Becoming a Rough Stock Rider: Equipment and Mindset

January 10, 2023

While there are a number of different events that take place within many rodeos, some of the most well-known throughout popular culture today are rough stock riding events. These include themes like bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding competitions, all events where the animal being ridden is meant to buck as part of the event.

At A Cut Above Buckles, we're proud to provide custom rodeo belt buckles and numerous other rodeo accessories or items to clients in Utah, Texas and nearby areas. We've helped many would-be rough stock riders figure out exactly what they need to enter this role, from equipment to the kinds of personality traits you'll need and more. In this two-part blog series, we'll go over the varying elements it takes to become a rough stock rodeo rider.

The Right Equipment

First and foremost, any rough stock rider needs to have the right equipment in order to be successful. Of course, this means finding a quality horse or bull and getting it ready for the competition. This can mean investing in special training sessions, though many riders are adept enough at this themselves to avoid such costs.

In terms of additional equipment, you'll need various pieces of safety gear, such as a hard hat with a face guard or helmet and protective vest. You'll also need various straps or rope to help you stay on the animal during the ride, and practice is key in terms of learning how to properly use this equipment.

Finally, many riders put significant effort into designing their own custom rodeo belt buckles and other accessories they can wear during the event. This part of the process is often overlooked but is an important element in terms of creating a visually appealing rider and commanding respect on the rodeo grounds.

A Gritty Mindset

Simply put, rough stock riding is not for the faint of heart. It's a dangerous sport and requires a great deal of grit and determination in order to be successful. Not only do you have to physically prepare yourself for the ride, but mentally as well; it's important to understand the risks before entering into this part of the rodeo world.

Mental toughness is also important during the actual ride. You'll need to be able to remain focused and alert even as your horse or bull is jumping, bucking, spinning and doing other tricks. This kind of focus requires a great deal of practice and a clear understanding of the task at hand.

It's also important to be prepared for failure; no matter how much practice you put in, there are still risks of not completing the full 8-second ride or being disqualified. You'll need to be able to accept any outcome and continue on with your rodeo career.

These are just a few of the elements it takes to become a successful rough stock rider. In our next blog post, we'll go into greater detail. For more on this, or to learn about any of our custom rodeo belt buckles, accessories or other Western items, speak to our team at A Cut Above Buckles today.

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