Check3GPS Readiness Quotient
Your supervisor may use the following checklist to determine if you have adequately addressed the risk factors for participating in rodeo activities. If you can answer “yes” to all the questions below, you should be good to go!
1. If you have no rodeo experience, will you get training before participating in your first rodeo?
2. Do you own your own equipment?
3. Do you perform routine equipment maintenance checks prior to a riding event?
4. Is the sponsor of the event reputable (sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or another professional rodeo association)?
5. Are you properly insured for this type of activity?
6. Bucking Events
a. Do you have a flak vest and do you plan to wear a helmet?
b. Are your saddle, bareback rig, and/or bull rope all in good working order?
c. Do you have a knowledgeable, experienced chute man?
d. Are there qualified bullfighters/pick-up men?
7. Roping Events and Steer Wrestling
a. Do you own your horse?
b. Is your horse properly trained?
c. Is your tack in good shape?
d. Do you have a knowledgeable, experienced hazer?
Top Hazards And How To Mitigate Them
1. NOT WEARING PROPER PROTECTIVE GEAR
Mitigate: Lessen your chance of sustaining a concussion or traumatic brain injury by wearing a hockey or lacrosse-style helmet. If you care about your face, get one with a built-in cage mask. Padded vests, some of which incorporate neck rolls, are designed to lessen the impact of getting stepped on or horned by an animal. If you can’t afford to buy your own, borrow one before you enter the arena; rodeos often have extras on site for that purpose. Gloves protect against rope burns and broken fingers. Beyond these three essential pieces of personal protective equipment, many riders regularly pop in mouth guards. Braces and pads for your knees, ankles and elbows are also a good idea, especially if your specialty is steer wrestling or tie-down roping.
2. RIDING WITH WORN-OUT/IMPROPER EQUIPMENT
Mitigate: Check your equipment to ensure that it is in good conditions before competing. Replace frayed or worn ropes as well as any latigos showing excessive wear. Make sure that your riggings are properly adjusted and securely tightened to protect both rider and animal.
3. RIDING WHILE HURT/INJURED
Mitigate: Give all injuries adequate time to heal before returning to rodeo activities; this means following the doctor’s orders for how long to lay off. Particularly in the case of concussions, it’s vital to allow the brain to recover fully before risking another blow to the head. Prescribed recovery times depend on the severity of the concussion. American Academy of Neurology research shows that athletes who suffer two consecutive loss-of-consciousness events within 48 hours run a significant risk of sudden death. If you participate in roughstock events, follow recommendations of rodeo medical personnel when deciding whether to participate in a second round following a concussion. A lot of money may be on the line, but so is your life.
Mitigate: Drink enough fluid to make your urine look more like dilute lemonade rather than concentrated apple juice. Two hours before the event, down about a pint of water or low-sugar sports drink. Just as important is replacing the fluid your body has lost, which means drinking about two full glasses of fluid after competing. Avoid caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and soda.
Associations & Websites
Oldest and largest professional rodeo-sanctioning body in the world, sanctioning 650 multiple-event rodeos in the United States and Canada
Second largest professional rodeo association sanctioning nearly 300 rodeos, including 40 in Canada
International professional bull riding organization with more than 1,200 riders from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Australia competing in 300 events around the world
Nonprofit organization for military service men and women who want to compete in the sport of rodeo
Organization providing opportunities for women across the United States and Canada to compete in the timed events of barrel racing, team roping, breakaway roping, and tie-down roping
E-magazine with rodeo-related articles, associations, events, and classifieds