From spins to bucks, become the expert in spotting these rodeo bucking styles
The sport of rodeo is unlike any other. This sport has a unique history that highlights aspects of the working cowboy that most people only see in western movies and tv shows. Like any other sport, each event has its own terminology, equipment, and technique. On the blog, we’re sharing how rodeo fans can spot rodeo bucking styles you might see during bull riding while attending rodeos in Kissimmee.
Contrary to several myths about these athletes, there is no way to train bulls to buck a certain way, or even at all. To encourage the notion to buck, a flank strap is loosely tied around the bull’s waist. Each rodeo bull has its own unique bucking habits. There are four major bucking styles to look for in bulls: a spinner, jump kicker, right out of the chute gate, or a few jumps out and around to the right or left, or a combination of the four. Once the bull has established his preferred trip, a term that describes each bull’s bucking pattern, they’re hauled to the Silver Spurs Rodeo and professional rodeos in Florida to buck!
How do rodeo bulls buck?
A spinner is a bull that comes out of the chute gate ready to put his rider in the money. Typically, spinning bulls are consistent producers of day money but depending on the event and the bull rider’s technique, you won’t always see a rodeo cowboy win an event on them.
Take Silver Spurs Rodeo bull 5 Nubs, for instance. His average bull score is 40 out of 50 points. In February 2020, Anderson Alancar rode Nubs for 84.50 points! Throughout the ride, you can see Nubs jump out of the bucking chute and begin bucking. After a few rounds to the right, he switches direction and goes left, scoring more points. A spinning bull has just the right amount of kick, jump, and centrifugal motion to get his job done.
Jump kickers are bulls who show a lot of kick in their hind end but haven’t quite yet figured out the spinning motion. This is the most common pattern of the rodeo bucking styles for young bulls as they’re still learning what it feels like to buck and have a rider on their back. However, some bulls will never turn back (spin) and this is just their bucking style.
For example, K51 Fistful of Dollars is a young Silver Spurs Rodeo bull out of Hang ‘em High. You can see when the chute gate opens, Fistful of Dollars isn’t looking to turn back to the left or right. He’s looking straight down the arena where he jumps and kicks until he finally decides to turn back into rider Creek Young’s hand. At this event, Young and K51 scored a 67, knocking this cowboy to 5th place. In several rodeos, this score would have pushed him out of the prize money and maybe even given the option of a reride, but at the Silver Spurs Rodeo, the stock outperformed the cowboys, making room for Creek Young and Fistful of Dollars on the leaderboard.
Right out of the chute gate
Bulls that buck right out of the chute gate have the potential to earn the highest score. However, there are a lot of things that come into play when scoring a bull ride. Professional bull riders must be prepared for the bull to swing his hind end around as well as a ride through kicks and rears. These bulls can choose to go either right or left but will always begin spinning as soon as the chute gate opens.
Take K53, a Silver Spurs Rodeo bull whose typical bucking style is directly out of the chute gate to the left. Bulls that buck right out of the gate can have a style that is a lot of rear and drop or one that is similar to spinners. K53 identifies more with the bulls who spin as opposed to those who kick over their head and have a lot of rear.
Few out around to the left or right
This is the most common variation of rodeo bucking styles you will find at rodeos. Bucking bulls that jump and kick as they come out of the bucking chute before turning to the left or right are ones that will produce solid scores.
131 Other Brother, a Silver Spurs Rodeo bull, is one of the best examples of a bull that is a few out and around to the left or right. Bulls that have this bucking style have the choice to head straight out or to either side of the chute before turning back. In this case, Other Brother jumps left twice before chasing his tail in a spinning motion.
On any given day, bulls will change up their typical trip or even combine several of these styles into one eight-second ride! When building their pen, stock contractors look for consistent, strong buckers to travel around the United States and compete in different rodeo arenas!
Can’t wait for the next event? Catch all seven traditional rodeo events, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and bull riding on RodeoFlix!