Buckle up for some wild action with bareback and saddle bronc riding! These two styles are as different as they come. In saddle bronc, riders use a specialized saddle with free swinging stirrups and no horn. They grip a simple rein attached to a leather halter worn by the horse, and lift on the rein to find a rhythm with the animal by spurring forwards and backwards with their feet.

Bareback riders, on the other hand, use a rigging made of a leather and rawhide composite piece attached to a surcingle and placed just behind the horse’s withers. The rider leans back and spurs with an up and down motion from the horse’s point of shoulder toward the rigging handle, spurring at each jump in rhythm with the motion of the horse.

Bareback bronc riding dates back to around 1900 and has since evolved into a professional rodeo sport. The original riding equipment used during that era varied, from holding onto the horse’s mane to using a loose or twisted rope tied around the horse’s girth. Earl Bascom invented the first one-hand bareback rigging in the early 1920s, which became the standard in rodeos. Variations of Bascom’s rigging are still used today, and he is now known as the “Father of the Modern-day Bareback Rigging.”

Come witness the thrill and excitement of these daring riders at the Arlee Rodeo, where our rich rodeo heritage is on full display!

Thank you Laurie Childs Photography for donating your 2014 Rodeo Picture!