he dismounts or is bucked off by distracting the bull and directing its attention to the exit gate.
  • Chaps: Made of sturdy leather, they are designed to protect the cowboy’s legs during a ride.
  • Chute: The pen that holds bulls, horses, steers, and calves before each rodeo event.
  • Cloverleaf: The name of the pattern riders have to run in barrel racing.
  • Hazer: This is the cowboy who keeps the steer running straight in steer wrestling.
  • Header: This is the cowboy that ropes first in team roping, aiming for the steer’s horns.
  • Heeler: This is the cowboy that ropes second in team roping, aiming for the steer’s hind legs.
  • Hung up: This occurs when a rough stock rider cannot remove his hand from the rope or handle before he dismounts or is thrown off the bull’s or horse’s back.
  • No score: This occurs when the rider falls off the stock before eight seconds in rough stock events or misses the steer in timed events.
  • Pickup men: Two cowboys who help riders dismount, release the rough stock’s soft flank strap, and escort stock to the exit gate after a ride.
  • Re-ride: If a rider receives a low score due to poor performance from the bull or bronc, they will be given the chance to do a re-ride.
  • Riggin’: This is a type of suitcase hold, customized to a rider’s grip.
  • Rough stock events: This refers to the rodeo events that involve bucking horses and bulls.
  • Tipping a barrel: In barrel racing, riders have to go around three barrels. If they hit or “tip” the barrel, and stop the barrel from falling over, they will avoid a 5-second penalty.
  • Spurs: These are dulled rowels that do not penetrate the animals’ skin.

Are you ready to rodeo? Join us Friday, May 31st and Saturday, June 1st for the 143rd Silver Spurs Rodeo where you can watch seven of rodeo’s traditional events: bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, women’s barrel racing, and team roping! Hope to see y’all then!