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All About Rodeo

Rodeo Terminology and Lingo


Get To Know the Rodeo Terminology and Lingo

Added Money
The money donated to the rodeo committee by the sponsors to attract the contestants to the rodeo for competition.

Arena Director
The person whose responsibility it is to see that the rodeo goes smoothly and according to the rules of the PRCA

Arm Jerker
A horse or bull that is really stout and bucks with the power to cause a great amount of pull on the contestant's arm.

Average
The contestant's points are combined from all go-rounds and the contestant with the highest total points wins the average.

Bail Out
A horse that comes straight up on its hind legs when coming out of the chute, then begins to buck.

Bailing Out
Getting off the animal the best way you can, generally by throwing your weight against the animal.

Barrier
The rope stretched across the front of the box that the contestant's horse comes out of. In the timed events, the stock is given a pre-determined head start. The amount of head start depends on the arena conditions, and is called the score. The contestant's horse can not break the barrier before the stock crosses the score line.

Blooper
An animal with very little bucking ability that jumps and kicks or just runs around the arena.

Blows-up
An animal that runs out away from the chute before starting to buck.

Boot the Bull
A term used to mean a particular bull can be spurred. Bull riders are not required to spur their animals, and if they can, they earn extra points.

Breaking the Barrier
When a contestant rides through, or breaks the barrier before it is released. Breaking the barrier adds a penalty of ten seconds to the contestant's time.

Bronc Rein
A thick rope, 1 1/2 - 2 inches in diameter that is attached to the halter of a saddle bronc horse. The rope can be longer than 6 1/2 feet, and is used to provide balance, and to give the cowboy something to hold on to.

Bufford
An animal that is easy to ride, rope, or throw down.

Bull Rope
A flat woven rope, no larger than 9/16th of an inch in diameter with a bell attached to it. The rope is wrapped around the bull's body, just behind the front legs, and then around the cowboy's hand, to help secure the cowboy to the bull.

Cantle Boarding
When a saddle bronc rider spurs back so far his spurs strike the saddle's cantle.

Catch as Catch Can
A calf roper is allowed to catch the stock any way he chooses so long as he turns loose of the rope when throwing the loop, and so long as the rope holds the calf until the roper reaches it.

Champion
The rodeo champion is traditionally the high-money winner in an event for the given season.

Chasing the Cans
The rodeo nickname for barrel racing.

Chute Fighter
A rough stock animal that will not stand still and tries to fight the cowboy before he leaves the chute.

Crow Hopper
An animal that doesn't buck, but jumps stiff-legged instead.

Dally
A turn of the rope around the saddle horn after the animal has been caught.

Dink
An animal with very little bucking ability that jumps and kicks or just runs around the arena.

Dog Fall
An illegal maneuver in steer wrestling causing all four feet and the head to face in different directions. To receive a time, the cowboy must turn the steer over or let it up and throw it again legally.

Double Kicker
A horse or bull that kicks up with the hind legs, walks on the front legs and then kicks again with the hind legs, before the hind legs touch the ground.

Dragger
A roping steer that is "headed" and stops or does not continue to run after being roped, making it very difficult for the heeler to throw a catch.

Ducks Off
An animal that is running in a forward direction then suddenly moves off to the left or right.

Entry Fee
The money paid by the contestant before competing in a rodeo. Contestants must pay separate entry fees for each event they enter.

Fading
A bull that spins and slowly gains ground in the direction that he is spinning.

Fair catch
In team roping, the header must catch the steer around the horns, head, or neck. This is also called a legal catch.

Fighting Bull
The kind of bull that you would like to give your mother-in-law. These bulls are almost considered to be head hunters.

Fishing
The expression used to describe a legal catch made by accident, or by flipping the rope, after the initial throw has missed.

Flagman
The official who signals the end of elapsed time in timed events.

Flank strap
A wool-lined strap with a self-holding buckle that is passed around the flank of a bronc or bull. As the stock leaves the chute, the strap is pulled tight causing the animal to buck in an effort to get rid of the strap.

Floater
A horse with little power that jumps with all four feet up and just floats through the air.

Floating
A technique used by some saddle bronc riders that make them appear to be bucked off with every jump of the horse.

Freight Trained
A contestant or clown that gets run over by a bull traveling at top speed.

Go round
The part of the rodeo that is required to allow each contestant to compete on one head of stock.

Grabbing the Apple
The term used when a saddle bronc rider touches any part of the saddle with their free hand during the eight-second ride. This is also known as "pulling leather" and causes the rider to be disqualified.

Ground money
The money paid when the purse for an event is split equally and paid to all contestants in the event. This is done when all contestants entered in an event fail to qualify.

Hat Bender
A horse or bull that does not buck and just runs around the arena.

Hazer
The cowboy that rides on the opposite side of the steer and keeps the stock from running away from the steer wrestler's horse.

Head Hunter
A bull that is constantly looking for a two-legged target to hit.

Head Thrower
A bull that tries to hit the cowboy with his head or horns while the contestant is on his back.

Head Wrap
A leather device that is placed around a steer's horns in team roping to prevent damage to the steer's head.

Header
The cowboy that ropes the steer around the horns, head, or neck in team roping.

Heeler
The cowboy that ropes the hind legs of the steer in team roping.

High Roller
The term used to describe a horse that leaps high into the air when bucking.

Honda
The eye in the end of a rope that allows the other end of the rope to pass through, forming a loop.

Honest Bucker
An animal that bucks the same way every time out of the chute.

Honker
A really rank and hard animal to ride.

Hooey
The knot used by calf ropers to hold the wraps used to tie three of the stock's feet together after the calf has been thrown. This knot is known as a half-hitch to most people outside of rodeo.

Hooky
A bull that is really handy with its horns.

Hung Up
A rider that is off the animal but is still stuck in the rigging or bull rope.

IFR
International Finals Rodeo

In the Wall
The term used to describe when a contestant comes off an animal on the inside of the spin.

IPRA
International Professional Rodeo Association

Jerk Down
After roping the calf, the roper flips the calf straight over backwards.

Jump and Kicker
A bull that jumps and kicks its hind feet in a straight-away action.

Kack
The saddle used by saddle bronc riders.

Legal catch
In team roping, the header must catch the steer around the horns, head, or neck. This is also called a fair catch.

Lounger
A horse that thrusts with its hind feet forward rather than kicking out behind.

Mash Up
A cowboy that clamps with his legs and has no spurring motion.

Measure the Rein
Used in saddle bronc riding. The length of the rein from the horse's head, in an upright position, to the rear of the well on the saddle. Then you measure from there depending on how much the horse drops its head while bucking. When asked how much rein the bronc needs, the answer is usually something like three fingers and a thumb.

Money Horse
A horse that when ridden, usually takes the cowboy to the pay window.

Mugger
The cowboy that gets a firm hold on the horse's neck during the Wild Horse Race. This allows the rider to put the saddle on the horse.

NFR
National Finals Rodeo

Neck Rope
A rope that is affixed to an animal's neck in the timed events. It is used to trip the barrier in front of the contestant to assure the animal a head start.

No time
This means that the contestant has not caught or thrown the stock properly, and does not receive a time for that go-round.

Off Side
The right side of a horse.

Out the Backdoor
When the rider is thrown over the back end of an animal.

Pickup man
The cowboy on horseback who assists the bareback and saddle bronc riders in dismounting from their stock.

Piggin' string
A small soft rope about six feet long used by calf ropers to tie the animal's feet together.

Purse
The money paid to the winners of each rodeo event. It equals the total of the added money and entry fees.

PRCA
Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association

Producer
The individual that runs the rodeo and is responsible for bringing all the elements together into a fast, smooth running, and exciting production.

Pulling leather
The term used when a saddle bronc rider touches any part of the saddle with their free hand during the eight-second ride. This is also known as "grabbing the apple" and causes the rider to be disqualified.

Rank
A very hard animal to ride.

Re-ride
Another ride given to a saddle bronc, bareback bronc, or bull rider in the same go-round when either the stock or the cowboy is not afforded a fair opportunity to show their best. This can be caused by things like a chute-fighting animal, a fallen animal, etc.

Rowel
The circular, notched, bluntly pointed, and freewheeling part of a spur. Any competitor using spurs that will cause a cut is disqualified.

Run Away
A horse or bull that does not buck and just runs around.

Scooter
An animal that pivots on the front feet and scoots the back end around, instead of pivoting on the front feet and kicking the hind feet.

Seeing daylight
The term used when a cowboy comes loose from a bucking animal far enough for the spectators to see daylight between the cowboy and the animal.

Set you Up
A horse or bull that drops a shoulder like they are going to turn or spin in one direction, and then immediately does the exact opposite.

Shankman
The cowboy in the Wild Horse Race that grabs and holds on to the lead-line attached to the horse's halter so the mugger can get a hold on the horse's neck.

Slinger
A bull that tries to hit the cowboy with his head or horns while the contestant is on his back.

Snorty
A bull that blows air at a clown or downed cowboy.

Stock contractor
The person or organization that provides all the livestock used in the rodeo events.

Spinner
A bull that tends to come out of the chute and spins to the left or right.

Spurring Lick
A motion of the cowboy's feet.

Star Gazer
A saddle bronc that bucks with its head up, and causes the cowboy to have a hard time keeping the slack out of the rein.

Sucks Back
An animal that bucks in one direction, then instantly switches to the opposite direction.

Sunfisher
A horse that bucks and all four feet stick out to the side instead of underneath or behind the animal.

Swap Ends
An animal that jumps into the air and turns 180 degrees before touching the ground.

Timers
The person responsible for marking a contestant's time for each timed event. There must be at least two timers who agree on each contestant's time for calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling, and barrel racing. The timers are also responsible for marking the eight seconds during the saddle or bareback bronc, and bull riding events.

Tippy Toe
A horse or bull that walks on its front legs when most of their weight is off the ground.

Toes Out
The preferred style of holding the feet at a 90 degree angle to the animal to ensure maximum spur contact.

Trash
A bucking animal with no set pattern.

Trotter
A team roping steer that hangs back on the rope and trots with its hind feet rather than running.

Union Animal
An animal that bucks until the sound of the 8-second whistle, then quits.

 

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